Tricky lease situation/nightmare?

Tricky lease situation/nightmare?

10:27 AM, 31st January 2022, About 5 months ago 4

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Hi, I realise I need professional assistance for this, which I plan to do in the following weeks, but I am wondering if anyone has any advice.

– I bought a property with a short lease of 26 years remaining. The property was approx £100,000 with an estimated cost of £70-80,000 to purchase the freehold. The development value of around £210,000 once completed/more if converted to flats.
– The previous owner agreed to serve notice, so I could purchase the freehold without waiting the 2 years.
-The  Solicitor did not send the notice off in time and as a result, lost this right and there was a large ground rent increase also.
– The 2-year period passed, at which point there was talk about leasehold reform, abolishing marriage value etc, so I have waited another 2 years (4 years in total) with the hope of this happening. I understand these things take time. If the marriage value is abolished, I believe the premium for the freehold would be a lot lower.

I’m not sure what the best course of action here is. General thoughts on the thoughts would be welcomed.

1) If the marriage value is abolished/enfranchisement is reformed, the premium could be a lot less. Waiting is risky. Potential upside/potential downside?
2) I’m thinking of looking into claiming against the solicitor for negligence – which might cover the 2 year period in which the premium increased.
3) Can anyone recommend a lease specialist who might be able to help?

Regards,
Dan



Comments

Judith Wordsworth

11:38 AM, 31st January 2022, About 5 months ago

Personally I would contact the solicitor as they didn't submit on time and ask what he would be able to do to resolve this without you having to seek help/redress from the SRA

Ian Narbeth View Profile

17:43 PM, 31st January 2022, About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 31/01/2022 - 11:38Judith
It is not a matter for the SRA as it is not a disciplinary matter. The solicitors will probably (indeed they should) advise Dan to seek independent advice. Given the sums involved the best thing is probably to notify the solicitors of a potential claim, acquire the lease extension and then look to claim when the loss is quantifiable. As things stand Dan doesn't know how much to claim at the moment.

Blodwyn

8:41 AM, 5th February 2022, About 5 months ago

I am a retired solicitor with no personal property legal experience but plenty in the world of insurance and professional indemnity defence.
It's not a matter for the SRA but the solicitor's professional indemnity insurers if he is at fault.
You need proper professional advice from specialists in L&T matters and litigation. ODT Solicitors LLP of Brighton ought to fit your requirements. Look them up on the Law Society website.

BernieW View Profile

10:11 AM, 7th February 2022, About 5 months ago

I would suggest you have an initial discussion with Mark Chick at Bishop & Sewell > https://www.bishopandsewell.co.uk/solicitors/mark-chick/

He's also a director of ALEP; the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Professionals > https://www.alep.org.uk/meet-the-team

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