Do All Leaseholders Have to Agree to Buy Freehold?

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    • Collective Enfranchisement
    • Legal Requirements
    • Non-Participating Leaseholders
    • Leasehold Enfranchisement Claim
    • Conclusion

    Understanding Collective Enfranchisement

    When considering purchasing the freehold of a property, one common question that arises is whether all leaseholders need to agree to the acquisition. The answer to this question depends on various factors, including the terms of the leases and the relevant laws governing leasehold enfranchisement in the UK.

    Requirements for Collective Enfranchisement

    In many cases, the process of buying the freehold involves what is known as collective enfranchisement. This allows a group of leaseholders within a building to join together and collectively purchase the freehold from the current freeholder, thereby gaining greater control over the management and upkeep of the property.

    Participation Criteria and Legal Framework

    However, not all leaseholders may be required to participate in the collective enfranchisement process. Under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993, at least 50% of the qualifying leaseholders in the building must participate in order to proceed with the purchase. Additionally, certain eligibility criteria must be met by both the leaseholders and the property itself.

    Options for Non-Participating Leaseholders

    It’s important to note that while a majority of leaseholders may be sufficient to initiate the collective enfranchisement process, all leaseholders will typically have the opportunity to participate and become part of the new freehold ownership structure. This means that even if some leaseholders initially choose not to participate, they may still have the option to join the freehold purchase later on.

    Role of Leasehold Valuation’s Chartered Surveyors

    Leasehold valuation’s chartered surveyors play a crucial role in lease extension and freehold purchase processes. They provide expert advice and valuation services to leaseholders, helping them navigate complex legal and financial aspects. Chartered surveyors assess the property’s value, negotiate terms with the freeholder, and ensure leaseholders get fair deals in lease extensions or freehold acquisitions.

    Leasehold Enfranchisement Claim

    In cases where not all leaseholders agree to buy the freehold, those who do wish to proceed with the purchase may still be able to do so through what is known as a leasehold enfranchisement claim. This involves serving a formal notice to the current freeholder expressing the intention to purchase the freehold, after which negotiations can take place to determine the terms of the acquisition.


    Ultimately, while the participation of all leaseholders in the freehold purchase is not always required, collective enfranchisement offers an opportunity for leaseholders to come together and take control of their property’s destiny. By understanding the legal requirements and procedures involved, leaseholders can make informed decisions about whether buying the freehold is the right choice for them and their property.

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