- 23 May 2022
Landlords who want to sell the freehold of a building containing flats usually have to offer the leaseholders the first chance to buy it before offering it on the open market. This is known as the Right of First Refusal.
Formal notice must be served on the leaseholders informing them of the proposed sale so that they have time to consider the offer. The landlord cannot sell to another party during that time, nor offer the interest to anyone else at a price less than that proposed to the leaseholders or on different terms.
Governed by Part 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987as amended by the Housing Act 1996, breach of these legal obligations by the landlord is a criminal offence. If the landlord sells without providing the Right of First Refusal, the leaseholders can serve a notice on the new owner demanding details of the transaction, including the price paid; they can then take action to force the new owner to sell to them at the price the new owner paid.
Following service of the landlord’s notice, the requisite majority of leaseholders have to accept the offer; that majority being more than 50% of the leaseholders. Those leaseholders must serve a notice accepting the landlord’s offer within the period set out in the landlord’s notice. The landlord must then be advised of the leaseholders nominated company – this is company which will be set up to acquire the freehold. Thereafter the landlord will send the nominated company the contract of sale prior to exchange of contracts and completion.
Although the process is fairly straightforward there is a lot to consider including organising the necessary finances. Our specialist team are on hand to assist with the process from start to finish.
- 23 May 2022
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