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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10972
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I am in the process of buying a leasehold flat within a block.

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I am in the process of buying a leasehold flat within a block. The freeholder is a London borough council.
I have found out today that the vendor doesn't have and is unable to obtain an original lease plan from the council.
The vendor has supplied a lease plan but the colours don't match the ones referenced in the lease. The vendor purchased the property before The Land Registration Act 2002 and was never provided with an original.
My solicitor has informed me that I might have trouble when it comes to selling the property without an original plan.
This was the last document that we were chasing so I now have to make a decision whether to buy or not without obtaining an original lease plan.
I love the property and I'm keen to buy it but I really don't know enough about the potential problems faced when an original lease plan can't be provided to make this decision. I don't want to be stuck with a property that I can't sell.
1. Is this a common problem or is my solicitor just being overcautious?
2. Is it possible to get a new lease plan made up that will match the lease?
If so, should I get the vendor to do this before I exchange or think about this when I go to sell?
3. Because the vendor is unable to provide this, could I request a reduction in the purchase price or would that be a risky idea?
I will be speaking with my solicitor tomorrow about this but I just wanted a second opinion.
Many thanks.
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I was expecting to hear something by now. I have never used this site before. I do still want some advise regarding this issue yes. I'm willing to wait longer for an answer but obviously the sooner the better! The vendor is wanting to exchange ASAP.
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
1. At the outset, you need to realise that all properties are saleable, including ones with legal difficulties attached. The only question is at what price? So given that there are legal difficulties attached to the purchase of this leasehold flat, you should be seeking a discount to the price requested, as any person who purchases it from you will want some reduction if you cannot offer an original plan as part of the conveyancing process.
2. Secondly, you should also realise that the lack of an original plan may not be a large impediment to owning or using the property. It is likely that the Council as freeholder will have a copy of the leasehold interests it created. So even if the Land Registry do not have a copy of the original plan, you might be able to cure this by getting one from the Council. Additionally, on the ground it might be quite clear what the boundaries of the flat are as they will be clearly delineated in point of fact. So irrespective of the lack of a plan, you will still be getting the same flat you would have got if the legal title was perfect and not lacking the plan.
3. To answer your three questions raised. Firstly, this is not a common problem. A good solicitor will always tell you to get a copy of the plan.
Secondly, you cannot just do up a new lease plan. You would have to get the Council to do this for you. Not the vendor, as the vendor has no better title than he can show. That is why the plan is important. Thirdly, as there is an element of risk purchasing without a plan, you can certainly seek a reduction in price.
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10972
Experience: Barrister 17 years experience
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