Change Housing Act 1996 “Right of First Refusal”

Law Relating to This Matter

The Housing Act 1996 inserted into the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 Part 1 was intended to stop the transfer of substantial ownership in a building ("A Relevant Disposal") from taking place without the knowledge and interest of the tenants of the building.  It was further amended in the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.  The Act allows only separate non relevant disposals to different parties to occur without notification.  It is recognised as a badly drafted Act in which a huge loophole exists for unscrupulous parties to circumvent the law in order to achieve precisely what the Act was intended to avoid.

Example:

28 Finchley Road, Westcliff-on-Sea comprises 4 flats.  The owner occupiers with qualifying long leases were informed retrospectively that the freehold of the building had been transferred.  They should have received Section 5 Notices under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.  The Landlord avoided this by allowing Superior Leases to be granted to separate companies over each flat thereby creating a vehicle to avoid a "Relevant Disposal" in law.  However to the tenants it was a relevant disposal as all companies are owned by the same family group members.  The Landlord then sent the Section 5 Notices to the newly created Superior tenant companies who accepted that a sale of the freehold would occur.  The freehold was then purchased by another company in the family group.

The wording needs to change so that common interests cannot be separated to create a sham non relevant disposal to the disadvantage of occupying long leaseholders.  Counsel says no law has been broken!

John Lee  

Why is this idea important?

Law Relating to This Matter

The Housing Act 1996 inserted into the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987 Part 1 was intended to stop the transfer of substantial ownership in a building ("A Relevant Disposal") from taking place without the knowledge and interest of the tenants of the building.  It was further amended in the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002.  The Act allows only separate non relevant disposals to different parties to occur without notification.  It is recognised as a badly drafted Act in which a huge loophole exists for unscrupulous parties to circumvent the law in order to achieve precisely what the Act was intended to avoid.

Example:

28 Finchley Road, Westcliff-on-Sea comprises 4 flats.  The owner occupiers with qualifying long leases were informed retrospectively that the freehold of the building had been transferred.  They should have received Section 5 Notices under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1987.  The Landlord avoided this by allowing Superior Leases to be granted to separate companies over each flat thereby creating a vehicle to avoid a "Relevant Disposal" in law.  However to the tenants it was a relevant disposal as all companies are owned by the same family group members.  The Landlord then sent the Section 5 Notices to the newly created Superior tenant companies who accepted that a sale of the freehold would occur.  The freehold was then purchased by another company in the family group.

The wording needs to change so that common interests cannot be separated to create a sham non relevant disposal to the disadvantage of occupying long leaseholders.  Counsel says no law has been broken!

John Lee  

Bill of Human Rights

On the face of it, the Bill of Human Rights seemed such a good idea, but in practice it is often used to support the aims of perpetrators of crime.  For instance we hear of those imprisoned suing for damages if they were injured whilst carrying out the crime because, somehow,  it is "my human right and  I ought not to have been injured" .  Also religious freedom seems to be supported more for some faiths than others. 

Why is this idea important?

On the face of it, the Bill of Human Rights seemed such a good idea, but in practice it is often used to support the aims of perpetrators of crime.  For instance we hear of those imprisoned suing for damages if they were injured whilst carrying out the crime because, somehow,  it is "my human right and  I ought not to have been injured" .  Also religious freedom seems to be supported more for some faiths than others.