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Right of first refusal

If a landlord wants to dispose of the freehold or grant a lease in a building, and that building comprises residential leaseholders and certain tenants of flats, the landlord might be obligated to offer the freehold or lease to the leaseholders and occupants first.

A failure to comply by the landlord is a criminal offence, and there are various civil remedies available to leaseholders and tenants who are not given the right of first refusal.

What are the benefits of selling or purchasing a superior interest in the building?

Benefits for a landlord:  

  • Compliance with legal requirements ensures avoidance of criminal and civil action
  • Selling to leaseholders and tenants is likely to be an easier way of selling because the buyer does not need to be located

Benefits for a leaseholder or tenant:

  • Obtain greater control within the building
  • Means of overcoming issues with the existing freehold and any managing agents
  • Extend and, if necessary, amend the leases of those participating to the maximum 999 years with no ground rent and for no premium
  • Increase the marketability of the participating leaseholders’ flats which would be sold with a share of freehold
  • Take over the repairs and management of the building
  • Have total control of the service and administration charges levied
  • Assume any development rights over the building

You may be a landlord of a building containing residential flats, and want to sell the freehold or grant a lease. You may have been offered the prospect of purchasing the freehold or a head lease as a tenant. Or, you may be a long-term residential leaseholder – we deal with everyone! So, do not hesitate to contact us to talk to our expert in right of first refusal, Daniel O'Doherty.


Team members

Adam Davis
Crystal Palace, Raynes Park
Daniel O'Doherty
Crystal Palace
Neelam Trikha
Crystal Palace

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