The right to buy your freehold applies to houses and blocks of flats.
There are complex and detailed provisions relating to entitlement, valuation and procedure in relation to buying the freehold of your house. We can help you with all the necessary steps, and recommend expert valuers in this area. Gabriel Alterman, the senior partner, has acted in cases against some of the larger estates in Prime Central London and St John’s Wood.
If you own a flat and want to buy your freehold, the rules are generally more straight forward but the process can be longer, more costly and time consuming as this is a group activity and at least 50% of the long leasehold flat owners must join in. This means that you will have to rely on your fellow flat owners to stick together and fund the purchase and all the costs.
You can only buy the whole of the freehold of a block of flats, and any other land that is in the title. If not all the flat owners take part, you will have to find the funds to pay for their share of the premium and the costs, which will include the freeholder’s legal and valuation costs.
It is sensible for the leaseholders who wish to buy to enter into a formal binding agreement at the beginning, which sets out their rights and obligations to each other. This deals with situations such as what happens if a leaseholder wants to sell his or her flat during the process, what happens if you need to apply to the First-tier Tribunal and who is going to pay what percentage of the costs (this may be based on the values of the flats).
Although many people would like to buy the freehold of their block, ownership of the freehold has its disadvantages. Firstly, someone has to spend their time in running the management of the property, even if this is just to discuss plans, canvass agreement and co-ordinate instructions to managing agents and report to the other owners. Secondly, if any of your fellow leaseholders do not pay the service charges, you and your fellow directors will either have to fund their shortfall or pursue those neighbours for the arrears.
We are experts in all aspects of long leasehold and freehold law and whether you want to buy your freehold or would like to consider alternatives, we can advise you of all the different ways to achieve your goals, whether you want to maximise the value of your property or improve the management of your block.
For further information or advice, contact either;-