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Garages don't come up for sale very often round here but there's a freehold one for sale just now. It's at the back of a block of flats which are leasehold and the driveway / tarred area to the garages would come under that leasehold.

 

The seller hasn't paid any fees or service charge for the past 6 years. Can anyone give me advice please without me going to the expense of hiring a solicitor?

 

Thank you

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Not what you want to hear, but i'd not do anything without a conveyancing solictor's advice. It's a potential minefield covenants on the land etc. The picture you paint sounds like you'd be buying an island of land surrounded by someonelse's with the potential of them blocking access.

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You'll have to see what covenants are in the deeds as suggested by gregs07.

Usually in these situations you have right of passage through the land leading to the garage.

It is not unusual that a contribution for the maintenance of this passage is required.

In some cases this contribution is in the form of an annual fee to a management company (this doesn't seem the case) or the maintenance is left to the leaseholders of such passage and whomever has interest in it by deeds (potentially you).

Best thing to do is to purchase the entry record from land registry and pass it to a specialised solicitor to check it out.

Truly, you don't want to buy a garage today and be asked a few thousand tomorrow to fix the area surrounding it.

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Thanks for your feedback. I have now purchased the documents from the Land Registry (I'd forgotten I could do that).

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it is not a freehold garage, it is a leasehold garage. The building belongs to the lessee so when the lease expires they have to take it away leaving the land bare for the freeholder.

So, if you buy the garage the lease will hopefully be assigned to you and you can enjoy it as you would a leasehold flat but you will need a solicitor to pick through all of the terms as often the lease cannot be simply assigned so it may be economically unviable

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Thank you ericsbrother. We have a good solicitor so it will be interesting to see what she says. The title from the land registry is, of course, very confusing to a lay person.

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It will be interesting to be updated on what your solicitor feels the position is.

 

I'm not sure how one can be certain if the garage is freehold or leasehold without seeing the LR documents.

 

The garage doesn't have to be leasehold : it is feasible the freeholder sold off the freehold (with the access over the land that has subsequently become leased, via benefit of covenant(s) granting the garage owner access to the garage)

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It does say "The land has the benefit of the following rights granted by a transfer of the land blah blah blah TOGETHER WITH a right of way at all times in common with the transferor and all other authorised by it with or without vehicles over and along the roadway shown and hatched brown on the said plan"

 

I will however update you on what the final verdict is once it's in the hands of my solicitor.

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Yes, you have right of passage, so the freeholder of the land surrounding the garage cannot block your access.

We need to know if there's any covenants imposing the maintenance of this access on the garage freeholder.

That's the key point.

Have a look at the area and if you think that at one point they would build properties on it, maintenance or not, you could be in for a jackpot: They won't build properties around the garage and leave it in the middle of the development, but they would most likely buy it off you.

If that ever happens, you could negotiate a rip off price and walk away happy.

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The only bit in the covenants that stands out (to me) is

 

"that he the purchaser will on demand pay a fair proprotion of all charges for renewing or repairing the ..........Road pavements, sewers and drains which shall be used in common by the occupiers of the land hereby conveyed and of any adjoining premises until such road, pavements, sewers and drains are taken to by the proper authorities the amount of such proportion to be fixed in default of agreement by a sole arbitrator to be appointed under the Arbitration Act 1889 or any statutory modifications or reenactment thereof for the time being in force PROVIDED ALWAYS that in assessing the sum to be paid by the purchaser rgard shall be had to the frontage of the land hereby conveyed on .............Road and the extent of the use of such road by the purchaser to the intent that the purchaser shall not be called upon to pay for wear and tear of the road caused by building operations therein by any person or persons.

 

The road in question above is a public side road which I imagine is adopted by the local council.

 

PS I don't think there is any chance of the garages being knocked down to make way for a dwelling although it does state that one "not of less value than one thousand two hundred pounds" Hah.

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In that case you have to contact the council IN WRITING and confirm that the road is adopted, so your council tax will cover maintenance.

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I don't pay council tax in that borough.

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You will,- when you buy the Lease for a free-standing property. Also expect a water rate from the Water Co.

Round here such garages are demolished for Housing.

Why did you decide to buy the Lease for this garage?

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You will,- when you buy the Lease for a free-standing property. Also expect a water rate from the Water Co.

Round here such garages are demolished for Housing.

Why did you decide to buy the Lease for this garage?

 

It's a freehold garage as per title apparently

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so the bit about the leasehold flats is completely irrelevant and we are talking about a freehold piece of land with a garage on it. This makes a big difference so please confirm the ownership status of the land

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so the bit about the leasehold flats is completely irrelevant and we are talking about a freehold piece of land with a garage on it. This makes a big difference so please confirm the ownership status of the land

 

I think it is a bit unfair to say "the bit about the leasehold flats is completely irrelevant and we are talking about a freehold piece of land with a garage on it."

 

The OP was quite clear:

Garages don't come up for sale very often round here but there's a freehold one for sale just now. It's at the back of a block of flats which are leasehold and the driveway / tarred area to the garages would come under that leasehold.

 

So the garage is freehold, and the status of the access to the garage (over the flats land, which is leaseheld) IS relevant. It would be important for a purchaser to clarify any easement / covenant granting access if the freehold property would otherwise be 'landlocked'.

 

Not fair to blame the OP for giving relevant details .... especially if this was prompted by trying to deflect from your erroneous statement of:

 

it is not a freehold garage, it is a leasehold garage.

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OK, it was the refernce to the flats adn their position along with the service charges reference that confused me into thinking the land was assigned and the garage belonged to the vendor

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As promised, an update on the freehold garage situation. We now have the contract from our solicitor and all's in order. We have a "right of way over the area coloured brown on the plan which has access to the garage". Everything else is in order. Thanks all for you input.

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