freehold purchase - virgin solicitor

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    freehold purchase - virgin solicitor

    I am a leaseholder of 2 out of 6 flats in a period building in Leamington Spa.

    I made a private offer to the freeholder (and developer) to buy the freehold. I am not a qualifying tenant for collective enfranchisement, as I only bought the flats in February this year.

    The freeholders solicitors served the notices, and none of the other 4 leaseholders replied within the time period. So, the purchase is about to go ahead. Unfortunately, I picked solicitors badly; they are more used to residential conveyancing and I am not confident they fully understand the process. My accountant recommended I make the purchase using a Limited Company and the solicitors moaned about that for about a week!

    I asked my solicitors to get a copy of the other 4 leases, they have wrote to me a week later saying the leases will be identical, so copies aren't needed! Very frustrating, and I want to be sure.

    What other things should I have sight off before completion?

    What things should I make sure the solicitors check for me?

    Will the existing leases be reissued to leaseholders with my name as freeholder?

    Any advice welcome.


    Yes Will, sack them and have them box up the files tonight and take them to a new solicitor tomorrow.

    You are taking on a huge responsibility- while the leases may be similar and may have a covenant that they should be you may find that one or more is defective and you face a shortfall in recovery and costs to resolve it.

    You have not idea if there are any substantial disputes or long standing issues, nor have they explained that there is no time for qualification for participation in collective enfranchisement!

    At worst you buy a company from a formation agent for less than £200, it's not hard for them to do that.

    You will need ongoing support so it's best to find one now.

    As to leases you are simply the successor in title , as are new owners of a flat, who "stand in the shoes" of the parties named in the leases. New leases nor new titles deeds are not therefore needed.
    Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.


      1. You could buy a copy of the freehold title and title plan for your post code address from Land Registry online website and check if the boundary positions match the ones on site. The title will confirm the name of current title holder who is probably not the Lessor named in the lease and identify how many leases were created.

      2. You already have a lease for your own flats and can see the due date for billing the annual ground rent. After purchase of the freehold title, you as freeholder are in the driving seat and can decide (1) administration of annual service charges and what levy to demand from each flat ( 2) whether to employ an agent or try to self-manage the building maintenance ( 3) placing of buildings insurance.

      3. Suggest you buy a copy of the RICS Residential Management Code ( see sticky No. 2 at start of leasehold section )


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