Freeholders blocking sale of my flat?

Freeholders blocking sale of my flat?

9:37 AM, 2nd May 2023, About 12 months ago 18

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Help! I desperately need to find a way to sell a flat with over a 900 year leasehold. The flat is in a small conversion of 7 flats . The other 6 are owned by a family who all have a share of the freehold.

Since I purchased the flat about 14 years ago, we have never had a sinking fund or management company in place.

I have continually asked for one to be in place but the family do not want one involved and prefer to just look after the block.

I do not pay ground rent or service charge.

I have tried to sell the flat a number of times but the lack of management company has stopped the sale from proceeding.

I have even tried a cash buying company that offered a ridiculous 35% lower than market value, in fact less than I originally bought it for, but the landlord has refused to fill out the LPE1 form which meant they also pulled out of the sale.

Certainly there must be a way I can sell a great 2 bed flat in central location of Leicester ideal for investment or first timers. The price would be approx £150k which is in the range of cash buyers. I would even consider auction and taking a hit on the asking/market price.

Please, can anyone help me find a way around the freeholders lack of cooperation?

Or any good legal advice.

I am concerned as I have another 10 years left on an interest only mortgage and do not want to be left with the debt.

There must be a way around this without losing tens of thousands of pounds simply due to filling out forms and lack of management company.

All suggestions greatly appreciated.

Stephen


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Comments

Judith Wordsworth

12:02 PM, 2nd May 2023, About 12 months ago

What does your lease state about Ground Rent and Service /Maintenance Charge.

How do you pay your share for building/grounds/communal cleaning etc works carried out?

Is the Freehold owned by a Ltd Company or the freehold interest be held in up to four names of individual leaseholders? The registered owners act as trustees for themselves and any other owners who are not registered.

Are they able to understand and answer the questions, and may want to get legal advice to complete the form.

As the freeholder or management company can charge to complete the form (no limit to what they can ask for just that it has to be 'reasonable' and can be circa £500) offer them £100? But they can ignore the request to complete the LPE1 if they choose to.

Has the building had a fire safety assessment within the last 12 months; If any communal lighting has the building an EICR? Maybe if none of these then possibly the Freeholder(s) know, or do not even know, they are not compliant - but not an excuse.

Mike

12:54 PM, 2nd May 2023, About 12 months ago

If the Freeholder owns 6 flats out of 7, I am sure they would be interested to buy you out, so they become owners of all the flats, Have you sked them if they are interested and could offer you a reasonable sale price. or a price you can negotiate. Otherwise take a hit and do an Auction.

Puzzler

13:30 PM, 2nd May 2023, About 12 months ago

Lack of management company should not be an issue in itself so there must be more going on here.
How did you buy the flat with a mortgage yourself if there was an issue?
What does your lease say as to who it is between?

Why will they not fill out the LPE1?

T G

5:06 AM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

f you are trying to sell your leasehold flat and the freeholder is blocking the sale, there are a few steps you can take:

1 -Review your lease agreement: First, review your lease agreement to see if there are any provisions that give the freeholder the right to block the sale of your flat. If there are no such provisions, you may have grounds to challenge the freeholder's actions.

2 - Communicate with the freeholder: Try to communicate with the freeholder to understand why they are blocking the sale of your flat. If there are issues with the property or the buyer, see if there is anything you can do to address these concerns.

3 - Seek legal advice: If the freeholder is unresponsive or is blocking the sale without a valid reason, you may need to seek legal advice. A solicitor who specializes in property law can help you understand your rights and may be able to take legal action on your behalf.

4 - Consider selling the freehold: If you own a share of the freehold or if the freehold is owned by a group of leaseholders, you may be able to sell the freehold in order to facilitate the sale of your flat. This can be a complicated process, but it may be worth exploring if you are facing significant obstacles in selling your flat.

It is important to keep in mind that the process of resolving issues with a freeholder can be complex and time-consuming. It may take some time to reach a resolution, but by working with legal professionals and staying informed about your rights, you can take steps to protect your interests and move forward with the sale of your property.

Regenerate response

Nick Pope

8:12 AM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

My best guess is that the family simply want to get the flat cheap and are being intentionally obstructive.

SK

8:44 AM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by R H at 06/05/2023 - 05:06
The freeholders are now trying to sell their flats in the block and have said they are doing some work to the building.

They said I need to pay ground rent and services charges and want it back dated so I pay £1500 for last year and £ 1500 for this year . Then they may consider filling an LPE1 form after I have paid .
I did say that I have always pushed to get a management company involved to protect my investment.
They said yes it our fault but we will manage the block now. I will give you my bank details and you can pay.
I said that I need you to make it all legal . I was then told find out what they need to do and get back to them . I really don't have the money to back pay. There is no legal contract in place for service charge etc
This is not my area of expertise.
I have spent days now trying to get legal advice but without much help.
I fear that I will have to pay a solicitor a lot of money to get things in place for them. I still don't know if they will fill out the forms I need when I come to sell or if it will put me in a position to sell. I have had agents, auctions and unscrupulous cash buyers companies refuse to consider the flat.
I need make contact with anyone that can help me.

Judith Wordsworth

10:19 AM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

Reply to the comment left by SK at 06/05/2023 - 08:44
Your lease will state about Ground Rent. The clause usually says "to be paid whether demanded or not". If this is what your Ground Rent clause states then by not having paid you are in breach of your lease.

You lease will also state how maintenance/service charges are paid. The clause might say "equal share" "a particular %" "in arrears annually" "half yearly" etc etc.

Mike

16:45 PM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

I wonder if a bluffing them might work, say since they are not happy to fill LPE1 form, you have now decided against selling it, so you are seeking new tenants, or if you already had tenants then they will continue to stay in, as you cannot be bothered paying £1500 maintenance charges without any legal framework, and walk away or text them, wait and see what they come up with. They might offer you more to sell it to them well over the property value, so play this bluff against them. Then wait a while for their response. They were most probably not expecting this from you .

Kizzie

17:37 PM, 6th May 2023, About 12 months ago

It’s useful to do your own research before you engage a solicitor. It seems freehold interest held in individual family names in trust which can be tricky.
You need to read your lease very carefully and Google terms or words and read general legal advice.
You need to understand what you are selling. A 999 year lease doesn’t sound right nor that you’ve not paid GR and SC. The lease should state who is the landlord to which or whom you can only pay SC which must be held in a trust/client account and GR only to landlord under S166 Commonhold & Leasehold reform act 2002.
Lease-advice.org.uk provides free advice.
You want to avoid any purchaser chasing you on grounds of misrepresentation

Puzzler

12:49 PM, 8th May 2023, About 12 months ago

This is nonsense . How did you come to buy the flat? This would all have come out in the wash then.

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