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Collective Enfranchisement – Sub-Divided Flats Are Flats

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

The recent case of Aldford House Freehold Ltd v (1) Grosvenor (Mayfair) Ltd (2) K Group Holding Inc [2018] EWHC 3430 (Ch) considered the question of whether sub-divided flats are to be considered as flats for the purposes of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

In the case, the claimant was the nominee purchaser on behalf of qualifying tenants who wished collectively to enfranchise their building by purchasing the freehold.  The initial notice was served referring to 26 flats in the building.

The landlord contended that in fact there were 30 flats because some of the 26 flats had been sub-divided.  They went on to argue that the four additional flats each had qualifying tenants and that those tenants had not been identified in the initial notice.  As a result they claimed that the initial notice was invalid.

The claimant applied to the court for a declaration that it was entitled to acquire the freehold.

The Court found that there were 30 flats.  Each of the sub-divided flats was a separate flat let under a separate lease therefore the initial notice should have included those.

The claim was dismissed.

The importance of considering these issues is clear – this was an expensive and time consuming error on the part of the claimant and one that can be avoided as long as there is a clear and detailed summary of the premises obtained.

If you need any help with your Lease please contact our Specialist Team