Being a freeholder

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Being a freeholder

Even though you will have purchased the freehold of your building, your leases of your flats will remain in place. You will be a leaseholder of your flat and a joint freeholder of the building.

Once you have completed the purchase of the freehold, the joint freeholders can grant long lease of the flats at no premium. The only costs you will have to pay will be the legal costs of drafting the variation to the lease and a land registry fee for registration of the new lease at the Land Registry.

As a joint freeholder you will have responsibility, together with the other freeholders, for performing the landlords covenants in the leases of the flats in the building. The usual responsibilities on the part of the landlord are to insure the building and to keep the structure of the building and any common parts of the building in good repair and condition.

If there are several flats in the building it is a good idea to maintain the collection of service charges even though ground rent will no longer be collected.

This will enable you to build up a fund for repairs and maintenance which may be required in the future.

You will need to appoint people to be responsible for such things as organising insurance an repairs.

Bear in mind that if you decide to form a company to hold the freehold you will need to appoint Company Directors and a Company Secretary and you must ensure that annual accounts are prepared and appropriate returns are filed with Companies House. This can be quite onerous and you may decide to appoint an accountant to deal with these matters on your behalf.

If it is a big building you may decide to delegate the full running and management of the building to managing agents although you will have to pay for this kind of service.

Buying your Freehold