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. 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 leaseholLiverpool Leasehold Enfranchisement Solicitors. ALEP logod 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.#

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

    Statutory Freehold Enfranchisement – the Importance of Deadlines

    Solicitors Specialising in Freehold Purchase For Clients NationwideStatutory Freehold Enfranchisement. Solicitors Specialising in Freehold Purchase

    Statutory Freehold enfranchisement – the legal process where 50% or more of the leaseholders in a  block of flats get together to buy their block’s freehold from the landlord – often seems like an interminable process with a never-ending list of forms to complete and regulations to adhere to.

    It’s certainly true that the rules and paperwork can be daunting, but there is a strict regulatory framework with deadlines governing the whole process. These deadlines are designed to allow leaseholders to get the process completed within a reasonable period of time, while still allowing the freeholder time to manage their side of the process.

    Need Expert Enfranchisement Advice? Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE Initial Phone Advice.

    Freehold Enfranchisement – the difference between the informal and statutory process.

    Just like extending your lease, when you come to buy the freehold of your block with some of your fellow leaseholders, you have two options.

    1. An informal or voluntary enfranchisement

    2. The formal or statutory enfranchisement process

    There are a number of differences between the two. In short,

    • provided you get the process right and your block is eligible for enfranchisement, then buying the freehold is your legal right. In general terms the freeholder simply cannot stop you.

    • in contrast there is no formality to the voluntary route. no timetable, and no set procedure. You simply negotiate and agree terms with your freeholder. And the main disadvantage is that in using this process, you have absolutely no way of forcing your freeholder to complete the sale. Your freeholder is completely free to drop out at any stage, which is why we would strongly advise against any informal enfranchisement.

    • one disadvantage of the formal route is that it does mean you need to strictly comply with the rigid the timetable and complicated procedure. Making a simple mistake can mean your application fails and have to start from the beginning again which can cause considerable delay and significantly increase costs. remember with the formal route you will have to pay not only your own legal and valuation costs but also the reasonable and legal valuation costs of your freeholder.

    That’s why it’s so important getting a specialist solicitor with plenty of relevant experience to handle your statutory enfranchisement claim.

    NB there are also strict guidelines when you use the formal statutory process to buy the freehold of a leasehold house

    Enfranchisement – the Need for Specialist Solicitors

    As you will see below, implications of missing a deadline when it comes to formal enfranchisement can prove very expensive indeed. That’s right really important that you get a solicitor who really understands freehold purchase. Few property solicitors regularly deal with lease extensions – and far fewer ever come across enfranchisement.

    However if you instructed leasehold team here at Bonallack and Bishop you can rest Statutory Freehold Enfranchisement Solicitors. HomeOwners Alliance logo.assured that you have experts with plenty of relevant experience covering your back. We will make sure that you meet all of the deadlines and that the correct paperwork is served in the right way, at the right time.

    And to prove it, we are the only solicitors nationwide recommended by the HomeOwners Alliance (the leading organisation representing Britain’s 17 million homeowners) for legal advice on any aspect of lease extension, right to manage or freehold purchase.

    Statutory Freehold Enfranchisement – Deadlines Affect Everyone

    The legal deadlines apply to both sides in the collective enfranchisement. If the leaseholders miss a deadline when going through the freehold purchase process then the whole process will be declared abandoned by default, or the freeholder can ask the County Court to declare the process invalid.

    If the freeholder is the one who misses the deadline then it is possible that the collective enfranchisement can be forced through at the original offer price, which gives the landlord no opportunity to negotiate or make a counter offer. given that most original offer prices tend to be on the lower side – to encourage negotiation, if the freeholder misses the deadline it can prove very expensive indeed.

    What Happens When the Parties Can’t Agree on a Price

    If the freeholder does respond to the initial Enfranchisement Notice and starts to negotiate on price, but then the negotiations over the freehold price reaches stalemate, then the case can then be referred to an official body called the First-Tier Tribunal Property Chamber ( which was previously called the LVT or Leasehold Valuation Tribunal). This option is only open during a strict four month period which starts two months from the date the Counter Notice is issued, and ends six months after it is issued. Outside of this period the case cannot be referred to the Tribunal and the whole freehold purchase may fail.

    Statutory Freehold Enfranchisement – failure to serve a counter notice

    After the Enfranchisement Notice is served, the freeholder has a period of two months to come back with a Counter Notice. If this doesn’t happen, then they are deemed to have accepted the initial offer. If this happens, the leaseholders who are asking for collective enfranchisement can go ahead and legally purchase their freehold at whatever price they first offered. It is for this reason that freeholders have to stick to the deadlines and get their responses submitted in time – they face financial losses if they don’t.

