Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 8th Mar 12, 1:54 PM
    • 1,218Posts
    • 3,554Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    Buy Your Freehold - guide discussion
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 12, 1:54 PM
    Buy Your Freehold - guide discussion 8th Mar 12 at 1:54 PM



    Hi all, we've written a new Buy The Freehold guide to help you buy your freehold or get the right to manage.

    How did you find the info? If you've done it, how did it go and do you have any other tips you'd add? How much value do you think it added to your property?

    Thanks
    for your help!


    MSE Jenny

Page 7
    • GTG
    • By GTG 14th Mar 16, 5:21 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    GTG
    Extortionate rent increases by the LA? They can only increase your ground rent by the amounts and at the intervals specified in your lease! If the terms are as onerous as you say then it begs the question why did you buy the leasehold property in the first place?
    • panos123
    • By panos123 20th Apr 16, 10:31 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    panos123
    Hi
    I am the owner of a flat in Berkshire. There are in total 24 flats and exactly 50% of the owners have agreed to buy the freehold. One of the 12 owners that wishes to buy the freehold has agreed to buy 13 shares while the remaining 11 owners will buy the remaining 11 shares.

    I am worried that too much control will be on one single person. Am I justified in thinking this? Could the majority shareholder in the newly formed company be dictating terms as to the execution of freeholders duties e.g. imposing high commission charges on buildings insurance or demanding that a particular contractor carries out necessary repairs that might occur in the future?

    Finally, if I was to acquire 2 shares in the freehold company i.e. one for the flat I own and one other to make up the numbers, what position would that leave me when I decide to sell my flat? Would I have to sell as part of the flat both shares (which I am fairly certain any prospective new owner would not want to pay a premium for) or would i still be able to retain one?

    Many thanks in advance for your response
    • Mossfarr
    • By Mossfarr 20th Apr 16, 11:19 PM
    • 432 Posts
    • 584 Thanks
    Mossfarr
    Information just for anyone who is interested - I have just completed the purchase (enfranchisement) of the freehold of my former Local authority house. The lease had aprox 964 years remaining and the annual groundrent was 'one peppercorn' - ie no payment!
    The total cost was £1548.00 :-
    Cost of freehold £250
    Vendors Legal fees £750(inc vat)
    my solicitors fees £480 (inc vat)
    other charges £68 (bank fees, land registry fee, LR search fee etc).

    You may wonder why I bothered buying it at all as it doesn't cost anything, well:
    I can now extend, add a conservatory or change walls or fences etc without having to ask for permission at £150 per enquiry.
    The groundrent can not suddenly be increased.
    I am not under any obligation to decorate internally and externally at specified intervals.
    I cannot be forced to contribute to any 'works' the LA decide are required.
    A freehold property will be more attractive to purchasors when I decide to sell.
    The Local Authority can never claim the house & land back.

    Seemed like a no brainer to me, I now feel I truly own it!
    Last edited by Mossfarr; 20-04-2016 at 11:22 PM.
    • waterstar
    • By waterstar 26th Dec 16, 6:32 PM
    • 157 Posts
    • 131 Thanks
    waterstar
    I have read through entire thread as I try to learn about/understand "buying the freehold of a leasehold house". Thanks to all who have posted.

    I live on an estate of 12 town houses, ie in continuous terrace with small front and rear garden forming part of the demise, together with a right, set out in the demised property, to park a car in an allocated space elsewhere on the estate (ie not directly in front of the house), original leases were 999 years with £10 ground rent. The freehold is owned by a resident controlled management company in which each leaseholder owns one share. Other parts of the estate which are "shared" and are the "common parts", eg driveway, large shared garden etc are maintained by management company.

