Own a leasehold flat? Planning alterations? You could need the landlord’s consent

Solicitors Specialising in Licences to Alter

There are many reasons why the owner of a leasehold flat might need to alter the property Leasehold Flat Alterations Landlord's Consentwhich they own, perhaps because they want to improve their home, or because they want to refurbish the building.

The exact requirements will depend on the terms of the lease and the types of changes being proposed – but in most cases the leaseholder will have to get a Licence to Alter from the landlord [usually the freeholder] giving them consent to make the changes.

Got a question about a Licence to Alter? Call our specialist solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice.

What Kind of Work Requires Landlord’s Consent?

The types of renovations or changes to the building which might need a licence to alter can include;

•    any alterations to the structure of the building
•    changing internal walls or doors and
•    changing the windows.

More minor changes such as getting new flooring, painting walls or putting up shelves typically do not require the freeholder’s permission. Making alterations to leasehold buildings without the consent of the landlord can often cause disputes – both between leaseholders and the freeholder, and also on occasions between individual leaseholders.

If you are in any doubt at all over whether a licence is needed for the proposed works, some careful checking needs to be done and the freeholder needs to be kept informed.

Failure To Obtain Your Landlord’s Consent to Alterations

Not getting the right form of written consent from the freeholder can be classed as a breach of the lease – and could result in really serious financial implications for the leaseholder.

The Importance of Getting Your License to Alter Early on

Getting permission from your landlord to make alterations can take time, especially when this coincides with the lease itself being agreed. This delay can put the leaseholder in the position of having to appoint builders or decorators to carry out work which they might be refused permission to complete.

It is therefore wise to get in touch with the freeholder as soon as possible to establish whether or not a licence is necessary, how likely it is that consent will be given, and how long it is likely to take for a licence to be given.

Alterations to your Leasehold Flat – Making an Application

The information you are going to need to put in an application for a licence to alter will depend on the type of changes to your flat that are being proposed. However they may often include:

•    Description of proposed work
•    Timeline for doing the work
•    Drawings showing current layout and proposed changes
•    Copies of insurance certificates, if appropriate
•    Planning permission, building regulations warrants and other approvals if needed
•    Evidence that the work complies with the Party Wall Act

Legal Implications of Making Alterations To Rented Premises

The Landlord and Tenant Act states that freeholders cannot withhold permission to make alterations without good reason. So, for example, in a situation where changes are needed to comply with legal requirements, your landlord’s consent cannot be refused.

What a Licence for Alterations Should Contain

The licence document lays out the changes which have been agreed and any conditions for carrying out the work. The document will include:

•    Details of the work which has been agreed
•    Any conditions such as working hours, noise or disposal of waste
•    Any statutory obligations which have to be complied with
•    Requirements for insurance cover
•    Agreement over costs. The costs which the freeholder pays when looking at the proposal and drawing up the licence may have to be paid by the leaseholder. The leaseholder may also be responsible for extra insurance costs, and other costs such as work to security systems.
•    Drawings and building specifications

It can often be a tricky time when renovation works are being done under a licence to alter, especially when trying to coordinate alteration work with moving into the building and need to bring this into line with:

•    Initial negotiations over the lease
•    Removals and relocation
•    Buying new fixtures, fittings, equipment or office furniture
•    Giving up the lease of the premises which the leaseholder is moving from

Failing to bring all of these things into line can mean large additional costs for the leaseholder, or the need to move into alternative accommodation for a short time. The freeholder is also entitled to inspect the renovation work when it starts, during construction and once work has finished.

Own A Leasehold Flat? Proposing Alterations Needing Your Landlord’s Consent? Our Solicitors Can Help. Call Now

Don’t take chances in making alterations to your flat without checking if you need your freeholder’s permission  –  it’s critical that you get the right expert advice.

Wherever your flat is situated in England or Wales, our specialist leasehold team can help. For a FREE initial phone consultation from an specialist in working with licences to alter.

  • Call us today on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or
  • email us using our contact form for FREE initial advice and a FREE quote.

    How To Buy Your Freehold

    Specialist Lease Enfranchisement SolicitorsHow To Buy Your Freehold. Freehold purchase solicitors

    Freehold purchase of a block of flats (which is often referred to as collective or lease enfranchisement) can only be successful when a certain number of leaseholders participate.

    (This page deals with buying the freehold of a block of flats.
    Click here to read about buying the freehold of your house)

    Do you need a minimum number of people to qualify to buy your freehold?

    Yes, the law requires that a minimum of 50% of the owners of the properties in the block have to participate, although there is nothing stopping you from starting the process with a lower percentage than this as long as the 50% mark is eventually reached.

    It is important that this is pointed out to leaseholders in the early stages of the project as many leaseholders won’t want to get involved with collective enfranchisement until they are sure it will go ahead. This can lead to a “chicken and egg” situation which needs to be sorted out as soon as possible.

    Looking for Specialist Advice How To Buy Your Freehold? Call FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE Initial Phone Advice – with no strings attached.

    Your right to enfranchise – practical problems with bigger blocks

    Remember too that the freehold purchase process is often far more straightforward when you are dealing with smaller blocks. If you are living in a block of only four flats, you will only need to convince one other leaseholder to join you to reach the 50%.

