Are you the owner of a leasehold house property and thinking about purchasing the freehold? If you are, we can help.
Although leasehold is traditionally the most common way for flats to be owned in the UK, in recent years it’s become increasingly common for new build houses to be sold as leasehold with the freehold being sold separately to a third party.
However, after you own your leasehold house for 2 years, you can become automatically entitled to buy the freehold. Due to the many drawbacks of owning a leasehold house, including increasing ground rents, difficulty remortgaging, and restrictions on what you can and can’t do with your own property, it may be in your best interests to take advantage of this entitlement.
Our conveyancing solicitors have specialist expertise helping clients purchase the freehold of their house, releasing them from future difficulty selling or remortgaging the property and increasing their control over maintenance and alterations.
For further information, please get in touch with our conveyancing solicitors in Cardiff, Newport and Chepstow, South Wales by giving us a call or filling in the enquiry form to the right of the page.
How our conveyancing solicitors in Cardiff, Newport and Chepstow can help you buy your freehold
Once you’ve owned your property for 2 years and meet certain qualifying criteria, you get a legal right to buy the freehold to your house. We can provide clear and realistic advice as to whether you qualify to buy your freehold.
We’ll also handle the statutory procedure on your behalf, using our expert negotiation skills to ensure the agreement you come to with the freeholder is proportionate and affordable.
If you decide to instruct us, you will benefit from:
- Competitive fixed fees with no hidden costs
- Proven experience of leasehold purchase work
- Clear jargon-free advice
- Regular up-dates by phone or e-mail
- A friendly, professional, and, reliable service
- We are accredited members of the Law Society’s Quality Conveyancing Scheme
What are the benefits of buying your freehold?
Because you only own a leasehold property for the duration of the lease, it can sometimes be harder to sell it or raise a mortgage on it, especially when the time left on the lease drops below 80 years.
Therefore, purchasing the freehold can enhance the value of your property and provide you with more security for the future.
Other advantages can include:
- No longer having to pay ground rent to the freeholder
- Avoiding restrictions in the lease about matters such as making alterations, use of the property and sub-letting.
- Enabling you to take control over the management of your home
- Making your property more attractive to future buyers who need mortgage lender assistance
Is it worth buying the freehold on my house?
Generally, it is always worth considering whether to buy the freehold to your house. However, only a specialist conveyancing solicitor can tell you whether buying your freehold is right in your particular individual circumstances.
We’ll conduct a thorough examination of the title of your property, the terms of your lease, and the saleability of the property to provide you with accurate advice about whether buying your freehold is your most viable option.
We’ll also advise you in relation to the narrow circumstances in which you may benefit more from extending the lease rather than purchasing the freehold.
Do I qualify for a purchase of the freehold?
In summary, to qualify to purchase your freehold, you need to satisfy the following conditions:
- The building must fall within the legal definition of a house
- The lease must originally have been for a term of 21 years
- You must have held the lease for at least the last 2 years
How do I buy the freehold?
The process for purchasing the freehold and fixing the purchase price where you “own” your home on a long lease can be tricky.
Satisfying the qualifications for purchase is normally the easy bit. The procedure itself is more complex and is set out in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Enfranchisement Regulations.
This is where we can help, by explaining things to you in simple terms, guiding you through each step of the process and doing our best to put you at your ease.
The basic steps to buying your freehold include:
- Getting the freehold valued
- Arranging a mortgage, remortgage, or mortgage extension if you require finance to purchase the freehold
- Serving notice on the freeholder to inform of your intention to purchase the freehold
- Making an offer to the freeholder and engaging in negotiations – it is particularly important to have a solicitor by this stage to avoid being pressured to enter into an agreement which favours the freeholder, potentially with more restrictions attached than the lease
- Completing the sale – this is likely to take around 4 weeks after the purchase price is agreed and you will need to be registered as the freeholder at the Land Registry
Can the freeholder refuse to sell the freehold?
Ultimately, the freeholder cannot refuse to sell you the freehold. However, they can refuse to accept your offer, even after negotiations.
If you and the freeholder cannot agree a purchase price, we can apply to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) in England or the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal in Wales for an independent decision on the price and any other issues (such as any rights and conditions attached to the sale).
Why choose hpjv’s conveyancing lawyers in Wales?
When you choose hpjv solicitors, you will receive the devoted attention of our expert conveyancing solicitors at all stages of your freehold purchase matter.
We understand that the process of buying your freehold can be confusing and daunting. We’ll explain the law in clear, uncomplicated English, outlining your options in great detail so you can make an informed decision about the best way to proceed.
In most circumstances, buying the freehold to a house is a financially sensible decision to boost the property’s value and saleability. However, we understand that your situation is no one else’s situation. We won’t apply a one-size-fits-all approach to your case but carefully tailor our advice to ensure you the best outcome possible.
We are accredited by the Law Society in the Conveyancing Quality Scheme in recognition of our position as one of the leading law firms for conveyancing in England and Wales. We’re also accredited in Lexcel for our excellent client care and legal practice management.
Hpjv is independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).