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    • t45
    • By t45 23rd Dec 16, 12:09 PM
    • 77Posts
    • 6Thanks
    t45
    Purchasing part of freehold
    • #1
    • 23rd Dec 16, 12:09 PM
    Purchasing part of freehold 23rd Dec 16 at 12:09 PM
    Hello,
    Was wondering if anyone would know the process of enquiring about purchasing part of the freehold?
    I live in a conversion - 3 flats all leased but one of the flats owns all of the freehold.
    Can I purchase a share of the freehold and if so how do approach the matter?
    I havent had good relations with the freeholders who rent out their flat and who I believe do not manage the property very well - ie communal areas are always a mess - even though i am a leaseholder when there are jobs and repairs to do, I pay a part contribution towards these as do the other flats - ie if there is roof work we split it three ways - I also pay my ground rent etc.
    What are the implications, if any of purchasing part of freehold?
    I have a good lease on my flat but I believe purchasing a part of the freehold would give me a bit more of a voice in terms of suggesting what jobs are to be carried out, asking other tenants to keep the place clean and tidy etc etc. Currently I do not have a voice - it's the freeholder who decides on what jobs are to be carried out yet the cost is split between the flats!!!
    Any ideas?
    I expect I would need to approach the freeholder to ask if I can purchase a share of it? Could they refuse? And what is the normal procedure for this?
    Many thanks!
Page 1
    • Alter ego
    • By Alter ego 23rd Dec 16, 12:19 PM
    • 2,007 Posts
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    Alter ego
    • #2
    • 23rd Dec 16, 12:19 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd Dec 16, 12:19 PM
    You cannot buy part of a freehold.
    You can buy the freehold using a company you form with the other leaseholders. Each leaseholder then owns a proportion of the company, the company owns the freehold.
    Ignore me if you like, it's not the real me anyway.
    • Hoploz
    • By Hoploz 23rd Dec 16, 1:47 PM
    • 3,529 Posts
    • 3,119 Thanks
    Hoploz
    • #3
    • 23rd Dec 16, 1:47 PM
    • #3
    • 23rd Dec 16, 1:47 PM
    If the other residents are leaving a mess behind them then there's no reason why you shouldn't ask them to tidy up, or if it's ongoing then put up a note about it.

    You seem to indicate you think it's unfair that you pay towards jobs done, but this is completely normal. Maintenance is normally shared between all flats in a certain way, as dictated in your lease. If there are three flats it's likely to be split three ways, or sometimes larger flats pay more or whatever but basically you do need to meet your contribution. This is what service charges are for.

    If you think work is unnecessary then you can write to the freeholder the express this, or see the other leaseholder and ask them to write also, to give it more weight.
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 23rd Dec 16, 2:02 PM
    • 432 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Soundgirlrocks
    • #4
    • 23rd Dec 16, 2:02 PM
    • #4
    • 23rd Dec 16, 2:02 PM
    just to add any work that costs over and above £250 per flat will need to go through section 20 consultation , which quotes are obtained for the work, (and you can submit your own quote) its a dull process for the freeholder, but means you can see exactly what you are paying for and should have a say.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 23rd Dec 16, 6:31 PM
    • 40,567 Posts
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    G_M
    • #5
    • 23rd Dec 16, 6:31 PM
    • #5
    • 23rd Dec 16, 6:31 PM
    1) Speak to the freeholder. negotiate. If he agrees, you could pay him to buy in o the freehold, though as Alter ego says the best way is to become joint owners of a company that owns the freehold.

    You could, however, become joint owners of the freehold (just as a married couple are usually joint owners of their freehold house).

    2) If the current freeholder decides to sell, he has offer it first to the leaseholders, at the same price as he plans o sell to any 3rd party - he cannot offer it to the leaseholders for £X, and then if they decline, sell it for £X - £Y to someone else.

    This is known as Right of First Refusal.

    3) If several leaseholders band together they can force the freeholder to sell.

    this is known as Collective Enfranchisement.

    It is a right, subject to qualification, for the owners of flats in a building, and sometimes part of a building, to join together and buy the freehold of that building. The relevant Act is the Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended).


