Solicitor incorrectly defined lease terms

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Solicitor incorrectly defined lease terms

    Hi all. looking for some advice.

    When buying a shared ownership property, the lease I thought I was buying into was 125 years. This was the paperwork received from the solicitor. The property was purchased in 2008. 11 years down the line and having recently decided to sell the property it now appears the housing association are saying there is only 88 years on the lease and it was 99 not 125 which was issued by the solicitor to me.

    Now this is causing issues with the potential buyer and finding information as to whether this constitutes a defective lease or not? Also I was purchasing in good faith a property with 125 years, which has resulted in now being reduced to 88 which was as no fault of my own.

    Who would be accountable for the lease extension costs and what are my options?

    You should be able to check with HMLR. You may have a case against your solicitor.


      The length of the lease was defined in your lease and at the Land Registry.

      You are responsible for the costs of extending your lease if you choose to extend. There are two routes:
      1. Informal: contact the housing association and ask them the premium they would charge to extend the lease (they do not have to offer an extension);
      2. Statutory: serve a s.42 Notice to start the process. See:
      Another option is you could serve the s.42 and assign rights to the buyer so they do not have to wait 2 years before acquiring the right to extend the lease (statutory route).

      However, it could be by extending the lease you gain as the value of the lease will be higher and this may offset the cost of the extension as well as make additional profit for you.

      I would certainly contact the solicitor that acted for you to make further enquiries about the paperwork received


        I'm not following this. Are you saying that you did not read the lease and relied on the solicitor to interpret it for you?
        What does the lease say?
        Did the solicitor write that the lease says something different from that which it does say?


          Did you buy the property without seeing the solicitor ?

          If you have proof you were informed of 125 years lease, then make a formal complaint against solicitor to SRA


            Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
            You should be able to check with HMLR. You may have a case against your solicitor.
            Eagle my understanding is that you cannot sue after 6 years? Paperwork/don't need to be kept for longer I thought. Is that incorrect?


              Some solicitors keep or store files for much longer than 6 years. I suggest that you enquire if the solicitor is able to let you inspect your file. You are able to raise a complaint against the solicitor as long as you have only just become aware of the problem. The SRA will consider complaints if you are unable to reach agreement with your solicitor but you will need to be able to produce evidence as stated by Gordon999.


                Yes this is odd.

                1. Did you read the lease when you first purchased the property ?

                2. If no to 1., did the solicitor read it and tel you it was 125 years and have you proof of this ?

                3. There isnt a hard a fast 6 year to sue rule, you can sue at any time but there are limitation under the Statute of Limitations Act, this is often 6 years for many contracts, loans, etc..but certain areas contacted to leases are 12 years, in additions there is a section that deals with 'fraud, concealment & mistakes' which may well apply here..I used it successfully against my Freeholder, they told me the ground rent was £x amount but it was less, I successfully sued for a return of the overpaid amounts & interest going back further than 12 years.
                Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

                I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

                It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

                Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.


                  I am aware of a leaseholder who spotted a mistake made by a solicitor after 10 years and the solicitor was required to reimburse the cost of putting it right,


                    Thank you all for clarifying. Interesting!


                    Latest Activity


                    • Reply to Leasehold remortgage
                      by LC4OA
                      A reserve fund is for major works and is provided for in the lease. However, agents are trying to take £1500 for a contingency fund which they say covers risk assessments and surveys although assessments/surveys that have been undertaken have also been demanded under separate headings in service charge....
                      25-01-2020, 23:31 PM
                    • Leasehold remortgage
                      by LC4OA
                      I’m in the process of remortgaging my leasehold property. I’m in dispute with the managing agents over historic section 20 notice of intention failures for two sets of major works and for me not paying into a contingency fund, for which there is no provision in my lease. The arrears equal £3k....
                      25-01-2020, 17:06 PM
                    • Reply to Help - Loft Demise - Lease - Trespassing??
                      by Mrmckenzie74
                      ​​​​Are you sure on above, as Lawcruncher usually says if the hatch is in your flat, the loft belongs to you ( which I always disagree with.)

                      - Apologies, I said freeholder instead of leaseholder...

                      Regarding a hatch in your ceiling - where else can it be put. Build...
                      25-01-2020, 22:54 PM
                    • Help - Loft Demise - Lease - Trespassing??
                      by Mrmckenzie74
                      Hi all!

                      Hope you're all well?

                      I'm new here so I hope you don't mind my direct approach.
                      I may be in a bit of a pickle and could really do with a bit of advice on the following...

                      Snap shot:

                      Top floor flat

                      Purpose built maisonettes...
                      24-01-2020, 16:51 PM
                    • Section 20 Major Works: undisclosed connection between landlord and winning bidder
                      by AB2017
                      Hi, our landlord is running a section 20 consultation for a major works contract. He obtained three quotes, one very high, the second very slightly cheaper and the third very low. The third was disqualified, purportedly on the grounds that they must have misunderstood the job. The second bidder has...
                      25-01-2020, 22:33 PM
                    • Reply to Getting rid of a build in wardrobe
                      by scot22
                      As a general rule I say always ask. Then you have been open and that should avoid any future problem. For any situation good communication is beneficial. If you ask before exchanging contracts and there are any issues you are forewarned and possibly negotiate price reduction.
                      25-01-2020, 22:23 PM
                    • Getting rid of a build in wardrobe
                      by annaV
                      Hi all,

                      I am in the process of buyig a leasefold flat (110 years remaining). The master bedroom has a build in wardrobe, which is shown on the footprint. The flat has a second box room, which I intend turning into a walk-in closet as I live on my own and have plenty of things I need to...
                      25-01-2020, 14:12 PM
                    • Reply to Leasehold remortgage
                      by AndrewDod
                      What's the difference between a reserve fund (which you say you paid) and a contingency fund (which you say is not provided for in lease)?

                      Who else paid for stuff - we presume the other lessees in the building are out of pocket somehow?

                      What timescale -- was this 10 years ago,...
                      25-01-2020, 20:57 PM
                    • Reply to Directors Appointment and change of registered address
                      by ZIGGYVIGGY
                      Mr.Soffit thanks again for the elaborate email and apologies for a delayed response.
                      We are still waiting for the bank to revert. They say the new mandate is being processes. If the bank sorts this out in the next few days that will save us from pain of going thru setting up another account....
                      25-01-2020, 20:33 PM
                    • Directors Appointment and change of registered address
                      by ZIGGYVIGGY
                      Sequence of events:

                      2 directors ( both leaseholders) incorporated an RTM. RTM application was made successfully with support of 51 percent lease holders back in 2016

                      1. Freeholders managing agent was asked to leave. At this point reserves held were £55k and service charge...
                      12-01-2020, 16:46 PM