    The deadlines are there to ensure that the freehold purchase goes through as smoothly as possible, and to provide protection for both side. They also give people time to complete the tasks which need to be completed. All of these deadlines should be made clear by the start and you should make sure to stick to them if you don’t want to run the risk of ending up in the County Court to hear your freehold enfranchisement has been declared abandoned.

    Looking at Statutory Freehold Enfranchisement ? Call Our Specialists

    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 a specialist Freehold Enfranchisement Solicitor

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

      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

      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.

      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 to Alter 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.

        Enfranchisement – What happens if you want to sell your flat before the process is complete?

        Collective enfranchisement can be a long and drawn-out process, particularly if problems are encountered along the way. In life, different circumstances can crop up and mean that sometimes things have to take an about-turn. There may well be a situation in which you are wholeheartedly going along with an enfranchisement effort and a life event gets in the way which means that you have to sell your flat before the process is complete. These can cause some problems, but not ones which are unsurmountable.

        Looking for Specialist Enfranchisement Advice? Call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE Initial Phone Advice.

        First stop – the participation agreement

        A well-run freehold purchase project  will begin with a Participation Agreement, which obliges each participant to pay for their share of the freehold once the process is complete – and furthermore, that if they wish to sell their flat before the process is complete, that  must be to a buyer who agrees to take his or her place in the process of collective enfranchisement. Leasehold enfranchisement in itself doesn’t stop somebody from selling their flat, so long as there is a contingency plan in place, such as the one described above, in case the situation should arise.

        This need not cause a problem, though. Indeed, the vast majority of prospective buyers will consider the flat to be far more attractive than another leasehold flat purely because they will get a share of the freehold and a 999-year lease at the end of the project, which they otherwise might not have had they bought another leasehold flat. So long as the Participation Agreement binds the residents to only sell to a buyer who contractually agrees to take their place in the collective enfranchisement process, it should cause no major headaches for those involved.

        Click here to read more about Participation Agreements

        The importance of the project manager

        The project manager or organiser should ensure that they are put in direct contact with the buyer in order to ensure that they are privy to the same information and communication that the original resident was, and this should be done long before the sale of the flat is complete.

        Once the sale of the flat has gone through, there’s very little the project manager or organiser can do if the new resident claims to know nothing about or not be interested in collective enfranchisement.

        Having them sign the Participation Agreement or a contract engaging themselves in the process should they be the new owners of the flat will protect the whole process and ensure there are no hiccups along the way.

        Enfranchisement and selling your flat – the need for specialist solicitor

        To ensure the project isn’t derailed by the sale of a flat during the process, legal advice should be obtained and the services of a specialist solicitor with plenty of experience of enfranchisement should be sought. This will provide peace of mind to the other residents who are participating in buying the freehold of your block as well as ensuring that the terms of the Participation Agreement are kept to, with the new buyer actively engaging in the purchase of the freehold as the previous resident did.

        Having this added legal protection is something which can prove hugely valuable, particularly if the new resident opts not to play ball after all.

        Keep talking

        Once again, communication is the key and conveying accurate information to all residents — as well as potential new residents — is of the utmost importance.

        An experienced enfranchisement solicitor will be able to deal with the paperwork as well as ensuring that the correct legal advice is given to all the parties involved, making the chances of something going wrong much lower and protecting everybody involved with the collective enfranchisement effort.

        As always, careful planning and organisation can forestall many problems before they even crop up and ensure that the project is completed smoothly and without any unexpected and unforeseen issues which might arise.

        Problems with selling your flat while enfranchisement takes place? We can help

        Our team of enfranchisement and lease extension specialists work closely with our property dispute litigators – so if you’re having a problem with buying your freehold or extending your lease, and think that it might require a Property Tribunal application, don’t hesitate to get in touch. And don’t forget we offer FREE initial phone advice.

        Collective enfranchisement involves a really difficult of law  – so it’s so important that you get the right specialist advice. Wherever your block is situated in England and Wales, our expert team of lawyers can help. Enfranchisement and lease extensions is all they do.

        For a FREE initial phone consultation from a genuine 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.

          How To Get Your Fellow Leaseholders Involved in Enfranchisement

          Specialist Lease Enfranchisement 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.

          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.

          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. 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.

          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.

          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 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.

