Conveyancing Solicitors in Cardiff

Conveyancing Solicitors in Cardiff –Freehold versus Leasehold


Buying a house can be daunting, it is well known to be one life’s biggest investments and for many they will be putting all their savings into the property. Finding the right house is important and your conveyancing solicitors in Cardiff can guide you through all the legalities.

There are three main tenures or types of property. Likes, dislikes, current and future plans and budget all play a role in deciding the type of property you want and where this property will be. For some a smaller flat in a top location is more important, for others they are happier to live in a less popular area or suburb as it means they get more value for money and a quieter greener pace of life.

The tenure or type of property available in Cardiff, generally fall into three main categories. There are more, but these are less common.

Freehold properties are ones in which the legal owner will own the property and a defined area of land that the property is built upon. In the main, Freehold properties are houses, with the exception of shared ownership houses. If you own a freehold property, all maintenance obligations and associated costs fall to you. There is no landlord to deal with nor do you need to pay the ground rent and service charge found in most leasehold properties.

Leasehold properties are those in which the legal owner will only own a proportion of a larger property. These, in the main, are flats, apartments, penthouses and maisonettes. Your ownership of a leasehold property is not indefinite and is subject to a term, known as the lease. Although you can extend the length of a lease in most cases, there is a cost associated with this. As a leaseholder, you will have a landlord, freeholder or management company and in most case will pay ground rent and service charge for upkeep and repairs to common areas. Some leasehold properties have private or shared gardens or outdoor spaces, some do not. The length of the lease can also affect your ability to obtain mortgage finance for a property and so it is important to discuss this aspect with your mortgage broker and conveyancing solicitors in Cardiff.

Share of Freehold properties are similar to leasehold in that you will own only a proportion of the wider property as a leaseholder, but in addition you will also own a share of the overall freehold. For example, if you purchase one flat in a block of four flats, then each of the flat owners will own a 25% share of the freehold. In some cases, all those with a share of the freehold will form part of a management company. Owning a share of the freehold can give you greater flexibility and say over maintenance and repair costs, lower ground rent and service charge and also make extending a lease an easier process.

There are advantages and disadvantages to all types of properties so it is important that you take the time to decide what works best for you. Talk with your conveyancing solicitors in Cardiffto help make the best decision for you.

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