    If in contrast you are living in a much larger block with 100 flats, it’s a much more complex job to get an additional 49 leaseholders to join the collective enfranchisement, and keep them involved to the end of the process. And that’s why with medium and large blocks, putting everyone involved to sign up to it is known as a “participation agreement” is really important.
    Click here to read more about Participation Agreements

    Exercising Your Right to Enfranchise – Issue an Invitation

    It is always easier to start the collective enfranchisement process when a good proportion of the leaseholders have already decided that they would like to be involved. What makes up a significant number will depend on the nature of the block of flats.

    At the earliest stages of planning, it is a good idea to issue a formal invitation to all of the leaseholders telling them about the proposed freehold purchase and asking them to get involved.

    There is no legal requirement to issue this invitation, but it is a good way of starting the process of buying your freehold and enables you to contact all of the leaseholders quickly. It also keeps things on a formal footing, which may alleviate some leaseholder’s worries about the legal and financial aspects of the process.

    What Should the Invitation Include?

    The initial invitation which you send out should include:

    •    Exactly what is being proposed
    •    Deadlines for getting involved
    •    The benefits of buying the freehold
    •    The deposit required
    •    Estimated costs for seeing the project through to completion.
    Do make sure that you clearly state that any costs are purely estimated and that the final charges could vary and will only be fully known when the leasehold purchase has completed. (see below for more about the cost of enfranchisement).

    Giving everyone the same information at the same time also helps to avoid possible conflict as leaseholders can see that everyone is being treated in the same way. There are some situations where this might not be such a good idea though, for example if the freeholder of the building has friends or relatives living in the block.

    If the freeholder might prove awkward, it may be better to avoid them getting hold of confidential information about the proposed leasehold purchase at this stage.

    Your Right to Enfranchise – Getting Leaseholders to Sign Up

    Along with the invitation, include a simple sign-up form. Keep this brief, and simply ask the leaseholder to confirm that they are interested in taking part in the leasehold purchase when the project gets underway.

    It should also be made clear that the leaseholder is not committing to anything by expressing their interest. It just lets the person leading the leasehold purchase that they are interested and willing to take part in collective enfranchisement.

    Holding a Residents’ Meeting

    At this point it is also a good idea to hold a meeting for leaseholders who still have questions or are unsure about whether to get involved. A meeting allows these leaseholders to ask any questions and get a full picture before committing. A meeting is a good technique to get more leaseholders interested in signing up.

    Make sure that you ask an experienced leasehold enfranchisement solicitor to attend this residents’ meeting. The solicitor will be able to give the legal position and make sure that all of the information which is given is accurate. Having a solicitor at the meeting will also give the leaseholders peace of mind as they are being give information by someone who is experienced in this process and really knows what they are doing. Again this can encourage more residents to get involved in the freehold purchase.

    Will we need to form a company to jointly own the freehold?

    Yes – click here to read more about your collective enfranchisement company

    The Difference Between Lease Owners and Residents

    It’s also important to point out that issuing an invitation to all of the residents in the block might not help identify the leaseholders. Many flats are owned by landlords who rent them out, and it’s the person who owns the property and not the tenant who has to take part in a freehold purchase.

    How much will it cost to buy our freehold?

    There is no simple and straightforward answer to this 1. Broadly it depends entirely on your particular circumstances, and in particular the value of all flats in the block. But in general terms you will need to pay the following:

    •     The premium – i.e. the price you pay your freeholder to purchase the freehold.
    Click here to read more about the Enfranchisement Valuation – and how your premium is calculated

    •     Your solicitors legal fees

    •     Your surveyors fees for valuing the premium and helping with negotiating the price

    •     The freeholder’s “reasonable” legal and valuation costs incurred by your freeholder

    Click here to read more about Enfranchisement Costs in more detail

    Do we need specialist solicitors?

    Absolutely – the vast majority of conveyancing or indeed other solicitors rarely, if ever, come across freehold purchase. And sadly, in our experience, too many of those who dabble in the area make fundamental mistakes.

    In contrast, our 5 strong leasehold team does nothing but lease extension, enfranchisement and right to manage applications. They are possibly the biggest and specialist team of the type in the country. And over the years we have assisted approximately 10,000 people to buy their freehold, extend their leases or take over the right to manage their block.

    But don’t just take our word for it. We are the only solicitors recommended for this kind of work by The HomeOwners Alliance (Britain’s leading organisation to champion the interests of the nation’s homeowners).

    What happens if the freeholder tries to sell the freehold to a third party?

    In general terms, it’s a criminal offence for your freeholder to try to sell on the freehold to someone else without offering it formally to leaseholders first.
    Click here to find out more about the Right of 1st Refusal

    What happens if our freeholder is missing and can’t be found?

    Don’t worry. Our experienced team have a solution for that – the vesting order. And, unlike most solicitors, we handle these on a regular basis.
    Click here to read more about buying your freehold and vesting orders

    How To Enfranchise Your Lease – A Summary

    In the early stages of planning a collective enfranchisement process, it’s essential to stay focused on the end benefits of freehold purchase, and have the costs of each of the separate stages laid out clearly so that your fellow leaseholders can see that you have nothing to hide in the whole process. Once the benefits of owning the freehold have been clearly spelled out and everyone understand what is required for the process, the chances of managing a successful leasehold enfranchisement are much higher.

