Q&A: Is £550 a reasonable price to pay for a freehold?

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Q. We own our house without a mortgage and we plan to sell up and move to the country. We will have banked the proceeds from the sale and may need to rent a property before we can buy another.

Q. We own our house without a mortgage and we plan to sell up and move to the country. We will have banked the proceeds from the sale and may need to rent a property before we can buy another. Will we be liable for capital gains tax, or any other tax, if we do not buy a new house immediately?
Derek Privett, by e-mail

A. You do not need to pay capital gains tax on the proceeds of the sale from your principle residence so if this is your only property and is registered as your principle residence then CGT is not payable. However, depending on your tax position you would be liable for tax on the interest accrued on this money in your bank account.

Q. I own the leasehold of my house and pay just under £4 a year to the freeholder. The lease has more than 900 years to run. I asked about buying the freehold and was quoted £550 - inclusive of administration fees but not my solicitor's costs. Is this a reasonable price?
John Summers, by e-mail

A. Contact The Leasehold Advisory Service (Lease) which is a Government-funded organisation giving free advice to leaseholders and landlords. It will be able to advise you whether you should go to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) to assess the quote you have been given. The way the cost is calculated is dependent on a number of factors. Ring 0845 345 1993 or e-mail info@lease-advice.org.

Q. I had my offer accepted on a flat 12 weeks ago. It is vacant and being refurbished, I have nothing to sell and have had my mortgage offer. My solicitor has not been happy with the lease and still has outstanding queries which the vendor's solicitor has not yet answered. I just want to buy the flat. What can I do to move the sale on and how do I know that the company is not trying to sell it to someone else?
HW, by e-mail

A. The vendor's solicitor is working on the instructions of his client and may well be having some problems obtaining the information required by your solicitor. It would be up to your solicitor to chase up these queries and advise you whether you should still proceed with the sale. The vendor's solicitor is legally obliged to inform your solicitor if there is another interested party in buying the flat as soon as this is the case. However, this does not mean that you will have preference over the other person and if the vendor wishes to sell the flat to someone else who may be prepared to settle for a less than perfect lease or pay more money, he may well do so. Ask the estate agent selling the property to chase up the sale and confirm you are the only buyer involved.

If you would like a query answered, e-mail: propertyq&a@independent.co.uk. Only those questions featured will be answered. Any advice given will not be legally binding

Comments