Buying a modern house – garages, parking spaces, paths and highways

Buying a modern house

Most people choose to buy a modern house so that they can move straight in and unpack without the bother of having to deal with major repairs.  But there are some issues with modern houses which can easily be overlooked, particularly relating to garages, parking spaces and paths, some of which may have additional costs of ownership.

Garages

Some houses on modern housing estates have garages which are leasehold, even though the house itself may be freehold.  When buying a modern house, the garage may be in a rank beyond the curtilage of the plot and may have residential accommodation above (a coach house above a rank of garages is a common feature of many modern housing estates).  Even if a garage and parking apace are situated alongside the house, if they form part of a rank then there is a possibility that the garage is leasehold.  Your solicitor should confirm tenure, and if leasehold, obtain details of the lease to establish whether any charges are payable, and confirm responsibility for repairs, etc.

Parking space/s

As with garages, if a parking space is situated beyond the curtilage of the plot your solicitor must check the tenure, details of rights of way, responsibility for maintenance, etc.

Footpaths

If there are footpaths in the vicinity of the house, then your solicitor should confirm ownership, rights of way, details for maintenance and whether there is a charge for maintenance.

Highways

If the public highway and pavements have not yet been adopted by the Local Authority then your solicitor should confirm details for adoption and whether any areas will be privately owned.

Generally

The items above should form part of a solicitor’s routine enquiries but it is useful for a potential house purchaser to be aware of such issues at an early stage in the house buying process particularly if there are additional costs of ownership. These may require clarification by a mortgage lender before a mortgage offer is confirmed.

See also House viewing tips:  things to consider when viewing a house  

and if you are buying the property to let then see also Buy to let property:  choosing, managing, student lets and landlord’s responsibilities. 

buying and selling a house

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