So I know that I ALWAYS have to read the legal pack before viewing a property.
Anyway, the thing is, sometimes with auction properties the legal packs come in later than you would like and you happen to be in the area sooner than the legal packs arrive.
Which is what happened with a flat I liked the look of in Wanstead, London.
I was going to be in the area and so thought I would nip by and see it.
Here’s the vid and the pics:
The major problem with what happened next: I really liked the flat. It was located on a good street, had a good guide and had potential.
The major issue: viewing a leasehold flat and not reading the legals beforehand is like buying a secondhand car and not checking under the bonnet to see if there is an engine.
The fact is, having got myself excited about this flat and having spent time researching and looking into this – the flat had issues. And when I say issues, I mean ISSUES.
These are the sort of issues which if somebody bought this flat without reading the legal pack and featured on Homes Under the Hammer they would come seriously unstuck. Like so unstuck, it’s highly unlikely the sale would even complete.
Because the issue is – when you check the local searches (and these are available with the property for you to read – you do not need to be a solicitor to read this) you may find things that will impact upon the value of the property both now and in the future. And they may be things which you can see – or maybe they will be things you don’t yet know about.
Either way – local searches are all part and parcel of doing your homework and your due diligence. Because when I checked the local searches for this flat in Wanstead, this is what I found:
3.8 Infringement of Building Regulations
Has a local authority authorised in relation to the property any proceedings for the contravention of any provision contained in Building Regulations
Flat conversion, internal alterations, new gas meter at front of property and staircase to first floor flat. In Breach – Details Placed On LLC 30-Apr-2008
And this is a major issue.
Converting a flat without building regs means raising finance will be virtually impossible and a breach being officially recorded will make insuring the property difficult. A flat like this will have a limited target market for resale which will keep the value down.
Which means the potential for this flat and what you plan to do, may be rather different to what you thought when you first viewed the flat. Which in my case it was.
To extract any value from this flat, you’re going to be going for a lengthy and expensive battle to try and regularise (if it’s possible) the building regulation contraventions.
And that, on a flat you didn’t convert originally and where you are only the leaseholder – is going to be opening an entire can of worms.
And it’s not a can I fancied trying!