Lease holder/management company deliberately blocking sale of flat

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    Lease holder/management company deliberately blocking sale of flat

    I have owned a flat for more than 10 years, the property lease has been sold twice during this time. I put my flat onto the market at the beginning of the year and after a few months I got a buyer. I asked for all the packs etc and found that the management company were deliberately taking their time sending the paperwork out to my solicitor even after they were paid for all the documentation (around 10 weeks after payment).

    Next, I find out that the property had been incorrectly registered on the lease as a 2 bedroom flat and not a 3 bedroom flat. To make matters worst, the flat was also registered wrong at the land registry to the wrong floor. After speaking to the law society, I was told that I have a case against the solicitor who worked on the original sale of the property because they got all 34 flats details wrong in the block and have now gone out of business. I would have pay to put everything right then claim off the insurance.

    The trouble is the new Lease holder/management company who have been paid for the lease correction are not providing the documentation so I can proceed with the sale. I have had already paid for their legal costs as well as my own but they are deliberately taking weeks at a time to respond to my solicitor and even the buyers solicitor was now written to them about the amount of time they are taking to provide the deed variation. I have phoned them 20 to 25 times, emailed them 50 to 55 times and own solicitor has written to them close to 30 times. They seem to be going out of their way to increase the cost of the deed variation at their end as well as mine. Their bill has already gone up twice after the work was agreed and they were paid upfront before the work started but seem to not be interested in finishing the work.

    This has been going on for over 6 months and they are now blocking the sale of my flat and have cost me thousands in legal fees and there is still no end in site.

    I have told them I will take legal action for damages if the sale falls through due to their unreasonable behaviour and I will be sending them a bill for all the extra time they cost me because my solicitor had to keep chasing them. Does anyone have any advise as to how to proceed? Or is there a solicitor on the forum who would like to take on the case.

    Thanks

    Steve


    #2
    Hopefully someone here will be able to advise you. You also may want to try Louie Burns or Sebastian O'Kelly at Leasehold Knowledge Partnership.

    Comment


      #3
      It is a very very common way lessors bully, abuse and defraud lessees - and even worse when the lessor is targeting the purchase themselves.

      In the wonderful consultations on leaseholds, stimulated by LKP mentioned above, the real problems (of which this is a big one) did not really feature. The whole thing was diverted by the non-issues of doubling ground rents and other similar problems, which have to do with contracts willingly signed, not abuse and fraud.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post
        It is a very very common way lessors bully, abuse and defraud lessees - and even worse when the lessor is targeting the purchase themselves.

        In the wonderful consultations on leaseholds, stimulated by LKP mentioned above, the real problems (of which this is a big one) did not really feature. The whole thing was diverted by the non-issues of doubling ground rents and other similar problems, which have to do with contracts willingly signed, not abuse and fraud.
        Andrew Dodd - there is so much more being addressed with regard to leasehold reform. I'm unsure why you think it is just about onerous ground rent terms.
        Are you aware of the CMA's investigation - some results of this due to be published this month and early next year?
        Have you read the MHCLG report and the government's response?
        Did you read the Law Commission's report? Or Lord Best's?

        In reply to the OP, one issue being addressed is that there should be a set time (I think it's around two weeks) and set charge for Freeholders to respond to enquiries/provide management packs. It is acknowledged as being unacceptable that f/h can choose not to respond/charge uncapped amounts for this necessary information/hold leaseholders to ransom etc.

        Comment


          #5
          LKP (Leasehold Knowledge Partnership) and the National Leasehold Campaign Group are very much instrumental in pushing for changes in the unregulated leasehold/fleecehold world.

          Comment


            #6
            Two weeks could pose significant problems for share of the freeholders, and possibly force them to use agents, as it is quite possible for all the directors to be away.

            Comment


              #7
              After the sale of my flat fell through, the management company supplied all the floor plans in the wrong format, the wrong size, and after almost a year caused the sale too fall through. The mortgage leader would not go ahead with changes and then we went into the next locked down. I issued a subject access request to find out what was said and when. Plus I said I was going to the law society over the behaviour of their solicitor that their Managing Director said as a goodwill gesture he will wave their fees and only charge £300.

              I now have another buyer. Then the management company attempted to charge £1800 for the failed deed change, they also wanted a further £1800 to resubmit the paperwork again! Which they never supplied the correct paperwork in the first place. My solicitor paid then got a credit back the next day once they sent a copy of the original email I had from the Managing Director. That was over 12 weeks ago.

              They have not supplied any of the sales packages which they have been paid for, no paperwork for the deed change and they are not responding to my solicitor.

              I have complained and had no answer so I raised the issue with Property Redress Scheme but I seem to have almost no rights. the management company know this. They seem to be going out of their way, blocking me from selling my property and blocking me from getting the deeds fixed. Until I get this paperwork I cannot remortgage and I cannot put a claim into the Law Society.

              Is there a Law firm that someone can point me to. I must have some sort of rights as this has been going on for 2 years.

              Thanks

              Comment


                #8
                Make a complaint to CMA ( the Competition and Markets Authority ) because they are interested in leasehold abuse by unfair contract terms .

                Comment


                  #9
                  There is something called the PRS

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The Solicitors Regulation Authority are the correct complaints body for complaints of solicitors conduct. The problem is they act on the instructions of the person paying them, i.e. the freeholder or management company who are often in bed with one another and if the solicitor's main business is with that FH or MC then it's very difficult to pin down who is actually at fault. It isn't by any chance the same FH I have been dealing with who are as slippery as eels and the relationships incestuous? PM me the name if you like.

                    To the person who said there is action taking place to deal with this, pray when? We've had the same issues for many years now, and I point to the Grenfell disaster to illustrate what a **** position leaseholders are in. MPs voted against a rescue package for them. I can't even get my MP to respond to any of my correspondence on any matter and she's a LibDem, not even a conservative. Talking of the conservative party that's the same party which is allegedly being shored up by one of the owners of the very companies with whom LH have issue.

                    If action is being taken it must have passed us by . . .. And for the people who have had to file for their own bankruptcy due to Grenfell, it's too bloody late fullstop. Only in this country could we have such an antiquated feudal system and Brexit may just have sealed our fate for it getting worse before it gets better.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jon66 View Post
                      The Solicitors Regulation Authority are the correct complaints body for complaints of solicitors conduct. The problem is they act on the instructions of the person paying them, ir.
                      Not strictly true, the Legal Ombudsman will only take complaints from clients, the SRA will take complaints from anybody.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        It may be better to involve your local MP and get the MP to make a written complaint to CMA and to Housing Minister .

                        They cannot help you until you raise up your problem to them.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks, everyone, I have since found out that my solicitor has been calling the management company daily for the sales pack which we have already paid for 12 weeks ago and they still have not provided it. I read online that a guy lost his sale because it took them 9 months to provide the pack and that was a cash buyer.

                          I have gone to both the SRA and PRS and none of them want to give involved unless you have raised a formal complaint via the companies complaint process form (already written to them and so has my solicitor) which generates a number then you have to wait 2 months before they will get involved after the final answer from the vendor. Talk about kicking the can down the road.

                          I think I need to start legal action before that. I don't see why or what right a management company or leaseholder has to block someone selling their property. They must have cost me about £25K to £30K in costs so far.

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