CASE STUDY ONE
Our clients' block of flats was falling into disrepair. The tenants had formed a group to buy the freehold. They wanted to take control of the maintenance and increase the value of their flats rather than watch their value fall. But they were having trouble finding either of the two landlords who owned the freehold.
How We Helped
This was a particularly complex case where we found a solution for the client. After making enquiries we located one of the landlords and discovered that the other had been made bankrupt. Using this approach we served a valid claim for the freehold.
We knew it would be difficult for the landlords to reply formally within the requisite two months. We also knew that, if they did reply, their notice would be flawed. That meant we could apply to the court for a declaration. This would secure the freehold for the lower price the clients had set out in their notice. Our solicitor warned the landlord about the court claim. The landlord backed down.
The landlord conceded on the price and agreed to a figure very close to the client's claim. The clients could buy their freehold at a cost vastly less than the landlord's valuation.
CASE STUDY TWO
A landlord told a group of his tenants that he wanted to dispose of their freehold. The tenants had no idea how to deal with this – and their usual property solicitors did not either.
How We Helped
Our solicitors advised the tenants of the practical and legal steps to take in order to acquire their freehold using their right of first refusal.
Unfortunately, the landlord then forgot to send the contract in time, which meant the claim had to start again. The landlord was keen to make the sale and the tenants could see the price being offered was a very good one. But both parties' hands were now tied by the legislation. The tenants could start a fresh claim themselves, but that would take eight months and any delay would mean the price would probably go up. They would also be faced with higher costs.
We devised a scheme that overcame the problem. Our scheme fully complied with the law but allowed both parties to complete the freehold purchase within four weeks.
Both parties were happy. The landlord completed before the end of his tax year and our clients saved £10,000 in costs, acquiring the freehold for a very reasonable price.