How to Buy Your Freehold: An Introductory Guide
If you wish to buy your freehold then this article will explain the process and list the key terms you need. You may ask your landlord to sell you the freehold at any time and you may qualify for the right to buy it.
Landlords looking to sell the freehold will normally have to offer the leasehold flat owners a right of first refusal, which means the first chance to buy it.
Leasehold enfranchisement is the exercise of this right to buy the freehold. You will need the support of 50% of leaseholders to make the landlord sell you the property. The whole building must be bought, rather than just your flat, so you need this support and the cost of buying the freehold will be split between all the participants.
But why would you bother purchasing the freehold? What are the key benefits? Firstly you should have more control over the management of your building, plus you can give yourself a lease extension at zero premium and your flat will be more appealing to buyers if it comes with share of freehold.
Doesn’t this all involve a lot of work and hassle though? It is a process and the first step is to consult a specialist surveyor for valuation advice and to see whether your building qualifies for collective enfranchisement. You then need to determine how the costs will be split up between the participating tenants, for which you need a legally binding participation agreement. A Nominee Purchaser is the person designated to buy the property on the tenants’ behalf or, if there is a group of you, a Nominee Purchaser Company can be instituted for the same end.
You will then need to serve a Section 13 Claim Notice on the landlord, who will then appoint a valuer to inspect the property before serving a counter notice. The First Tier Tribunal decides on any disputes and contracts are signed. Any appeals can be taken to the County Court if one party doesn’t comply with its obligations. The new freehold owners may then extend their lease to 999 years.
This article provides an introductory guide to freehold purchase, but in the event you will require a solicitor to manage the process on your behalf and handle all the ensuing complications. In spite of any possible complexities, the prospect of buying the freehold is generally very beneficial, significant and exciting.