Pushed out by dominant leaseholder

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    Pushed out by dominant leaseholder

    I am the owner/landlord of a substantial Goergian estate with many acres of land and woodland that has been owned by my family for many decades.

    The house itsself was converted to 4 flats in the 70s by my late uncle, a necessity following the demise of the family business. I grew up in the house and have always known it as home. I now live in the ground floor flat, and the other 3 flats were on long leases of 75 years, that were all extended in 2004 to 999 year leases.

    I had, what now transpires to be, very poor advice in 2004 when as part of the lease extension process, I gave permission for the leaseholder of one of the flats (Mr F) to convert his flat into 2 separate flats. I did not charge a fee of any kind, but a agreed with the leaseholder that he pay all my legal costs and also restore a dilapidated orangery in the rear gardens that had not been used for over 10 years; this was used to convince the other neighbours it was a positive improvment, and the noise and mess of builders would be worthwhile in the end.

    The orangery was beautiful restored, and is now enjoyed by all residents. I was very happy with the arrangement until now.

    Mrs W, a leaseholder on the top floor, and who was my nanny as a child and a long standing family friend, sadly passed away in february this year. The wife of Mr F bought the flat, rennovated it, and they have just moved into it. Mr F has tenants in both the smaller flats he owns.

    The sutiatuoin now despite the fact the estate has been in my family for over 130 years, he thinks he can control the estate and has turned very nasty. He is threatening to take over the estate and says him and his wife collectively can out vote me on any matter, as they have 3 votes to my 1 (my ground flor flat is the largest, and including the annex and office, larger than their 3 flats put together). The other leaseholder, a young chap on the first floor works abroad a lot and has said he doesnt want to get involved.

    I had some free advice from a charity called Lease Advistory Service who say they are eligble and appear to have the requsitite majority to collectively take the freehold form me! They have recommened I instruct a solicitor immediately, but I am unemployed and have very only a very modest income - and despite the size of the estate I have limited means.

    I can't stand to be bullied by this man in my ancesteral home.

    #2
    So who is the freeholder ?. You ?

    Yes leaseholders can use the RTE process to force the FH (you ?), to sell it to them, this is standard practice. Provided they meet the criteria..

    Lease do provide advice, see here > http://www.lease-advice.org/publicat...nt.asp?item=11
    Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

    I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

    It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

    Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

    Comment


      #3
      The freehold is held in our family company, it was transferred when the main house was split into flats. The company doesn’t trade as such, apart from some investment income from farming land. I am one of the 8 shareholders (others are all family members) . I am the sole director, the secretary is my brother a retired accountant.

      It seems letting him split a flat in two has given him a disproportionate amount of power that will now be used against me.

      Comment


        #4
        Many would argue that's its not a disproportionate amount of power at all, man y leaseholders felt that they were held prisoner by FH's and that they had no control over 'their' properties, this gave birth to the RTM and RTE provisions of law which allowed LHs to either take control of the management of their property or purchase/enfranchise the Freehold.

        If you really wanted complete control then you/your ancestors shouldn't of split it up/offered leaseholds.

        If valid RTM/RTE's are served you cant stop this although as mentioned here earlier (I though ?), they may not apply if you are a freeholder/tenant, I don't know the exact legalities.

        But you cant really complain when you have been receiving ground rent/fees from LH's for the last 11 years or so.
        Advice given is based on my experience representing myself as a leaseholder both in the County Court and at Leasehold Valuation Tribunals.

        I do not accept any liability to you in relation to the advice given.

        It is always recommended you seek further advice from a solicitor or legal expert.

        Always read your lease first, it is the legally binding contract between leaseholder and freeholder.

        Comment


          #5
          Yes, I did delete my reply about that as I realised that as there are now more than 4 flats, there is such a right. However, Mr F is not eligible to enfranchise, as he owns two flats.
          To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

          Comment


            #6
            The ground rent is "a peppercorn if demanded" so i haven't had any income from the leaseholders.

            Lease Advistroy Service said i should have kept the main house at 4 flats, then its excluded from abuse by dominent leaseholders.

            He has been nosing around in the old storeroom and stables and they are private and nothing to do with his flats.

            Comment


              #7
              When he split his flat into two was the old lease extinguished and two new leaseholds created.

              Comment


                #8
                Yes, all the leases were extinguished and new 999 year leases granted for everyone (including me) on the same day, back in 2004. I have tried to contact my solicitor who did the work, but apparently he has retired and the firm has been taken over - there appears to be no record of the file on their systems.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have a feeling that as his flats are not owned by seperate leaseholders he might not be able to enfranchise against you as only one of his flats will count stopping 50%being reached. I may be wrong.

                  What might help is if you were to extinguish your lease and incorporate your flat into the freehold. This might make it financially very difficult for any enfranchisement. Also it would bring the total number of leases down to four.

                  Comment

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