chapter  13
7 Pages

Reports on flats and apartments

If a freehold flat or apartment in England or Wales is to be surveyed, the client should be advised to discuss the implications of tenure with his solicitor. There are certain technical objections to ‘flying freeholds’ under English law as it now stands, because of the difficulty of enforcing positive covenants against the subsequent purchaser of a flying freehold who has not himself had any direct contractual relationship with the adjoining owners. This problem has been solved in England and Wales by the practice of granting long leases on flats and apartments rather than selling with a freehold interest. Commonly, 99-, 125-or 999-year terms will be encountered, the latter being an over-optimistic figure to apply to the life expectancy of the structure, especially in the case of some post-war speculative flat developments which will be fortunate if they see the end of a 99-year term! In addition to the lease the flat owners may also hold a share of the freehold.