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What Do I Need To Consider When Buying A New Build Freehold Home?

The new build property market has seen some developers placing excessive restrictions on new build properties and catching householders unawares.

This has surfaced following the change of law regarding new build properties in summer 2019, when the Government abolished leasehold ownership for new build homes. This was done to prevent developers from maximising their profits by doubling ground rents in some cases.

Now all new build homes must be sold as freehold.

However, there are some developers who have switched the unfair leasehold charges with unfair restrictions on new freehold properties instead.

What Does Freehold Mean For Homeowners?

If you buy a freehold house, the property and land it is built on should belong to you and you should have the freedom to make changes to it, within reason, as you wish. Compare this to a leasehold property, which is only yours for a set number of years and comes with more restrictions and service charges, and the option to buy freehold should be an appealing one.

The Unfair Restrictions On New Build Freehold Homes

Some new build freehold houses are being sold with restrictive covenants on them, limiting what the householder can and can’t do with it. When this happens, homeowners are finding out too late that they need permission from the developer to extend the property or improve it in certain ways – restrictions that aren’t the norm on freehold properties.

As some developers are placing the same covenants in freehold contracts as used to be found in leasehold contracts, this is catching buyers out. There have been issues for some homeowners when it comes to selling the house because of the restrictions and extra charges in place.

Top Tips For Potential Home Buyers

Buying a home is already a stressful experience, without the risk of falling victim to a scam in the process. To help prevent this happening to you if you’re looking to buy a new build freehold home, we strongly recommend the following:

  • Seek legal advice if you have concerns about the property
  • Find a conveyancing solicitor to check all the covenants in the contract
  • If covenants are found that you don’t like, ask your conveyancer to negotiate for their removal
  • If the developer refuses to remove restrictive covenants, consider carefully whether you want to go ahead with the house purchase

How We Can Help You With Your New Build Purchase

Our property solicitors have helped clients with a wide range of legal transactions, from the straightforward through to the complex – and every one is handled in a friendly, efficient and effective way that ensures the desired outcome is achieved for every individual.

Our conveyancing solicitors will advise and guide you on the purchase of your potential new build freehold home, and will thoroughly check every document related to the house buy. There to support you at every stage, our conveyancers will notify you of any restrictive covenant or excessive charges found within the contract and negotiate with the developers on your behalf.

We are also able to help if you have been caught out by a developer with a new build freehold home, and can assist you on the best way for you to approach the situation.

To speak to one of our specialist property solicitors about buying a new house or your current new build home situation, contact us on 0800 988 3674 or email advice@bartletts.co.uk