Can lessee split-up flat and garage?

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  • Can lessee split-up flat and garage?

    I own a leasehold flat which has a supplmental lease attached for a garage
    I don't use the garage and want to sell it (it has it own land registry title)
    but have been told by the freeholder that I can't do this - even though there appears to be no restriction in the lease/s. Can he prevent me selling & how do I seperate the leases?

  • #2
    The answer to this problem probably lies in one or other of your leases. It would be normal to require permission from the freeholder to sell (transfer) the lease and certainly in the case of the flat it will say something like "such permission not to be unreasonably withheld". The garage is slightly different in that it would clearly be beneficial to the block in general to keep the garage for the use of someone who lives there (rather than it becoming Joe Bloggs round the corner's surplus auto spares store or the like...) and that may well be taken into consideration in the drafting of the relevant clause in the lease.

    Your best bet is to have a solicitor look at both leases and tell you whether a) there is any restriction on you selling the garage, and if so b) whether it is enforcable.


    • #3
      Surely your flat and garage are worth more together. You should be thinking about future saleability.

      Few additional lateral thoughts:

      - Have you tried renting the garage to other lessees?
      - Have you tried renting the garage to the public (perhaps through an agent)?
      - Have you tried selling the lease to the freeholder?

      I think you're mad if you sell.


      • #4

        Thanks for the replies. I have read though the leases and it doesn't say that the garage can't be sold separately. The main problem I have is the freeloader- I mean freeholder with whom I have some 'history' I feel he is going out of his way to be obstructive – to the extent of having his solicitor send me letters threading legal action if I sell MY garage independently of my flat. I bought the garage a few months after my flat (in 1980) so it's not that they came together, the garage has its own title registered at the Land Registry, the problem is that the then freeholder granted a supplemental lease which seemed fine at the time. So my question remains – can a supplemental lease be separated from the main lease? Is there some form of arbitration or court proceeding where I can get the matter resolved?
        I take Poppy's view into account but there is lots of parking available in the complex and none of the other garages are used for parking – just storage, I have found a buyer who is also a leaseholder in an adjacent block and this is the course I'd like to follow.
        Thanks again.


        • #5
          It would be impossible to answer your question since there is no general rule, all leases are different.

          Ask the freeholder's solicitor which clause in the lease he is relying on when he says you can't sell the garage separately, his answer may point you in the right direction. If not, you will need a solicitor to handle the transfer anyway so why not use their free 15 minutes or whatever they offer to ask them whether the sale is even possible.


          • #6

            Thanks for the reply. I know all leases are different but isn't this a more general question - can a lease and a supplemental lease be seperated - there is no reference to this point in either lease, does anyone have experience of doing this? The freeholders solicitors have refused to state what clause they are relying on - they just give the immpression that it goes without saying that lease and supplemental lease can't be seperated. My solicitor doesnt seem to want to stick his neck out on this one - so if anybody knows of a speacilist in this field I would be most grateful for that information. Cheers.


            • #7
              Shall we look at it from a different angle

              Am I right in thinking that the garage lease was set up after the flat lease? Admittedly not terribly important.

              For whatever reason when the leases were created the freeholder decided that was the way they wanted to run things. My guess is that from an administrative point of view the freeholder wanted to deal with fewer lessees. (Say there are 6 flats and 6 garages. It is easier and cheaper to administer 6 lessees instead of 12.)

              Always rely on what the terms of the lease state. You say that neither lease specifies a way of separating the two. Only through mutual agreement between yourself and the freeholder can they be separated. I believe you already have that answer…

              Are you really going to pay another solicitor to give you the same answer as your current solicitor?


              • #8
                Thanks for your response Poppy,
                The answer to your first question is Yes. There are far more flats than garages in the complex and one happened to come up for sale 2 months after I bought my flat - the obvious question there is how was it able to be sold -well long story but the then freeholder was the owner, so I was granted this supplemental lease which I suppose seemed easier at the time for the freeholder, as the garage leases is under the same terms as the main lease plus the extra terms in the supplemental lease. I can't believe the only way is through mutal agreement - one of us must be right in law. (The funny thing is that the person on the freehold company board who is causing the trouble wanted to buy my garage 3 years ago, we were quite friendly then, he offered £x and I knew it was worth £xx and when I would'nt sell to him for his price he got quite nasty and we have'nt spoken since - this is the 'history' I mentioned earlier)
                So yes I would pay another solicitor for the right advice - and before you say it - no I won't sell it to him now - on principle! (I don't need the money but it would be nice! )


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