Residents FAQ

Question
Why can a flat not be freehold?

Answer
Flats are constructed with one dwelling above another, it is not possible for the owner of each flat to also own the ground that the flats stand on.

Question
What is a freeholder?

Answer
The freeholder is the owner of ground that the flats stand on.

Question
What is ground rent?

Answer
The owner of the land that flats stands upon will allow the use of the land on the basis of granting a long lease, in return this usually gives the right to make a rental charge called ground rent.

Question
What is a Management Company?

Answer
A Management Company is a company limited by share or guarantee whose members are residents of a development. Companies run by Directors elected from amongst the residents who in turn usually appoint Managing Agents to administer the company and manage the developments.

Question
What is a service charge?

Answer
A service charge is a sum payable by the owner of the property to cover the costs of insuring the development and maintaining the communal areas.

Question
Why is there usually one insurance policy for all of the flats and development?

Answer
It is better to have a block policy that covers every flat because if it was left to individual flat owners to insure their own property and one flat was uninsured this would create serious problems for the adjoining properties. It would also be extremely confusing and time consuming settling an insurance claim where there are a number of insurers involved.

Question
If I am not happy with my Managing Agent can I sack them?

Answer
All leaseholders have rights concerning management of their property. If the Managing Agents are appointed by the freeholder the freeholder should take into account your views concerning the choice of agents. The formal process for insisting that a freeholder changes agents is laid down in statute. HHL would be pleased to provide advice and guidance in relation to this. If the agent is appointed by the Management Company there is usually the opportunity for leaseholders to make their views known to Directors for the Management Company either informally or at the Annual General Meeting.

Question
Can I buy the freehold of my development?

Answer
The law provides a legal framework to allow a group of residents to purchase their own freehold. However before embarking on this it is sensible to obtain specialist advice on the acquisition process and the value of the freehold. HHL Property Management have the expertise to assist in this area.

Question
If I am selling the property, do I have to pay the charges in full?

Answer
Yes; You should pay all of the charges due on the property prior to any sale taking place. To protect the purchaser’s interests, their solicitor must establish that there are no debts outstanding on the property. Part of the usual pre-sale enquiries that solicitor’s make, is to ask if there are charges due or outstanding against the property. If you have not paid in full it will, in most cases, delay completion of the sale of your property. Your own solicitor will apportion any money due back to you in the final completion statement.

Comments are closed.