    Questions:

    1) is such a leasehold terraced town house under the control of a resident controlled management company eligible for purchase of the freehold?
    2) If Yes, then after the freehold is purchased how does the leaseholder who has now become a freeholder of his own house, maintain his rights to car parking, access across the driveway etc, ie all the rights to access etc he has under the lease and how does he contribute to the upkeep of those areas of "common parts"?
    Money Saving Fan.
    • t45
    • By t45 26th Jun 17, 1:39 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    Hello,
    I live in a period conversion 3 flats – one of the flats owns 100% freehold (but they don’t live on site – they rent our their flat) and the other 2 (one of which is me) is leasehold.
    Since I purchased the flat 4 years ago I have had nonstop stress with the freeholder over various issues.
    The Deed of Substitution from 2006 is for a term of 125 years so I assume that there is 114 years left on the lease.
    My questions are:
    Is it worth me purchasing part of freehold (50%) (the other flat is on the market) or because I am unhappy with the way all repairs and maintenance are managed would Right To Manage be a better option or trying to bring in a professional manager?
    I would like to have more of a voice rather than be told what work is going to be done and being told without consultation and then having to pay a contribution (which i expect ) – the freeholder decides who to contract for works and i just think they dictate!
    The freeholder uses an awful tone in correspondence such as ‘As freeholder we have decided to contract....and we have decided we will have this work undertaken...’...in essence forcing me to agree to the contractor, the work and the payment contribution – I have very little say in what work is to be carried out as I live on site believe i am better placed to see what needs to be repaired or maintained – the freeholder is off site and visits a few time a year.
    What would be the benefit of me purchasing part of freehold and is it worth it if I have a relatively good lease?
    Would freehold add value to the property but more importantly give me more of a voice in repairs, maintenance and how the building is managed?
    What would be the procedure to follow ? I assume valuation then approaching the freeholder with offer?
    My ground rent is only £15 per year. But I feel like I am paying a lot every month on jobs here and there as the freeholder deems and they have just told me they are adding a £30 per month garden maintenance charge – Have already paid £300 on garden work.
    Many thanks, this is a very useful thread
    Last edited by t45; 26-06-2017 at 3:40 PM. Reason: another question
    • t45
    • By t45 26th Jun 17, 3:42 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    Hello,
    I live in a period conversion 3 flats – one of the flats owns 100% freehold (but they don’t live on site – they rent our their flat) and the other 2 (one of which is me) is leasehold.
    Since I purchased the flat 4 years ago I have had nonstop stress with the freeholder over various issues.
    The Deed of Substitution from 2006 is for a term of 125 years so I assume that there is 114 years left on the lease.
    My questions are:
    Is it worth me purchasing part of freehold (the other flat is on the market) or because I am unhappy with the way all repairs and maintenance are managed would Right To Manage be a better option or trying to bring in a professional manager?
    I would like to have more of a voice rather than be told what work is going to be done and being told without consultation and then having to pay a contribution (which i expect ) – the freeholder decides who to contract for works and i just think they dictate!
    The freeholder uses an awful tone in correspondence such as ‘As freeholder we have decided to contract....and we have decided we will have this work undertaken...’...in essence forcing me to agree to the contractor, the work and the payment contribution – I have very little say in what work is to be carried out as I live on site believe i am better placed to see what needs to be repaired or maintained – the freeholder is off site and visits a few time a year.
    What would be the benefit of me purchasing part of freehold and is it worth it if I have a relatively good lease?
    Would I need to purchase as a COLLECTIVE ENFRANCHISEMENT and would I need the other flat which is up for sale) to also agree to purchase share of freehold? Or can I do this regardless of the other flat?
    Would freehold add value to the property but more importantly give me more of a voice in repairs, maintenance and how the building is managed?
    What would be the procedure to follow ? I assume valuation then approaching the freeholder with offer?
    My ground rent is only £15 per year. But I feel like I am paying a lot every month on jobs here and there as the freeholder deems and they have just told me they are adding a £30 per month garden maintenance charge – Have already paid £300 on garden work.
    Many thanks, this is a very useful thread
    • Joanthebone
    • By Joanthebone 27th Jun 17, 6:35 AM
    • 236 Posts
    • 749 Thanks
    Joanthebone
    Regarding 'Right to Manage' this is from the Leasehold Advice Centre website:

