How do I buy the freehold for my leasehold property?

Buying the freehold of a leasehold property is a decision many homeowners must consider.

For many, the transition to freehold ownership is a strategic move, offering the potential to improve property control and reduce long-term costs.

Differences between buying the freehold of a flat or a house

The process of freehold ownership varies significantly depending on the type of property you own.

House owners

The process is relatively straightforward, with many having the right to buy the freehold of their property.

Purchasing the freehold can be done through a formal process if the leaseholder meets specific criteria outlined by the law.

Alternatively, the purchase can be made through an informal approach. This involves directly approaching the freeholder to enquire about purchasing the freehold.

The Government has shown commitment to banning the sale of leasehold houses, which has led to developers ceasing the sale on a leasehold basis.

This change is in anticipation of the Leasehold Reform Bill, which aims to make the purchase of a freehold more cost-effective.

Flat owners

Conversely, for flat owners, the situation is more complex.

Buying the freehold usually means acquiring a share of it, necessitating the involvement of other residents in the block. The process is also known as collective enfranchisement.

This not only involves agreement among the majority of leaseholders but also follows a more complex legal process, reflecting the shared nature of the property.

It is highly advisable to consult a property solicitor when buying a flat’s freehold. They can advise on complex legalities, ensure compliance with regulations and prevent potential disputes.

How much does it cost?

The cost of buying the freehold varies widely, depending on several factors including the value of the property, its location and the length of the lease remaining.

For houses, the calculation is generally more straightforward, focusing on the value of the land and remaining lease terms.

For flats, the calculation also considers the share of the freehold each leaseholder will own. The cost is comparable to extending the lease, but it is important to factor in the expenses of coordinating with other residents and potential legal fees.

It is essential to account for additional costs, including legal fees, valuation fees and potential stamp duty. These can add a significant amount to the overall cost.

The benefits of owning the freehold

Owning the freehold of your property brings several advantages:

Seeking the help of a solicitor

The process of buying a freehold can be daunting, with intricate legal steps and negotiations involved. Engaging a solicitor who specialises in property law is crucial.

They can offer:

Engaging a solicitor is essential to navigate the legal complexities, making the transition from leasehold to freehold as smooth as possible.

If you would like advice on purchasing the freehold for your property, get in touch with our expert team today.


Toby Conyers-Kelly

Head of Leasehold Enfranchisement

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