Collective leasehold enfranchisement is the process by which tenants of a building, subject to the fulfillment of certain criteria, can compel their landlord to sell the freehold interest (or part of the freehold interest) to them (pursuant to The Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993).
Leasehold enfranchisement can be a complicated subject to get your head around which is why getting advice from a firm of solicitors who specialise in this area of law is essential. As with many areas of the law, there are many things to consider such as the criteria for eligibility, the statutory procedures that need to be followed, the documentation that needs to be drawn up and completed as well as the ongoing advice about what is best for you.
If collective leasehold enfranchisement is something that you are considering then making sure you are fully informed about the ins and outs of the process is going to be vital to the success of your application. This is why you need to seek the advice of a professional as they will be able to guide you through the process and ensure you avoid the many pitfalls.
The legalities of the statutory procedure can be disputed and so it is essential that you find a firm of solicitors who are experienced in dealing with this area of the law and who will be able to effectively protect your interests. Equally, it is important that you instruct experienced qualified surveyors who are adept at carrying out valuations for this purpose, especially were the valuation could be in dispute. Obtaining the services of experienced lawyers and surveyors is important whether you are looking to obtain a lease extension or organise a collective enfranchisement of your building.
If you are wondering what the advantages of enfranchisement are then there are a few to consider. The main one is that those who opt into the enfranchisement can give themselves a longer lease for no or a nominal premium which can increase the value of their property.
You will need to ask your solicitor about all the relevant criteria involved in being able to make an application for leasehold enfranchisement but an example of these include: 25% of the square footage of the total area in the building cannot be used for non-residential use, two thirds of the flats must be let to qualifying tenants and the building must be capable of vertical division from adjoining properties. In summary, the law on collective leasehold enfranchisements is complex and stringent so you are advised to take legal advice before you even consider making an application.