We receive approaches regarding flat owners buying the freehold regularly, however, not all decide to progress down the path.
Buying your freehold is ideal if the lessees wish to have control of their building.
This may be because:
- You don't agree with your landlord or their managing agents
- You don't care for the approach to maintenance of the building You are concerned the freeholder has plans to develop the site/block further
- You want to have control over your home and its immediate environment
- There are enough leaseholders who want lease extensions that you feel this would be a valid way forward
All are good reasons, but you can take control of your building via a Right to Manage claim, which means that you do not own the freehold but that you take over the control of the management of the building. For advice on this speak to our residential block management department.
If your sole purpose is to extend the lengths of your lease(s), you may also find that a group lease extension claim may be a more cost-effective method of moving forward. As opposed to buying the freehold, you will be less likely to have to compensate the landlord for non-participating units and possibly for development compensation, etc.
Owning your freehold can be extremely satisfying. However, we suggest staying realistic of the time frame as the process involves a number of people participating and also about how easy it is to own and run a freehold with co-lessees. You will require both specialist legal and valuation advice.
For any specialist advice, please contact a member of our team.
For more general questions, here are a few of our most frequently asked questions.
Q: How can I buy the freehold of my building?
A: Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, leaseholders are legally entitled to act together in buying their building’s freehold if they meet specific criteria.
Q: Do we qualify for collective enfranchisement of flats?
A: To qualify, the building must:
- Have at least two flats
- If larger than two flats, two-thirds of the flats must be owned by qualifying tenants
- Have less than 25% internal floor area used for non-residential purposes (including common parts)
Some properties will not have any rights of lease extension or collective enfranchisement.
- Buildings in a cathedral precinct
- Properties of National Trust
- There is any track of railway included in the freehold, including a bridge, tunnel or wall to a railway track
- Crown properties
- You have a shared ownership lease of which you do not yet own 100%
For more exceptions or to check that you qualify, please contact a member of our team.
Q: How easy is it to purchase my home's freehold?
A: Probably easier than you think. Leasehold property owners may find themselves in a dispute with their freeholders, which can be overcome by simply buying the freehold. There are eight steps you can take to purchase your freehold, which are outlined here.