            How to Avoid Disputes Over Service Charges During Collective Enfranchisement

            If you are involved in organising the collective enfranchisement process for your block of flats, the chance to buy your freehold can be both exciting and draining. The sheer volume of work needed to push the process to conclusion can seem daunting. There are however some issues which can hold up the process, but which can often be easily avoided.

            Collective Enfranchisement and the Problem with Service Charge Disputes

            Often one of the most contentious issues that cropped up during the collective enfranchisement process can be around ongoing problems with service charges.

            Residents’ Associations can easily have tunnel vision when it comes to purchasing the freehold, and residents become unhappy over what they see as excessive service charges.

            It is very important that these arguments are laid to rest as soon as possible to allow the lease enfranchisement process to carry on as smoothly as possible. Getting mired in countless fights with the freeholder over the service charges will just prolong the whole process – and could easily lead the Residents’ Association into endless battles.

            Freehold Purchase – Focus on What You Want to Achieve

            Any solicitor who has plenty of experience in collective enfranchisement [ and it’s worth noting that there are very few of them in England and Wales] should be able to make clear that Residents’ Associations who expend time and effort pursuing cases over service charges with claims and counter claims will very rarely have success in completing a collective enfranchisement case.

            In most cases this sort of challenge is a waste of everyone’s energy; energy which could be far better spent on pushing through the collective enfranchisement process itself.

            Trying to keep everyone’s eyes on the final goal can be difficult when working with large groups of leaseholders or Residents’ Associations as these groups can easily lose focus. This makes the process far less efficient than it could be.

            The Importance of Careful Accounting

            Even if you are not aware of any arguments about service charges at the start of the collective enfranchisement project, chances are you may soon come across some.

            During the freehold purchase process, the leaseholders have to pay to the freeholder any outstanding service charges as they are buying all of the legal rights to the building, including all assets or liabilities.

            It is very important that someone manages the cash flow carefully to make sure that everyone is aware that this money is due to be paid, and that there is money available to pay off the service charges when the freehold is transferred over to the new company owned by the participating leaseholders.

            Collective Enfranchisement – Get a Written Agreement Right from the Start

            It is also a good idea to get agreement in writing at the outset of the process that the Residents’ Association will not get involved in any disputes over service charges during the collective enfranchisement process, and that each leaseholder involved will take responsibility for their own service charges. The document should also state that the sole focus of the Residents’ Association should be the collective enfranchisement, and that time should not be wasted on other issues. Often, some leaseholders will not be happy to agree to this as they have problems with what they think are unfair charges, but if everything is set down in black and white at the start of the process, it could keep things running far more smoothly than without any written agreement.

            Buying your freehold – the Importance of Ongoing Communication

            When dealing with any large group of people and with a complex legal process such as collective enfranchisement, communicating the correct advice can be difficult.

            Making sure that you appoint the right solicitor who specialises in collective enfranchisement work can really save you a lot of stress and money over the long term.

            The right solicitor will help a Residents’ Association make sure that you have all of the correct information at your fingertips, and can also offer advice on how other Residents’ Associations have dealt with the process in the past.

            Your Collective Enfranchisement – Worried About Service Charge Disputes? Call Our Specialists

            Exercising your Right to Enfranchise involves a really difficult of law, and the whole process becomes much more difficult if one or more of the residents challenges any outstanding service charges  – so it’s critical that you get the right expert advice.

            Wherever your block is situated in England or 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.

              Cardiff Building in Largest Ever Right To Manage Victory

              Century Wharf in Cardiff, a Peverel managed site of 967 leasehold flats, is the biggest site ever to have won Right to Manage [RTM].

              The 967 luxury apartments known as Century Wharf in Cardiff have become the Right To Manage Federation’s biggest victory yet. Century Wharf casts a shadow over the biggest RTM in England, the 422 flats at Metro Central Heights in Elephant and Castle in London which was completed by the Right to Manage Federation in 2012.

              Century Wharf comprise 19 buildings which are divided into 35 self-contained units which will be known as houses.

              After many visits to the site, the RTMF decided that three RTM companies would take responsibility for managing the estate and those three companies were incorporated in October 2012.

              Peverel subsequently challenged the right to manage application on several grounds, including the right of one company to take charge of more than one building. The hearing was adjourned to allow the Upper Tribunal to consider whether one RTM company can indeed manage many buildings. At a later hearing, the Tribunal ruled that all three RTM companies were entitled to manage.

              This decision in a complex site is in direct contrast to the situation at Kingsmere in Brighton in 2012. There, poorly-advised leaseholders ended up picking up the bill for the freeholder legal costs. There is now clearer guidance about the mechanism for one RTM company overseeing several buildings.

