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Leasehold enfranchisement solicitors

Our specialist solicitors have helped hundreds of people purchase the freehold of their home whether it be a house or flat. We can assist individual home owners as well as groups of flat owners (collective enfranchisement). With a house you are buying the freehold and with a flat you are buying a share of the freehold. In order to be able to purchase the freehold in either scenario there are qualifying criteria that need to be met including, but not limited to:

  • It must be a long lease, originally for a term of more than 21 years or with a right to renew
  • You must be the leaseholder at the time of the application
  • You need to have lived there for a minimum of 2 years

The original legislation regarding this was first defined in 1967 and it has been amended and extended several times. In 2019, it was hoped it would be reformed further to help 4 million people currently with leasehold properties purchase the freehold if they wanted. It was acknowledged that the current legislation can be complex to follow and difficult to negotiate. It has not been reformed further and it is vital that if you would like to consider the purchase of the freehold to your property or a lease extension you call our expert solicitors on 01616 966 229 who can assist.

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What is enfranchisement leasehold?

Leasehold enfranchisement is the legal term for the process of buying the freehold of your property (or a share of freehold with flats). You will need to meet the eligibility criteria and agree a price with the freeholder to purchase the freehold (or share).

What is collective enfranchisement?

Collective enfranchisement is the process of joining with other leasehold flat owners to together purchase the freehold of the property from the freeholder. All applicants must meet the eligibility requirements to apply for collective enfranchisement.

Collective leasehold enfranchisement

If you are in a collective of flats you will need at least 50% of the qualifying tenants to agree for the purchase of the freehold to be an option. To assist with this we can draw up a participation agreement.

If a price cannot be negotiated you would need to formally apply to the first-tier tribunal to make a decision regarding the price, there are fixed fees for the application and hearing costs. Our enfranchisement solicitors can assist you with making this application for your right to buy.

Purchasing freehold

There are two ways to purchase the freehold, formally or informally. Informal purchase of the freehold involves making an offer. It is possible for leaseholders to informally approach the freeholder to try and acquire the freehold of their house by agreement. However, with an informal approach a solicitor can help you purchase freehold in a number of ways:

  • Help you assess if you are eligible to buy the freehold
  • Making an approach to the owner of  freehold and negotiating a price on your behalf - if you have legal representation your negotiations may be smoother
  • We can help value to freehold to ensure your offer is realistic and you pay a fair price

How to purchase freehold of a house

Whilst most leasehold properties are flats, some houses are also leasehold. The process of purchasing the freehold of a house is similar to that of a flat and can sometimes be complex and long. Experienced freehold solicitors can help you through this.

Reasons to purchase property freehold

There are numerous reasons why leaseholders want to purchase the freehold of a property. They may want greater control over the maintenance of the property and control over costs. Costs for works can often be carried out much more cost effectively by the freeholder than a management company. It removes the need to pay annual ground rent. The other principal reason is that it may increase the value of your property and make the sale process smoother in the future.

Should I buy freehold or leasehold?

There is no simple answer to whether you should buy a freehold or leasehold property, as this will depend on the individual home and circumstances involved. You should always consult an experienced solicitor before purchasing any property.

Some leases may contain terms or clauses that could cause you issues in the future, such as a short term remaining, ground rent increases, limits on improvement works, or other factors that could inhibit the resale if you ever wish to move. However, some leasehold properties cause no such problems and can be more affordable than similar freehold homes. Speak to an expert in leasehold conveyancing if you are considering a leasehold property so that you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you purchase the freehold or extend your lease please call our experienced freehold purchase solicitors on 01616 966 229 or request more information via our online enquiry form.

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4.5 score on Trustpilot Based on count 1387

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