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Buying a flat: A Simple Guide

Simple guide to buying a new flat

Everyone agrees that the purchase of a house is a huge commitment. Even when you save up your life’s worth, sometimes it is not enough for a proper shelter. Rising prices often cause this in the real estate market year after year. New families have had a hard time trying to own a house. This is where flats are more popular. Flats in the UK refer to single storey accommodation with a set of rooms without the stairs. You need less budget, less maintenance and overall freedom to move if you may please. However, if you are buying a flat, there are certain things that you need to consider.

The Lease

In England and Wales, there are mainly two types of property ownership. Freehold and leasehold ownership. Flats fall under leasehold ownership as you do no completely own the land nor the building your flat is in. Flats are assigned to individuals with an agreement called “the lease”. The written contract confirms you as a leaseholder and collection of rights and responsibilities you must follow. It mentions the length of the lease and legal aspects of your ownership. Needless to say, you have to understand everything written on the agreement deeply.

Service Charge

On a flat, the landlord generally maintains the services like gas, water, heating and regular maintenance. As a flat owner, you have to pay a portion of these costs with other flat owners of the same building. There can also be sinking fund or reserves you pay each year to cover any significant repairs the building might require. While they are detailed in the lease, they can change and sometimes get unreasonable. You should not discreetly agree into variable service charges and discuss these payments personally.


Flats are easier to find around the locations you prefer. So it helps that you analyse different aspects of the flat like distance from your work, the age of the building, security measures, convenience like a balcony, garage, elevator are things you need to consider. This inspection helps you settle in better after buying a flat. This convenience might come at a higher price but will be less stressful and make you more productive.

Managing agent

Managing agents manage the proper operation of different services in the flats. They are responsible for maintenance, repairs, insurance, and improvements. You have to discuss building and management concerns with a managing agent like broken boiler, water drainage and problems with other flat owners. As you are buying a flat, you have to check they have an active managing agent to take care of problems you might encounter.

As you will have many other concerns, you will have a better idea on which flat suits you if you visit these flats and discuss with the other flat owners. As you confirm the flat you want to buy; a conveyancing solicitor will help you guide you through the flat conveyancing process. If you find an acceptable lease, well-managed property, then there’s no reason you should not consider buying a flat.

Posted by on 24/04/2017 in Leasehold

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