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Pagw

Buying Leasehold Flat With A Lazy Landlord

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Hi, I'm in the process of buying a leasehold flat - it's my first purchase. I had an offer accepted 3 months ago, but the process is being held up by the freeholder and manager (same person) who is not responding to queries. They sent some responses a month ago, but my solicitor says they were not detailed enough and he has not responded to more enquiries since then. The current landlord took control about 2 years ago. My solicitor says that according to the seller's solicitor, the freeholder doesn't seem to know the details of the building.

Everything else about the property is nice, but this makes me concerned that it could be difficult to sell the place later if the freeholder does not get more organised. Also there seems to be a risk that they will not take care of maintaining the building.

There has been one flat sale in the block since this person took over - it took about 3 months from listing to completion. So it is not impossible to get a sale through - but I don't know how stringent that buyer was with getting information from the landlord. The property is in good shape at the moment, but being fairly new it probably hasn't required much maintenance so far, and problems could develop over time.

Being inexperienced, I don't know how serious a problem this is. Has anyone else been in a similar position of buying a fairly new flat but with a lazy/busy landlord? If you were in my position, would you feel like pulling out of the purchase? What proportion of blocks of flats have similar problems? If the landlord was not doing his job, a solution could be forming a "Right to Manage" company to take over - has anyone done this and how painful a process is it (this block has 15 flats)?

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