    "The required minimum number of qualifying tenants must be equal to at least half the total number of flats in the building although where there are only 2 flats in a building both must participate & be members of the RTM Company"


    I suggest you have a look at this:

    http://www.leaseholdadvicecentre.co.uk/Collective%20Enfranchisement.htm



    I live in a block of 4 flats with shared freehold between all 4 of us, this still does not make things easy! After battling for nearly 3 years we now have a management company working for us and will finally get some urgent repairs done, but its a very slow process!

    Good luck!
    • t45
    • By t45 28th Jun 17, 10:01 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    t45
    Thanks very much Joan - I called leasehold advice and they were very helpful - I would absolutely recommend anyone with lease/freehold issue to contact them.


    I have a number of options: Collective Enfranchisement or Right to Manage. The former being the better option but I still have quite a long lease of 114 years so I might hold off the freehold bit for a few years, maybe attempt to form a RTM in the interim which would help with management issues and give lessees more of an input and voice in works such as repairs and maintenance - there is another option - asking the freeholder for voluntarily sell share of freehold but it is unlikely they would agree.....I am much clearer on my options now and feel much more empowered as a lessee.


    Freeholder information/Collective Enfranchisement information here:
    http://www.leaseholdadvicecentre.co.uk/Collective%20Enfranchisement.htm


    I have also found the following links very useful and would like to share them:


    For any leaseholders that may have issues with disputes over charges for works/major works etc please refer to this - it covers the essential and required consultation (Section 20 Consultation) process for jobs that the leaseholder is asked to contribute to that are over £250:


    http://www.lease-advice.org/article/major-works-and-consultation-under-section-20-of-the-landlord-tenant-act-1985-a-brief-guide-to-your-rights/




    Any issues or disputes concerning leaseholder being asked to contribute more than £100 (in a financial year) towards qualifying ongoing works, please scroll down to PART 5 in link below (very useful):


    http://www.lease-advice.org/advice-guide/section-20-consultation-for-private-landlords-resident-management-companies-and-their-agents/


    A Link to the Landlords and Tenants Act 1985
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/70


    I hope I can help other leaseholder using this thread as others have helped me.


    Many thanks
    • theblagger
    • By theblagger 16th Jul 17, 3:33 PM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 2,410 Thanks
    theblagger
    Any one help

    House converted into 2 flats
    So 50% each freeholder (2 separate owners)

    Question , owner of one flat wants to sell , can it be sold if in a legal dispute , with other 50% freeholder?

    Thanks for any help on this
    tinfoil hat ...

    Derisive attempt on behalf of blind conformists to discredit and stigmatise those who dare to question authority, ill thought out policies, PR Stunts....
    • theblagger
    • By theblagger 16th Jul 17, 6:03 PM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 2,410 Thanks
    theblagger
    Anyone advise....thanks
    tinfoil hat ...

    Derisive attempt on behalf of blind conformists to discredit and stigmatise those who dare to question authority, ill thought out policies, PR Stunts....
    • Joanthebone
    • By Joanthebone 17th Jul 17, 8:17 AM
    • 236 Posts
    • 749 Thanks
    Joanthebone
    Hi, Have you looked at the Leasehold Advisory Service website? I doubt that they can help but might be worth a look. Failing that I think you should ask your solicitor?
    • GrowfyBruce
    • By GrowfyBruce 27th Sep 17, 2:32 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    GrowfyBruce
    Landlords selling freehold to their own company
    My landlords have just triggered my right to buy the freehold of my property. I own the lease on one of two flats and there is also a high street shop on the ground floor.

    The landlords are selling the freehold to a company that they jointly own and, as far as I can tell, have put an excessive high value on the freehold to discourage me from exercising my right to purchase it.

