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Section 21 Counter Notice from Freeholder when Buying your Freehold

22/09/2019
A section 21 counter notice is served by the freeholder on the leaseholder in response to the leaseholder's Section 13 Notice to buy the freehold. The section 21 notice has to be served at latest by the date stated in the leaseholder's notice and failing to do this could lead to the leaseholders applying to court to obtain a vesting order.

What's in a Section 21 Counter Notice?


    1
    Confirmation whether:
  • the landlord admits the participating tenants are entitled to purchase the freehold; or
  • the landlord does not admit the participating tenants are entitled to purchase the freehold and to specify why not; or
  • the landlord intends to redevelop the whole or a substantial part of the specified premises
    2
    If the participating tenants are entitled to purchase the freehold the counter notice must also confirm:
  • what proposals are accepted, if any; or
  • if the proposals are not accepted, such as the premium, in which case the counter notice must offer a counter proposal; or
  • if (in a case where any property specified in the initial notice under section 13(3)(a)(ii) is property falling within section 1(3)(b)) any such counter-proposal relates to the grant of rights or the disposal of any freehold interest in pursuance of section 1(4), specify the nature of those rights and the property in respect of which it is proposed; and
  • state which interests (if any) the nominee purchaser is to be required to acquire; and
  • states which rights (if any) the landlord wishes to keep.
    3
    The full address in England and Wales where notices may be served against the landlord;

    4
    The date of the Section 21 Counter Notice; and

    5
    The signatures of the landlord or their intermediary.


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What are the time constraints?

  • The freeholder must serve their Section 21 Counter Notice on or before the date stated in the Section 13 Notice.
  • If the counter notice rejects any of the terms of the initial notice, the leaseholders and freeholder have 2 months after the date stated in the counter notice to negotiate the terms and premium.
  • After the first 2 months, the leaseholder has 4 months to make an application to the Tribunal to determine the terms/premium of the purchase of freehold.
  • The leaseholder and freeholder have 4 months after the date they both agreed to the terms to complete the purchase of freehold. If there is a delay, neither party can make an application to court for the first 2 months after terms are agreed ('Appropriate Period'), however they should make an application for a court order in the 3rd month. You cannot make an application after 4 months.


What happens if the landlord fails to serve a counter notice?

div>Under the Trustees Act 1925: Part IV - Vesting Orders, in relation to the freeholder's obligation to send a counter notice, it states:

"...(vi)Where a trustee jointly or solely entitled to or possessed of any interest in land, or entitled to a contingent right therein, has been required, by or on behalf of a person entitled to require a conveyance of the land or interest or a release of the right, to convey the land or interest or to release the right, and has wilfully refused or neglected to convey the land or interest or release the right for twenty-eight days after the date of the requirement "

"...the court may make an order (in this Act called a vesting order) vesting the land or interest therein in any such person in any such manner and for any such estate or interest as the court may direct, or releasing or disposing of the contingent right to such person as the court may direct"

Where the landlord fails to serve a counter notice th leaseholders can make an application to court for a vesting order.

Do you need help with a vesting order to purchase your freehold?

We specialise in the purchase of freehold process with our specialist solicitors and RICS surveyors. We offer the complete service at competitive prices - call us to find out more on 0333 344 3234 or get in contact online using the button below.

  • Vesting order
  • Lease extension
  • Purchase of freehold
  • (if required) RICS valuers to calculate premium payable to the Freeholder

Call us for a quote today on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply) or click below to get a quote.

* Fixed Fee – Specialist Vesting Order Solicitor – National Coverage

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