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Where there are difficulties with the management of a block of flats, it is possible for leaseholders to take over the management and control either by buying the freehold (enfranchisement) or exercising the Right to Manage.
We can negotiate with the freeholder to achieve this or bring legal proceedings to enforce these rights. We can also advise on the right to enfranchisement in respect of a leasehold house. It is strongly advisable to commence enfranchisement proceedings well before your remaining lease term reduces below 80 years.
We can also advise on the leaseholders’ Right of First Refusal, where the freeholder is offering to sell the freehold in the block to a third party.
To help you get a full understanding of your options please contact a member of our experience Property team for afree initial no obligation discussion to ensure you get the best outcome, at the right cost. Please visit our Payment Options page for more details on costs.
This is your right to purchase the freehold of your flat (or house).
Collective Enfranchisement is the procedure whereby leaseholders in a building (or the majority of them) decide to buy out the Landlord and take ownership of the freehold.
With ownership of the freehold also comes control over the management of the building and even enables the leaseholders to increase the term of their leases.
If it is decided to pursue this course of action we will usually advise that an informal approach is first made to the landlord to see whether terms can be agreed without exercising the statutory procedure.
A valuation is likely to be necessary and we can help you to arrange this.
Once a group of leaseholders decides to pursue collective enfranchisement it is advisable to draw up a Participation Agreement for them all to sign. This sets out the mutual responsibility for the process and how the expenses will be shared.
A ‘Nominee Purchaser’ is appointed, being a Company in whose name the process is carried out.
Failing agreement with the Landlord (usually over the price) the claim is started by the service of an Initial Notice and then a formal process is followed which leads ultimately, if agreement is not reached along the way, with a hearing in front of the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. Powells Law can assist with all aspects of this process.
The cost involved depends in part on the premium payable to the Landlord. This is a matter for the specialist valuer but the premium increases greatly once there is less than 80 years left of the lease term – so it may be necessary to act quickly.
Other costs include the Solicitor’s and valuer’s fees. The Leaseholders are responsible for their own costs and expenses and some of the costs and expenses incurred by the Landlord.
We will be pleased to discuss all aspects of Enfranchisement with you including likely costs and also whether there is an alternative way of dealing with the issues, for example by exercising Right to Manage.