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Legal issues with lease rights

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  • Legal issues with lease rights

    Background :
    I am trying to sell my property which comprises the first and second floor of a big house. Another person owns the ground floor. We are both lessees of our respective areas. And we are also joint freeholders of the whole building.
    The problem :
    I have just found out that in the lease document the second floor was never actually leased to me, on the basis that it was not indicated in the plans of the lease. Only the first floor is specified as being leased to me!

    In the lease documents there is no specific reference to the second floor and therefore the person who owns the ground floor is now telling me that as joint freeholders, she owns half of the second floor and she wants to be paid for half its value if I sell. She also states I should pay her rent whilst I am using the second floor as its not mine to use.
    She can't actually access the second floor (other than via the first floor which I do own) from her property so that must help my case musn't it?
    How do I resolve this? Is there anything I can do?
    THanks
    MarkAlonso
    ps I havn't convered the second floor since purchasing and didn't pay too much attention to the lease document when buying as I didn't expect to have any problems

  • #2
    Re: Legal issues with lease rights

    Did your solicitors know that you thought you were buying the second floor as well? Did you ask them whether the second floor was included? Why did you think it was?

    You will have to come to some agreement wi the other c-freeholder, if only because your buyer will not want to walk into a dispute.

    Also if you want to have the "share in freehold" transferred you need the other flat owner's signature and that could well not be forthcoming unless you agree their terms.
    RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
    As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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    • #3
      Re: Legal issues with lease rights

      Thanks for your reply Richard. My solicitor did not mention there was an issue when I bought the place. I didn't specifically ask if the second floor was included as it seemed obvious it was since the property was advertised as such and the sellers were clearly living on both floors and had been for many years. What is my best course of action?
      Mark

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      • #4
        Re: Legal issues with lease rights

        Your solicitor could have been negligent in not telling you that the second floor was not clearly included. Some estate agents "forget" to send particulars of the property to buyer's solicitors so it does depend on how much he knew. If he head no reason to suppose that you expected to buy the second floor then he would be off the hook.

        Of course the other flat owner may be talking nonsense in saying the second floor isn't included so the first thing is that you need to see what your solicitor says about it. Write to him putting the point and see what he says.
        RICHARD WEBSTERwww.rwco.co.uk
        As a conveyancing solicitor I want to be helpful (England/Wales only) but can't accept liability for this.

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        • #5
          Re: Legal issues with lease rights

          I have written to my solicitor and am pending a reply. In the meantime I have been reading about adverse possession and if I understand correctly, because I have occupied the second floor unchallenged for over 10 years, I can force a change of ownership so I become the leasholder, even if I'm not already. Does you know if this is correct and how I would go about this?

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