HOW TO ACCOUNT FOR GARAGES AND OUTBUILDINGS WHEN GOING THROUGH 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 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 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 enfranchisement 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.
Contact Our Leasehold 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.