Coach Houses are far from a modern phenomenon, with the concept originating in days gone by, when people needed somewhere undercover to keep their horses and carts. The grooms and drivers would then be housed in the accommodation above. These days Coach House accommodation is far more likely to house young professionals taking their first steps on the property ladder, with the lower levels most commonly used to house cars or allow access to properties beyond. Despite this, the basic concept has remained unchanged since the early constructions.
The majority of Coach Houses will be owned on a freehold. The freeholder that lives in the property will generally have the use of one of the garages below the property, with the others being leased to neighbouring properties on long-term leaseholds. Insurance responsibility for the whole building generally falls with the freehold unless the terms of the lease specify something different.
New Build Coach Houses
Coach Houses have once again started to soar in popularity due to their space saving design, with more and more new builds being constructed in this style. This is particularly true of modern developments where site managers are looking to construct as many properties as possible without compromising on quality or plot size. The unique design also means that surrounding properties are able to be offered garages and parking spaces when space may otherwise have prevented this.
This rising popularity of Coach Houses can also be attributed to the unique accommodation options that they offer. While most 2 bedroom properties would almost certainly be at least semi-detached, 2 bedroom Coach Houses are very often detached, offering a superior level of privacy. The fact that they often come with generous gardens, plus a garage, also places them in a far superior position to a standard flat, not taking into account the benefits of no immediate neighbours.
Concerns about noise from downstairs leasehold garages are also often unfounded, since leases tend to have a clause in them about considerate use, meaning neighbours are unable to conduct band practice in there at antisocial hours! In addition to this, aside from the garage belonging to the freeholder, there is no mains electricity or water.
Insurance for Coach Houses
Unfortunately, this continued increase in prevalence of Coach Houses has not been matched by cover options for insurance on these properties. Currently only a small selection of providers out there who will be able to provide the correct insurance for you Coach House – CoverBuilder is one of these.
Taking out a ‘detached property’ or ‘first floor flat’ insurance policy may seem like an easy fix for this issue but could cause some serious issues long term. If your insurer is not aware of the slightly unusual situation they are covering, you could run into some real problems should you come to make a claim down the line (this is particularly relevant if the claim could be proved to be related to the property’s construction).
Despite some of the difficulties, this type of property provides a unique style of home and can obviously be a great choice for a variety of buyers. By ensuring that you check the terms of your lease carefully (if you own the freehold of leasehold garages beneath you) and sourcing your insurance ahead of time, the benefits of these homes far outweigh any drawbacks.
If you’re looking for some inspiration as to how this type of property may work for you, then check out this Wales Online article about amazing Coach House Conversions.