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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.

 

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Daniel O'Doherty
Solicitor
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