Leaseholders have a legal right under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 to act together to buy the freehold of their building if they meet certain qualifying criteria. This is known as collective enfranchisement. Alternatively, it is possible for leaseholders to negotiate with the freeholder informally to buy the freehold by agreement.
It is possible for leaseholders to informally approach the freeholder to try and acquire the freehold of their building by agreement. This is simply a matter of negotiation. There is no right to buy the freehold this way and consequently you cannot apply to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) to determine any terms. However, depending on the nature of any agreement it may be enforceable through a County Court.
Download a template informal letter enquiring about lease extension of a flat, or to purchase the freehold of a house or flat
The Act sets out a procedure and timescales to be followed to acquire the freehold. Under this route the Tribunal can determine the price and terms of acquisition if you fail to reach an agreement.
Buying the freehold can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area.
More information you might find useful:
- Collective Enfranchisement – Getting Started
- Application to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber)
- I am in dispute with my landlord but I do not want to go to Court or Tribunal. Is there an alternative?
- More Frequently Asked Questions on Buying the Freehold of Flats
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