is it possible to buy freehold of 2-flat house but NOT jointly with other flat?

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    is it possible to buy freehold of 2-flat house but NOT jointly with other flat?

    we own one flat in a house that's split into 2 flats. ours is the upper, larger flat. currently leasehold - basement just extended their lease before selling to new owner, we're down to 85 years or so on ours. the freeholder is the now-old man who originally split up the property, very hands-off. the lease makes maintenance the leaseholders' responsibility, with all costs of repairing/renewing "shared parts or parts used in common" to be split 50/50, and therein lies our problem:

    with both the current and previous owners this has caused friction - most of the "shared parts" are in the top of the property - the bulk of the rendered, painted walls, the roofs, etc, and the lower flat never want to contribute or always want repairs to be short term painting-over-cracks type fixes rather than spending a bit more to save in the long run - owing to the property market in this area and small size of it the basement flat seems to always owned by short term property-flipping types. these disagreements always turn into protracted disputes - because the freeholder can't be bothered, the lease is quite badly worded, etc.

    we think that if we bought the freehold jointly the downstairs flat would end up having equal say in these matters, so we'd be permanently stuck in this kind of issue. the current owner downstairs is incredibly tight-fisted, wants everything paid for by someone else, bit of an idiot all round. so we wondered if there's a way we could end up owning the whole freehold? can we just make the landlord an offer slightly over the statutory value, wait for him to then offer it to both flats jointly as he's bound to (?), refuse to buy jointly with the guy downstairs and then buy it ourselves? i believe the landlord would like to sell it - he's pretty old, has been ill recently and it's been a constant nuisance to him, etc.

    if anyone has any advice / suggestions we'd be most grateful.

    (just to be clear, although the purpose of this enquiry is to gain full control over maintenance decisions etc we have no desire to use this to unfairly extract money from the other flat or anything vulgar like that, just want to be in control of our house's destiny/stop having to fight to get basic maintenance done properly)

    thanks

    #2
    I may be wrong, but I believe freeholder only has to offer the freehold to all but one of the lessees. (Wink)
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

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      #3
      Study 4.1 this guide : https://www.lease-advice.org/advice-...first-refusal/

      Comment


        #4
        Thank you both. JK0 there seems to be an intention in the law that the notification not be withheld from one tenant deliberately to gain advantage. BUT then the tenants can only force a joint purchase if more than 50% want to, and since it's 2 flats and we wouldn't want to co-own with this guy he is only 50%, not more than, so that wouldn't apply.
        However could the other tenant then make a higher counter-offer to the freeholder to buy it on his own, starting a bidding war?

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          #5
          Even if you buy the Freehold he could still cause problems. He seems to be an awkward character. Why not suggest to him it would be good if you both share the freehold. In all possibility if you are both, following correct procedure, offered opportunity to buy freehold, he will say doesn't want it. Then you buy alone.

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            #6
            Why do you think that owning the freehold is going to help with your situation?
            Is there something in the leases that allows the freeholder to decide what maintenance work needs to be carried out and 'order' the leaseholders to get the work done to the specifications they (the freeholder) wants?

            If the leases leave the decision as to what work needs to be carried out to be mutually decided by the leaseholders what advantage will owning the freehold give you with regard to the maintenance issue?

            Is there anything at all in the leases that allows for arbitration of some kind, or another way to resolve differences, when the two leaseholders disagree on the work that should be carried out?

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              #7
              OP's lease is down to 85 years unexpired so it makes sense to try and buy the freehold.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                OP's lease is down to 85 years unexpired so it makes sense to try and buy the freehold.
                Yes, but that doesn't seem to be what the OP is asking about.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Macromia View Post
                  Why do you think that owning the freehold is going to help with your situation?
                  Is there something in the leases that allows the freeholder to decide what maintenance work needs to be carried out and 'order' the leaseholders to get the work done to the specifications they (the freeholder) wants?

                  If the leases leave the decision as to what work needs to be carried out to be mutually decided by the leaseholders what advantage will owning the freehold give you with regard to the maintenance issue?

                  Is there anything at all in the leases that allows for arbitration of some kind, or another way to resolve differences, when the two leaseholders disagree on the work that should be carried out?
                  Yes the freeholder does decide as they own the fabric of the building, in fact they have a legal duty to maintain it and they then recover funds according to the lease. In this instance owning the freehold may not ensure recovery but there are mechanisms to deal with that. You can't refuse to buy jointly though if the other party wishes to, if they do they would also have to honour the lease in terms of maintenance. However in all things it's very difficult if people are unwilling and you would only be better off insofar as the third party freeholder would be out of the picture.

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