    Want To Know How to Enfranchise Your Block? Call Us Now

    Exercising your Right to Enfranchise involves a really difficult of law  – so it’s critical that you get the right expert advice. Wherever your block is situated in England Wales, our specialist team can help. For a FREE initial phone consultation from an specialist in Enfranchisement

    • Call us today on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or
    • email us using our contact form for FREE initial advice and a FREE quote.

      Bournemouth Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors

      According to up-to-date records from the National Statistics Office, there are Bournemouth Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors. image of block of flatsapproximately around 1.5 million long leasehold flats in England and Wales. Bournemouth and the surrounding area has more than its fair share of these flats and apartments – and many of which are going to be eligible for leasehold enfranchisement [also known as collective or freehold enfranchisement, and freehold purchase].

      Do You Own a Flat or Apartment in Bournemouth? Want to Buy The Freehold Of Your Block? For Expert FREE Initial Phone Advice, Call Us On FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or (01202) 834450 

      DO I NEED A SPECIALIST LEASEHOLD ENFRANCHISEMENT SOLICITOR?

      In short, the answer is yes. Why?

      o leasehold enfranchisement involves a particularly tricky area of law – in particular, for example, it’s easy to miss critical deadlines, and the law surrounding the exercise of your right to enfranchisement is notoriously difficult to interpret

      o most property solicitors come across enfranchisement and lease extension very rarely – and our experience, the vast majority of non-specialist solicitors really struggle to cope with the intricacies of the enfranchisement process

      o your freeholder is almost certain to will appoint their own specialist enfranchisement solicitor

      o an experienced enfranchisement solicitor can play a crucial role in your enfranchisement team – drafting the legal compensation, cooperating with your surveyor , and you, or your project manager, to control the information flow and to make sure that the whole enfranchisement process goes through successfully

      WE ARE COLLECTIVE ENFRANCHISEMENT SPECIALISTS

      o There are very few solicitors who specialise in leasehold enfranchisement. The vast majority of property solicitors will not have ever dealt with leasehold enfranchisement – and you wouldn’t want to entrust your freehold purchase to a solicitor using your enfranchisement as a learning experience!

      o Here at Bonallack & Bishop, our enfranchisement and lease extension team is based in Salisbury, although we also have offices in Andover, Amesbury and Fordingbridge. Our 5 strong leasehold enfranchisement and lease extension team are real specialists – that’s all they do – and we have experience of helping thousands of leaseholders to with successful lease extension and enfranchisement applications in the last 25 years.

      o Our team are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners [ALEP] – which is the only national group of specialist enfranchisement solicitors and surveyors.

       

      You can also enfranchise your leasehold house.
      Click here to find more about how to buy the freehold of your leasehold house

      OUR LEASEHOLD ENFRANCHISEMENT EXPERTISE – DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT

      Here’s what a local specialist enfranchisement surveyor says about us:

      “I have worked alongside Bonallack & Bishop on numerous lease extension and enfranchisement cases and have been impressed by their efficiency, regular communication and knowledge of the subject.”

      Stephen Higley, Smith Robinson Higley Ltd, Chartered Surveyors, Poole

      And, what’s more, we are the only law firm nationwide recommended for lease extension and leasehold enfranchisement work by the HomeOwners Alliance, the nation’s leading organisation promoting interests of the UK’s homeowners.

      THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR SOLICITOR AND VALUER WORKING TOGETHER

      In order for freehold purchase project to be successful, your solicitor and chosen valuer need to work together. Fortunately leasehold team know the right and valuers to appoint in the Bournemouth area, and we can introduce you to them, or appoint them on your behalf as part of our one-stop shop service. With solicitors and surveyors working well together, you can sure that the premium you will pay your freeholder is set at the right level and complete the enfranchisement process with ease.

       OUR ONE-STOP SHOP ENFRANCHISEMENT SERVICE

      We can help you throughout the process – all the way from day one to pointing the right surveyor and finishing the project by setting up your new freehold management company.

      January 2023 update –  In 2022, it was confirmed that marriage value would be abolished at some point during this parliamentary period, however no solid proposals have been released yet and there is no guarantee that it will go ahead as planned. Additionally, if the changes follow the new legislation abolishing ground rent introduced in 2022, they could only apply to new leases and not existing ones.

      BOURNEMOUTH ENFRANCHISEMENT? CALL 01202 834450 TODAY

      So if you own a flat or apartment in Bournemouth, and you’re interested in buying the freehold (or simply extend your lease), our team can help you. We are happy to meet you face-to-face, but equally, our team runs most of our enfranchisement work without a face-to-face meeting – taking instructions by e-mail, phone and Zoom video.

      Email us using the contact form below and we can give you a FREE no obligation quote for your enfranchisement and answer your initial queries – or we can arrange to ring you back at a time convenient to you, if you prefer.

        Leeds Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors

        Do live in Leeds? Do you own a leasehold flat or apartment? If so, there is a good chance Leeds Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors. ALEP logothat you will be eligible to buy the freehold of your block through a process referred to as ‘leasehold’ or ‘collective enfranchisement’. You will need specialist lease enfranchisement lawyers to help you with the process – and here at Bonallack & Bishop, our dedicated team of enfranchisement and lease extension experts have all the expertise you need.

