Purchasing a freehold building containing flats

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    Purchasing a freehold building containing flats

    Hi all,

    Hoping someone out there may have come across this before.

    I am in the process of purchasing a flat. The flat was advertised as freehold, and on further investigation I have found that:-

    - The flat I am purchasing is one of three in the building
    - Flat 1 has been sold leasehold on a long lease of 99 years. The lease was not originally registered at HM Land Reg, but was a number of years ago
    - Flat 2 has been sold leasehold on a long lease of 99 years. The lease is unregistered with HM Land Reg.
    - Flat 3 has not been granted a lease from the information we have. There is nothing registered for this flat at HM Land Reg.
    - Therefore, as flat 3 has not been granted a lease, it is in the same title as the freehold of the whole building. I am therefore purchasing the freehold of the building.

    Flats 1 and 2 have been given the right to first refusal on the freehold (including flat), but have not responded within the two months.

    I understand that this means I will be the ultimate freeholder, and know the responsibilities that come with this to the leaseholders of the other two flats.

    However, my biggest concern is... how can I be 100% sure that in the past no one has granted a long lease on flat 3?

    After all, flat 2 has been granted a lease, even though it is unregistered at HM Land Reg. Whilst the vendor has told us about this one, how can we know that there is not another one lurking that they have not told us about, perhaps because they too are unaware? The vendor is a receiver, as the property has been repossessed, so they are unable to give any background to the property, and are selling with no title guarantee.

    I am concerned that, after buying the flat, someone will at some point in the future come forward who has a long term lease on the flat, and therefore claim the right to the property I have just bought, leaving me with just the freehold building, which I would have all the responsibility of maintaining, and will be worth substantially less than i paid for the building including flat 3.

    I appreciate that I could just be being paranoid, and there is probably no lease, but obviously it is not a small amount of money to lose if there is.

    My solicitor has been looking into indemnities for me, but does not seem to be having much success, as I think this is a fairly unique issue?

    My intention is to grant a lease on the flat myself, separating it from the freehold. If I were to register this with HM Land Reg straight away, would this mean that all my issues are resolved?

    Any advice, comments or similar experience that anyone has would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

    G
    Last edited by Glennoh; 13-08-2015, 12:40 PM. Reason: Added further info

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