    Provided at least 50% of the flats in the building, who are qualifying tenants, participate and the building qualifies the landlord cannot refuse. The procedure is quite complex and the correct notice needs to be served on the landlord, so it is advisable to use a specialist solicitor and surveyor when undertaking this process.
    http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/collective-enfranchisement-getting-started/
    Last edited by G_M; 23-12-2016 at 6:35 PM.
    • t45
    • By t45 13th Feb 17, 11:51 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 17, 11:51 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Feb 17, 11:51 AM
    Many thanks for all of this advice e- it's very useful - I believe the first step is that I have to approach the freeholder and ask if they would be willing to sell part of freehold.
    I assume that they agree upon the price in line with land value etc?
    If they refuse to sell part of freehold, can I challenge this and if so on what grounds?
    I actually have a long lease and some would say there's not point purchasing part of freehold if you have a long lease.
    As a leaseholder can I also ask that certain covenants be updates, edited or changed? I assume for this I would cover the legal and admin fees as would be if granted part of purchase of freehold. Does anyone have any idea how much this would be approximately for admin and legal fees?
    Many thanks,
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Feb 17, 12:04 PM
    • 40,567 Posts
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    G_M
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:04 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:04 PM
    .... - I believe the first step is that I have to approach the freeholder and ask if they would be willing to sell part of freehold.
    that's a good start
    I assume that they agree upon the price in line with land value etc?
    They may not agree at all!
    And they can suggest any price they wish.
    If they refuse to sell part of freehold, can I challenge this and if so on what grounds?
    See the links in my post above
    I actually have a long lease and some would say there's not point purchasing part of freehold if you have a long lease.
    there are pros and cons.
    As a leaseholder can I also ask that certain covenants be updates, edited or changed?
    of course you can ask, but
    a) unlikely the freeholder will agree
    b) likely to require ALL the leases to be changed, requiring agreement by all leaseholders too
    c) cost might well make it not worth while
    I assume for this I would cover the legal and admin fees as would be if granted part of purchase of freehold. Does anyone have any idea how much this would be approximately for admin and legal fees?
    Many thanks,
    Originally posted by t45
    Can't help with actual costs I'm afraid.

    Specifically what covenants do you have issues with?
    • t45
    • By t45 13th Feb 17, 12:14 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:14 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:14 PM
    Thanks so much – this is very helpful
    Basically, our freeholder turned up unannounced demanding entry to lay pest control traps! We refused entry/ they said they could gain entry as freeholders.
    In the lease there is a covenant that states that the freeholder can enter my property such a such times a year. I cant remember the specific working though.
    Have really bad relations with freeholder since moving in 3 years ago due to noise disturbance from their tenants that has been a living nightmare. They are seemingly bias towards their tenants, hard to prove though.
    There is a clause that has been added to accommodate their musician tennats, saying that they can have a such and such musical instrument inside and play it during such and such hours. The point is, they do play it between the allotted hours (before it is regarded as anti-social) but goodness they make sure they get their play-worth in so they will start at 9am and play thought the day an play right up until 8-9pm at night which they can do in line with noise legislation think cut off time is 11pm. Relations with both tenets and freeholder not good due to ongoing disputes over noise. But there is no soundproofing at all and they continue to play – my bedroom is above their living/playing space.
    Would like to see if there is anything we can do to have this clauses edited to accommodate those living around these tennats.
    I assume that if purchased part of freehold (if they agree – it is however very unlikely), would have more of a voice and say in how the building is managed.
    Feel very much like been rail roaded by freeholder since purchasing property. Pay all of my ground rent.
    • t45
    • By t45 13th Feb 17, 12:25 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:25 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Feb 17, 12:25 PM
    I have also read that leaseholders must qualify for right to buy under provisions of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.
    I am quite sure i meet the criteria: building must contain at least 2 flats/ at least two 3rds of the flats must be on long leases/ the building must be self-contained
    I believe one can ask to purchase part of freehold after living in property for 2 years.
    I guess i need to work out whether it is, as you have rightly suggested, worth the money.
    There are 3 flats in the building. 2 leaseholders an 1 freeholder flat.
    Am I right in understanding that I first approach the FREEHOLDER and ask if they willing to VOLUNTARILY SELL and negotiate price. If they say NO then I perhaps can COMPULSORILY acquire part if freehold via legal process using the 1993 Act.
    This perhaps sound silly, but is it almost worth waiting, holding off and hoping the freeholder sells his flat and with it offers the freehold to the remaining flats?
    Looking at my situation, I would say that I am looking at purchasing part of freehold in order to give me more of a voice in the building in which I live and in which I won a flat and live on site. I think this is certainly a benefit given that I feel that since I purchased the flat i have little if not no voice .
    Am i as light in assuming if i want to gauge a approximate cost of part of freehold I would instruct a surveyor to value the property, each flat and the land?

