Leasehold property - can you buy the land to make it Freehold? How? ...and how much does it cost?

(12 Posts)
Plonker Tue 12-May-09 19:22:18

As the title says really.

We want to look in to buying the land to make our Leasehold property 'Freehold'.

How do we go about doing this?

How much does it cost?

Advice needed

lalalonglegs Tue 12-May-09 20:39:32

You contact the freeholder and ask how much s/he wants for it. You have the right to buy the freehold (in most circumstances). If the lease is more than (I think) 80 years then the charge should be pretty nominal. If it is below 80 years then something called "marriage value" comes into play which is quite complicated to calculate but, very roughly is halfway between what the property is worth as a leasehold property and what it would cost if it were freehold.

Freeholders can be difficult about selling - if s/he isn't keen, then you can force his/her hand by applying to Leasehold Valuation Tribunal but then you get involved in lots of surveyors' costs etc so best to try to hammer something out beforehand. The Leasehold and Commonhold Reform Act will tell you if your property qualifies for enfranchisement.

wombleprincess Tue 12-May-09 21:08:56

you dont have the absolute right to buy the freehold, it very much depends on house/flat/number of owners etc etc. but you do have an absolute right to extend your lease. the cost of both varies enormously depending on the lenght of you existing lease particularly if it is below 80 years.

the best place to go for advice is the leasehold advisory service. its free and very helpful.

http://www.lease-advice.org/

good luck

Plonker Tue 12-May-09 21:10:29

Brilliant info - thanks lala smile

Do you know (roughly) how much it costs if it's more than 80 years? I think it had a leasehold of 999yrs when first built so will be about 920yrs left ...

wombleprincess Tue 12-May-09 21:11:35

are you in a flat or a house?

Plonker Tue 12-May-09 21:11:47

Ah ok, thanks Womble

I'll take a look at the link smile

Plonker Tue 12-May-09 21:12:36

Keep x-posting lol

It's a semi detached house

wombleprincess Tue 12-May-09 21:16:16

given you are on a 900 year lease, you may wish to think carefully about the real benefit of buying the freehold - but i totally understand the drive to make your house more yours! does your freeholder intefer with your plans,maintenance etc? if not then you may find yourself with quite large legal bills (you have to pay yours and the freeholder's costs) for something which is quite notional/valueless?

just a thought.

wombleprincess Tue 12-May-09 21:16:16

given you are on a 900 year lease, you may wish to think carefully about the real benefit of buying the freehold - but i totally understand the drive to make your house more yours! does your freeholder intefer with your plans,maintenance etc? if not then you may find yourself with quite large legal bills (you have to pay yours and the freeholder's costs) for something which is quite notional/valueless?

just a thought.

wombleprincess Tue 12-May-09 21:16:59

dont know why that came up twice... sorry!

lalalonglegs Tue 12-May-09 21:29:56

You do have the right to buy the freehold if the property is a house (with very few exceptions), otherwise, yes, you can buy a share of the freehold. The benefits are that you don't have to ask the freeholder for permission to do work to your house whether that's a loft conversion or painting your window frames; you don't have to pay a service charge or ground rent; you don't have to have a big fight to get reasonable insurance; it will be much more attractive should you wish to sell in the future.

The cost of the enfranchisement will, to some extent, be linked to the value of the home and the amount of ground rent that you are paying and so on. It is complicated to work out but, with very long leases on, say, small flats it is generally a couple of thousand per flat. Leaseholds on houses are rarer so it will be harder to find comparables, I suspect.

Plonker Tue 12-May-09 21:35:32

Grrr, typed a long reply and lousy laptop went dead!

No, it's not that we want to 'own' the land per se. We're selling up, and for some reason, the fact that the house is leasehold seems to be putting off potential buyers.

We figured if it's not too expensive, we'll buy the lease.

The ground rent is only £4.36 a year, so not huge.

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