Leasehold enfranchisement

The legal term enfranchisement encompasses a range of rights that apply to long leases of property, in most instances those leases exceeding 21 years in length. Such leases are common, particularly where flats are concerned, but there are also many long leases granted for houses.

Whilst, for most purposes, owning a long lease is very similar to owning a freehold, it can lead to two particular issues:

  • The term of the lease will gradually reduce, making it less valuable over time and, as a consequence, making it more difficult to secure a mortgage on and thus making a property more difficult to sell.;
  • Disputes can arise as to the costs of maintaining common areas owned by the landlord.

Our specialist team can assist in all areas of Leasehold Enfranchisement work and Leasehold Valuation Tribunal (LVT) applications in relation to long leases, whether you are a landlord, a tenant or a potential purchaser of a long lease, and whether the property is residential or commercial in nature.

Our specialist enfranchisement team undertakes the following enfranchisement and LVT related work:

Flats:

  • Advising landlords and tenants in relation to the right for tenants to join together and buy the freehold of their building (‘collective enfranchisement’);
  • Advising landlords and tenants in relation to the right for tenants to join together and take over management of their building (‘right to manage’);
  • Advising landlords, tenants and prospective purchasers in relation to a building owner’s obligations to offer to sell it to their tenants, before selling to a third party (‘rights of pre-emption’);
  • Advising landlords and tenants in relation to the right for tenants to buy an extended lease of their flat (‘lease extensions’);
  • Making and defending applications to the LVT in relation to service charges.

Houses:

  • Advising landlords and tenants in relation to a tenant’s right to buy the freehold of their building (‘enfranchisement’);
  • Advising landlords and tenants in relation to a tenant’s right to buy an extended lease of their building (‘lease extensions’);
  • Advising landlords of both residential and commercial premises on minimising the risks of tenants securing the above rights;
  • Applying to the court to contract a new lease out of the above rights;
  • Making and defending applications to the LVT in relation to service charges.
Gemma Featonby
Partner
Swindon
01793 412107
Warren Reid
Partner
Bristol
0117 930 9527
07786 856918
Bill Thomas
Partner
Bath
01225 340209

Publications - Residential real estate

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