Selling my flat.... lease issues

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  • Selling my flat.... lease issues

    I purchased my Ground Floor Flat just over 12 months a go, I bought it as a repossession with cash.

    My flat is in a converted Victorian property and we have a criss cross lease. I am the freeholder of the upstairs flat and the freeholder of my flat owns the upstairs flat. I've recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness and therefore have decided to sell my flat.

    Selling cheap has given me the benefit of finding a buyer quickly, but I have just got a list of queries/questions from the purchaser. Most of which are in relation to the Lease/Freehold.

    The other Leaseholder does not live in the upstairs flat, but rents it out to tenants. I have tried to contact him via telephone as it has been requested he fills out a Freeholder enquiries form by the Purchasers Solicitor ~ he is not answering his phone and has ignored messages I've left. So it doesn't look as though he wants to complete the forms.

    The purchasers solicitor also state that the division of the property into two flats appears to be in breach of covenants as the lease only describes 'a' dwelling. They have asked if there is an Indemnity policy in place and want to see a copy. I was not made aware of this when I purchased the flat 12 months ago, and no Indemnity was issued then. Surely my Solicitor should have picked up on this at the time?

    When I purchased the flat I had no way of contacting the other Freeholder, my Solicitor didn't have details and had no way of getting them and the upstairs flat was empty. I therefore had to insure my flat separately. Now this is also causing problems as the whole building is not insured. The purchasers Solicitor wants a Deed of Variation to be put in place ~ I believe this to mean that they want amendments to the lease/freehold. It all sounds very costly and long winded. But again I can't contact the other freeholder to ask about his insurance etc.

    This appears to be turning into a nightmare..... makes me wonder how I managed to buy the place last year and so quickly.

    Is there anything I can do? Is there anyone out there who can advise?

    I am currently on sick leave from work and I'm living on SSP so can't afford anything too costly to sort things out, but I need to sell a.s.a.p

  • #2
    It is not possible to comment sensibly on the possible legal problem without seeing the documentation.

    However, I think the way forward is to say to your solicitor: "Either the buyer's solicitor is correct or he is not. If he is correct then I expect you to sort everything out at your own expense and/or compensate me for any loss I incur. If he is incorrect I expect you to persuade him there is no problem."

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    • #3
      Thank you Lawcruncher

      I used a different Solicitor to purchase the property to the one I'm now using to sell it. If I was using the original purchase Solicitor that is exactly what I'd be saying ~ hindsight is a wonderful thing which I wish now I had last year.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kjb View Post
        Thank you Lawcruncher

        I used a different Solicitor to purchase the property to the one I'm now using to sell it. If I was using the original purchase Solicitor that is exactly what I'd be saying ~ hindsight is a wonderful thing which I wish now I had last year.
        You may find that the Indemnity Policy is cheap enough to be worth doing simply to avoid the hassle. They are usually less than a couple of hundred in my experience, obviously dependent on the insured risk; insignificant compared to the cost of a lost sale.

        ML
        Refer Mad Regulators to Arkell vs Pressdram.

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        • #5
          Thanks ML ~ although it's not going to help with regards to the other Freeholders lack of response to filling out and signing the requested Freeholders Enquiry form, or the Deed of Variation, which I assume will be needed as the other Freeholder is ignoring my calls ~ I don't have his address either so I can't even send him the forms by registered post.

          I know if I was in the process of buying this property and the other party involved was dragging his feet and being unco-operative I would definitely think twice before buying it.

          It looks like I may be losing a sale due to my fellow freeholder & previous Solicitor!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thank you for your response Bandontherun

            I'm going to sit and wait for the potential purchaser to pull out (I definitely think he will so it's not just a case of if) and then maybe think about going to Auction.

            What an expensive mistake I made ~ or should that be what an expensive cock-up my previous Solicitor made.... and she's meant to be an expert with Leasehold property.

            Comment


            • #7
              If the problem is intractable, would the purchaser agree to buy nevertheless but for say a £5k reduction?

              (Money is a great motivator. )

              Comment


              • #8
                Morning

                He's already buying it 30k below the two EA valuations I had, so I can't see how another 5k is going to make a great deal of difference to him.

                He realises that he's got a bargain (he said so himself when he came to view it) and it's in an area which is great potential for rental.

                I don't want to rent it out myself as with this illness I don't want any 'hassles'

                Comment


                • #9
                  How much are you wanting for it.

                  PM me with details and location if it is that cheap I may be interested as cash buyer I may be prepared to take a view.

                  Auctions or indemnity policy is other option

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                  • #10
                    forgot to add that on basis it was a repo, another conveyance has taken view it is acceptable so it may be purchasers conveyance that is being unduly pedantic !!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alexlandlord View Post
                      forgot to add that on basis it was a repo, another conveyance has taken view it is acceptable so it may be purchasers conveyance that is being unduly pedantic !!
                      I remember one client instructing me on a purchase who said: "The vendor's a solicitor so the title is bound to be OK." Famous last words.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I am suprised that there are many questions that are relevant for the freeholder to answer. The whole point of the criss-cross scheme is generally that no ground rent is payable and that each flat's lessee insures their own part of the building.

                        Unfortunaltey some buyer's solicitors have this habit of sending sets of standard management enquiries which can be really inappropriate in this kind of situation.

                        Only thing I can immediately think of is to get freeholder to confirm that there are no breaches of covenant on your part.
                        Last edited by Richard Webster; 09-01-2013, 19:22 PM. Reason: typos
                        RICHARD WEBSTER

                        As a conveyancing solicitor I believe the information given in the post to be useful (provided it relates to property in England & Wales) but I accept no liability except to fee-paying clients.

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