In certain circumstances, long-leaseholders of flats have the right to buy the freehold of their property, known Collective Enfranchisement. Acquiring the freehold may add substantive value to the flat (given that you will own a share of the freehold, in addition to your own flat) and will make future dealings with the property much easier.
It is important to seek expert advice from the outset, as the procedure can be complex and requires an in-depth knowledge of the legislation governing Collective Enfranchisement, and the interpretation of the leases of the flats. It will also require a degree of cooperating between yourself and your fellow leaseholders throughout the acquisition process and beyond when it comes to managing the building and common areas.
How Does Collective Enfranchisement Work?
The procedure is started by serving a statutory notice under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. The contents of the notice are prescribed and it is imperative to check that all the correct details are contained in the notice and are accurate.
It is also advised to gain the advice of a surveyor from the outset of the matter, to ensure that you have an accurate view of the value of the freehold interest so that you can budget accordingly.
Generally speaking, you will not only be liable for your own costs but also those of your freeholder.
If the terms of the acquisition fail to be agreed within certain time limits, then recourse can be made to a Tribunal, who will decide any outstanding matters in dispute.
Once the terms of the acquisition are agreed then the parties will enter into the transfer and the leaseholders would have exercised their rights to collectively enfranchise.
We also have experience in dealing with enfranchisement claims on behalf of the freeholder and can ensure that a fair capital sum is agreed in respect of the freehold interest.
Do You Need Help Buying the Freehold of a Flat?
If you are considering collectively enfranchising the freehold of your property, then Giles Wilson’s solicitors will be able to advise you on your rights and entitlements.
Alternatively, learn about our Leasehold Enfranchisement services here on our website.