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Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 29201
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I was wondering if you could advise - will try not be

Customer Question

Hi there. I was wondering if you could advise - will try not be long winded. I own a lower maisonette. The guy who owns the upper wants to do a loft extension. He is intent on buying the freehold with or without me and has already been in touch with the freeholder and negotiated a price. I am very happy with the current status - I have 400 years on my lease and it wont really benefit me to buy a share of freehold - in fact it will cost money and time
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No - as I have not yet decided whether I want to buy a share i would only be doing it to prevent the upstairs guy having full power of freehold
JA: Where is the loft located?
Customer: On top of his flat - currently owned by the freeholder - which is why he wants to buy it
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I also wanted some insight into the planning process - do I get any say?
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
The upper flat owner has plenty of money (I don't). A main concern is that if he becomes the freeholder, he will enforce works e.g. replacement of outside staircase, external painting of the building every 3 years (as per the lease). The current freeholder just takes the ground rent and leaves us to it. I don't object to the extension itself, but the roof is currently the responsibility of both owners - so with this construction how does that work with our without share of freehold? Thanks
Expert:  Virtual-mod replied 14 days ago.

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.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Hi - I can wait - thanks!
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

May I confirm if the upstairs owner owns the loft as part of his demise or whether it be loft as things stand is part of the freehold please?

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
The loft is part of the freehold. He therefore wants the lease to be changed so that it is demised to him.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
He is currently offering to buy the freehold at a cost split of 60/40 with the share as 50/50.
Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

Thank you. Is this on condition that he gets the loft?

Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

I'm following up on the above. Without some further information from you as above, I am limited in what I can say on the matter but in the hope it is helpful nonetheless, I will provide you with the following broad answer. If you are able to kindly provide me with the above further information or if you have any further questions generally, I will be delighted to expand on the following - please just reply back to me in this case:

Notwithstanding the above, in general terms as you will be aware, you will have a statutory right to acquire the freehold and the aims of the upstairs owner involve acquiring the loft which will presumably add significant value to his property. If you do not join in with the purchase of the freehold, then as you say, the upstairs owner will have free rein to make decisions in relation to the freehold and also be able to grant whatever parts of the property which have not been demised to either review to himself for nil consideratiion.

By contrast, if you join in with the freehold, he will need your permission in respect of all substantive actions in relation to the freehold and you will be able to set out any terms you wish as a condition for allowing him to acquire the loft space or indeed simply refuse permission. There are no limits as regards ***** ***** you could demand as a condition for allowing him to acquire the loft space and therefore, potentially, though of course I do not suggest any form of guarantee, you could drive a hard bargain to recover either the entire cost or indeed even more potentially subject to commercial realities, of the costs off accquisition of the freehold.

Generally, acquisition of a share of the freehold will improve the value of your property but not necessarily by the amount you pay for the freehold. It may be worth taking advice from a local estate agent in this respect

Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.

I hope the above answers all your questions. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me otherwise thank you very much for visiting JustAnswer and I hope we will see you again in the future.