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Stuart J
Stuart J , Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22349
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Failure to assign lease on purchase

Resolved Question:

I recently bought a flat with 78 years remaining on the lease. The seller agreed to assign the lease extension on completion as long as paid their legal costs. This I did via the solicitor acting on my behalf. Some two weeks later I was informed the assignment of the lease had been refused as it had not been signed by the then owner. The landlord has agreed to negotiate the renewal directly but only at 76 years. This being when I would now have the legal right to do so, Needles to say this will involve financial loss to me. The sellers solicitors have failed to respond to a letter setting out my claim. I have been told by legal firm that I have no claim against anyone as the sellers solicitor worked for the seller and not me despite my paying their costs. There advice is that I should proceed with the extension and bear the extra cost. Surely someone is responsible for a service I paid for. I most upset by the failure of the Legal Company who made the error to reply to my solicitors letter.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

Hello, I am Law
Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High Street practice. I have been
an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you
appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a
variety of subjects.

we are all in practice with clients and court and other users, I might not always respond in minutes,
particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that case

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to
advise you fully.

How much do the landlords now want?

Was this statutory lease extension?

WAs this included in the contract documentation?

I am wondering why you didn't get the extension.

Was the seller partway through the extension process when the property was sold?

I need full background please. Thanks

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry if I was not clear I was worried the question would be too long.


At my request he sellers agreed to make a statutory application prior to the sale and then assign this request to me on completion.


I agreed to pay all the sellers legal costs £395 plus the valuation costs again £395.


The lease extension was agreed prior to sale and contract redrafted to

reflect this.


The assignment of the lease was refused because the sellers solicitor had failed to get the the correct people to sign it on the sellers side. No one will explain why but suspect this due to it being an executors sale and confusion between executors and owners. By the way the Executors

are both partners in the sellers law firm. This is something my solicitor admitted this same firm had done 3 times before.


The flat is in a good position by the town centre in Poole, Dorset. I bought it during a trough property values that is unlikely to continue hence why I am keen to extend the lease using the current market valuation rather than wait 2 years.


The Landlord refused the application correctly on failure to correctly complete the documentation.


They have however offered to renew on an informal basis but only as if the lease had 76 years years to run rather than the current 78. I have now had to have a new valuation at a further £395 which suggests the new renewal value will be between £600 - £1,000. I suspect Landord will go for a higher figure.



I am worried that continuing the negotiations with only the goodwill of the Landlord will leave me at a disadvantage throughout the process. Alongside being seriously out of pocket.


The partner in my legal firm tells me my only claim is for breach of contract from the previous owner a very old lady in France who did nothing wrong. Something I simply will not consider. Otherwise he says I should carry on renew the lease as offered by Landord and on completion ask if the sellers solicitors to refund and difference in value. No mention of fees paid and second valuation.



My solicitor telephoned Jacon Reeves when this happened and admitted they did not seem to take it very seriously. She wrote more formally in mid-April and admits to having not received a reply hence my worry in being dependent on their goodwill.


The two sets of solicitors sit within walking distance of each other and I worry they want this to just go away. My main grievance is that they took my money and have failed to supply any service and then have simply ignored me.











Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 years ago.

that this was included in the contract as a term of the contract that the
seller would extend the lease before completion.

is the case, and the seller is in breach of contract.

cause of action is against the Seller, the old lady in France who has done
nothing wrong. If you have to issue proceedings, then you issue them against
her and she must take it up with her solicitors will appear, on the face of
this to have been negligent.

I don't
know whether she has paid the landlord any fees or not, but the landlord is not
entitled to keep the fee and then charge you.

much is this going to cost to rectify?

does your own solicitor want to do nothing?

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22349
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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