Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All under One Roof

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

All under One Roof

Article excerpt

Byline: KAREN WHITBURN

My flat is in a small block. Last year, the majority of us decided we wished to acquire our freehold. Our solicitor served a notice on our behalf, informing the freeholder that we required him to transfer the freehold to us.

We each lodged funds with our solicitor to pay the freeholder. Now one of our neighbours is planning to sell his flat.

What should we do?

This process of "clubbing together" to buy your freehold is known as "collective enfranchisement". If various qualifying conditions are met, your freeholder will be obliged to transfer the freehold to you, once a price is agreed and the terms of the transfer settled.

There are many issues lessees must agree on before completion, such as each flat-owner's contribution to the total cost, how many shares each will have in the purchasing company, and what happens if a flat-owner pulls out. These are normally dealt with in a Participation Agreement signed by all participating tenants.

The agreement should set out what a participating flat-owner must do if, before transfer of the freehold is completed, they decide to sell.

Typically, it will provide that the new owner of the flat agrees to abide by the terms of the Participation Agreement. The new owner should confirm this by entering into a Deed of Covenant in favour of all participating tenants.

Ask your solicitor to contact the seller's solicitor to check that the new buyer is going to do this.

Otherwise you may be short on funds.

I have four granddaughters. After their grandfather died, I sold our family home. With the money I bought a property for my granddaughters to let, which was put in all their names. My eldest granddaughter is now getting married. I am going to help her furnish her new home, so she has agreed to give up her interest in the property. What steps must we take?

It is possible a trust was set up, with two people holding legal title to the property on trust for all four granddaughters. However, I am assuming a simpler approach was taken, and that

All under one roof My flat is in a small block. Last year, the majority of us decided we wished to acquire our freehold. Our solicitor served a notice on our behalf, informing the freeholder that we required him to transfer the freehold to us. We each lodged funds with our solicitor to pay the freeholder. Now one of our neighbours is planning to sell his flat.

What should we do?

This process of "clubbing together" to buy your freehold is known as "collective enfranchisement". If various qualifying conditions are met, your freeholder will be obliged to transfer the freehold to you, once a price is agreed and the terms of the transfer settled.

There are many issues lessees must agree on before completion, such as each flat-owner's contribution to the total cost, how many shares each will have in the purchasing company, and what happens if a flat-owner pulls out. …

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