Tyneside Flats – Over 100 years since they first appeared, and I’m adding a pair to my portfolio.

A Tyneside Flat is usually a single storey flat within a two storey terraced house. The distinctive feature is each flat has its own front door. From the outside it looks like a terraced house, save for the two front doors which appear in adjacent pairs between the ground floor windows.

The ground floor front door leads into the ground floor flat. The second front door leads to a hallway and to a staircase directly to the upstairs flat.

Each flat is legally interdependent. The upper flat shelters the lower flat. The lower flat supports the upper flat. This has led to a specific legal scheme known as a Tyneside Flat Lease Scheme, criss-cross or crossover Lease arrangement. The ground rent is usually a notional amount, referred to as a “peppercorn” in the Lease.

Traditionally, under the Tyneside Flat Lease Scheme each flat tenant is the Landlord of the other. On the grant of a Lease to the ground floor flat tenant, the Freehold for the upper floor flat is conveyed to the ground floor flat tenant.

Similarly, on the grant of the Lease to the upper floor flat tenant, the Freehold of the ground floor flat is also conveyed to the upper floor flat tenant. The legal relationship between the two flats means that each is always able to enforce the covenants in the Lease against the other.

If you are buying a Tyneside flat with a mortgage then the mortgage will be registered against both the Freehold and Leasehold interests.

The extent of the downstairs flat includes the foundations of the building. The extent of the upstairs flat includes the stairs, hallway leading to it, roof and roof void. It is important to be mindful of the extent of the property, particularly when you are arranging your buildings insurance and more so if you are buying one of a pair.

For example, the upstairs flat owner is responsible for insuring the roof and roof void as well as their flat and the downstairs flat owner is responsible for insuring their own flat as well as the foundations.

There will be a plan of the property you are buying attached to the Lease. The extent of the flat will usually be edged in blue on that plan. Those areas which are the exclusive ownership of the flat will be edged red, such as a rear yard or front garden, and any areas that are shared with the corresponding flat will usually be hatched black i.e. a shared courtyard.

There will be “common installations” which serve both properties, and for which you and the corresponding flat owners will be jointly responsible. These usually include guttering, downpipes, gas and water pipes

Rental yield hotspots – live data 3/1/20

SR1 in my very own hometown of Sunderland in the North East of England is quoted as being in the top 3 performing postcodes for property yield. (Full table at the bottom of this post)  

The general attraction for out-of-town investors is the cost of entry in the North East. In SR1 you can pick up a rental property form £35k, with the average being £70k.

But would I invest in SR1?

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