Since the introduction of the Commonhold & Leasehold Reform Act 2002 and Leasehold Reform Act (as amended) 1993, the residency test has been abolished, which means that a leaseholder now only needs to have owned the flat for 2 years before he/she can apply for a lease extension or buy a freehold.
A leaseholder has the right to buy the freehold of a house, if the house is owned on a lease.
They do not need to live in it to qualify. In addition, if they wish to sell their flat they can also sell on their rights under section 42 of the 1993 act so the new purchaser does not have to wait 2 years to qualify.
In order to exercise either right, a prescribed formal notice must be served on the freeholder and any intermediate landlords. The freeholder then needs to serve a counter notice within strict time scales, failing which the leaseholder can purchase the freehold at the premium stated in the leaseholder’s notice.
However, before the notice is served a valuation must be undertaken, so that a premium can be entered in the notice. This valuation is known as the leasehold valuation.
Leasehold Valuations helps numerous groups of leaseholders to buy their freeholds.
Leaseholders generally decide to purchase their freehold for 2 reasons:
- If they are unhappy with the way the freeholder has been managing the property
- If they wish to add value to their property.
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Before this can be achieved you will need to have a professional valuation and get some legal advice. Most freeholders are unwilling to relinquish their freeholds and so the process becomes protracted. There are a number of qualifying criteria which you will need to meet before you can enfranchise which the correct professionals can assist you with.
Our valuation team will make sure you receive the correct advice, avoid unnecessary delays and costs and manage the entire valuation process for you from start to complete so that you are able to buy the freehold for as little as possible.