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Lease terminates before headlease

Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby dls » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:29 pm

If this is a case of professional negligence, which is a clear possibility, then the OP should get direct and independent professional advice. If the case is worth pursuing, it will be taken up. If nobody is willing to take it up on a no win no fee basis, then that is evidence that it should not be pursued.
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby theycantdothat » Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:41 pm

Is anyone going to be willing to take this matter on on a no win no fee basis given the amount involved?
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby dls » Tue Mar 22, 2016 2:58 pm

This is likely to be a very technical and potentially complex claim. I do not think it a good choice for a litigant in person.
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby atticus » Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:10 pm

I agree. But is it too small a claim for a solicitor to want to take on under a CFA?
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby victoriana » Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:40 pm

It would be preferable for a solicitor to handle the case rather than dealing with it directly.

I can understand why the headlease in part my friend had acquired had no commercial value to anyone outside because of the risks attached but surely it had value to the original headtenant in whose interest it was to reclaim it. She never asked for the headlease but that is what she had acquired and had to give back due to the risks. How can the loss of this value be quantified?

It was also established earlier in this thread that there would have been no real loss from the profits of the management fee which the headtenant was entitled to (although I have no idea what those profits were). But would my friend have lost out on a portion of hefty annual subscriptions paid for the use of a small carpark of about 20 spaces annexed to the building and under the control of the headtenant? Perhaps this could be a way of increasing the loss to qualify for a CFA?
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby theycantdothat » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:43 am

victoriana wrote:It would be preferable for a solicitor to handle the case rather than dealing with it directly.


Whether your friend proceeds as a litigant in person has to depend on how confident she is that she grasps the legal issues. I agree with dls that it is all very technical, even if not necessarily complex. It has to be doubted that the matter will be allocated to the small claims track, which means there will costs issues if your friend loses. A possible way forward if the solicitors do not respond with an offer in response to a formal letter requesting compensation and a CFA cannot be negotiated, is to go directly to counsel for an opinion. If unfavourable, she should drop the matter. If favourable, it may persuade the solicitors to make an offer and in the absence of an offer provide a guide for use in proceedings. It may be the case that the solicitors will take the view that your friend has to "litigate to negotiate" and that the issue of proceedings will produce an offer. No sensible firm wants to lose a negligence case, especially one where even if they win they are not going to look good.

victoriana wrote:I can understand why the headlease in part my friend had acquired had no commercial value to anyone outside because of the risks attached but surely it had value to the original headtenant in whose interest it was to reclaim it. She never asked for the headlease but that is what she had acquired and had to give back due to the risks. How can the loss of this value be quantified?


I think that has to be a non-starter. I do not think there can be any doubt that a lease of part where the rent and obligations have not been legally apportioned is of less value than an underlease.

victoriana wrote:It was also established earlier in this thread that there would have been no real loss from the profits of the management fee which the headtenant was entitled to (although I have no idea what those profits were). But would my friend have lost out on a portion of hefty annual subscriptions paid for the use of a small carpark of about 20 spaces annexed to the building and under the control of the headtenant? Perhaps this could be a way of increasing the loss to qualify for a CFA?


That is also a non-starter. If any rent is due it will it is payable by the intermediate landlord. Given the circumstances and that the problem has been resolved, a claim against the intermediate landlord is going to be tricky. Take the view that your friend never expected to be paid any rent and therefore there has been no loss.

Keep thing simple and concentrate on the following: The solicitors acting on the purchaser failed to notice a defect in the title; the defect had to be corrected before the property could be sold; your friend is entitled to be reimbursed the expense incurred in correcting the defect.
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby atticus » Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:57 am

and I have previously asked what that expense amounts to. The lower the value of the claim, the harder it will be to find a solicitor willing to take it on, whether on a CFA or privately paid terms.
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby theycantdothat » Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:03 pm

atticus wrote:and I have previously asked what that expense amounts to. The lower the value of the claim, the harder it will be to find a solicitor willing to take it on, whether on a CFA or privately paid terms.


I think we were told somewhere, but I could be wrong. There are too many pages to the thread to search to check. Perhaps victoriana can confirm the figure for us.
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby victoriana » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:39 am

Her additions costs were around £5000.

As it is fairly certain that she owned a share of the headlease of the block but did not have an underlease on the apartment, did she actually own the apartment?
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Re: Lease terminates before headlease

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:50 pm

victoriana wrote:Her additions costs were around £5000.


That was around what I recalled it to be. I think it is too low to involve a solcitor as you can soon run that amount up without making significant progress.

I think there is enough for you in this thread to put your friend's position to the senior or managing partner. Have you written in the terms I suggested above on 21st March ?

victoriana wrote:As it is fairly certain that she owned a share of the headlease of the block but did not have an underlease on the apartment, did she actually own the apartment?


Yes, in the sense that she owned an interest in the flat and that all land ownership is about owning interests. But the question is not relevant to a claim against the solicitors. The position was corrected and the only basis for a claim is the expense for putting it right.
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