Coupe Property Consultants provides a comprehensive Collective Enfranchisement service ranging from initial assessment and valuation advice, to full representation throughout the entire enfranchisement process.

The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 provides qualifying lessees with the right to acquire the freehold of the building within which their flats are located. This is a highly complex area of valuation and law, and is known as “the right to collective enfranchisement”.

This complex area of law is regularly evolving and it is therefore important that you seek professional advice of the type that Coupe Property Consultants are well placed to provide.

This provides tenants of flats, when acting together, the legal right to purchase the freehold and any head leases of their building.
Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Development Act 1993, certain criteria must be fulfilled in order for the building to qualify:

  1. Be an independent building or part of a building which is capable of independent development
  2. Contain two or more flats held by qualifying tenants
  3. At least two thirds of the flats must be held by qualifying tenants

*Nb, further qualifying criteria apply under certain circumstances.

There are a variety of reasons that you may be considering acquiring the freehold of your building, the most common being:

  1. To grant new (usually 999 year at NIL ground rent) leases to lessees. This will improve the marketability and re-financing of the property, which, in most cases, leads to considerably enhanced values being realised.
  2. You are dissatisfied with the service provided by your current freeholder or their appointed managing agent
  3. You wish to make improvements or alterations to the property, which require freeholders’ consent.

You should be aware however that unless you are experienced in estate management, taking over the day to day running and management of a block of flats is onerous and brings with it numerous legal, health & safety, and best practice obligations. Once you’ve acquired the freehold interest you may therefore decide to appoint a specialist estate management company who will act upon your instructions.

Under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended) an application to purchase your freehold must be made by at least 50% of the flats in the block and each of those flats must have been originally granted leases that were in excess of 21 years. There is no residency requirement and hence buy-to-let lessees are equally entitled to participate.

There are a number of requirements which your solicitor or Coupe Property Consultants would be pleased to advise on. For example, in blocks of two flats, both lessees must participate in order to qualify. There are further restrictions concerning mixed residential and commercial sites, and other particular requirements which could apply in individual circumstances.

As with lease extension you will be required to meet your own valuation and legal costs, as well as those reasonable costs incurred by your landlord.
Where landlord’s costs are deemed unreasonable an application for determination of costs can be made to the Tribunal.

Each party is responsible for their own negotiation fees and any costs incurred in referring the matter to the Tribunal.

For further advice on whether freehold acquisition is the right option for you, contact Coupe Property Consultants for an impartial, professional discussion.

Contact Johanne

Should the above be of interest to you please don’t hesitate to contact Johanne Coupe who will be pleased to either meet with you or discuss your requirements over the telephone.

Contact Johanne