Freeholders refuse to transfer title trying to cause distressed sale?

by Readers Question

8:38 AM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Freeholders refuse to transfer title trying to cause distressed sale?

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Freeholders refuse to transfer title trying to cause distressed sale?

I recently sold my property a share in a freehold. When I moved to the property I undertook a lot of maintenance and repair. Prior to this it would appear people left things to the last moment rather than fixings things in a timely manner. blackmail

Now almost near completion of sale the other freeholders raised a need to do work on which I have been fully accepting of. The issue is that it is taking for ever, and they also keep raising other work required which until now has never been raised.

I have told them I am happy to get any work done, and that if work needs doing it should be done in a timely manner, instead they are dictating to me that I should put money in a bond for the pending work as at such time they are ready to do the work. Even if my sale collapses and I remain at the property how long am I expected to wait till they agree on the work, before I can remarket the property.

My other concern that much of these issues whilst genuine have only just been raised as a delay tactic. As just when I was being told of even more work required before they will sign the TR1 document, an associated person to one of the other freeholders has made an offer on the property at a reduced price, but saying they will waver the cost on the future work.

I feel even if I work with the other freeholders to get all the work they have raised done, they will still delay signing the TR1 long enough that my current buyer will pull out. Then the interested party will make me an even lower offer. It is also very hard to prove the motivations, as they can say purely coincidence.

It is now at the point I am unable to live in the property due to the stress. My solicitor is only a box ticking conveyancing solicitor so unable to provide any support.

Many thanks

Citizen X



Comments

Neil Patterson

8:40 AM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

There may be some rules and regulation on charging for future work and timescales if you check the Leasehold Advisory Service >> http://www.lease-advice.org/

Ian Narbeth

9:37 AM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

You need to take legal advice and a competent lawyer needs to review the legal title and the lease. This may not necessarily be the firm that is handling your sale but ask if they have litigation experience. Expect to pay as much if not more than the conveyancing cost (sorry but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys) for someone to review the matter and write in robust terms to the other freeholders.

The buyer will be bound to pay for works that have not been dealt with and the buyer and you can deal with apportionment of cost. The other freeholders should not hold up the TR1.

Bryan Deady

12:11 PM, 27th October 2016
About 2 years ago

Thank you for your response. Proceeding with the sale was based on the information I had at the time. And at the time sale looked straight forward however I do have a new solicitor who is drafting a letter sighting rules in the Tolata act. Also looking at the prospect one of the freeholders is refusing to sign & obstruct any sale other than to their interested party.

Mike Sosner

14:05 PM, 30th October 2016
About 2 years ago

There's a leasehold expert called Bernie Wales (www.berniewales.co.uk/leasehold-advice/) who might be able to give you some shorthand advice. His byword is RTBL (! Read the Bloody Lease!) ...before asking him for advice. As I understand it there are provisions for works and what might constitute "major works" (i.e. outside of the service charges) / notice for works/ nomination of contractors/ timescale when works are to be carried out etc., and if your co-freeholders are going outside of these provisions their demands may not have any force.

Existing poor lease management arrangements might make the property unattractive to a buyer.

Mike

David Mensah

10:35 AM, 31st October 2016
About 2 years ago

Does anyone have experience using Bernie Wales? His website looks good.

I bought/sold a leasehold flat with a predatory freeholder a while back and spent enormous amounts of time trying to get reliable information. Initially I didn't know very much about how the UK system works (it is badly set up if you ask me) and I got some initial help with LEASE (the gov't quango), but they are very slow and only offer vanilla advice that you can more or less figure out yourself, see also the critique here http://www.leaseholdknowledge.com/lease-recruiting-pandering-sectors-commercial-interests

In the end I made a lot of money by sorting everything out. But there was over 20 years of conveyancing mistakes, and other leaseholders lost a lot of money to the freeholder. Various solicitors I worked with gave conflicting advice. Luckily the freeholder's solicitors were also wrong, which is why I was able to circumvent him and sort things, but it was a fraught process.

I would have paid a lot of money if I could have found an expert who *really knew* what was going on. It would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. But my experience is that finding reliable advice is difficult.


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