Leasehold enfranchisement explained by Courtney Manton from Best Gapp

Leasehold enfranchisement is a tricky business. The very terms leasehold and freehold date back to the Magna Carta, which was issued in 1215.  Today when buying property, often if you are buying a flat or conversion, you will be buying it as a leaseholder, which means that the freeholder still owns the land and building- you are actually buying a lease which gives you the right to live in it for a certain length of time

The Leasehold Reform Act of 1967 gave tenants the right to acquire the freehold of their home. The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act of 1993 gave rights to tenants who hold original leases of longer than 21 years to extend them for 90 years. Many tenants seek to lengthen their lease or buy the lease from the freeholder and this right to buy is the enfranchisement.

To buy a lease you need to fulfil various requirements, which is why it’s best to seek advice. In an article on the Best Gapp blog, property expert Courtney Mantonexplains some of the terms and complications involved in leasehold enfranchisement. Best Gapp are estate agents in Belgravia, and Courtney has over thirty years of experience in the property market in central London. He’s worked on some key leasehold enfranchisement cases on the Grosvenor, Cadogan and Stanhope estates.

If there are a group of tenants wishing to buy or extend the lease, this is known as collective enfranchisment. Courtney Manton said on the blog that one of the requirements is that you need to have at least 50% of the tenants joining together for this to proceed.

Courtney Manton from Best Gapp on Leasehold Enfranchisement

In a recent post on Addicted to Property, one of our favourite property blogs, Courtney Manton, one of the partners at Belgravia estate agents Best Gapp, explained some of the intricacies of leasehold enfranchisement. The process is one where tenants use their legal rights to buy or lengthen the lease on their property. To understand it, you first need to understand some of the terms:

Leasehold and Freehold

A freeholder owns the property and the land it stands on outright. A leaseholder only owns the lease to the property- the right to live in for the term of the lease, which could be anything up to 999 years. There are various rights to leasehold enfranchisement that a tenant can use if they want to change their status.

Collective Enfranchisement

When a group of tenants want to buy the freehold to their property as a group, it is known as collective enfranchisement. There are various criteria that need to be satisfied, such as length of occupancy and nature of occupancy.

Lease Valuation

A key part of the leasehold enfranchisement process is establishing the value of the lease.With a property of great value, this may require the parties to seek a decision from the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.

The article on the blog explains all you need to know, with Courtney Manton, who has over thirty years experience in the property industry, talking to the guys at Addicted to Property.