Overriding lease


I am a leaseholder in my property with only about 70 years to go on these lease.

In late 2023 the freeholder, upon my asking to extend my lease asked me to wait as she was doing up new agreements in the new year.

She just sent me an overriding lease, without any consultation and where it appears she has now granted herself to be the leaseholder of my flat.

This seems strange. Any thoughts on what the motives might be and beyond getting a solicitor involved - which I’ll do post haste - on what I should do?


Speak to a solicitor

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The motive will not be in your favour so get the legal advice quick

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Thanks for this. It’s hard to imagine a positive motive for a freeholder taking over your lease, particularly without any consultation, notice, reason.

The new freeholders are new (1 year in this business) and have overcharged, supplied me with incorrect information and one of the freeholders who has somehow granted herself right to taking over my lease is now asking for ground rent to her personally rather than what I used to pay to the previous property management company. She also told me her company wasn’t a property management company but this is how her business is described on companies house.

I’m up to date with any payments due but they’re a mish mash in a long thread about arbitrary subjects so it’s hard to keep track whereas previous property management companies I just set up a direct debit to.

They also got a new lock for the front door and would only grant each leaseholder 2, which I said was too few give people lose keys. After requesting a third I was charged £250 for a £12 key.

I also asked to increase the length of my leasehold which her (representing the free holding company) said was only possible via a solicitor which appears to be erroneous.

Anyhow it’s all Greek to me and I’ll engage a solicitor on Monday. But the whole thing seems dodgy and I’d just like to up the length of my lease (or her lease now!)! and sell and buy somewhere else.

It’s baffling how a freeholder can assign my lease to her. Obviously there’s a mechanism but either it’s crazy or the proper process wasn’t followed.

And rant. Sorry. It’s been upsetting.


I would have said " keep the key ,I will not pay that" You need to let a solicitor see your purchase agreement for the property

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Thanks. I’ve got some recommendations for solicitors so hopefully they can help.

I’m kinda of baffled how a freeholder can assign a lease to herself without any dialogue, notice, grievance, remedy etc.

It does seem to be technically possible but it seems insane and analogous to theft.

I suspect a solicitor will be able to sort this out easily given the number of errors and entire absence of process.

Thanks for the responses, it’s been a very anxious 24 hours and haven’t been able to sleep

Freeholds can be legitimately bought and sold. It doesnt affect the terms of your lease, but get some legal advice to understand the consequences. You can book a free call with the Leasehold Advisory Service.

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I’ll be getting a solicitor involved tomorrow.

I do have a question however - when I asked for an extension on my lease she said it had to be done via a solicitor and not to worry new leases would be coming out in January.

  1. She was incorrect that leasehold lengths can only be done via a solicitor. She conveyed this information under her property management company. This caused me to wait.

  2. I waited and then in January all I received was an ‘overriding lease’ between the company (she is one of two directors) and herself (as an individual).

Given she gave me the incorrect information about extending my lease and mislead me about new leases then sent the ‘overriding lease’ as a deed between herself and herself - this seems beyond a conflict of interest and (I’ve run a few business myself) contrary to the normal conduct of a business, no letter heads, all just random emails. I note that her previous company was struck off and this doesn’t surprise me given the absence of professionalism and in particular when it could mean I am now simply a long term renter and when the lease runs out the property goes to her.

I have documentation of my request to extend my lease length and her saying it isn’t possible without a solicitor and telling me not to worry as new leases were coming out in Jan. She never told me it would be an overriding lease where only she (as director of the property management company) and her (as an individual) were signees.

In the companies I have run this type of activity would get you in deep doo doo.

I’m happy to take this to a tribunal as a matter of principle but I’ve had no complaints, arrears, notices or anything and don’t know whether I’m speaking to a company or individual. This is not how to run a company and, as a matter of principle, I will try to ensure her deed between herself and herself without any due process means she gets struck off again.

Although you may in theory be able to do the conveyancing to extend the lease yourself, I wouldnt recommend this as it would be very easy to miss something or make a mistake, so I think the freeholder was basically correct.

It’s advisable for sure but not legally correct. As she was speaking on behalf of a property management company giving incorrect information is incompetence and subsequently changing the title of my lease without consultation is material.

Running a company based on a cursory ‘google search’ can hardly be called competent.

Anyhow have a solicitor now who thinks this is very suspect so I’ll leave it to the professionals.

Thanks for all your input

It would be interesting to know how this ends. Could you post on OR when you get it resolved.