Property with both freehold and leasehold titles

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    Property with both freehold and leasehold titles

    Hi, I am looking for some advice...

    I am currently in the process of buying a house which was advertised as freehold. I was told that the current owners originally bought a share of the property with a housing association and that they staircased to 100% thus making it a freehold property.

    However, on the Land Registry there are two titles - freehold and leasehold. The vendors names are down on the proprietorship register as title absolute on both the freehold and leasehold title. Does this mean that they own both the freehold and leasehold? If so, why was the leashold title not extinguished when they purchased the freehold?

    My solicitor says because they staircased to 100% that automatically makes them the freeholders. I have a memorandum of staircasing which states that "the total share in the premises now owned by the leaseholder is now 100%" - why would it still refer to them as the leaseholder in this document if they own the freehold?

    Also the same memorandum states that there is a peppercorn rent on the property...again if they were the freeholder (as my solicitor claims this document proves) why would they be required to pay this?

    Sorry if my message is garbled, just this has been a massive source of stress, and I now can't contact my solicitor till Monday, so hoping to put my mind at ease with advice from others!

    To merge a leasehold title into the freehold requires an application to Land Registry to do that when applying to register the freehold title after the transfer to the same leaseholder.
    i.e. identical names on leasehold and freehold titles.

    Only then is the leasehold title extinguished.

    Obviously it was not done by the solicitor acting for the new freeholder, although there may be easements referred to in the lease that would have to have been recorded in the freehold title when the same people became owners of both titles.

    Sometimes that is the reason why leasehold titles continue, even if in the same names as is shown on the freehold title.
    P.S. Someone I know has been in that situation since 2002, when they acquired the freehold and no one told them that it was sensible to merge the titles.


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