When a Freehold is bought can an existing lease be changed or altered?

by Readers Question

10:37 AM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

When a Freehold is bought can an existing lease be changed or altered?

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When a Freehold is bought can an existing lease be changed or altered?

I have owned a flat for about 7 years or so, I am a leaseholder, the lease has about 120 years or so to run.
It was formally owned by the local council and the council have sold the block to an independent Landlord. I have the first floor flat.Target

The new Landlord has also bought the ground floor flat as well as the Freehold.

Question : Can the new Freeholder disregard the existing Lease arrangement? Would they be able to force me to sign a new lease or something similar?

What should I watch out for? What are the possible repercussions of such a purchase. They did offer to buy my property at 40% below market value which I refused, I feel like I am walking around with one of those laser red dots on my body that you see in the Gangster movies. I am waiting for “Crack” of the rifle!

Any forward thinking advice or evasive moves much appreciated.

Richard



Comments

Neil Patterson

10:39 AM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi Richard,

I would double check with the Leasehold Advisory Service. See >> http://www.lease-advice.org/

S.E. Landlord

12:25 PM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

No they cannot just force you to change your lease. If you approach them on an informal basis to extend your lease they could offer a new lease with different terms, if you extend your lease using the statutory terms route then it would be on the same basis as your existing lease other than a peppercorn rent.

If the lease is defective then they could apply to the FTT to make changes to correct this.

They could enforce the terms of the existing lease which the previous freeholder may have been more relaxed about.

As Neil says for more details contact lease.

Richard Mann

12:47 PM, 17th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Thank you gentlemen. The freeholder that I am now answerable to has a rep for not being very nice.
It's a bit of a bugbear really as I really like the flat great views good position really generous size.
Just the dark spectre of this new guy looming large.

I'll let you know how things shape especially if there are any questionable moves by this individual.

terry sullivan

11:43 AM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

were you notified council was selling freehold? do not section 5 notices have to be issued?

Richard Mann

15:53 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi
I was not formally informed by the council that they were selling the freehold.
Ie I did not receive a letter or was not written to.
Is there an obligation for them to have done so?
What would be issue exactly?
Presumably both parties solicitors would have been aware of any legal responsibilities to do so?

Lucy McKenna

17:30 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Neil is right. Look at http://www.lease-advice.org/ This is a government site. They are really helpful and will actually speak to you on the phone too.

Check this out, but one thing I notice is that your new landlord has a flat in the block, which I think means that in the future he can offer the freehold for sale on the open market with out offering it to the tenants first.

The tenants usually have the right to collectively buy the freehold at any time. There is a formula for doing this, similar to lease extensions.

Lucy McKenna

17:32 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Re Terry Sullivan question. You will find the answer on the leasehold advisory service site. But I think councils and some trusts have an exemption from this rule.

Lucy McKenna

17:32 PM, 18th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "terry sullivan" at "18/05/2016 - 11:43":

You will find the answer on the leasehold advisory service site. But I think councils and some trusts have an exemption from this rule.


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