        Own a Flat in Leeds? Want To Buy The Freehold Of Your Block? For the Specialist Legal Advice Call Us On FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 For FREE Initial Phone Advice.

        MAKE SURE YOUR ENFRANCHISEMENT LAWYER IS A SPECIALIST

        When dealing with enfranchisement or lease extension, its really important that both the lawyer and surveyor you choose is a genuine specialist. Why? Because lease enfranchisement is a complicated area of law involving strict procedure and tight deadlines. Most property solicitors have little if any experience of enfranchisement, which is why you need to find genuine specialists.

        What’s more, your freeholder will almost certainly have instructed a specialist themselves, so don’t start off at a disadvantage.

        Your solicitor will also need to be able to work effectively with your surveyor and project manager to ensure that the leasehold enfranchisement process runs smoothly. Our team work with surveyors will it comes to enfranchisement and lease extension every day – so we are perfectly placed to help with your enfranchisement. And if you want us to instruct a solicitor on your behalf to value the premium you will need to pay to the freeholder to buy your freehold, we are happy to introduce you to a genuine specialists – a member of our informal enfranchisement surveyors’ panel, as part of our one-stop shop service.

        RECOGNISED LEASEHOLD ENFRANCHISEMENT EXPERTS

        Finding specialist leasehold enfranchisement solicitors is easier said than done.

        However we have a dedicated team of four enfranchisement and lease extension lawyers who spend all their time helping leaseholders extend their lease or buying the freehold of their block.

        We are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) – the only nationwide organisation of specialist enfranchisement solicitors and surveyors.

        And what’s more, we are the only law firm in the country to be recommended for this type of work by the highly regarded HomeOwners Alliance –  the only group in Britain to represent, champion and serve the nation’s homeowners and homebuyers.

        WHY GETTING YOUR FREEHOLD PURCHASE RIGHT IS SO IMPORTANT

        When it comes to enfranchisement, it really important to make sure you stick to the procedure and in particular don’t miss any of the deadlines. Because doing so means your application fails and you have to start again from scratch.

        Not only does that mean you will have picked up extensive and wasted legal fees in the process, but with your lease being shorter, especially if the value of your property has increased in the meantime, increase it’s likely that by the time your new application is filed the premium you will need to pay will be more expensive.

        LEASEHOLD HOUSES – DOES THE RIGHT TO ENFRANCHISEMENT APPLY?

        Yes. Click here to read more about how to buy the freehold of your leasehold house

        LIVE IN LEEDS? CALL TODAY FOR THE RIGHT LEASE ENFRANCHISEMENT ADVICE

        Despite being based in the South West, our clients come from blocks throughout England and Wales – it is not necessary to see us in person.

        So if you live in Leeds, there’s no problem –  we can keep in touch with you via telephone, email and Zoom video as we do for any of our clients when helping them buy the freehold of their block – wherever they may be nationwide.

        Want to know more about how to buy your freehold? For no strings attached FREE initial advice and a FREE quote

        • Call us today on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice

        • Or email us using the contact form below – or we can arrange to ring you back when it suits you

          Bristol Collective Enfranchisement Solicitors

          Lawyers specialising in freehold purchase

          Do you own a long leasehold flat or apartment [i.e. any residential lease with a term originally granted for over 21 years] in Bristol? Do you want to increase the value of your flat? Do you want to take over the right to manage your block from your freeholder? If you can answer “yes” to all three of these questions, then you could well be entitled to buy the freehold of your block of flats using a process called leasehold or collective enfranchisement.

          You’ll need a specialist leasehold enfranchisement lawyer to help you with this – and at here at Bonallack & Bishop we have a 5 strong dedicated team of lease extension and enfranchisement who have all the knowledge you are going to need. And our specialists cancan also help you buy the freehold of your leasehold house

          Helping you throughout the whole process

          What’s more, we are are there with expert advice right from the initial valuation. And if you can’t get agreement from your freeholder, all the way to the First Tier Property Tribunal.

          In addition, as part of our one stop shop service,we can introduce you to come and if necessary appoint, a member of our specialist panel of collective enfranchisement surveyors – because you are going to need an expert valuation and very few surveyors have the necessary experience or skill.

          Looking To Buy The Freehold Of Your Block In Bristol? Looking For Specialist Solicitors? Call Us On FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 For FREE Initial Phone Advice.

          Leasehold enfranchisement – what’s in it for me?

          Buying your freehold gives you the opportunity of granting yourself a very long lease extension that often lasts for 999 years. And that comes with what’s known as a ‘peppercorn rent’, meaning the lease essentially becomes rent-free.

          What’s more, there are plenty more benefits of owning your own freehold. They include

          • the chance of better maintenance and intentionally cheaper management of your block as well as
          • the ability to remortgage more easily due to added security of freehold over leasehold properties
          • it secures family inheritance rights
          • and increases building value, making it an attractive option for investors or those looking to buy their own home.

          Use a Specialist Enfranchisement Lawyer

          If you are going through the process of lease extension or enfranchisement, it’s important that you deal with a specialist surveyor and lawyer. Freehold enfranchisement is a complicated area of the law, and it involves specific terminology and strict deadlines.

