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Right of First Refusal under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 (“the Act”)

This Act provides that a Freeholder (the Landlord) who wishes to sell its freehold interest in a residential block, containing two or more flats, must first serve a notice on the leaseholders giving them the opportunity to buy the freehold interest on the terms set out in the notice, known as the Right of First Refusal.

We have acted for landlords and tenant clients over the years, in either serving notice for the landlord on the tenants with a view to disposing of the freehold interest and also for tenants, where notice has been received and more than 50% of the qualifying tenants want to buy the freehold. In such instances they can collectively serve a counter notice accepting the landlord’s offer and set up a nominee purchaser to acquire the freehold.

Whilst the Act has been criticised over the years for poor drafting, failure to correctly comply with its provisions is a criminal offence which can, currently, be fined up to £5,000.00. Further, a third party purchaser may also be required, on application to the court by the tenants to transfer the freehold interest acquired from the landlord to the tenants on the same terms.

Our team will help you navigate through all the stages in compliance with the Act and to deal with any tricky issues which arise along the way.

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