Right of First Refusal

I own a freehold and I want to sell it

Generally speaking, if you own a freehold and you want to dispose of it (i.e. sell it) then you will need to do so in accordance with the provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and the ‘Right of First Refusal’ procedures. These state that in the majority of circumstances you cannot sell the freehold without first offering it to the leaseholders in the block.

There are two ways that you can sell the freehold;

  1. By private sale (i.e. selling either with or without using an estate agent); or

  2. By sale at auction.

Whichever way you choose, you will need to follow certain procedures.

This area of law is complex and specialist advice should always be taken before you proceed.

What happens if I fail to comply with the procedures?

If you sell the freehold to someone else without giving the leaseholders the opportunity to acquire if first, or you sell it to someone else on better terms than you offered it to the leaseholders then you commit a criminal offence which is punishable by a level fine 5 (currently a maximum £5,000).

The leaseholders also have to be notified of the new purchaser and the terms on which he/she acquired the freehold.  Failure to do this is a criminal offence punishable by a level 4 fine (currently a maximum of £2,500).

I am a leaseholder and I have received a Right of First Refusal Notice, what does this mean and what do I do?

This Notice is an important legal document and you should take legal advice without delay as this matter is very time-sensitive.  The Notice means that your freeholder is intending to sell the freehold and, in accordance with the law, he must offer it to the leaseholders first.

You will need to contact the other leaseholders in your block to see if they would be interested in purchasing the freehold.  You will need more than 50% of you to join in otherwise you are unable to proceed.  You must respond by the deadline given in the Notice and, if you fail to do so, then the freeholder is able to dispose of the freehold to someone else.

What location/areas do we cover?

The majority of our work covers the south coast but we also carry out work for leaseholders and freeholders across the country. We deal with small blocks of 2 flats up to blocks containing 30+ flats.

Who do we act for?

At Biscoes we are able to act for either the leaseholder or the freeholder; but not both parties in the same transaction.

Why choose us?

At Biscoes we specialise in right of first refusal transactions and our friendly solicitors are able to guide you through this process. Samantha has a wealth of experience in this area. We are listed in the directory of LEASE. We can deal with your matter should you need to make an application to the County Court of the First-tier Tribunal.

If you are a leaseholder or a freeholder and wish to discuss the Right of First Refusal then please do not hesitate to contact Samantha Davies on 02392 660261 to discuss your situation and requirements.