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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22385
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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My freeholder has offered ££70,000less than market value

Customer Question

My freeholder has offered ££70,000less than market value for the leasehold flat that I am selling. He has used nasty emails, with sinister undertones to try to get us to sell to him. The flat is under offer to someone else. It's been 3 weeks and we have not had the questionnaires returned. Incidentally the freeholder obtained the freehold from the local authority and owns all of the flats in the same block. I was not informed that the freehold was changing hands. The Freeholder has now issued a section 20 of proposed works, which are very excessive. I believe to put off any potential buyers. Can he get away will all of this?
JA: The Property Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: Yes, but it is a conveyancing lawyer, with limited knowledge on leases
JA: What advice did they give you?
Customer: To wait for the freehold pack
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Property Lawyer should know?
Customer: Only that the local authority seem to be unwilling to disclose, how the freeholder obtained the lease from them, without our knowledge
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Property Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 months ago.

With regard to the section 20 notice, how many leaseholders have received that? All of them? How many?

Does that work actually need doing?

If I were to look at the emails or the average man in the street would look at the emails would he find them intimidating or harassing?

Are you saying that he owns all the leaseholds in the block and you are the only one he doesn’t own?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
He is the owner of the remaining five flats in the block. He obtained the freehold 2 years ago from the local authority'
, unbeknown to us! The emails and phone calls are harrassing and vulgar. The work is excessive £107,000 between 6 flats,This is for:
Standard lighting
Emergency lighting
Fire alarm
Fob entry door system
Plaster walls
Redo joinery
Clean & paint stairs
Anti slip stair coversProtect flues of chimney stacks
Repair cracked chimney flaunting
Install new tile roof
Renew & remove ridge & hip tiles
New lead work & mastic
Clean gutters
Overhaul windows & doors
Wash down all surfaces by professional cleaning companySeems like anything he could think of. But the 30 day legal requirement for the notice of intended works to be given to us did not allow for anytime to receive the document. He counted 30 days from the date of the notice. I understand that case law supports that this.makes the section 20 notice void? Do we still have to declare the castings to the seller? Should the local authority have given him the freehold, without consultation with us. He now has a monopoly! we have waited 3 weeks so far for the freehold pack for which £370 was paid
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 4 months ago.

With regard to the emails, he is clearly harassing you. That is a police matter and you can get that stopped by the police under the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act.

If you think the work is excessive, or the cost is excessive, or you think that the work is not required, and he is insisting on it, you can simply tell him that and if he decides to pursue you for the money, you can refer the matter to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

The notice may be invalid and if you raise the issue all he will do is give you another one.

The local authority must offer the freehold to all the tenants and you should have been advised. If the landlord sells without providing the Right of First Refusal, the tenants 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 he paid. In your particular case that means that the freehold would be owned jointly with you and the landlord.

With the landlord not replying to enquiries, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about that unless there is a provision in the lease which compels him to do so and if there is that provision, there would normally be fee of perhaps £150 for doing so.

Situation with landlords not replying to enquiries is not that uncommon to be honest.

I see that you have asked for a telephone call. I can submit this to you as a premium service which there is an extra cost. You can take the offer up or leave it in abeyance.

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