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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have a nuisance neighbour and I want to buy the share of

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I have a nuisance neighbour and I want to buy the share of freehold. I have been living at my current leasehold maisonette for just under 13 years and I have 85 years remaining on the lease. The property owner in the maisonette above me bought the flat 4 years ago and as part of that sale he received the freehold. During the 12 years I have been here, the lease was offered by the original freeholder to myself and Oner 1 upstairs, at the time I couldn't afford to buy it. She bought it and sold the flat with the freehold to owner 2. He sold the flat with the freehold to existing nuisance neighbour, called Owner 3.

Owner 3 & wife haven't been very good neighbours and the situation has worsened in the past 6 months as he wants to buy my property and is trying to force me to sell to him by trying to enforce that we need to repair the roof and I am liable for half of the costs. He said that he had leaks in the roof due to storms and it needed to be fixed ASAP and I either had to sell to him or pay for half of the repair. I told him that the insurance covers all storm damage work. After I lent him my keys to do some work, he returned them, but I then discovered that my flat was broken into several times, culminating in my calling the police and having the locks changed, the breakins stopped after this. There have been numerous incidents where he has entered my garden without permission, he also removed my garden fence without permission to install his own 7ft fence. Installed Piping work on my side of the property without gaining permission and causing damage to structures in my garden and leaks into my kitchen and bathroom. The list is too compressive to list here as there's not enough space, I have prepared more detail if I can send on?

I'm after advice on how to legally handle the situation and how to proceed with buying a share of the freehold

Thank you
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.

am sorry, but if this is a Resident Landlord and it is not a purpose-built block of flats but a house conversion and he lives in the building, you have no right to buy the freehold under the current statutory provisions.

What do you want to do with regard the rest of the situation?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Thanks for your response. It's a purpose built maisonette, there are two properties in the building. When I originally bought the property I was told it was purpose built, is there any way I can find out? Does that make a difference?


So I don't have a right to buy the share of freehold? Do I have a right to extend the lease? Extending the lease doesn't enable me to change any of the terms so it's not ideal. If I definitely can't buy a share of freehold, the only impetus for me to extend the lease would be to ensure that a sale went through easily. I have no intentions of selling to the occupants upstairs, they are untrustworthy. Should the two previous owners have given me an opportunity to purchase the freehold when they sold the property?


What can I do with the rest of the situation? If I take a complaint to the police, is there anything they can do / would be interested in doing to support me? Would they not be interested? Have I left it too long? Can I achieve anything from it? I'm a single female living alone.



Rosilyn Carroll

This is the relevant legislation

Section 25 (5) (a) says that you cannot buy the property if it has a resident landlord.

Resident landlord is then further defined : If it is purpose-built flats the landlord is not classed as a re resident landlord even though he may live in the property. He is only classed as a resident landlord for the purposes of this legislation if it is purpose-built property

And the definition of purpose-built is in clause 58(1A) (2) (a) and (3) which says that it is purpose-built if it contained as constructed and still contains two or more flats. So you would need to speak to a surveyor to establish whether it was built as flats or has been converted.

So if this is a purpose-built block you can buy the freehold part. It is not a purpose-built block you cannot.

However regardless of the above, you do have a statutory right to extend the lease but the landlord is entitled to charge you for that.

Calculating the lease extensions is extremely complicated and based upon a whole load of different factors. It is however based upon a strict formula.

Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** helpful. Do you have any surveyors you could recommend?

If not, I'll google and get a few recommendations

Thanks again

I am pleased to have helped you.

Any surveyor but knows the local area or property value will probably be able to tell you simply by looking at the building whether it is purpose-built or not. In fact, if you walk through the door of most estate agents they will probably be able to give you a good idea

it may also be worth looking at the deeds because the deeds may have reference.
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