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How To Sell a Flat above a Commercial Property

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If you own a flat above a commercial property, it is possible to sell the property; however, there are additional steps needed before you can find a specialist buyer.

Every flat is different, and you’ll need to make sure that your solicitor has plenty of experience in dealing with selling leasehold property.

The good news is that you can sell your mixed-use commercial property to a genuine cash buyer without the hassle – more on that later.

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What is a flat above a shop called?

There is an abundant supply of flats above shops or offices near the city centres or in busy shopping parades.  You may own a flat above a takeaway, a charity shop, a cloth shop, a bank, or newsagents.  The list of possibilities is endless.  These can be very attractive properties for homeowners who want the convenience of all amenities nearby.

Flats above commercial premises are called mixed-use commercial properties, and they are treated differently from your normal purpose-built block of flats.

Before you try to sell your flat, you will need to apply for permission from the freeholder. 

Freeholders own the property, whereas a leaseholder will have a right to occupy the property under the terms of your lease for 85 to 125 years.  Unless you also own the shop below, it is likely that you are a leaseholder.

Primerose Hill London - people sat outside a semi-commercial building
Food outlets carry substantial fire risk to flats above as well as attracting rodents and cockroaches.

Pros of selling a flat above a shop

  1. They are cheaper than standard purpose-built blocks of flats.
  2. They attract young students or professionals who wish to be near the hustle and bustle. It is worth checking your lease for permission to rent the flat.
  3. Flats with Georgian or Victorian heritage dating back 1800s to 1900’s tend to have generous-sized rooms and windows to let in lots of light. This is a huge plus point.

Cons of selling a flat above a shop

  1. Flats above shops can be noisy with a busy high street, dog walkers, and cars. The noise can be unbearable if you have a pub/nightclub below, a busy takeaway open well into the early hours or a late-night shop.
  2. If the business below your flat is a restaurant or a bar, then food waste will attract pests such as rats and cockroaches. You will also have a constant odour of food, whether it’s fish and chips or chicken fry up, grease and grill fumes to put up with.
  3. There is a high risk of fire if chefs in the premises below you are cooking food.
  4. Access to the flat could be through the shop or via a dark alleyway, which is not ideal in winter months.
  5. Does the flat offer you a dedicated parking space or do you have to share it with customers of the shop?
  6. If you have a greengrocer or a clothes shop below your flat, you are lucky because you don’t have to worry about noise and fumes. However, if the premises change hands, then it can become problematic.
  7. In mixed-use commercial buildings, the service charges tend to be higher than a similar flat in a residential-only building.

Is it hard to sell a flat above a shop?

Most prospective buyers will struggle to get a mortgage if it is above a shop, takeaway, or restaurant.  Your buyer will need a semi-commercial property mortgage, which not only is expensive but he/she will also be expected to pay as much as a 40% deposit.   

This makes it harder to sell a flat above a shop.  Therefore, semi-commercial properties are cheaper due to the difficulty in owner-occupiers obtaining mortgages.

If you need a quick sale, we can make you a cash offer and complete the purchase within a couple of weeks. 

Is it hard to sell a flat above a shop?
Most prospective buyers will struggle to get a mortgage if it is above a shop, takeaway, or restaurant. 

Are you selling a flat with absent freeholder?

With a missing freeholder, there will be nobody to take care of the management issues such as the car park turning into a fly-tipping zone, overflowing rubbish, pest infestation, no insurance, regular health and safety risk assessments, lack of compliance checks and the building falling to into disrepair because of neglect.

If your flat has a missing freeholder, it becomes much harder to obtain consent to let, consent to sell or deal with day-to-day issues. For example, if you have issues with a shop below, your freeholder (landlord) should be able to mediate and find a solution. 

This is something we can assist you with if you are considering selling.

Lease of the shop can play a big part in the valuation of your flat

It is worth checking the lease of the shop to understand:

  • What type of shop can be run? You don’t want smells, noises, or a crowd ‘hanging around’ that could affect the enjoyment of your flat.
  • Hours of use – Ideally, you want to see daytime hours for trading.
  • Look at the lease terms and whether it prevents shop owners from noise or nuisance.
  • Remember, as mentioned previously, that if a shop closes/is sold or re-let, it can change everything depending on new trading activity.

Sell your flat above premises the Stress-Free way

Property Saviour are experts in selling commercial, residential or mixed-use properties.  Our team is made up of highly experienced property professionals who strive to provide first-class service.  We will buy any property guaranteed.

Here are some of the benefits of selling your property to us for cash:

  • No mortgage issues, as we will be buying your property for cash
  • We are experienced in sorting out complex leases and dealing with the most difficult situations with missing freeholders, defective leases and issues with title
  • Complete within 2-3 weeks
  • We will pay your legal fees of up to £1,500.

Sell with certainty & speed

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Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
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Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.
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