Buying a leasehold flat

Below are some questions that are meant to assist those new to buying a leasehold flat when seeking advice and information from solicitors, conveyancers, sellers and estate agents.

  • Ask the estate agent or your solicitor for a copy of the lease.
  • When and how is the service charge and ground rent payable?
  • Are the payments annually, quarterly or half yearly?
  • Ask for a copy of the last service charge accounts.
  • What are the parking arrangements?
  • Are pets allowed?
  • Is there an age restriction on the lease?
  • Is subletting or buy to let allowed? If yes what fees might be payable?
  • Do I need permission for alterations and subletting?
  • Are satellite dishes allowed?
  • Is the tv aerial ready for digital switchover?
  • Is there a residents association?
  • Do I have to become a director and shareholder or member of a residents management company?
  • Is there a plan for major works for the building? If so what works are planned for the near future?
  • Is there a reserve fund to offset the cost of future major works?
  • Are service charge monies kept in a separate trust bank account?
  • Is the annual statement of account for service charges checked by an independent accountant?
  • Is there a problem with arrears at the development?
  • Is the managing agent a member of a recognised trade or professional body?
  • Has a fire risk assessment of the common parts been carried out?