I'm looking to move to the UK in 6 months and purchase a flat, but I'm wondering if the UK has also HOAs like the USA?

In the USA they are pure hell and want to know if I'll have to deal with them there.

if YES, I would like to know the correct name for them, I plan to make some research and read some of the laws before I make a wrong purchase.

  • 1
    Are you sure that you are purchasing this flat? Or are you a purchasing a leasehold? In the UK, if you are not part of a leasehold, you may be part of a commonhold, which would be similar to an HOA except you are an owner usually equal to the other owners and decide on rules/fees/costs/upgrades like a democracy, but the rules would depend on whatever contract you sign when you buy the property.
    – Ron Beyer
    Feb 6 '19 at 20:52
  • AFAICT the EU tag is not relevant; as real estate is not an EU competence (not even a shared competence). Furthermore, in 6 months the UK won't even be a European Union member.
    – MSalters
    Feb 11 '19 at 10:40

The overwhelming majority flats in England are leasehold, not freehold; older buildings typically have 80 or 100-year leases, newer buildings usually have 999-year leases. Therefore you are dealing with the freeholder as a landlord for the matters that a HOA would deal with in the US. Depending on your landlord you may want to reconsider your statement that HOAs "are pure hell".

It is possible for the leaseholders to collectively buy the freehold although it is time-consuming and expensive and happens very rarely. If they do they set up a body similar to a HOA.

  • This is not true in scotland. Under scots law, flats are sold as freeholds: cms-lawnow.com/ealerts/2016/10/… Mar 10 '21 at 21:22
  • Is it worth noting that "HOAs" in the UK have substantially less power than their American counterparts seem to? For example, a UK HOA has no actual power to force me to mow my law, or not paint my front door bright pink for example, and cant demand fees from me. Covenants on the house might, but they can be removed, and local laws might, but they aren't controlled by a HOA. HOAs are different to ground rent corporations - I am a member of one of those, and pay something like £200 a year, but that covers maintenance of shared facilities in our development and places no restrictions on me.
    – user28517
    Mar 10 '21 at 22:35

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