Flats freehold sale- landlord's dodgy agent involved

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    Flats freehold sale- landlord's dodgy agent involved

    Hi

    I own a leasehold flat in a block of 3. Our freeholder is quite old and infirm and when I spoke to her today about another matter she informed me she has been advised by her solicitor to sell the freehold. We have had a number of problems with one of the other leaseholders that have now been sorted, but she doesn't feel she wants to keep the responsibility for the place any more. Her solicitor told her we had a right of first refusal so she has asked the managing agent to do a valuation for her of the freehold before offering it for sale to anyone else. I have some questions:

    1) If the other leaseholders do not want to participate in the purchase, which I somehow doubt they will do, do I have a right to purchase the freehold myself?
    2) She told me the agent might be interested in buying it himself. Does this not constitute a conflict of interest in him doing the valuation as well? Knowing what he is like my concern is that he will dream up some ridiculous figure to price us/me out and then when we decline the offer he will put in a much lower offer himself which she will accept because I think she just wants rid of the property.
    3) If I/we find his valuation too high can we get an independent valuation before negotiating an offer? What is to stop her declining my/our offer outright?

    I only found out about this today. The agent is a slimey charactor, he rang this morning and spoke to a friend and said he wanted to come round to check the building for asbestos and that it was quite urgent. Clearly he just wants to come in and do a sneaky valuation under these pretenses as he is never this anxious about our welfare or the condition of the building!

    Thanks for your help.
    Rob

    #2
    A. Does the managing agent (M) act for the freeholder (F) or for collective lessees? Who appointed him? If he acts for F, do not automatically accept his valuation- he is F's agent only and not lessees'!
    B. F has to offer f/r to lessees. LTA 1987 so requires.
    C. If a majority of them (2 out of 3) want to buy, they can intercept it. F has to sell to them. There is a statutory right of first refusal.
    D. Otherwise, F is free to sell to anyone. You as proposed sole purchaser have no special rights, unfortunately.
    E. Assuming that M is F's agent, he owes no duty to lessees. He might be in breach of duty to F if he covertly purchased, of course.
    F. Once lessees serve response Notice under LTA 1987, negotiations can proceed; get F's Notice first, then respond, then negotiate (in that order).
    G. If terms cannot be agreed, either party can refer dispute to Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
    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).

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      #3

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        #4
        Hi

        Thanks a lot for the advice. I think I will now wait for the freeholder to serve her notice on us and see what the valuation is and then take it from there.

        Rob

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          #5
          Originally posted by Robble76 View Post
          Hi

          Thanks a lot for the advice. I think I will now wait for the freeholder to serve her notice on us and see what the valuation is and then take it from there.

          Rob
          OR you + at least one other lessee could be pro-active. See Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993: there is a collective Right to Enfranchise in 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

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