Here at Hart Brown, we have a team of experienced and knowledgeable lawyers who are able to advise you on all aspects of residential Leasehold Enfranchisement. Leasehold Enfranchisement can seem like a daunting headache, however by having Hart Brown on your side, we will guide you with our specialist knowledge, expertise and experience.
What is Leasehold Enfranchisement?
Residential Leasehold Enfranchisement is the process where tenants can in certain circumstances buy the freehold for their residential property. Tenants are also able to apply for a lease extension from their landlord, which gives the tenants the right to acquire an additional 90 years on the lease. Find out more about the different areas we can advise on below.
What Should You Consider Before Buying A Leasehold?
- Make sure you find out how many years are left on a lease.
- Discuss extending your lease and the cost.
- Find out about any extra charges or fees you may incur.
Why Seek Advice From Hart Brown?
Our team are able to provide expert advice on the below areas:
- Extending leases on your flat – the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 gives tenants the right to acquire an additional 90 year extension on the lease, on top of the existing remaining length. This is however subject to various factors such as having been in the property for at least two years. A lease extension tends to make the flat more desirable, saleable and easier to get a mortgage.
- Buying or selling freehold reversions – if you wish to either buy or sell the freehold of your leasehold property then this comes under The Leasehold Reform Act 1967. These are statutory procedures that enable the leaseholders to acquire their landlords’ reversionary interest in their building, known as Collective Enfranchisement. It can also enable landlords’ to offer their reversion for sale to leaseholders, this is referred to as right of first refusal.
- The right to manage – this is a no fault based procedure that enables the leaseholders to take over collectively the management of their building, as well as the right to appoint their own professional managing agent.
- Missing landlord claims – whether a leaseholder wishes to extend their lease on their flat or acquire the freehold collectively, sometimes landlords go missing and cannot be found. Lease extensions and collective claims still remain possible although the procedure is a little different. In some particular circumstances, the freehold can be acquired collectively at a reduced rate.
- Applications to the property chamber to appoint a statutory manager – this is what is known as a fault based procedure which lets the leaseholder apply to have a manager that has been appointed by the tribunal in place of the landlord or existing managing agent.
- Applications to the property chamber to vary leases – in some limited certain circumstances, the tribunal has the power to vary provisions in long leases. When this is the case, often compensation is payable however this depends on the circumstances.
- Applications to the property chamber to challenge or determine charges and breaches of covenant – this is a procedure for both landlords and leaseholders to have a dispute about services and administration charges that can occur. These can include management fees, cost of repairs, ground rent, insurance charges, late payment fees and the landlords costs. As well as disputing charges, other breaches of covenant can be resolved by the tribunal during this procedure.
Regardless if you are the leaseholder or landlord, our Leasehold Enfranchisement department are able to offer you peace of mind and guide you through what can often seem like a daunting task. To discuss your properties freehold further, contact us on 01483 887766, via email or live chat below.
For some extra information and resources about residential leases check out the Leasehold Advisory Service. They are a government run website that provides independent advice for both flat owners and landlords.