          Most property solicitors don’t touch leasehold enfranchisement very often if at all, which is why it is so important to find true experts and also why these experts are few and far between. Remember also that your freeholder will have already made the call to get their own specialist solicitors. So don’t put yourself at a disadvantage.

          You will also have to ensure that your solicitor will have to work your surveyor to keep the process moving along slowly. Our legal team works with these people every day on lease extension and collective enfranchisement projects so is in the perfect position to help your enfranchisement too.

          Genuine Enfranchisement Experts

          It’s not always that easy to find a specialist freehold purchase solicitor. Here we are one of very few law firms nationwide with a team of lawyers who dedicate their entire working week to helping with leasehold extension or collective enfranchisement alone.

          You can tell we are genuine specialists – because we are the only law firm nationwide recommended for enfranchisement work by the Homeowners Alliance – the biggest organisation representing the U.K.’s home owners. Bristol Collective Enfranchisement Solicitors. Homeowners Alliance Logo

          We are members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP) which is a body comprised of specialist surveyors and freehold purchase lawyers.

          But don’t just take our word for it. Click here to read about what some of our clients and the Expert Enfranchisement Valuers we work with say about us.

          Enfranchisement – Our One-Stop Shop Service

          If you wish, we are able to handle your freehold purchase from day one until completion. This includes instructing a specialist surveyor to provide an initial valuation, drafting a participation agreement (essential to keep everyone on board if you’re in a big block) and serving the enfranchisement notice all the way to negotiating a price with your freeholder, setting up your new freehold company and registering you as the new owners of the block HM Land Registry.

          And in the unlikely event that there is a dispute with your freeholder, we can even represent you at the First Tier Property Tribunal – though we are pleased to say that around 95% of our cases are sorted out without the need of any Tribunal application.

          The cost of getting leasehold enfranchisement wrong

          Failing to complete the enfranchisement process correctly or missing deadlines for example, can come with a hefty price tag. Not only would you need to start from scratch and cover any associated, not to mention wasted, legal costs, but by the time you’re able to start a new application, your lease will be shorter and it’s quite likely that the value of your flat will have increased. This could lead to an increase in the premium that you are going to need to pay to your freeholder.

          Live in Bristol? Looking to Purchase the Freehold of Your Block? Contact Us Now

          Exercising your Right to Enfranchise is a complicated process and it’s really important to make sure you have specialist legal advice.

          Our specialist team represent clients throughout England and Wales. So if you own a flat in Bristol and you are looking at enfranchisement;

          • Call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE initial phone advice and a FREE quote OR
          • Email us using the contact form below

            Sheffield Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors

            Leasehold enfranchisement, also known as ‘freehold purchase’ or ‘collective enfranchisement’ allows leaseholders to buy the freehold of their leasehold flat or apartment. If you live in Sheffield and you are interested in the enfranchisement process, our expert lease extension and lease enfranchisement solicitors can help you, increasing the value of your property and leaving you with more control over its maintenance.

            Thinking of Buying The Freehold Of Your Block In Sheffield? Need Specialist Legal Advice? Call Our Expert Team On FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 For FREE Initial Phone Advice.

            LEASE ENFRANCHISEMENT – ONLY A SPECIALIST WILL DO

            Here are 3 reasons why you will need a specialist solicitor when you’re looking to enfranchise your block:

            • Lease enfranchisement is a tricky area of law. Few property solicitors have much experience or any real understanding about it.The tight deadlines and complex legislation involved make the process particularly complicated. In fact, the vast majority of property solicitors rarely if ever, come across lease extensions, let alone enfranchisement cases

            • It is almost certain that your freeholder will have instructed a specialist solicitor – so it is really important that you make sure that you get similarly specialist legal advice

            • A specialist solicitor will fully understand the whole process – and in particular be able to communicate effectively with your surveyor and any project manager choose to appoint (quite important with bigger blocks) to make the process as swift and successful as possible.

            PROVEN LEASE ENFRANCHISEMENT EXPERTSSheffield leasehold enfranchisement solicitors. ALEP logo

            If you choose the team here at Bonallack & Bishop to help you enfranchise your block, you can be sure that you are instructing genuine specialists in their field. As one of the largest teams in the country, our four-strong group of lawyers are dedicated to lease extension, right to manage and enfranchisement work only – that is simply all they do.

            Over the last 25 years, thousands of leaseholders and freeholders have benefitted from our team’s experience. And we are also members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners, the only organisation of specialist enfranchisement solicitors and surveyors nationwide.

            NB It’s also possible to buy the freehold of your leasehold house.
            Click here to find more about leasehold house enfranchisement

            MAKE YOUR LEASE DOES NOT DROP BELOW 80 YEARS

            The reason for this is simple – if the lease of your apartment or house has less than 80 years remaining, then the cost of buying your freehold rises drastically. This is because the freeholder is entitled by law to half the profit made by extending the lease, known as ‘marriage value’.

            In 2022 the UK government stated its intentions to abolish marriage value before the current Parliament ends, but no formal proposals have been announced and they follow the ground rent changes made in 2022, there may be no changes for those that already have an existing lease agreement.