              The Tribunal also recommended that landlords facing a RTM claim accept the proposal rather than drag out a court case, especially in cases where most leaseholders are in favour of RTM.

              The leaseholders at Century Wharf have asked Warwick Estates to manage the portfolio of the luxury Cardiff apartments when the RTM is formerly handed over at the beginning of August.

              Considering Exercising Your Right to Manage – Call Us Now 

              Whether you’re thinking of setting up an RTM company or enfranchising your block –   it’s critical that you get the right expert advice. Wherever your block is situated in England and Wales, our specialist team can help. For a FREE initial phone consultation from an specialist in both RTM and Enfranchisement

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

                Retirement after 32 years for our leasehold extension expert

                Lease extension specialist retires

                2014 has seen the beginning of a new era for us – one without Mary Hunt, the longest serving member of our specialist leasehold enfranchisement and lease extension team.

                Mary originally joined Salisbury law firm, Pye-Smiths back in January 1981, and has remained with the firm ever since, transferring across to us here at Bonallack and Bishop when the two firms merged in 2005.

                Mary has now finally retired, after just under 32 years unbroken service.

                Tim Bishop, Bonallack and Bishop’s senior partner, commented “Mary has been such an essential member of our team for so many years, that it will be really strange being without her. Over the years she’s built up an incredible knowledge of lease extension of our clients and it’s not going to be easy to replace Mary. She’s been an incredibly loyal servant of the firm with an exceptional level of cover and to us and our major freehold property client. On a personal note, I will really miss Mary, and I know our practice director will miss her rock cakes! However, knowing Mary, I’m sure she will keep really busy, in retirement, with plenty more time to spend fishing”.

                However, Tim continued,” since we are looking to double our lease extension work in the next couple of years, you never know, we may be all to tempt Mary back part-time at some stage – though I have to admit my attempt to sign her up to a further 32 year fixed contract was sadly unsuccessful!”

                Lease extension– contact our specialists now

                If you are considering collective enfranchisement of your block, or extending your lease, we have or the expertise you need. So, for FREE specialist initial phone advice:

                • Call 0800 1404544 for FREE initial advice, or

                • Send us an email via the contact form below

                  Extending the lease on my house or buying the freehold – FAQ

                  My leasehold house – lease extension or  freehold purchase? Which is best?

                  You can extend the lease on a house – however you are likely to be better off buying the freehold. This is generally referred to as leasehold, collective or freehold enfranchisement’.

                  Looking for Specialist Lease Extension or Freehold Purchase Advice? Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE Initial Phone Advice.

                  When it comes to extending the lease on a house, a different process applies to lease extension for flats and apartments. House leaseholders can generally extend their lease for up to 50 years after having owned the flat for 2 years, whereas flat owners can extend by 90 years. Extending a lease also means that you have to follow a strict procedure with your freeholder and will need to pay expensive legal fees (unless you are able to informally agree to lease extension with the freeholder).

                  The flat lease extension rules and procedures will apply if your lease only covers part of a converted house.

                  When can I buy the freehold?

                  Once you have owned the house for 2 years you will be able to purchase the freehold. You cannot do so before this 2 year period has elapsed.

                  Where can I find out who owns the freehold?

                  If you are struggling to find your freeholder, you should get in touch with the Land Registry which will be able to find the registered freeholder in their records.

                  Why buy the freehold of my house?

                  Buying your freehold of a leasehold house is often a better option than extending your lease because of the control it gives you. If you own the freehold you will not need to pay ground rent or service charges and will be able to carry our repairs as and when you wish. Furthermore, it is likely to add value to your home and will make it more attractive to prospective buyers. You may find however that you are not entitled to buy the freehold or perhaps cannot afford to do so.

                  How do I buy the freehold?

                  Provided that you qualify, you are legally entitled to buy the freehold. You must follow the process and adhere to the deadlines set out in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. Taking this route allows the First-Tier Property Tribunal (previously known as the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal or LVT) set the terms for the purchase and the price. It may also be possible to informally negotiate with the freeholder to complete the sale. Taking this informal route means that the Tribunal will not give their input and you technically will not have a right to buy the freehold, leaving it to the freeholders discretion. A county court may be able to step in to enforce it though.

                  Is buying the freehold expensive?

                  Whereas flat owners need to pay the freeholder a fee in order to extend the lease, house owners do not need to do so. However, you will have to cover the legal fees of both you and your freeholder. This can be expensive but is generally less expensive than buying the freehold.
                  Click here to read more about Buying the Freehold of Your House

                  Can I extend the lease on my house?

