COLLECTIVE ENFRANCHISEMENT FOR LEASEHOLD PROPERTY: PURCHASING THE FREEHOLD OR EXTENDING YOUR LEASE
You may have seen the rising number of “horror stories” in the news lately concerning those individuals, couples and families who purchase their own home only to subsequently discover that the real cost of owning their house outright greatly exceeds their expectations and has become unaffordable. Such stories, one of which can be accessed here, involve those houses bought and sold as leaseholds – meaning the buyer owns the property for a term agreed with the freehold owner – as opposed to owning the freehold where the buyer owns the property absolutely. In situations like this, buyers are sometimes reassured that they can purchase the freehold for a relatively low price after two years only for the freehold owner to change in the meantime and ramp up the price. Home owners are then left blindsided by the extra costs involved should they want to purchase the freehold and own the property outright.
Although a process does exist which allows leasehold owners a “right of first refusal” to purchase the freehold when the properties involved are flats, there is no such procedure for leasehold houses. Bury & Walkers urges all buyers of leasehold houses to take care and ensure that appropriate legal advice is sought not only prior to purchase but also at any point when you are considering whether you can purchase the freehold or reviewing the term of your lease. As such, Bury & Walkers employs a specialist team who understand the sometimes complicated nature of leasehold property and the processes involved in purchasing or dealing with leasehold property and can suggest alternative options for those who are unable to purchase the freehold, such as negotiating a lease extension with the freehold owner on your behalf.
If you do own a lease of a flat and not a house and are looking to purchase the freehold then similarly Bury & Walkers can represent you in the process or help you to obtain an extension to your lease.
Please contact Bury & Walkers LLP by telephone on 0113 244 4227 or email at email@example.com for further information on the services available or to discuss your particular circumstances in more detail.