The issue crops us for a number of reasons: the longer your lease, the more valuable your property; should the term of your lease drop below 80 years, obtaining a high street mortgage can prove difficult; and, if left, the property will eventually revert back to the freeholder/head landlord.
This issue is particularly prevalent in the London property market and affects both leaseholders and freeholders in very different ways.
Leaseholders can apply to purchase the freehold of their self-contained flat for a premium. The upshot being they can reduce their ground rent and vary their lease without incurring premiums or third party approvals.
They can also act as a collective when applying to purchase their freehold, as long as there are:
- at least two flats;
- the leases of the flats were for more than 21 years when granted;
- two thirds of the flats are let on long leases; and
- 50% of leaseholders want to participate.
Freeholders may wish to dispute such claims, although the grounds for this are narrow.
We act for leaseholders and groups of leaseholders wishing to make leasehold enfranchisement claims.
We act for freeholders served with leasehold enfranchisement claims and check the validity of such claims.
When matters become protracted, we act for both leaseholders and freeholders in the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber – Residential Property).