The whole process of leasehold enfranchisement is one that ostensibly sounds very simple and straightforward. The leaseholders of a building come together with the aim of buying the freehold to their building jointly. They form a company which will act as a company to manage the building or they act as a collective group. They then offer a sum of money to the freeholder. The freeholder accepts. Then the legal documentation is drawn up, the documentation is then exchanged formally, money changes hands and before you know it, freehold purchase is complete. Well delightful as this scenario is, it is not reality.
Although the whole process of lease enfranchisement ( which is also known as collective or freehold enfranchisement and freehold purchase) can be straightforward, in many cases it is not. There are all sorts of things that can and often do go wrong. For example, the freeholder can refuse to accept the offer, the surveyor may get the offer wrong. The solicitor may drag their heels, the solicitor for the freeholder may appear to have a different concept of time from other people and so the list goes on. So to combat the risk of things going wrong in the process it is always best to get specialist advice. That means that the solicitors that you appoint needs to have very specific experience in the field of leasehold enfranchisement, simply to ensure that you really do get the very best of service.
It’s a specialist area, and the kind of thing most solicitors, cross only once in a blue moon. It is easy to overlook the fact that the whole experience of leasehold enfranchisement can be a lengthy one. In some cases it can take up to two years. If you have a skilled solicitor however, then you can ensure that the process is expedited and is speedy at least from the leaseholders side! A skilled solicitor can also ensure that the freeholder is aware that she or he is experienced in the field of freehold purchase.
If the solicitor acting for the freeholder senses a lack of experience or lack of awareness of the process, then they can turn this to their advantage and try to use it to raise the price of the freehold or threaten to take it to Leasehold Valuations Tribunal, which is not in the interests of anyone involved in the process. Thus it is important to ensure that the solicitor appointed to implement the freehold purchase on behalf of leaseholders, knows exactly what the procedures are and knows exactly how to make the process as stress free as possible. Paying for this kind of specialist legal knowledge for your collective enfranchisement may be an initial ‘extra’ expense, but it is well worth it in the end.
Finally, when exercising your freehold right to buy, bear in mind that you also need to get an enfranchisement valuation from a specialist surveyor – we regularly work with a number of specialist surveyors nationwide and are happy to introduce you to one local to your block.
Looking for Specialist Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors? Call us now
For specialist advice about leasehold enfranchisement or extending a lease – contact our specialist solicitors today;
- Call us now on 0800 1404544, or
- Send us an email using the enquiry form below.
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