When searching for my second investment property, I asked the agent the lease information on the viewing. I viewed the property with a ‘viewing agent’ and was told it is Share of freehold. My understanding is with a share of freehold is there would be a long ‘999’ year lease from being built as I own another share of freehold.
However, further down the line, I had the offer accepted. I had a call from my mortgage advisor after the valuation took place from the surveyor with bad news...!
He discovered there is a 68-year lease remaining on the property!! I called the agent immediately and queried why this was not mentioned to me. They were also ‘baffled’! The mortgage lender will not lend to me with a 68-year lease! So now, I have spent £400 on the valuation and another £400 instructing solicitors through no fault of my own.
My immediate thought was I have spent £800 and lost it through lack of information. The communication around this from the agent and different departments and different information has got me confused.
The importance of knowing the lease information in writing prior to making an offer would have saved me £800 and even losing out on other potential opportunities.
Because they were an established high street agent, I assumed I was in good hands. However, moving forward it’s important to do your due diligence with every leasehold or share of freehold property to save you potentially £££s and time!
My clients know as I do everything start to finish, we are transparent about all the information.
Sanjay Patel – Partner at Avocado Berkshire.