on your side

Expert legal help to buy your freehold

Under the law, many residential property leaseholders have the right to compel their landlord, their building’s primary owner, to sell them the freehold.

If you live in a block of flats, you and your fellow flat-owners can group together and buy out the freeholder through a process known as collective enfranchisement; if you are a leasehold house-owner you have a similar right to buy your home’s freehold from the current owner who, because they own the land your house stands on, is effectively your landlord.

What is collective enfranchisement?

Collective enfranchisement gives property ownership to a group of lessees, giving them the collective right to control the management and maintenance of their building as a whole.

To be eligible, leasehold flat owners must meet certain criteria and it is advisable for each participant to be well-prepared in advance, with adequate funding at the ready, to avoid unnecessary delay as your case progresses.

Whilst your collective rights as leaseholders are clear, the legal process is necessarily detailed and can be complex, especially when multiple interested parties are involved, and in most cases there will be a requirement to set up a Rights to Enfranchise company as the legal entity to administer your ownership. Our specialist commercial property lawyers are experienced in this field and will handle your case with the utmost care and personal attention.

Without up-to-date and relevant professional expertise and an in-depth knowledge of property law, many collective enfranchisement proposals fail, so it is essential to have experienced solicitors on your side, safeguarding your interests throughout the process and protecting your home and your property assets.

What is individual enfranchisement?

Just as a group of leasehold flat owners may have a collective right to own their building and the land on which it stands, if as a leasehold house owner you want to own your property outright, you can apply to buy your home’s freehold.

In some cases, your first step will be informal: if your landlord is willing, it may simply be a matter of negotiating terms and coming to a legally-binding agreement.

More usually, you will need to follow a standard procedure set down in law that protects the interests both of the original freehold owner and of the property leaseholder. In order to qualify, you must have more than 21 years remaining on your lease and have been the leaseholder for at least two years.

A professional property valuer will determine how much your freehold will cost; if a figure cannot be agreed, the price will be decided by a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

Where do I start?

If you are considering pursuing collective or individual enfranchisement, speak to us first.

Leasehold law governing enfranchisement is very specific and triggering the official process brings immediate cost obligations, so it is important to consult a professional property lawyer at the earliest opportunity in order to understand the full implications of your position before taking any action.

As expert residential conveyancing specialists, we have many years’ experience dealing with all manner of legal issues relating to freehold and leasehold property ownership. Our friendly team can offer knowledgeable and reliable advice and second-to-none service that focusses on your specific needs and individual circumstance.

Our residential and commercial property law professionals will ensure your enfranchisement action has the greatest chance of success and, because we know the value of clear communication, we will use plain English to keep you up-to-date with how your case is progressing throughout the process.

For more information and guidance on how much your collective or individual enfranchisement might cost, call us on 01243 786668, email the property team at info@georgeide.co.uk or contact us directly using the details shown.


George Ide LLP. We’re on your side