Complicated lease extension - neighbour will not sign

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    Complicated lease extension - neighbour will not sign

    Hello

    I would be very grateful if somebody could please help me with my problem as it is driving me insane.

    The situation is quite complicated but please bear with me as it does make sense...

    In 2009 i purchased a first floor flat in a converted house.
    At the time , my solicitor advised getting the lease extended before buying the flat and the previous owner DID do this jointly with the guy downstairs.

    On my neighbours lease it states 186 years.

    We are joint lease holders and landlords.

    My neighbour has proved himself to be an annoying busy body who has been pestering me on and off over the years about all sorts of things . This part is important because that is what led me to take my lease to my orginial solicitor to question if what he was pratteling on about is true etc.
    it wasnt but i noticed that while reading through it , i only have 50 odd years left on the lease.

    i checked with land registry and to my surprise my against my name it only says 50 odd years but 186 for his.

    i went back to my solicitor and reminded him that at the time off purchase, the lease was extended so wheres my copy.
    eventually he conceded that his company had dropped the ball back when i purchased the flat and never sorted out my lease or registered it.

    i have contacted the seller ( from ten years ago ) and he said it was definitly sorted betweeb him and the neighbour before i bought it.

    so...my solicitor said ok ..no problem..we made a mistake..we'll copy the lease again and get you and your neighbour to sign it..job done. Youl have your 186 years like him .

    problem is my neighbour has been dragging his heels for 10 months now...he hasnt / wont sign the lease extension for me and just keeps making excuses and putting up barriers.

    im very frustrated with him AND my solicitors as none of this is my fault and as far as im concerned this is THEIR fault ( as they admitted).

    the guy downstairs is a retired old man who is just being a nusiance and trying to bully me instead of simply signing the lease.

    What can i do ?

    my solicitor has said if he doesnt sign we could goto court and that would take ages. I dont want that. I just want this sorted.

    hope this makes sense

    please help me

    #2
    P.s
    the sellers orginal solicitors from ten years ago went bust . My solicitors cannot find the files.
    the solicitor i was dealing with ten years ago no longer works for the company.
    nightmare

    Comment


      #3
      Can I just check a few points. Firstly, are there just the two flats in the building? Next, you say that you are both leaseholders and landlords. Do you mean that you are both members of a company that owns the freehold? If not, who owns the freehold?

      Comment


        #4
        Yes . Just two flats. Its a converted older style house.
        he is downstairs. I am on the first floor with the roof / loft above me.

        As far as im aware are joint freeholders and leaseholders. 50 / 50

        we have joint buildings insurance.

        theres is no managment company etc. We do not pay a service charge or ground rent etc.

        ps. Thank you for your interest.

        Comment


          #5
          OK thanks. Is there a participation agreement or declaration of trust that you can refer to from when the freehold was purchased? What reasons has he given for refusing to sign?

          Comment


            #6
            Hes not really giving reasons hes just being awkward.
            he insisted on 'inspecting' my flat for starters as hes convinced im upto all sorts of building work ..which simply isnt true.
            i have a box room which is he is particularly obsessed with..hes constantly telling me it has to be a 'storeroom' as stated on the lease and cannot be a bedroom etc.
            i think hes just being nosy and controlling and he knows as soon as he signs the lease hell have no hold over me.
            as far as the declaration of trust , i really cannot say unfortunatley..all i managed to find was some paperwork.from.back in the day from my solicitor saying the lease should be extended. I also have a copy.of the draft lease from the previous owner of my flat stating 186 years for him ( which he has sorted before i purchased the flat )

            incidently..my neighbour made the previous owners life difficult as well when it came too extending the lease etc. Dragging it out for ages and costing him.a fortune apparently. Hes just an arse

            Comment


              #7
              Hi pkbeney


              From your comments it appears:
              • You have an equal share of the freehold. You might like to check title details of the freehold with the Land Registry;
              • You have a leasehold interest with 50 years unexpired term;
              • Your neighbour’s lease has an unexpired term of 180 years.
              There are two leases NOT one which you share.

              Irrespective of historical facts, the current position is you want to extend your lease, informal route, which requires the consent/co-operation of the freeholder. As your lease is less than 80 years the potential premium payable will include marriage value which will increase the price the freeholder can charge to extend the lease.

