Being forced to sell property. Is this legal?

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  • Being forced to sell property. Is this legal?


    I am here asking a question on behalf of a friend of mine. They purchased a flat in London this year, the purchase initially began at the end of Summer last year but took forever to go through as the person who owned the lease on the building was selling it to the gentleman who owned that shop below my friends flat. I believe there are still plenty of years on the lease. The issue now is that a large supermarket chain want to buy several buildings on the high street to turn into a large shop and, as this flat is on the high street, it is included in that. The gentleman who recently purchased the lease offered to sell it (and the shop below) to my friend but the figure was unattainable for them so it will be sold to this supermarket. My friend is now debating whether to quickly sell the property before the plans get out, as it will inevitably be impossible to sell if people are aware of what will happen...or the other option is to wait until they are "compulsory purchased" by the supermarket and apparently given compensation for having to leave. I don't know the law or the ins and outs of this compulsory purchase business but to me something doesn't seem right here. Can anyone tell me if this can be done or even any suggestions as to what to do would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Firstly, if your friend does try to 'pull a fast one', he runs the risk of being taken to court and the sale reversed.

    However, on a more cheerful note, I don't think there is any way a freeholder can turf out a lessee in the middle of his lease. Your friend should sit tight, and wait for the supermarket to 'make him an offer he can't refuse'.

    However, it is possible that a council could make a compulsory purchase order if it wanted the land to redevelop. It doesn't sound like that is the case though, is it?


    • #3
      I believe it's part of a large redevelopment that the council will be part of. The supermarket is just buying that plot. My friend has a sneaking suspicion that they knew this was going to happen before they bought it. Would they be within their rights to take them to court for a resale? What are the rules if the council do a compulsory purchase? Would it just be a current valuation at the time and that's what is paid no questions asked?


      • #4
        Honestly, I don't think it's worth your friend going to court. He might as well just wait and see what he is offered. If he has only recently bought the flat, that gives a good guide to its value, so he could reasonably insist on the same amount.

        I think he may even be offered slightly more. See what happens.


        • #5
          It is likely to be disclosed in the local authority search if you were to sell, and you would have to disclose it in the pre-contract enquiries anyway as you have knowledge of it and it's a material fact not to do so.

          A couple is currently being sued by the new owners because of an on-going dispute with a disagreeable 'Neighbour from Hell' which was covered up. It's all in this weeks Mail on Sunday
          The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.


          • #6
            OK. Thank you all, I shall pass on this information. Any additional information will be much appreciated.


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