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Unbroken Blocks of Flats as a Property Development Strategy


As one of the simplest strategies in the property development and management space, finding unbroken blocks of flats to buy in bulk at a wholesale price and sell individually at retail price is an excellent way to grow your property development profit with minimal effort.

What are Unbroken Blocks of Flats and do they differ from Multi-unit Freehold Blocks of Flats?

The term ‘multi-unit block of flats’ and ‘unbroken block of flats’ are really one and the same - it’s a property split into different self-contained flats. However, in the case of unbroken blocks of flats, instead of having individual leaseholds the property can be owned entirely and held under a single freehold title without having any of the individual flats sold off prior to purchase. 

Unbroken blocks of flats tend to be difficult to find, as you can’t tell from looking at the outside of a building whether the individual properties are sold or being rented out. Property investors currently have to follow the over-complicated process of identifying the address and title number of a potential freehold block, identifying who owns the title, and then identifying whether any leases are in place for the individual flats.

What is it that attracts investors to unbroken blocks of flats?

The strategy is a simple one - buy bulk and sell retail.  Engage the owner of a block of flats to sell it to you at a discounted rate for buying the entire block, and then, as the new leaseholder, create desirable new long-term leaseholds for the individual flats and sell them at retail for more than you bought the block for.

What are the strategies for unbroken blocks of flats?

Unbroken-blocks1. Buy in bulk and sell at retail

  1. Use the overlay in Nimbus Maps to find unbroken blocks of flats that have potential
  2. Download the contact information for the owners, either using the free data that we provide from Companies House or buying the title of the building for £3
  3. Contact the owners with a letter asking if they would be interested in selling
  4. Negotiate
  5. Purchase the block
  6. As the new freeholder landlord, issue new longer-term leaseholds on each flat
  7. Resell each flat either as the residential rental contract expires, or sell them with existing tenants to potential landlords

facelift2. Buy in bulk, upgrade, and sell for even higher retail

As above, but once all of the flats are empty of tenants, renovate and upgrade each one, and give the building a facelift, and you now have a lot of even more valuable flats to sell at retail prices

extra-floors3. Buy in bulk, add a floor or two, and sell more flats than you bought

Similarly to #2, but this time you look at whether or not there is airspace (if the building has neighbours that are taller than it) for you to add a few extra floors, which means a few extra flats to sell at retail.


4. Use the rules around Class ZA to rebuild


Simply knock the whole building down and rebuild a structure that is even more profitable than selling individual flats, using Class ZA, which usually doesn't apply to residential buildings because it is generally a commercial building class, but it does apply to blocks of flats.


How does Nimbus Maps help?

Finding unbroken blocks of flats used to be quite challenging - as it would require checking the titles of potential blocks one at a time.  It wasn't easy to scale this strategy when the process was this manual.

Unlocking more opportunities through unbroken blocks of flats is easy with Nimbus Maps 📍

Using proprietary datasets and algorithms, we have created a straightforward filter to highlight every unbroken block of flats in England and Wales on the map. Users can browse all the relevant information on the property, including ownership information, allowing them to select the best blocks and connect effortlessly with the owners of those blocks to secure them off-market, at a reasonable price.

Nimbus Maps can also show you local residential yields, which areas are growing in residential value, and what the planning permission history of the block has been.  This can make it very easy to assess the value of each unbroken block right from your desk.

The following video shows how simple it is to find unbroken blocks of flats in Nimbus Maps, and how you can get the same expert-level detail on these properties as any other site.




How to use this feature in Nimbus Maps

As demonstrated in our video above, this new feature is located within our pre-defined Residential Land & Airspace elite+ strategy. Simply select the Site Finding tool in the top left of the Nimbus Maps platform, then select Pre-defined site finding strategies and Unbroken Blocks of Flats can be located within our Residential Land & Airspace bundle. Unbroken blocks are coloured purple, and the broken ones are shown greyed out.

Any can be clicked to deliver relevant information on the block, and a hyperlink to the full information panel is available from the pop-up by clicking the title number.

Unbroken blocks of flats (multi-unit freehold blocks) can be purchased as an add-on to any Nimbus Maps account. Click here for more details.

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