At AQ Archers, we have helped many leaseholders of flats to purchase their freehold, and as a result, to have a greater say over their own property. If this is done in conjunction with the other owners of flats in the same building, this is known as enfranchisement. The main reason to purchase a freehold is to enable the leaseholders within the building to reduce the ground rent to a ‘peppercorn’ without requiring the approval of a third party. And importantly, it provides much greater control over the maintenance and management of the building.
As a London based property Solicitors, we have considerable experience of handling leasehold matters including freehold purchases and collective enfranchisement.
What is leasehold/collective enfranchisement?
Under the Leasehold Reform Housing & Urban Development Act 1993, collective enfranchisement enables several owners of leasehold flats within a building to seek to collectively take over the freehold from the landlord.
This arrangement enables flat owners to take more control over the management of the building and land, meaning ground rent and service charges will no longer be payable to an external owner. This does, however, mean that a collective management entity will need to be set up by the freeholders to manage the property.
Collective enfranchisement means lease extension is more straightforward as the owners themselves can grant this on their own behalf, and flats under this arrangement will be more attractive to buyers.
Can I buy the freehold of my property?
Under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, if eligible, leaseholders can buy the freehold of their house. To be eligible, the property owner must have held a long-term lease (over 21 years), for at least two years. There is no need to have resided in the property; ownership is sufficient.
If the freeholder disputes your entitlement, the matter can be referred to the County Court for consideration, or to the First Tier Tribunal if the price cannot be agreed. In terms of costs, you may have to pay for a valuation of the property, professional costs (including those of the current freeholder), stamp duty, land registry fees, and search fees.
Why use AQ Archers to manage your leasehold enfranchisement?
Being based in London, where most buildings are lease owned, we have considerable experience of the legal practicalities of purchasing freeholds and collective enfranchisement.
Our team understands the considerable benefits which can be realised by becoming a freeholder and will work hard to ensure your application is successful, and any challenges or objections are overcome. We are well versed in the process and can negotiate on your behalf with the current freeholder.
AQ Archers, based in London, can assist you with all aspects of obtaining ILR based on long residence for you and your family. To speak to one of our consultants, please call 020 8521 2605.