Freehold Purchase (Leasehold Enfranchisement) Solicitors in Manchester and London
If you own a leasehold property and wish to buy the freehold, our expert freehold purchase solicitors can assist you through our leasehold enfranchisement service. Owning the freehold of your house can greatly increase the value, help with selling or getting a mortgage.
Leasehold Title Restrictions
Owning a leasehold title means that you own the property on the terms set out in your lease. In addition to paying a ground rent, a leasehold title can impose restrictions on the use of your property, for example consent may be required for building extensions and transferring the property. Moreover, a lease with a term of less than 125 years may impact on the value of your property and its saleability and missing freeholders can also cause a disruption to the sale of your property altogether. Therefore, buying the freehold can offer you freedom from your freeholder and security.
Statutory Leasehold Enfranchisement
Under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, most leasehold house owners in England and Wales, have the statutory right to buy the freehold title to their lease, effectively buying their landlord’s interest outright. The process of buying the freehold is known as “leasehold enfranchisement”.
The Qualifying Criteria
- The building must be a house
- The lease must be a long lease, of over 21 years
- The tenant must have been the registered proprietor of the lease for at least 2 years.
Buying the Freehold Process
It is best not to delay the purchase of your freehold.
To acquire the freehold a typical enfranchisement process would entail:
- Checking your eligibility to make a leasehold enfranchisement claim
- Preparing detailed instructions for a valuer
- Preparing and serving the section 5 Notice of Claim
- Dealing with the freeholder’s counterclaim
- Assisting with negotiations on price
- Dealing with the transfer deed terms and covenants
- Registration at Land Registry
Our lease enfranchisement solicitors have the specialist knowledge and know-how of each step in the process of a residential freehold purchase in order to provide you with peace of mind and ensure the process progresses smoothly and efficiently whilst protecting your interests.
Buying the Freehold Guide
Our free leasehold enfranchisement guide for houses covers:
- The routes available to buying the freehold – voluntary or statutory
- Leasehold enfranchisement process flow chart
- The steps taken in the statutory leasehold enfranchisement process
- The qualifying criteria for leasehold enfranchisement
- What happens to ancillary land and buildings
- The freehold purchase price and valuation
- How enfranchisement disputes are dealt with and absent freeholders
- How third parties are dealt with
- Withdrawing the Section 5 Notice of Claim
- Extending a house lease option
- The advantages of buying the freehold
Assigning the benefit of the Section 5 Notice
If you are thinking of buying a house with a short lease, you should consider asking the current owner to exercise their right to purchase the freehold or you will have to wait 2 years to exercise the right yourself.
It is advisable to have a lease term of 125 years or more on a house lease. However, the minimum lease term requirements for mortgage lenders can be found in the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook.
How Our Statutory Lease Enfranchisement Solicitors in Manchester & London Can Help
The process of purchasing the freehold title to a property is not the same as buying a house. A leaseholder must meet certain criteria for statutory leasehold enfranchisement rights to come into effect and the process can be complicated. Therefore, specialist legal advice is recommended.
We are members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners and as such our ALEP accredited leasehold enfranchisement solicitors have vast experience of dealing with the complex nuances of the issues that can arise during a freehold purchase.
As specialist leasehold solicitors, our team can also advise on:
- Collective Enfranchisement for Flat Owners – Buying the Share of the Freehold in Blocks of Flats
- Statutory Lease Extensions for Flats
- Right to Manage Claims
- Right of First Refusal
- Advice & Representation for Freeholders on their Duties
- Service Charge Disputes
- Commercial Leases – New Leases and Lease Assignments
- Statutory Commercial Lease Renewals
- Buying a Residential Property – Conveyancing
- Selling a Residential Property – Conveyancing
- Residents Associations
Leasehold Enfranchisement Price & Service Transparency
At Monarch Solicitors we provide highly competitive legal fees for clients wishing to buy their freehold. We will provide you with a breakdown of the routine legal costs for a simple freehold purchase from the outset so that you can budget the statutory enfranchisement cost.
We have a 3 stage Process for uncontested statutory freehold purchases:
Stage 1 – Eligibility checks and RICS valuation for the price payable
Stage 2 – Drafting and serving the Section 5 Notice of Claim
Stage 3 – Dealing with the freehold conveyancing and registration at Land Registry
It is difficult to estimate the true value for the cost of the freehold purchase price, however a freehold purchase price calculator can be found at Money Saving Expert which is a government funded body that provides independent advice for residential leaseholders.
As well as the freehold purchase price you will have to pay the landlords reasonable costs and valuation fees. Stamp Duty may be payable if the purchase price is over a certain threshold. Therefore, you should budget for the costs involved in buying the freehold.
More information about leasehold property can be found at the government website GOV.UK – Buying the Freehold.
Contact Our Freehold Enfranchisement Solicitors
We would like to discuss your lease enfranchisement requirements directly to find out how we can help.
Please contact our leasehold house enfranchisement team by sending an email to us at [email protected] and one of our solicitors shall call you back.
Alternatively, please call our leasehold house enfranchisement solicitors on 0330 127 8888 for a free no obligation discussion.
Call us for a free initial consultation
Leaseholders have a legal right under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 to buy the freehold of their house if they meet certain criteria. Alternatively, it is possible to negotiate with the freeholder informally to buy the freehold by agreement.
It depends on a number of factors including the rateable values of the house at different dates, the ground rent, the number of years left on the lease and the value of the house. You may be required to obtain the rateable value of the house in 1965 (or the first day of the lease, if later) and in 1990. These rateable values will tell your chartered surveyor whether to use the Original Valuation Basis or the Special Valuation Basis. Buying the freehold can be a difficult process.
If you are proceeding through the statutory process, you can expect the process to take 6-9 months on average. Things can take place faster or slower depending on the cooperation of both parties. The freeholder has 60 days to respond with their counternotice after we send out our s.5 notice to start the process.
The freeholder will generally respond towards the end of these 60 days as they spend this time instructing their own solicitors and surveyors accordingly. Once the counternotice comes back, things can move faster or slower depending on the amount of negotiations required.
The voluntary process can be generally faster as a rule of thumb, however this again requires amicable cooperation between all parties to move things forward.
Leaseholders are obliged to pay for the freeholder’s reasonable costs as part of the statutory process. There is generally no fixed amount as this will depend on the amount of required work from the freeholder’s solicitors. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect the freeholder’s costs to be in the region of £1,000 to 2,500. As per the statutory regulations, these costs must be reasonable.
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