            BUT DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT

            We are the only solicitors recommended for enfranchisement work by the HomeOwners Alliance – Britain’s largest organisation representing the nation’s homeowners.

            LEASE ENFRANCHISEMENT IN SHEFFIELD – CONTACT US NOW

            When you come to buy the freehold of your block, we believe it’s much more important to get a specialist than look for a local solicitor to meet face-to-face. Whilst you are more than welcome to visit us in one of our four offices, we run the vast majority of our lease extension and freehold purchase cases with clients nationwide using Zoom video, email or telephone.

            So if you own a flat or apartment in Sheffield, and want to know more about how to buy your freehold (or about just extending your individual lease), get in touch with our team today

            For no strings attached free initial phone advice and an idea of the costs likely to be involved in your project,,

            • email us using the enquiry form below, or
            • call one of our team on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544.

              Liverpool Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors

              The population of Liverpool has grown by around 5.5% over the last 10 years, to almost half a million people. and if you consider the extended “metro area population of Liverpool”,  in 2023 that’s 917,000. So, given that nationwide there are an estimated 1,500,000 leasehold flats, it is hardly surprising to find that there are so many flats and apartments in Liverpool – with many leaseholders wanting to gain greater control over their property by buying the freehold of their block using the leasehold enfranchisement process.

              Genuinely specialist enfranchisement solicitors are very hard to find. But here at Bonallack & Bishop we have a 5 strong team who do nothing but enfranchisement, lease extension and right to manage company formation cases throughout England and Wales – and who can help you buy the freehold of your block.

              Own a Flat or Apartment in Liverpool? Interested in Buying The Freehold Of Your Block? For the Specialist Legal Advice You Need, Call Us On FREEPHONE 0800 1404544

              YOUR ENFRANCHISEMENT – YOU NEED A SPECIALIST SOLICITOR

              Here’s why you will need to instruct a specialist solicitor to help with your lease enfranchisement:

              • The relevant legislation is complicated and difficult to understand. There are also a number of critical deadlines which must not be missed – sadly, in our experience, a generalist property solicitor without much, if any, freehold purchase experience is simply not up to the job

              • It’s highly likely that your freeholder knows the importance of having a specialist enfranchisement solicitor.  That means that there likely to instruct an expert solicitor themselves. You therefore need to do the same to ensure a level playing field between you.

              • To go through a successful enfranchisement cost effectively and with minimal complication, your solicitor will need to cooperate with the surveyor and project manager. Our team liaise daily with specialist surveyors and valuers – and collective enfranchisement project managers

              OUR ENFRANCHISEMENT EXPERTISE

              Over the last 25 years, we have helped thousands of leaseholders throughout England and Wales benefit from lease extension and freehold purchase. And we also act regularly for freeholders – so we fully understand the whole process from both sides.

              What’s more, we are long-standing members of the only specialist body for leasehold surveyors and solicitors – the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners – ALEP.

              In addition we are the only solicitors nationwide who the highly regarded campaigning organisation, the HomeOwners Alliance, recommend for this area of work.

              DO I NEED TO INSTRUCT SOLICITORS AT ALL?

              No – there’s certainly no legal requirement, but like conveyancing, very few people are confident enough to take a chance on making a mistake when buying property.

              THE ADVANTAGES OF BUYING YOUR FREEHOLD?

              Enfranchisement gives tenants the right to extend their existing leasehold to unlimited length –  usually increasing to a 999 year terms— and to pay what is known as a peppercorn rent (which is essentially a rent-free agreement).

              Other benefits of opting for purchase include taking complete control over maintenance and management, easing mortgage refinance, providing a more secure inheritance option, and increasing building value. Owning a share of the freehold of your block also makes buying your flat much more attractive to most potential purchasers.

              DOES OUR FREEHOLDER NEED TO OFFER THE FREEHOLD OF THE BLOCK TO US BEFORE TRYING TO SELL ELSEWHERE?

              Yes – there is a clear legal requirement. Your freeholder must offer it to you, as leaseholders 1st, and the right of first refusal allows you, as the leaseholders of the building, to bid for the right to buy the freehold if the freeholder wishes to sell it.
              Click here to read more about the Right of 1st Refusal

              DOES THE RIGHT TO ENFRANCHISEMENT ALSO APPLY TO LEASEHOLD HOUSES?

              Yes. Click here to find out about how to buy the freehold of your leasehold house

              THINKING OF ENFRANCHISEMENT IN LIVERPOOL – CONTACT US NOW

              Our service is so specialist that we regularly represent clients throughout England and Wales – with the vast majority of our collective enfranchisement cases being run by phone, email and Zoom video. In fact, it’s very rare that we meet our freehold purchase clients – and it’s never been a problem

              So, whether you live in Liverpool or anywhere else nationwide, for FREE expert initial advice and a FREE freehold enfranchisement quote

              • Call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or

              • Email us using the contact form below – or we can arrange to ring you back when it suits you

                Can an Executor Extend a Lease?

                What happens to leasehold property when you die?Can an Executor Extend a Lease? specialist leasehold extension solicitors

                If we are talking about what is known as a “long leasehold” flat or apartment (i.e. one that was granted for at least 21 years – as distinct from, say, a monthly tenancy), then on death the flat passes as part of the estate under the will of the deceased, and it’s possible for an executor to extend a lease in those circumstances.

