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Advice on buying the freehold

(5 Posts)
posey Mon 08-Nov-10 21:01:19

We bought our place 5 months ago. It is the ground and 1st floor of a Victorian terrace. There is a separate flat on the 2nd floor and attic. They are both leasehold, the freeholder being the guy that bought the house and converted it some years ago.
When we were in the process of buying we were asked, informally, if we would be interested in buying the freehold. We said yes, but not right now, but something we would definitely consider in the future.
Today we received a letter informing us that the freehold has been sold.
Is he able to do this without giving us a formal notice of his intention to sell? I was under the impression that there should be a 6 month notice or something. I know he'd asked the previous owner of our flat if they'd be interested some time ago and they said no.
Is there anything we can do?

LadyThompson Thu 11-Nov-10 16:16:42

Contact the Leasehold Advisory Service. It is usually a criminal offence to sell the freehold to someone else without giving you the chance to buy it first. If this happens, you have to act quickly if you want to take action. Get advice immediately to find out whether you can:

stop the sale and enforce your 'right of first refusal'
buy the freehold from the new freeholder (you have to do this within four months of finding out that it has been sold).
If the sale goes ahead, you will have a new freeholder. Your lease will continue as before unless you agree to change it.

posey Thu 11-Nov-10 16:40:15

Thanks LadyThompson. Have got in touch with our conveyancing solicitor now.

Noddynomates Mon 15-Nov-10 00:11:03

I dont know a lot about the subject but my understanding of Section 5 of the L & T Act 1987 is that if a notice is served then it has to be accepted by MORE than 50% of the lessees. If the guy on the top wants to sell the freehold he would have to offer it to himself and you. If he declines which he would (as he wants to sell) you cannot be more than 50% so I believe that he can sell the freehold without offering it to you

posey Mon 15-Nov-10 14:19:12

Thanks Noddy.
The freeholder is not resident here, upstairs is owned by another person who didn't want to buy the freehold.
There's always something to sort out!

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