When you see a 2 bed in Brixton high street with a guide of £100k you know something’s wrong – or that they really are just keen to get you bidding…but it didn’t sell! With the reserve at £100k my curiosity was piqued and I scheduled in to see it. I knew it was under commercial premises – but it was central and so I figured I could make it work.
When I arrived I was pleased to see the residential access had a separate access from the high street to the flats (there were 3 of them in total above/ below the commercial). Then the fun began – the first room you walked into (on the ground floor) was a thin long narrow bedroom which was on the borderline of “decent” housing standards. There was damp damage but not too hard to treat.
You then walked downstairs to a quite light basement which was a lounge with kitchen and bathroom off. All in good condition…
But then i was looking for the second bedroom!
The deeds had shown the property had 2 bedrooms but there was only 1 in this property. I went hunting and found it…behind a boarded up wall. I climbed out of the window so that I could look through the outside of the building and see what had happened…the shop had “stolen” the second bedroom and converted their back part into a flat which the bedroom was now a part of!!!!
I have circled the window in question here – i couldn’t get too close as there were people in the “stolen” bedroom!
I spoke to my solicitor to see what we could do – to be honest, I was willing to accept the situation and buy it as a one bedroom as the price was still right for the property…until it turned out – it had no planning, no building regs and no access! Oh and a freeholder who was in breach of contract!
Even if this all still sounds bad – the fact is you price in risk and you offer at a price which covers yourself. I negotiated with my solicitor what we felt the legal issues would cost to resolve – but in the end someone else decided that they would take more risk than me and offered more money!