                  It is likely that you will be able to extend the lease on your house provided that you have owned the house for 2 years. You need not have lived in the house for this time however you may not be able to extend the lease if:

                  • You have previously extended the lease

                  • You already hold a lease for a business

                  • The freeholder it a trust for charitable accommodation

                  • The original lease was awarded for under 21 years or you have sublet the property on a lease under this time

                  • The original lease has ended

                  Although you may not be able to extend your lease, you will generally be able to buy the freehold.

                  What happens if my lease ends?

                  You cease to own your home once your lease so whilst you may be able to negotiate a lease extension with the freeholder, there will be no certainty. If the lease extension is refused by the freeholder, you will become an assured tenant and your tenant will be the landlord to whom you pay rent. As an assured tenant you will have numerous rights but they will not be as extensive as a leaseholder’s rights. It is therefore crucial that you urgently seek legal advice if your lease is running out.

                  Will a short lease make it more difficult to sell my house?

                  Selling a leasehold house is likely to be difficult if you have less than 70 years to run on your lease. Generally speaking, the longer the lease, the more attractive the house is; it is therefore advisable to extend your lease. If you buy a house with a short lease it becomes harder to secure a mortgage and you will have to see out the 2 year people before you can extend the lease. For those considering lease extension, don’t forget to apply for the extension before your current lease runs out. If you leave it too late, you may lose your right to extend the lease completely.

                  What will happen to ground rent after the lease is extended?

                  In all likelihood, your ground rent will go up once you’ve extended the lease but it can only go up once the term left on your current lease has run out. Changes to the ground rent will take into account the value of the property at the time of the extension. This can go up again after 25 years. If you are locked in a dispute over the ground rent with the freeholder, a Property Tribunal may be needed to set the rent figure.

                  Interested in extending the lease on your house or  buying the freehold? Call our specialists today

                  Are you a house owner? If you are looking for advice on lease extension or lease enfranchisement, our leasehold reform specialists can provide you with the specialist legal advice you need.

                  • Call our team now on 0800 1404544, or
                  • Send us an email via the contact form below.

                    Leasehold Enfranchisement vs. Lease Extension – The Right Option For You?

                    Specialist Lease Extension and Leasehold Enfranchisement Lawyers

                    The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 gave leaseholdLeasehold Enfranchisement lawyers. Image of block of flats owners of flats two important new rights. The first allows a majority of tenants to join together to buy the freehold, exercising the right to collective enfranchisement. The second allows an individual tenant the right to a new lease, for a term 90 years longer than the existing one at a peppercorn rent. In order to decide which route to follow a tenant will first have to assess whether they qualify for a collective claim and, if a collective claim is a possibility, will then need to decide whether the advantages of purchasing your freehold outweigh the benefits of a 90 year leasehold extension.

                    Looking for Specialist Lease Extension or Leasehold Enfranchisement Lawyers? Call us on FREEPHONE 0800 1404544 for FREE Initial Phone Advice

                    Tenants who are faced with the question of whether to enfranchise or seek a lease extension need to consider what their main objectives are. If they are suffering from bad management, unsubstantiated service charges and their leases are significantly longer than the statutory limit of 80 years then a collective Leasehold Enfranchisement claim will be of most benefit provided that they have an organised residents association.

                    On the other hand, if the leases are short or are about to reach the 80 year limit and they reside in a well managed block with numerous non-resident tenants a lease extension may be the better solution. In addition, with a collective claim, time can be an issue. If there are a significant number of tenants, it can take weeks or even months for them all to agree and sign up to the necessary documentation and to pay towards a fighting fund. In contrast, a single lease extension claim can sometimes be signed within a few days of a valuation being obtained –  if your freeholder is cooperative.

                    Leasehold enfranchisement following lease extension

                    It is also important to remember that these 2 options are not mutually exclusive.

                    It is possible for a tenant to extend a lease one year and then enter into a collective claim a few years later. The tenant’s extended lease will only serve to reduce the premium payable for the freehold.

                    Finally, tenants should also be aware that if the cost of the freehold is a problem it is possible to opt for forming a Right to Manage Company as a low cost solution to gaining control over the way that a building is run. And exercising your right to manage can be carried out alongside a lease extension.

                    Looking for specialist Leasehold Enfranchisement Lawyers? Contact us today

                    Wherever you live in the UK, for a FREE initial telephone consultation on your Freehold Enfranchisement or extending a lease,either

                    • Call us now on 0800 1404544, or
                    • Send us an email using the enquiry form below.