Q&As

A buyer is purchasing a leasehold flat, which is the ground floor of a building which also contains an upper flat. Each flat has a freehold title which is jointly owned by the two individual flat owners, but only the ground floor flat is noted on one of the freeholds. The upper flat lease is not noted on either freehold (and presumably is not registered either) and the lease is missing. It is proposed to amalgamate the two freeholds (as it is not appropriate to split the freehold horizontally in this way), but HM Land Registry appear reluctant to confirm that they will do this, albeit they will consider an AP1 application. Is this the correct way to proceed and should the buyer be concerned that the upper flat is not registered or noted?

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Published on LexisPSL on 06/03/2018

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A buyer is purchasing a leasehold flat, which is the ground floor of a building which also contains an upper flat. Each flat has a freehold title which is jointly owned by the two individual flat owners, but only the ground floor flat is noted on one of the freeholds. The upper flat lease is not noted on either freehold (and presumably is not registered either) and the lease is missing. It is proposed to amalgamate the two freeholds (as it is not appropriate to split the freehold horizontally in this way), but HM Land Registry appear reluctant to confirm that they will do this, albeit they will consider an AP1 application. Is this the correct way to proceed and should the buyer be concerned that the upper flat is not registered or noted?

There is an unusual state of affairs in this case. For whatever reason, the lower part of a building is the subject of one freehold estate and the upper part of it is the subject of another. Each is the subject of a separate registration at HM Land Registry. Understandably, it is proposed that the building has just the one freehold estate, with one title. As the same people are registered as proprietors, it has been possible to reach agreement on this. It makes much sense, the practical difficulties in there being two separate estates are clear. In the absence of a carefully set out system of covenants, the owner of the lease of one floor might have difficulty in requiring the owner of the freehold of the other floor to attend to matters relating to its fabric. While the present owners might have historically age reached a prag

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