                NB It’s worth noting that there could be conditions on the lease with regard to ownership of the property. In particular there are an increasing number of retirement flats with conditions on who can and cannot own or even occupy the property. Retirement flats often have a minimum age requirement e.g. 55. If you inherit this type of retirement property and don’t fit the criteria, then you will need to sell the property to someone who does fit that criteria.

                Can an Executor Extend a Lease?

                Many executors are unaware of their rights to extend a leasehold on a residential flat or house, and the useful benefits this can bring. If leasehold residential property forms part of the estate in question, then, as long as the executor acts to start the application to extend the lease by serving the formal notice of claim within two years of probate being granted, they have the same rights as the living homeowner may have had. The deceased person has to have qualified for the lease extension themselves, which usually means having owned the property concerned for at least two years. And the formal, or statutory route to extend a lease is started by the issue of what is known as a section 42 notice, something that is usually done by solicitors with plenty of experience of lease extension – which is a niche area of law.

                A similar right applies to executors wishing to buy the freehold of a leasehold house.

                NB if the deceased person had not owned a flat for 2 years then there is no automatic right to a lease extension. In that case, however the executor may still be able to negotiate an informal agreement the freeholder.. This type of negotiation is not regulated, and so you cannot force the landlord into granting an extension. The best thing to do is talk it out and come to a mutually beneficial agreement.

                Looking for Specialist Lease Extension Advice? Call our Solicitors on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE Initial Phone Advice

                What Lease Extension Options Are Open to an Executor?

                If these conditions are met, the executor has two options. They can either go straight ahead and extend the lease [possibly by making the most of using some of the cash in the estate to pay the freeholder’s premium, surveyors fees and both sets of legal costs], or start the process with the aim of putting the property on the market.

                As long as the executor has started the process of extending the lease, this can then be handed onto the person who buys the house or flat. The new purchaser therefore doesn’t have to wait for the two years needed for him to start the lease extension and saves money too.

                A property which already has a lease extension underway is worth more than one which does not, and it is more appealing to home buyers too.

                What is the process if it is the freeholder who has died?

                When a freeholder passes away, the person who is responsible for inheriting their estate, determined through a valid will or the rules of intestacy, will become the new freeholder. And it’s this new freeholder that the leaseholder will need to deal with in future to obtain buildings insurance details if they want to sell their property or extend their leasehold as well as purchase the freehold.

                However, in cases where there are no next of kin then what is known as “bona vacantia” or “ownerless property” applies – this means that the freehold passes to the Crown. And it’s the Treasury Solicitor who is responsible for handling these kind of freehold on behalf of the Crown – and they are usually happy to give leaseholders an opportunity to purchase the freehold

                 

                Thinking of a Leasehold Extension? Contact our Experts

                Here at Bonallack and Bishop, we have a team of specialists in both Leasehold Enfranchisement and Lease Extension – that’s all they do and  they can represent you wherever you live in England and Wales – so for  FREE initial phone advice just

                • call our specialists on 0800 1404544 for FREE initial advice or
                • fill in the enquiry form below

                  Collective Enfranchisement – garages, outbuildings and gardens -“appurtenant property”

                  HOW TO ACCOUNT FOR GARAGES AND OUTBUILDINGS WHEN GOING Collective Enfranchisement garages, outbuildings. image of block of flatsTHROUGH ENFRANCHISEMENT

                  Collective enfranchisement can be a difficult process, particularly if you’re unprepared. There are a lot of things to remember and to consider when making your initial offer in the Enfranchisement Notice and some of the things which are often forgotten are garages, gardens, outbuildings and other areas of surrounding property. Of course, a block of flats is not just the flats themselves – and these additional areas form part of the freehold must be accounted for when preparing a collective enfranchisement effort.

                  Additional areas – do you want to include them in your Enfranchisement Notice?

                  When exercising your right to enfranchise, you may also have the opportunity to buy garages, gardens or surrounding property. So when preparing an offer to buy the freehold on your block of flats, this is something you should consider.

                  These additional areas can include pathways and walkways, parking areas and forecourts and are often referred to as the ‘appurtenant property’.

                  If your offer includes wanting to buy this appurtenant property, you must clearly state this in your initial Enfranchisement Notice.
                  Click here to read more about the Enfranchisement Notice

                  Your garage – is it part of your lease?

                  When exercising your enfranchisement rights, you legally have the right to force your freeholder to sell you your garage if the lease of your flat include the garage. The two are deemed to be linked and tied, and should you wish to buy it as part of your enfranchisement then your freeholder must comply.

                  However if the garage and the flat aren’t linked but the lease for the two is held by the same person, the leaseholder is legally entitled to buy the freehold on the garage as well as the flat.

                  It is worth noting that the leaseholder doesn’t need to purchase their flat or be a participant in the collective enfranchisement effort — the garage is considered enfranchisable separately and the leaseholder could buy it outside the scope of the collective enfranchisement effort if they so wish.

                  The need for specialist professional help

                  Professional help is vital at this stage, as you will require a specialist enfranchisement solicitor [or possibly a paid project manager if your block is a large one and none of the leaseholders have sufficient time] to conduct a search of all leasehold titles on the property, including leasehold ownership details for all garages and outbuildings from HM Land Registry.