    Is their valuation something I can challenge under law or is this just tough luck on my part?
    • MaryMay
    • By MaryMay 28th Sep 17, 3:30 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    MaryMay
    I have a question please which is loosely related to this. I own a flat which is in one building with another above and linked by garages to another two the same. They were leasehold when built but the owner went bankrupt over 30 years ago and the (then)flat owners were able to buy the freehold collectively. We do not have a management company - I was not the owner back then btw.
    It now appears that if any of the flats are sold, no-one will be able to get a mortgage as we are not paying into a management fund for say roof repairs. My problem at the moment is that my insurance is due for renewal next month but it seems they should be insured for buildings only collectively and we should pay collectively. None of us want to sell currently but the other problem that needs sorting is us extending the lease which has about 60 years to run even though we all own the freehold, no-one ( a prospective buyer)will get a mortgage as lease is too short. Anyone actually understand what I have said? Does anyone know an insurance company that will insure the buildings for us collectively.I now have a new tenant which is hopw this arose as I looked into selling mine but found this hot potato!
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 28th Sep 17, 5:42 PM
    • 5,550 Posts
    • 5,232 Thanks
    eddddy
    I have a question please which is loosely related to this. I own a flat which is in one building with another above and linked by garages to another two the same. They were leasehold when built but the owner went bankrupt over 30 years ago and the (then)flat owners were able to buy the freehold collectively....
    Originally posted by MaryMay
    The flats will still be leasehold - that won't have changed.

    I'd guess that the freehold is owned by a company - and each flat owner (leaseholder) is a director and/or shareholder in the company.

    From what you say, it sounds like...
    • everything is set up fine.
    • The problem is that people are not doing what they are legally required to, as well as not doing common sense things. (Perhaps because they are lazy, or they don't understand)

    Specifically, it sounds like the freehold company is not arranging freeholder insurance, and is not maintaining the building (which the leases probably say they must).

    And the freeholder company has not extended the leases - which is a failure of 'common sense'.


    I guess the options open to you include...
    • Find one or more of the leaseholders who are prepared to find out how this stuff works, and get stuck in.
    • Hire a management company to do this stuff for you.
    • GTG
    • By GTG 30th Sep 17, 12:30 AM
    • 419 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    GTG
    Marymay, your solicitor should have explained to you your rights and responsibilities as a leaseholder both orally and in writing. This is even more poignant considering that from what you say the legal structure does not follow the conventional or perhaps better to say the contemporary way of doing things i.e. whereby a service charge is raised from the leaseholders to compensate the freeholders or a management company on their behalf for repairs maintenance and buildings insurance etc.

    It all sounds very "wishy washy" to me. Check the documentation you received from your solicitor to find out as eddy suggested whether you are a shareholder in the freehold company. If so it should be accompanied by the memorandum and articles of association which governs the companies remit, its rules for operation, how its directors are elected etc etc etc. Failing that, see what you can find out from the other leaseholders.

    BTW, you are correct, only the freeholders jointly can legally cover the buildings for insurance despite some brokers offering insurance to flat owners for buildings cover.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 30th Sep 17, 9:36 AM
    • 5,550 Posts
    • 5,232 Thanks
    eddddy
    BTW, you are correct, only the freeholders jointly can legally cover the buildings for insurance despite some brokers offering insurance to flat owners for buildings cover.
    Originally posted by GTG
    That's not 100% correct.

    Most leases will say that the freeholder is responsible for insuring the building. But a few leases say that individual leaseholders are responsible for their own buildings insurance for their individual flats.

    MaryMay needs to make sure by checking the lease.
    • GTG
    • By GTG 30th Sep 17, 3:36 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    GTG
    That's not 100% correct.

    Most leases will say that the freeholder is responsible for insuring the building. But a few leases say that individual leaseholders are responsible for their own buildings insurance for their individual flats.

    MaryMay needs to make sure by checking the lease.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    If one is the long leaseholder of a flat that states that they are responsible for building insurance then it is highly likely that the majority of solicitors will consider the lease to be defective. If one's prospective purchaser has such a solicitor then you're in for a bit of extra inconvenience and expense when selling.