              You could start the statutory process to extend your lease. You are entitled to a lease extension of + 90 years, ground rent reduced to peppercorn (nil). See https://www.lease-advice.org/article...ng-your-lease/

              The above will force your neighbour to co-operate but you will have to pay valuation, legal costs and a premium (ultimately you benefit for 50% of this).

              Clearly, in your case, you are already in touch with a solicitor so you might like to discuss the above with them. It’s always best to take professional advice on these matters. You could also make an enquiry to LEASE for their view before spending money on solicitor’s fees.


              Comment


                #8
                Are you sure you are a joint freeholder? Just a thought.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hello.

                  the complication is that my solicitor im dealing with now is the original firm from when i bought the flat ten years ago .
                  i have sought outside legal advice and was told that the original firm has failed in its contractual obligstions to me and further more possibly invalidated my mortage etc. Point being i shouldnt be paying for anything. This is a mistake on their part which they have admitted too and they are trying to rectify it for me for free ( hence its low on their priorty list )
                  its a paperwork exercise but the guy downstairs is being difficult..im stuck between imcompentent solicitors trying to solve it on the cheap and a difficult neighbour.
                  anyone else would just have signed it 10 months ago..job done.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    SUMMARY

                    The guy i bought the flat off had the lease extended. Problem is i do not have a copy in my name

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Have you agreed to any of his demands like the inspection?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        When you say that your original solicitor has confirmed that they 'messed up', did they confirm this in writing, or only verbally?

                        If I was you I would be looking to see if I had any evidence that confirmed that the solicitors knew that they were suposed to get the lease extension confirmed at the time that you purchased the flat, and if I had this I would be contacting the senior partner at the firm and telling them to get it sorted out - at whatever cost.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Hi guys

                          YES - i did let him in eventually. ( much to my annoyance..there was NO reason other than he wanted to be nosy)

                          I do have an email stating it was an oversight or some thing on their part.

                          My solicitor said he would allocate a few hours 'free' and cover my neighbours solicitors costs to check it over , then register it.

                          That was 10 months ago...little did he know the guy downstairs is an idiot.

                          I dug out some paper work from when i purchased the flat that referenced the lease needing to be extended.

                          Its clearly not high on his priority list to sort out. Meanwhile i;m stuck with no lease.

                          My solicitor blows hot and cold... one minute hes saying well just take it too court and force it through..the next he's saying its not guaranteed
                          and I'd have to pay for a barrister to check it over first etc.

                          basically i get the feeling he's just delaying and hoping my neighbour will just sign it one day with out costing them anymore time or effort.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            What happened after he inspected your property? The reason I’m asking about this is that if it were me, I would be doing everything I could to get him to sign voluntarily first. It would seem that whatever happened in the past and whatever your solicitor or any other can do now, free or not, is reliant on him signing to grant the new lease.

                            You have been given good advice above on the legal options here but these will be long, stressful and probably expensive. I would be surprised if the free help from your solicitor will extend to their fees for a statutory leasehold extension or some form of litigation. They’re probably just offering to do the legal work around a voluntary lease extension. Worth checking with them though as to what their free offer includes.

                            As the previous leaseholder of your premises was able to get him to sign before, that suggests he is not completely unreasonable. If you can get hold of them, it would be worth finding out how they got him to sign before.

                            The bottom line is that him signing seems to be the best way to resolve this and you don’t lose anything by trying to convince him to do so.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by chris1544 View Post
                              The bottom line is that him signing seems to be the best way to resolve this and you don’t lose anything by trying to convince him to do so.
                              I'd agree with this, but would suggest that the most important consideration may be whether or not the OP's solicitors failed to provide the services that they agreed to perform, and were paid for, during the purchase.
                              If the solicitors were negligent (and it sounds like they may have been if they failed to ensure that the lease extension was properly registered) then they should be the ones putting this right - regardless of the amount of time they have to put in, and even if they have to pay out of the company pocket (they may even have insurance to cover mistakes like this).

                              I think that I would be telling the solicitors that they had better start taking this more seriously, and get it sorted out, or I would be taking the matter to their regulatory body.

                              Comment

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