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View Full Version : Buying freehold - Advice needed please



charley1965
23-03-2007, 19:06 PM
As the title says, these are the facts....

Myself and neighbour are buying joint freehold of our two flats together through the right of first refusal. My neighbour is being very unresponsive and keeps coming up with excuses as to why we cannot go to a solicitor (busy at work etc). He says he has instructed a solicitor acting for both of us, but I have no proof of this as yet. I desparately want to conclude the sale and the present freeholder is getting frustrated over why we are taking so long to get things sorted out. The offer was accepted in writing 6 weeks ago by us both. I have a couple of questions.

a) Can the freeholder withdraw his offer?

b) Is there a point in time when our acceptance is null and void? Someone previously mentioned 8 weeks to me, is this right? If so, after 8 weeks can I legally proceed to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting out my neighbour?

Any other suggestions please?

Thanks

jeffrey
26-03-2007, 09:13 AM
As the title says, these are the facts....

Myself and neighbour are buying joint freehold of our two flats together through the right of first refusal. My neighbour is being very unresponsive and keeps coming up with excuses as to why we cannot go to a solicitor (busy at work etc). He says he has instructed a solicitor acting for both of us, but I have no proof of this as yet. I desparately want to conclude the sale and the present freeholder is getting frustrated over why we are taking so long to get things sorted out. The offer was accepted in writing 6 weeks ago by us both. I have a couple of questions.

a) Can the freeholder withdraw his offer?

b) Is there a point in time when our acceptance is null and void? Someone previously mentioned 8 weeks to me, is this right? If so, after 8 weeks can I legally proceed to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting out my neighbour?

Any other suggestions please?

Thanks

Did offer arise in correspondence, or had you jointly served or recieved any statutory Notices before it?

charley1965
26-03-2007, 09:29 AM
The offer was through corresponence, so no official notices have been served. I am concerned that my neighbour is trying to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting me out.

jeffrey
26-03-2007, 09:44 AM
The offer was through corresponence, so no official notices have been served. I am concerned that my neighbour is trying to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting me out.

Panic not. If L wants to sell non-statutorily, he has to offer entire f/r to collective lessees (LTA 1987) by serving a formal Notice on everyone. If you haven't received a Notice, it's unlikely that any secret sale to neighbour is proceeding.

charley1965
26-03-2007, 09:53 AM
Panic not. If L wants to sell non-statutorily, he has to offer entire f/r to collective lessees (LTA 1987) by serving a formal Notice on everyone. If you haven't received a Notice, it's unlikely that any secret sale to neighbour is proceeding.

Thanks, I feel a little bit better! If my neighbour was trying to do this, am I right to assume it's against the law, seeing as we have both collectively accepted the offer to buy jointly?

jeffrey
26-03-2007, 10:02 AM
Thanks, I feel a little bit better! If my neighbour was trying to do this, am I right to assume it's against the law, seeing as we have both collectively accepted the offer to buy jointly?

Yes. Section 10A of 1987 Act creates criminal offence of L failing to comply with Act's "first refusal" procedures for collective lessees AND s.11 gives them right to extract f/r from L's collusive purchaser.

charley1965
26-03-2007, 10:45 AM
Many thanks for your answers. Very much appreciated!

charley1965
27-03-2007, 07:04 AM
An update on this.....

After much chasing and many phone calls I have eventually found out that my neighbour lied to me regarding the solicitor. He had not instructed them at all!!! This is the reason why I has not heard anything and the obviously the reason for his unresponsiveness. This will be rectified in the next couple of days.

Bearing this is mind and the lack of trust on my part, when we do buy the freehold (eventually) I want a legal document in place stating that I do not need his signature or any contact with him when I sell my property. I understand that usually both signatures are required if we own the freehold jointly.

If I insist on setting up a company to own the freehold will this also be a solution, as in I transfer my SOF to my buyer and do not need my neighbour's signature or permission in any way?

Many thanks.

jeffrey
27-03-2007, 09:26 AM
Distinguish between your [existing] property and the [new] f/r.
You own your property leasehold and will retain your existing leasehold. You do not need neighbour to sign anything about it before you sell/mortgage it.
F/r does involve neighbour. This is so whether you acquire/own it jointly with him or by incorporating a jointly-owned company to hold it. The latter is expensive, bureaucratic, and brings annual costs/Returns to Companies House/mailshots from the world and his uncle trying to flog stuff to Co. Either way, you + neighbour (or your successors in each case) will both need to sign docs. every time either flat changes hands so that f/r can be kept in joint names of current lessees as often as they change.

charley1965
27-03-2007, 12:42 PM
Many thanks for info. This is obviously something I will have to discuss with the solicitor when I eventually get there.