Buying freehold - Advice needed please

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  • Buying freehold - Advice needed please

    As the title says, these are the facts....

    Myself and neighbour are buying joint freehold of our two flats together through the right of first refusal. My neighbour is being very unresponsive and keeps coming up with excuses as to why we cannot go to a solicitor (busy at work etc). He says he has instructed a solicitor acting for both of us, but I have no proof of this as yet. I desparately want to conclude the sale and the present freeholder is getting frustrated over why we are taking so long to get things sorted out. The offer was accepted in writing 6 weeks ago by us both. I have a couple of questions.

    a) Can the freeholder withdraw his offer?

    b) Is there a point in time when our acceptance is null and void? Someone previously mentioned 8 weeks to me, is this right? If so, after 8 weeks can I legally proceed to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting out my neighbour?

    Any other suggestions please?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by charley1965 View Post
    As the title says, these are the facts....

    Myself and neighbour are buying joint freehold of our two flats together through the right of first refusal. My neighbour is being very unresponsive and keeps coming up with excuses as to why we cannot go to a solicitor (busy at work etc). He says he has instructed a solicitor acting for both of us, but I have no proof of this as yet. I desparately want to conclude the sale and the present freeholder is getting frustrated over why we are taking so long to get things sorted out. The offer was accepted in writing 6 weeks ago by us both. I have a couple of questions.

    a) Can the freeholder withdraw his offer?

    b) Is there a point in time when our acceptance is null and void? Someone previously mentioned 8 weeks to me, is this right? If so, after 8 weeks can I legally proceed to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting out my neighbour?

    Any other suggestions please?

    Thanks
    Did offer arise in correspondence, or had you jointly served or recieved any statutory Notices before it?
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


    • #3
      The offer was through corresponence, so no official notices have been served. I am concerned that my neighbour is trying to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting me out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by charley1965 View Post
        The offer was through corresponence, so no official notices have been served. I am concerned that my neighbour is trying to buy the entire freehold, therefore cutting me out.
        Panic not. If L wants to sell non-statutorily, he has to offer entire f/r to collective lessees (LTA 1987) by serving a formal Notice on everyone. If you haven't received a Notice, it's unlikely that any secret sale to neighbour is proceeding.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          Panic not. If L wants to sell non-statutorily, he has to offer entire f/r to collective lessees (LTA 1987) by serving a formal Notice on everyone. If you haven't received a Notice, it's unlikely that any secret sale to neighbour is proceeding.
          Thanks, I feel a little bit better! If my neighbour was trying to do this, am I right to assume it's against the law, seeing as we have both collectively accepted the offer to buy jointly?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by charley1965 View Post
            Thanks, I feel a little bit better! If my neighbour was trying to do this, am I right to assume it's against the law, seeing as we have both collectively accepted the offer to buy jointly?
            Yes. Section 10A of 1987 Act creates criminal offence of L failing to comply with Act's "first refusal" procedures for collective lessees AND s.11 gives them right to extract f/r from L's collusive purchaser.
            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

            Comment


            • #7
              Many thanks for your answers. Very much appreciated!

              Comment


              • #8
                More Advice Needed Please

                An update on this.....

                After much chasing and many phone calls I have eventually found out that my neighbour lied to me regarding the solicitor. He had not instructed them at all!!! This is the reason why I has not heard anything and the obviously the reason for his unresponsiveness. This will be rectified in the next couple of days.

                Bearing this is mind and the lack of trust on my part, when we do buy the freehold (eventually) I want a legal document in place stating that I do not need his signature or any contact with him when I sell my property. I understand that usually both signatures are required if we own the freehold jointly.

                If I insist on setting up a company to own the freehold will this also be a solution, as in I transfer my SOF to my buyer and do not need my neighbour's signature or permission in any way?

                Many thanks.
                Last edited by charley1965; 27-03-2007, 08:41 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Distinguish between your [existing] property and the [new] f/r.
                  You own your property leasehold and will retain your existing leasehold. You do not need neighbour to sign anything about it before you sell/mortgage it.
                  F/r does involve neighbour. This is so whether you acquire/own it jointly with him or by incorporating a jointly-owned company to hold it. The latter is expensive, bureaucratic, and brings annual costs/Returns to Companies House/mailshots from the world and his uncle trying to flog stuff to Co. Either way, you + neighbour (or your successors in each case) will both need to sign docs. every time either flat changes hands so that f/r can be kept in joint names of current lessees as often as they change.
                  Last edited by jeffrey; 27-03-2007, 13:07 PM. Reason: Final sentence clarified.
                  JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                  1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                  2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                  3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                  4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Many thanks for info. This is obviously something I will have to discuss with the solicitor when I eventually get there.

                    Comment

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