We are residential leasehold specialists, and our expertise is recognised by the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP).
Contact our leasehold team on 01225 462871, or complete the Contact Form at the foot of this page.
What is the right of first refusal?
If your landlord decides to sell, by law they may first offer the deal to the flat owners. This is known as the right of first refusal. Failing to offer the deal to them means the leaseholders may have the right to force the buyer to transfer the freehold to them. And what’s more, the freeholder can be prosecuted – so it’s treated very seriously.
“Thank you for your diligence and ready accessibility; we really appreciated that.” MA
Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
The right of first refusal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 (“the Act”) applies to the disposal of any property (not just a purpose-built block of flats):
- containing at least 2 flats held by qualifying tenants; and
- where qualifying tenants hold more than 50% of the flats in the property.
If you are the owner of a leasehold flat you are a qualifying tenant.
Mixed use properties
Where the property being sold comprises a mix of residential flats and business tenants such as offices and shops:
- the qualifying tenants (but not the business tenants) have the right of first refusal, but only if
- 50% or more of the internal floor area (excluding common areas such as staircases, landings etc) is in residential use.
Some properties are exempt from the right of first refusal. These include:
- properties held by landlords residing in the property; and
- housing authority landlords.
Right of first refusal solicitors
The right of first refusal begins with the landlord sending a formal offer notice to the flat owners under Section 5 of the Act. The leaseholders must reach a decision quickly. Acceptance of the offer requires a majority of qualifying tenants to work together. And there is a strict timescale to work to – usually 2 months.
“I would like to thank you for your expertise and speed [in the recent matter].” HT
We will guide you through the whole process, from considering your options through to accepting an offer. Thereafter, we will deal with the legal process of the transfer.