    Whatever the nature of the legal capacity that owns a leasehold flat, e.g. an individual, more than one individual, partnership or company etc. That entity cannot legally insure the buildings as it does not own them. You cannot insure something which you do not own. Especially the shared or common parts of the building. The freeholder can only legally do that.

    Just to follow on what I said above, MaryMay can go to the land registry and order a copy of the freehold register title to find out who owns the freehold of her flat. That will also reveal all the other leasehold properties on that freehold title i.e. the other three flats and two garages. Immediately downloadable for £3.
    Last edited by GTG; 30-09-2017 at 7:14 PM.
    • Cobbles
    • By Cobbles 30th Sep 17, 6:35 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Cobbles
    999 year leasehold on house
    Hi,

    I have a similar questions about buying the freehold but it's a house rather than a flat. I bought my house about 6 years ago and have just discovered now that it's leasehold and not freehold when I paid for the title from the Land Registry site because I'm wanting to sell. It says it's a leasehold for 999 years which started in 1750 and names two people (who are obviously deceased now). How do I go about buying the freehold? Would I automatically get it as it's so long ago? How much would it cost?

    Has anyone been in this situation? I'm ringing my solicitors on Monday but they are closed at the weekend and I'm a little anxious about the situation.
    • GTG
    • By GTG 30th Sep 17, 7:13 PM
    • 419 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    GTG
    Hi,

    I have a similar questions about buying the freehold but it's a house rather than a flat. I bought my house about 6 years ago and have just discovered now that it's leasehold and not freehold when I paid for the title from the Land Registry site because I'm wanting to sell. It says it's a leasehold for 999 years which started in 1750 and names two people (who are obviously deceased now). How do I go about buying the freehold? Would I automatically get it as it's so long ago? How much would it cost?

    Has anyone been in this situation? I'm ringing my solicitors on Monday but they are closed at the weekend and I'm a little anxious about the situation.
    Originally posted by Cobbles
    There is no reason to be anxious, you have 732 years left on the lease. Long enough for the new owners and many generations of their heirs to not have to be concerned about renewing the lease. The only downside of owning the leasehold estate of a house - and there may be others, I am no expert - is if you want to alter or extend the property you will need permission from the freeholder. Probably not a problem, however, you will need to pay the freeholders surveyors and solicitors costs in order for them to make the decision. That may put some folk off, again as in MaryMay's situation I would have expected your solicitor to have informed you of this before you purchased. Having said that, there may be a clause in your lease which allows extensions and alterations as long as you comply with all statutory requirements e.g. planning and building control permissions, check your lease.

    You will probably find all the info you need on the government-funded leasehold advisory website.

    It is unlikely that the two people named on the freehold title are the freeholders when the lease was created. The title would have been passed down to their heirs when they died and probably sold on or passed down through the generations of the family. It could have been that they both died intestate - i.e. without Wills - but there would have to be no surviving relatives who knew about the title. You know what they say, where there is a will, there's a relative
    • Cobbles
    • By Cobbles 30th Sep 17, 8:35 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Cobbles
    Thanks for your reply. That's really helped 😀. I've made internal alterations to the property since I've had it as I wasn't aware I couldn't do that. When I first bought the house I was told I needed to take out indemnity as the Possessory Title Deeds were lost but that the house was mine. It's only today that I've found out it's a leasehold when a potential buyer did a search on the Land Registry site. I know there's a long time left on the lease but it's already put one person off buying.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,771Posts Today

5,981Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @bearface83: @MartinSLewis check out the @Missguided new 60% off offer. Upping the cost of items almost double to make us think it?s a?

  • RT @efitzpat: Thank you SO SO much @MartinSLewis for your Student Loans refund advice! I just got a grand refunded right before Xmas! Whoop?

  • Have a lovely weekend folks. Don't do anything (fiscally) that I wouldn't do!

  • Follow Martin