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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 7600
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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I am selling my leasehold property. The buyers solicitors has

Resolved Question:

I am selling my leasehold property. The buyers solicitors has said that I need the oermission from the freeholder to sell.. the clause he brings this up is 'Dealings' "(9) not to assign sublet mortgage charge or part with possession of part only of the demised premises without the landlords consent not to be unreasonably withheld"

My soliciotors 4 weeks ago requested full details and informed him after submitting his requested payment of £150. He has heard nothing back at all. I am scared that this sale is going to fall through due to the delays. He has never been good at communications at all. My question is can I sell with his consent now? or if this sale fails becuase the buyer has lost patience due to this delay can I sue the Freeholder for damages.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your question.
To enable me to answer your question could you please respond to the following:-
1. Is this the sale of a residential property
Kind regards.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.


Yes, it's a residential property, ground floor flat, I bought it in 1996, my solicitor then never asked the then sellers' solicitors for permission to sell.. I am gob smacked that this is failing at the last smallest hurdle. As I said my solicitor wrote over 4 weeks ago and have left messages for the freeholder (who holds about 100 freehold reversions) and there is no response, I can't afford for this sale to fail this time cos of this small clause.. I hate leases cos they are so old and contain weird words and phrases. My solicitors said wait.. but they will loose interest very soon to buy, I know they will and would then have waste money I don't really have.

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Did your solicitor explain why they did not obtain permission to sell the property from the landlord when you purchased the proprerty?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I don't recall as this was some 15 yeras ago now.. I just want to sell... why do I need his permision... he is delaying things to the point they could well pull out now and I have paid out a lot of money so far..
Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Thanks for your reply.

You need to ask your solicitors to write a tersely worded follow up letter to them. They need to impress upon the landlord that they require the information/consent as soon as possible, noting the present length of delay. They should also state in their letter that the time it has taken to respond could be viewed as an unreasonable withholding of the consent.

It would be more straightforward if (as is usually the case) the clause was worded “... unreasonably withheld or delayed” because this is a case where it could be take to be a delay rather than a withholding.

If the Buyers pull out before you receive the consent then you would be looking at suing the landlord for a breach of contract. As I said above if the clause included “..or delayed” then it would be a clear case of a breach”. As it doesn’t you are left with the position where you will have to say that it constitutes a withholding, this is less clear but you may be able to get your solicitors to write a letter to them posturing to make a small claims court application and get them to pay the costs of your abortive legal fees for the transaction.

I should expect a further letter from your solicitors to do the trick and prompt a quick response, in the meantime you should speak with the agent to reassure them that you are pressing for a response and are not being wilfully obstructive. You may wish to speak to the Buyers directly and also ask your conveyancing solicitors to speak to the agent to corroborate your position.

Sorry it could not be better news, it must be very frustrating.

If this has been useful please kindly click accept so that I may be rewarded for my time. If you do not click accept your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.

I will answer your follow up questions you may have.

Kind regards,

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

Thanks. Surely there must be a reasonable time for these people to respond, they have alreafdy had over 4 weeks, the responded quick enough to ask for £150 for their response!!! does this not demostarte that they can respond in a reasonable time...

Expert:  Thomas replied 6 years ago.

Yes, I agree that it is not responding within this time is unreasonable. The difficult is that the clause itself does not refer to unreasonable delays, so you would be looking at shoehorning in an implication that " not to unreasonably withhold" includes to deal with matters in a reasonable time.

You may get some traction with that, but more importantly you have to press your solicitors to write a follow up letter immediately. Deal with what may or may not happen in the future when it actually happens. For now focus on things that are in your control - contact your solicitors.

Please click accept. If you do not then your money stays with the site and I do not receive any credit for the time I have taken to answer your question.

Kind regards,

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