At the last estimate, there were over 4.2 million leasehold properties in the UK, with flats accounting for over two-thirds of this. But how do you know it’s the right time for you and other leaseholders in your building to buy the freehold of the building? We let you in on some of the signs when collective enfranchisement could be a good idea…
Your leasehold is less than 80 years old
Around half of leasehold properties are on leases of 80 years or less, signalling a potential upturn in leasehold extensions and freehold purchases. There are also ongoing plans to implement a reform to the current leasehold system. The government is pushing for ‘fairer and more transparent’ costs for freeholders.
Most of the other people in the building want to buy the freehold too
When a group of leaseholders wish to buy the freehold of their building, this is called collective enfranchisement. At least two-thirds of the leaseholders in the building must qualify to buy the freehold. To be eligible to collectively purchase the freehold of the building, all qualifying leaseholders must have a lease longer than 21 years when it was first granted. Fortunately, many leases are usually for 99 years or 125 years.
You and the other leaseholders think you could do a better job running the building
If you and the other leaseholders aren’t happy with the way the current freeholder / landlord carries out (or doesn’t carry out!) maintenance and upkeep of the building and communal areas, then you have a few options:
Once you and the other leaseholders have taken over control of the management of the building and communal areas, you will be responsible for:
- Arranging or renewing buildings insurance
- Structural maintenance and repairs
- Upkeep of the communal areas
Your building is mostly residential
If your building also houses a shop, office, cafe or any other business then you’ll need to make sure it only accounts for 25% of the entire use of the space. Parking spaces and garages for the flats in the building are classed as residential – so you don’t have to include them.
For more information on how we can help you purchase the freehold of your flat, please speak to our Enfranchisement Specialists: