Although most homes owned as leaseholds are flats, houses may also be held on leases and can be subject to individual enfranchisements arranged by a residential conveyancing solicitor, such as George Ide LLP.
If all the people living in a block of flats wish to take control of their property they can buy out the freeholder in a procedure known as collective enfranchisement and similar rights are available to single owners of leases.
In order to qualify to seek an individual enfranchisement, the lessee must have a remaining lease of more than 21 years and have been the leaseholder for at least two years.
The first step to buying the freehold can be informal and simply a matter of negotiation with the landlord to make an agreement, but, more usually, a procedure set out in the Leasehold Reform Act will be followed to ensure both the interests of both owner and leaseholder are protected.
Wherever the house is situated, in Chichester, Bognor Regis or elsewhere, it will have to be valued to determine a suitable price for the leaseholder to pay and this is governed by the conditions of the original lease yet also linked to the property's market value. If a figure cannot be agreed, the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal will be asked to decide on one.
Because the law regarding individual enfranchisements is quite specific and once it has begun the leaseholder will be liable to pay the freeholder's legal and other expenses, it is important for the lessee to take professional advice from a property lawyer at the earliest opportunity.
George Ide's residential conveyancing department has a team of experts with experience in dealing with all aspects of leasehold property – buying, selling, extending leases and both collective and individual enfranchisements.
For more information and guidance on costs for individual enfranchisements, contact George Ide LLP today. Either call us at our Chichester or Bognor offices or email one of our partners shown on this page.