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Rights of First Refusal

The Rights of First Refusal cannot be used to force a Landlord to sell his freehold interest in a property. It is a process whereby the Landlord must serve formal notices on his tenants informing them of his plans to sell and giving them reasonable time to consider the offer.

If the Landlord sells his interest without giving tenants notice then the tenants may be able to take action to force the new owner to sell to them at the price paid to the Landlord.

The Landlord could also face a conviction should the appropriate process not be carried out.

When Does this Apply?

  • If the premises in question form the whole or part of a building
  • If the premises contains at least two flats
  • When no more than 50% of the premises is used for non-residential use (eg shops or offices)
  • When more than 50% of the flats in the premises are held by qualifying tenants.

Any tenant is a qualifying tenant except for:

  • Those with protected shorthold tenancies
  • Business tenancies
  • Where a tenancy is granted with employment
  • Assured tenancy or assured agricultural occupancy
  • Where you are a tenant of three or more flats
  • Where you are a sub-tenant