                  This is not something which can easily be done by individual leaseholders, nor should leasehold ownership be assumed without first having the official ownership documents obtained from HM Land Registry. The leasehold titles can be downloaded from the Land Registry’s website or an OC1 Form can be sent to them which will enable you to obtain the titles by return of post.

                  Getting your Collective Enfranchisement Notice right

                  When preparing your Enfranchisement Notice, you should therefore make sure that, if appropriate, details of two areas of land are included: the first covering the block of flats itself and the second covering the appurtenant property — the garages, outbuildings, paths and parking areas you wish to buy as part of the collective enfranchisement.

                  If these additional areas of property are not included in the original Enfranchisement Notice, it will be deemed that your sole offer is for the block of flats itself – and that you do NOT wish to purchase the appurtenant property. If this is, indeed, your actual aim then you should explicitly state this in your Enfranchisement Notice.

                  Having all of the facts laid down in the Notice is vital to ensuring there are no misunderstandings or legal hiccups as the enfranchisement process continues.

                  Having specialist legal advice from an experienced collective enfranchisement solicitor will help you to avoid any problems throughout the process. A solicitor who specialises in freehold purchase and lease extension work will often save you money in the long run as well as the peace of mind for you and your fellow leaseholders – that the collective enfranchisement effort is being dealt with by the safest possible pair of hands, keeping confidence high and potential disagreements at a minimum.
                  Click here to read more about the enfranchisement notice

                  Contact Our Collective Enfranchisement Solicitors

                  Exercising your Right to Enfranchise involves a really difficult of law  – so it’s critical that you get the right expert advice. Wherever your block is situated in England Wales, our specialist team can help. For a FREE initial phone consultation from an specialist in Enfranchisement

                  • Call us today on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 or
                  • email us using our contact form for FREE initial advice and a FREE quote.

                    Lease Extensions with an absentee freeholder

                    Solicitors specialising in leasehold extensions with missing freeholders.

                    Lease extensions where your freeholder is an absentee and you can’t track them down Lease Extensions with an absentee freeholder.image of block of flatsare more complicated. Why?

                    Many mortgage lenders simply refuse to lend money is on any leasehold properties with an absentee freeholder – which can obviously seriously affect the chances of a leaseholder in obtaining a mortgage or even marketing the property. This problem is made worse if the remaining lease term itself is relatively short.

                    It is likely to prove expensive, complex and lengthy to serve a statutory notice enforcing a lease extension if there is no freeholder or their whereabouts is unknown. In the Leasehold Reform (Housing & Urban Development) Act 1993, provision was made for dealing with the problem of freeholder absenteeism by applying for what is known as a Vesting Order through the County Court, which also has the power to grant a dispensation from the requirement to serve notice entirely.

                    What is a vesting order?

                    Any leasehold flat owner seeking to extend their lease or group of leaseholders seeking to purchase the freehold of their block or claim the right to manage it, must produce evidence demonstrating reasonable efforts have been made to trace the absent freeholder before a Vesting Order can be granted.

                    Admissible evidence to prove this includes

                    • providing freehold Office Copies (i.e. Proof of the freeholder’s ownership) showing the last known address of the freeholder,
                    • proving they no longer own that property and have moved to an unknown address, or
                    • providing statements confirming that a visit to the freeholder’s last known address has not provided the leaseholders with a forwarding address.

                    The County Court will either set a date for the Vesting Order hearing or, alternatively, rule on the basis of the presented facts if the judge is satisfied that reasonable efforts to trace the freeholder have been made.

                    When your case has been proved, the Court will issue a Judgment setting out that the freehold may be acquired by the leaseholder(s) with funds to be ‘vested’ in the Court and defer the case to the First Tier Property Tribunal [which replaced the old Leasehold Valuation Tribunal or LVT in July 2013] for a ‘reasonable’ premium, in case the freeholder resurfaces in the future.

                    Vesting orders and your absentee freeholder – is a hearing always necessary?

                    The First Tier Property Tribunal also hears many absentee freeholder cases without a full hearing by issuing directions for the leaseholders to comply with and timescales for documents to be produced by, such as the County Court Judgment, copy leases, the valuation for the leaseholders and the proposed TP1 land transfer form.

                    Whilst the leaseholder may, following grant of a Vesting Order, benefit from acquiring the freehold at a relatively low premium and then grant themselves a lease extension for a nominal premium, the procedure, legal costs and sheer aggravation involved could still be significant.

                    Instruct our team of lease extension, right to manage and enfranchisement experts today who will be able to guide you through this complex process and help eliminate the worry from what can be a stressful situation.

                    Problems with an Absentee Freeholder? Looking for a specialist Lease Extension Law Firm?

                    Wherever you live nationwide, if you’re thinking of applying for a lease extension or a collective enfranchisement, call us today – our team are specialists in this really complex field and are happy to provide you with free initial legal advice on the phone.

                    So for advice from a specialist lease extensions law firm;

                    • Phone our team on FREEPHONE [0800] 1404544 for FREE NO STRINGS ATTACHED initial phone advice OR
                    • Email us using the contact form below