Chestertons have been prominent practitioners in Leasehold Reform work over the last 30 years.
Since our Director Eric Shapiro acted in the first ever claim under the original Leasehold Reform Act of 1967, we have been one of the leading practitioners in Leasehold Reform.
A Tenant with a qualifying lease is entitled to apply to their Landlord in order to purchase 90 extra years which will be added to their existing lease as granted by the ‘Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, as amended by the Common-hold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002’. A ground rent of a peppercorn is then introduced. A qualifying lease must satisfy the following requirement:
• The leaseholder must have been in possession of their lease for two years. Residency is no longer a requirement.
• The lease must have initially been granted for a fixed term of no less than 21 years.
This covers the vast majority of circumstances but due to the intricate case law relating to Leasehold Reform there are various eventualities that we can advise you on. If the above requirements cannot be met by the leaseholder, an informal application to the freeholder can still be made, but only outside the terms of the 1993 Act.
In order for a Leaseholder to purchase the Freehold of their house, the enfranchisement process is legislated by The Leasehold Reform Act 1967. The Act provides two options for the valuation of houses. These are:
• Section 9 (1) – the house will be valued according to the site value.
• Section 9 (1A), 9 (1C) - the house will be valued according to the value of the house, with a share of the marriage value.
In order to understand which method the house is to be valued by, you will need to understand the complex criteria specified by the Act for which it is important to obtain professional advice as a valuation on the basis of Section 9 (1A or 9(1C) usually means that the price is considerably higher than that which would be payable under the 9 (1) valuation basis. It is therefore vital to establish which basis the house is to be valued.
If you are a qualifying leaseholder, you are able to collectively purchase your freehold along with a minimum number of 50% of the other leaseholders in the building. Collective enfranchisement, at times, can be a difficult process and therefore specialist professional advice is vital in order to receive the best outcome. To qualify for collective enfranchisement:
• The building must be independent or capable of being so without any significant elements above or below
• The building must contain two or more flats with at least two-thirds of the flats being held by qualifying tenants;
• A qualifying tenant is one that holds a lease that was originally granted for a term of more than 21 years.
We have carried out collective enfranchisement valuations for some of the largest freeholders in the UK including Tesco Stores Limited, Network Rail, Swiss RE and the Freshwater Group.
We also are able to offer advice on right to manage companies (RTM) which can be collated with collective enfranchisement claims. Subsequently we are also able to advise on residential block management issues.
Our team of surveyors are experts in this field and are ready and willing to help you on this and the following specialised valuation and negotiation process.
Chestertons is the residential property specialist and offers a full range of related services including:
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