I’m a leaseholder – can I buy the freehold?
Under the Leasehold Reform Act 1993, leaseholders were given the opportunity to purchase the freehold of their building from the landlord. They could, in effect, force the sale to themselves under a move known as collective enfranchisement.
What are the advantages?
Once you have acquired your freehold, you can effectively manage yourselves. You may decide to employ managing agents on your behalf to deal with many of your freeholder obligations. These obligations can relate to insurance provisions, health and safety, legalities and day to day management and everything that brings with it.
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The managing agents would be answerable to yourselves as the owners of the freehold, so if you are unhappy about how the freehold is being managed or want to change any aspect, you can all agree to do so.
If in the future, the leases need to be extended, you can decide to extend your own leases to 999 years, thus enhancing the value of your property.
What are the points to watch out for?
Managing the building can be complicated and you may need to ask for help from more knowledgeable sources as to what your responsibilities are. Even when you employ an agent to deal with the day to day running of the freehold for you, you still share the final responsibility with your co-owners. You might not always agree on a course of action with your fellow freehold owners and this may cause some friction.
We advise both landlords and leasehold owners in all aspects of leasehold and freehold ownership.