Combining freeholds in semi-detached building after purchasing both freeholds

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    Combining freeholds in semi-detached building after purchasing both freeholds

    I have a couple of questions regarding what I think is a fairly odd situation. Have to say I'm quite fascinated by the range of odd situations that are described here (maybe I should have been a solicitor!)

    We're in the process of buying our freeholds under the LTA (I think!), the freeholds having gone to auction and we've exercised our RFR.

    There are nine flats in a semi-detached building. 4 in each house and one in the loft, extending over both houses. Both freeholds were owned by the same person and were disposed of at the same time. To remove the anomaly of the flat in the loft we've been advised to form one flat management company to own and manage all nine flats. At the moment the loft flat has two freeholders mentioned in the lease, and two buildings, and the whole maintenance/service charge issue is a not well-defined (to say the least).

    The houses were converted into flats at different times, so one side has 99 yr leases from 2001 and the other has 125 yr leases from 2006. And one leaseholder has elected not to buy his share of freehold.

    Question 1: does it cost anything (beyond legal fees) to extend all leases to 999 years once we've gained share of freehold?

    Question 2: is it advisable to combine the freeholds in order to remove the complexity introduced by the loft flat, or is there some other mechanism we could use?

    Question 3: will it be possible to specify that each side is still liable only for certain costs associated with that side? I'm thinking of "emergency" costs here -- for example if one side's drains needed attention.

    many thanks for any advice and I hope I've given sufficient information but will gladly add anything I need to.

    #2
    1. You can download the free guides on leasehold enfranchisement and right of first refusal from www.lease-advice.org Because 8 flats are contributing to collectively buy the freehold title, your flat owners need to use a company as your "nominee purchaser" and you need to consider the arrangement for collecting the contributions ( either a flat owner open a bank trustee account or a solicitor firm who will be the holder of the funds).

    After your group decided to exercise RFR and replied to offer the letter from freeholder's solicitor within 2 months , you have 2 months period allowed to inform the freeholder's solicitor of the "nominee purchaser" - the party legally entitle to the RFR . You need to watch the "2 month block" dates

    2. You can purchase a copy of the freehold title for each house from Land Registry for 4 pds using credit card. The freehold title will show what leasehold flats are under each title - just wonder how it lists the loft unit in the roof of both houses ?.

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      #3
      Thank you Gordon. We're pretty far down the process already and will be forming one company next week to buy the two freeholds. I'm hoping our solicitors will be able to draft something re maintenance charges which keeps us all happy.

      Not sure how the loft flat is represented in the freehold titles. The lease specifies two freeholders with ground rent split between them.

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        #4
        You should buy a copy of the freehold title for each house and copy of their site plans to confirm exactly what you are buying. For some leasehold blocks, the freehold title may only include the land under the building footprint.

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