If you are a leaseholder and have received a section 5 notice hopefully this small section will help you. If a section 5 notice arrives and you don’t know what to do please read on.
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want to buy the freehold of your building. The second factor is how straight forward it is going to be and is it really worth your while.
If your lease in 999 years and you already deal with your own management and the ground rent is on £50.00 per annum is there really any benefit in owning the freehold? Most leaseholders that have a lease approaching 80 years will want to buy their freehold because they will have to extend their lease if they want to sell their flat. Provided the landlord is not asking too much then it is sensible to buy the freehold with the other lessees.
If you only have two flats in your building then buying the freehold should be straight forward. It is a question in getting together with the other lessee and instructing a lawyer to deal with it on your behalf. It is advisable to instruct a lawyer as there is a strict timetable to adhere to and the correct counter notices will need to be served on the landlord before you can proceed with any sale. You have to pay the same price and purchase the freehold on exactly the same terms that the building is under offer at and you can’t renegotiate the purchase price.
Leaseholders have two months notice from the date that the section 5 notices are received to decide whether or not they want to go ahead with the sale. It is imperative that you serve a counter notice on the landlord or his agent confirming your intentions to proceed. You must get a solicitor to do this for you as there can be no errors in the service of this document.
You will not get a second chance and it is important to get it right first time. When you have confirmed that you want to proceed with the sale the solicitors will deal with the legal work and you will become the new freeholder in due course. Of course there is a little more to it than that but we have outlined the mechanics of it all.