    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 13th Feb 17, 12:28 PM
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    eddddy
    There is a clause that has been added to accommodate their musician tennats, saying that they can have a such and such musical instrument inside and play it during such and such hours.
    Originally posted by t45
    A clause added to what?

    A clause cannot be added to your lease without your consent.

    Or do you mean the clause was added to the lease at some point before you bought it.
    • t45
    • By t45 13th Feb 17, 12:34 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    Apologies for being unclear – yes it seems that a clause was added to the lease to accommodate music playing in one of the flats. It was added before I purchased the property, and have no idea when it was added but think it was within the last 5-10 years.
    If I wanted to add or amend a clause, as a lease, can I go about doing this and if so how?


    • Richard Webster
    • By Richard Webster 13th Feb 17, 12:39 PM
    • 7,386 Posts
    • 7,098 Thanks
    Richard Webster
    You can only force the freeholder to sell the freehold if you club together with the other leaseholders.

    Even if the freeholder did agree to you having a share in the freehold you would still have to agree what is done with him and he might not agree and you would be no further forward.

    Either you and the other leaseholders take control or you don't. Even if you take control with them you still have agree stuff with them so none of this is the complete panacea.
    RICHARD WEBSTER

    As a retired conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful assuming any properties concerned are in England/Wales but I accept no liability for it.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 13th Feb 17, 12:45 PM
    • 4,941 Posts
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    eddddy
    If I wanted to add or amend a clause, as a lease, can I go about doing this and if so how?
    Originally posted by t45
    The leaseholder and the freeholder have to agree to change the lease. If they don't agree, there's nothing you can do.

    (So if a leaseholder wants to play music, it's unlikely that they would agree to changing their lease to say they can't play music.)

    Even if you were a joint freeholder, that situation wouldn't change.
    • t45
    • By t45 13th Feb 17, 12:55 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    Thank you both eddy and Richard,
    Basically this is the set-up:
    3 flats, one of which owns 100% freehold.
    I own 1 flat and am leaseholder with long lease.
    The other flat is also leaseholder and i don’t think wants to purchase freehold as they are looking to sell.
    I am the only party who wants to purchase part of the freehold so it’s unlikely that i could do this with the other leaseholder.
    My understanding is that i can ask to purchase part of freehold (this is without the other leaseholder) and in effect it would 50% 50% each. It would be great of the other flat/lease holder wanted to buy part to freehold but i don’t think this will happen.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 13th Feb 17, 1:19 PM
    • 40,567 Posts
    • 46,415 Thanks
    G_M
    I suspect the clause was added to the lease of the flat below, permitting them to play music?

    What does your own lease say about, for example, either noise, or right to peaceful enjoyment, or not disturbing neighbours?

    Have you read the links yet? I believe to act under RTB you need a majority of leaseholders. Who owns the other flat and would he support you?
    • t45
    • By t45 17th Mar 17, 10:47 AM
    • 77 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    thank you all - can anyone shed light on this SECTION 20 CONSULTATION mentioned by soungirlrocks?
    One of the flats (which is rented) has taken it upon themselves to add a huge light at their front door, removing the old light for a very modern light that is not in keeping with the old style of the property - the tenant did this without permission from the owner or the freeholder - I have asked for it to be removed but it remain - where do I stand on this? it overlooks my door and it is unsightly - also no permission was granted and holes were drilled into the exterior bricks to allow for this light to be fitted.....
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 17th Mar 17, 11:41 AM
    • 4,941 Posts
    • 4,596 Thanks
    eddddy
    thank you all - can anyone shed light on this SECTION 20 CONSULTATION mentioned by soungirlrocks?
    Originally posted by t45
    In simple terms, if you will be asked to contribute more than £250 towards a piece of maintenance or repairs, the Freeholder has to go through a formal consultation process first.

    See: http://www.lease-advice.org/faq/what-is-the-section-20-consultation-process-for-major-works/


    One of the flats (which is rented) has taken it upon themselves to add a huge light at their front door, removing the old light for a very modern light that is not in keeping with the old style of the property - the tenant did this without permission from the owner or the freeholder....
    Originally posted by t45
    Your rights are detailed in your lease. If any of your rights have been breached, you can complain to the freeholder.

    For example, your lease probably says that you have to contribute to the cost of maintenance and repairs. If the replacement of the light isn't maintenance or repairs (e.g. if the old light was fine, and the new one is intended as an improvement) you probably don't have to contribute to its cost.

    Arguing that the light should have been replaced by an identical one may be a bit tougher. (Although, if your lease mentions 'maintenance' I guess you could argue that 'maintenance' implies 'keeping the same'.)
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