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wingrovebuyer
wingrovebuyer, Senior Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 737
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (Honours); PG Diploma in Law; Member of ALA; 9 years' experience
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Our long leasehold flat is part of a house that has just been

Resolved Question:

Our long leasehold flat is part of a house that has just been underpinned. We now want to sell the flat, but do not possess a certificate of structural adequacy, any evidence of building control approval or a guarantee from the specialist subsidence contractors that completed the work.
Our freeholder (a London borough council) proceeded with the underpinning works after a long dispute with the insurers. The freeholder also paid to rehouse us to another flat while the work was done. We don't know if the insurance dispute has been settled, but certainly don't have any documentary evidence proving the adequacy of works completed because we weren't the direct client.
Is our freeholder legally bound supply the certificate of structural adequacy to us and/or other proofs a buyer would want to see? Do we request this information or should we expect our conveyancing solicitor to chase this as part of their scope of work?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  wingrovebuyer replied 3 years ago.

wingrovebuyer :

Hello. Your solicitor will need to fill in some standard forms for the buyer's solicitor, and this will require you to disclose the works. I expect your lease will entitle you to demand copies of the relevant paper work, but even if it doesn't the council should send it to allow the sale to go ahead. Personally, I'd contact the council now, to ask for copies, ax if you leave it to your solicitor, it may delay matters.

Customer:

Disappointing answer. We are marketing our property with full disclosure about underpinning. The council (our freeholder) has a long history of ignoring our written and/or verbal requests.

Customer:

As a leaseholder we evidently have no rights about getting documentation, but can only hope we can get it.

wingrovebuyer :

Thanks. I'm afraid that whether or not you can force the council to cooperate depends on the terms of your lease. I'm sure your solicitor can check this. However, I suggest that to save time, you ask for the information now. Your solicitor can always chase them up if needed. Also, it's a bit off the normal path, but as it's a council, you could always request the information under the Freedom of Information Act, and they are obliged to respond within 21 days.

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