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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am at the final stages of selling my flat, which I have a

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i am at the final stages of selling my flat, which I have a share of freehold with the owners of the lower flat. They have stalled on signing various documents and I have had to give permission to allow them to have some work done to tidy up the frontage to get them to sign. They have now signed some of the forms but are holding back two forms (ID1 & TR1). They say they have reasons but have not disclosed these. What course of action could I take?
Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

May I ask if the lease requires that you transfer the freehold at the same time as selling the leasehold interest in your flat please? - this would be normal but not all leases require it.
In any event I assume the buyers wish to acquire the freehold at the same time as their purchase and you wish them to have it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Joshua, yes the lease requires the freehold to be transferred together

Thank you. the other freehold owner is not allowed to legally refuse to sign the transfer documentation. Of course in practice, they can refuse to have their signature but there is no lawful basis to withhold their signature and refusal to do so, leaves them open to an application by you to the County Court to either order them to sign the transfer documentation or for a judge to sign the documentation on their behalf and leaves them open to a claim for costs by you in relation to that application.The difficulty with this of course is that will take some time. If your sale is urgent as sales often are, you may consider including a provision in your contract for sale that you will use your best endeavours to procure a transfer of the freehold within say 6 months of the date of completion and will bear all costs in relation to the same. this would allow the sale to complete but lady some time to actually complete the transfer of the freehold itself. Is a nervous in respect of this proposal which is a distinct possibility, you could suggest a retention to be held in relation to the transfer freehold confidence that you will follow through on the contractual agreement and should you not do so, to compensate them for the costs of seeking a transfer of the freehold themselves.At the same time, you may consider contacting your neighbour freeholder advising them that you are disappointed that they are refusing to sign documentation reminding them that at some point they will need to sell their property and will be reliant upon your buyer to sign documentation for them, and going on to point out that they have no legal authority to withhold the signature and in doing so, you reserve your right to make an application to the court for an order that the documentation is signed together with costs against them and also reserve your position in respect of claiming damages against them should yourself be jeopardised by their refusal to sign documentation without legal justification. If you are forced to apply to the court for an order that they signed documentation or that a judge signs the transfer documentation on their behalf, you can do so using the following form: I hope the above is of assistance? If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click to rate my service to you today or just reply back to let me know if the above is helpful. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me I'd be very grateful
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

If their delay in signing causes me to lose the sale can I claim for damages, i.e. interest on lost sale proceeds, cost of continuing to service the mortgage etc?

Exactly so - such a claim could be considered which is what I referred to above in your morning to them that you may claim damages your sale is jeopardised. in terms of what damages you may potentially claim, if your sale were to fall through, and you are unable to sell for the same or a higher price in the future, you may be able to claim losses of sales together with any interest you can post on monies from the present sale and solicitors costs and so on. if you were to bring such a claim, you must mitigate your losses - in other words, your claims cannot be outlandish but limited to putting you in the position you could reasonably have expected to be if your present sale progresses - but there is the potential for that claim and hence my recommendation you consider mentioning this in your letter or email to the neighbours in order that they are put on notice that you are reserving your position in this respect - this may give them pause to consider their position.I hope the above is helpful? Can I help you with anything else or has the above answered your questions satisfactorily? If you could drop me a quick message to let me know I'd be very grateful.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Joshua, I will follow your advice and inform them that I may take legal action. I hope it does the trick, it is a very frustrating situation.

Once again thanks for your advice.

A pleasure. I hope you are able to resolve the position without the need for a court application.
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