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Buying freehold.


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I have a studio in leasehold building of 5 flats, converted building with shop below on two floors , ground and basement.

One of the leaseholders wants to buy the freehold because he does not like our management company.

My question is can the current freeholder sell the freehold to this leaseholder without telling us?

The current leaseholder is ex solicitor who bought the freehold without our knowledge .

I am worried .

Help appreciated.

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I'm not so sure your situation is as straight forward as mine was. Mine is a purpose built block of 6 flats.

I ignored the opportunity when the ex freeholder served notice that the freehold was to be bought by another.

By law I / we had to be given opportunity to buy it at the negotiated selling price as the incoming new owners were buying for. I don't know when this law came about.

So for you there are a couple of things to check. Is there / was there a legal requirement for you to be informed and so given opportunity to purchase both then and now.

I have enquired recently about buying the freehold, for resale / remortgage reasons. There is an online calculator available for us to understand values should we force a sale to us.

The big but is that there is a push to change legislation. As many naive buyers find themselves effectively trapped by decreasing value / unmortgageable properties. As far as I understand the aim is to make lease extensions or purchases easier and fairer, whatever that might mean.

One aim is to allow free or cheap lease extensions, as often might be desired.

An issue with a sale is that for mortgage companies they want a responsible body that will ensure upkeep of their risk.

Till I understand where legislation might go I've decided to hang loose and see.


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I would like to wait too to see any new legislation but the said leaseholder has already approached the freeholder.

I mistakenly thought the freeholder has to notify leaseholders of the impending sale but what do I know.

I can’t see anything in the lease to say the freeholder has to tell us first or offer the freehold to us.

The lease was written badly by a solicitor with mistakes which can’t be rectified without spending lot of money .

I am worried because the leaseholder who wants to buy the freehold is not a good landlord himself , he has no management experience ,does not answer emails , his aim is to rip us off , so I am worried.

I will never buy another leasehold property , nothing but a permanent headache.

we probably won’t know if the leasehold is sold till it’s done.





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Normally if a freeholder want to sell the freehold he must give all the leaseholders the right of first refusal.(RFR)

However,  for this to apply the building must:

  1. Contain at least two flats
  2. More than 50% of the flats in the building must be owned by “qualifying tenants”
  3. No more than 50% of the building to be in non–residential use, e.g. shops or offices

So if the RFR doesnt apply because of the above I guess the freeholder can sell it to whoever he wants.  

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We recently received a Notice giving us the Right Of First Refusal.  I looked into the implications of this and consider that you will find the Leasehold Advisory Service very useful. ---https://www.lease-advice.org

Although the article was archived I also found Martyn Lewis article very informative

A lot has been muted in Government about changing leasehold properties but I think it will be a long time before they actually have the time to put anything through Parliament.

I hope that this helps and good luck


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