Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Could you kindly advise on what basis the new lease (by the different company) was issued please? Was a premium proposed in consideration for the new lease at the time?
The new lease was issued in 1978 for 125 years by cloverbury.
Thanks. Was any premium demanded? Was the lease signed by the then freeholder?
Yes we asked for £10,000 but I had just had my first son so we couldn't afford it.
Thanks. So this lease was never agreed or signed and this remains the position to date?
It was put into use, I do not have this lease, so I am unaware if it was signed. there are 5 flat out of 111 that do not have this lease, of which we are one of them.
Thanks. Could you clarify what you mean by "it was put into use" precisely?
All the other flats have a different lease to ours the terms are different E.g. we can pay in arrears for the service charge, they pay in advance.
Thanks. From what you say do I understand correctly that you still own your property under the original lease. If so how many years roughly remain on the term of the same?
Our lease expires in 20 years time (2034).
Thanks. If we could now turn to your joint acquisition of the freehold. From what you say you have now collectively bought the freehold presumably through a new freehold company that has been established in which you own a share. Is this correct?
Yes we bought the company in 1996. The woodlands beulah hill Ltd.
Thanks. Is it this new freehold company that is asking for a premium to purchase a new extended lease?
Yes we will be,but where do we stand regarding our old lease.
Sorry we are almost there - I will certainly address that. May I clarify it is the company that now owns the freehold which from what you say you have an interest in that is requesting you pay for a new lease?
Yes we will be issuing new & better lease & thus standardising all the leases.
Thanks and is it the freehold company that is asking you to pay for your new lease or someone else?
Just the freehold company.
Thanks. Have you been able to discuss with other shareholders whether they wish to charge you for a new lease - I appreciate there are a lot of them. Do you think more than 50% of them might support you and oppose the request for money to purchase a new lease?
That should be pretty much my last question...
We intend to not charge shareholders for the lease just fixed legal costs.
Sorry you have slightly thrown me with the last post. But you say you are being asked to pay though?
We are intending to have an extraordinary general leaseholder meeting to discuss our proposal. There is a lot of interest in standardising the leases.
we are having a shareholders meeting first
Understood. Thank you. the position is because you jointly own the freehold through the freehold company, the freehold company has the right to grant new leases to leaseholders without charging a premium. However, equally, the freehold company does not have to do so and is entitled to charge a premium for the grant of a new lease. If a majority of the shareholders in the company vote that new premium should be charged to you in respect of the grant of the new lease, then this will be binding upon the company and the company may not charge a premium to extend the lease term. However, if the shareholders in the company do wish to charge a premium and there is support for this, then freehold company is entitled to charge a premium for the extension of your lease unless you can point to a right within a participation agreement that you may have entered into at the time the freehold was purchased that gives you a right to extend to lease for nil consideration
accordingly, you may wish to examine the documents you may still have at the time the freehold was acquired to ascertain whether there is a right in any participation agreement you signed to extend your lease without paying any form of premium
if there is no such right, you would be reliant upon proposing and gaining a majority support for a resolution to grant is to you without charging a premium
so where do we stand regarding our old craigton properties lease.
in respect of your present lease, this will continue until such time as the lease expires
Then what happens
from what you say, the lease which you began negotiating on many years ago that which was never signed, was never completed and therefore has no value whatsoever
as you will be aware, you have a statutory right to renew your lease paying a market value for the same. the sooner you renew a lease, the lower the premium you pay would be for a new lease. if you can gain sufficient support amongst shareholders of the freehold company to carry a resolution to grant a new lease to you without a premium, this of course would be the most cost-effective solution however whether it is realistic will depend upon feedback you obtain from shareholders in response to your proposals
I don't know about the cloverbury, 1st metropolitan ,craigton prorties but it was issued a& the majority of residents have the 1978 lease.
if you're lease was signed and dated then it is a formal deed which is capable of registration. My assumption would be that if the premium request was never paid, that the lease was never signed or dated and therefore is of no legal value however if it was, and you know who is holding a copy of the same, you can request a copy of the document to confirm the position and if it has been signed and dated by the freeholder at the time, you can take steps to acquire the document for purposes of registration
Where do I request it from as these companies no longer exist
it would only be possible to request a copy of the lease document if you knew who was holding the same. If you have no such knowledge, it is not possible to request a copy. My suspicion would be that unless you have knowledge that the document was signed and you know who signed it that if the premium requested for the lease was not paid, then the lease was never signed and completed however if you have evidence and information to the contrary then a copy can be requested from that party of whom you have knowledge. From what you say however, you do not appear to hold such information
if this is the case, your initial first step would appear to be to try to canvass support for a resolution for the present for your company not to charge you a premium for granting a new lease. If you can generate support from the majority of the shareholders for such a resolution then this should enable you to obtain a new extended lease for no consideration. You should be able to relatively swiftly establish whether there is support for such a proposal through an informal poll.
I will have to look through all my old documentation to find this information.So if I do find this out do we still have to purchase this lease to qualify for the new lease which our company is going to offer.
Providing the freehold company owns the freehold and you own a lease under the freehold, you do not have to purchase a new lease before the freehold company can grant you a new lease. The Freehold company can grant leases to any of the leaseholders it desires though it can charge a premium for doing so if it is extending your term.
Is there anything else I can help you with?
No, thank you for all your help.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.