Enfranchisement is the right of leaseholders to purchase the freehold of the building from the landlord. Council tenants cannot join in the purchase of the freehold.
This is a right in law and the landlord cannot refuse to sell the freehold so long as the building and those applying to purchase meet the qualifying criteria:
- The building must contain more than two flats sold on long leases
- At least two-thirds of the flats in the building must be sold on long leases
- More than 50% of the qualifying flats must agree to jointly purchase the freehold
- No more than 25% of the total internal floor area must be used for commercial purposes
For example, in a block of 30 flats, 20 must be sold on leases of more than 21 years and at least 11 of those leaseholders must agree to buy the freehold. In a street-converted property, this may mean all the flats must be sold.
How to enfranchise
Contact a solicitor before taking any action to enfranchise your lease. Your solicitor will need to send us notice to enfranchise your lease. You will have to repay our costs of getting a valuation and negotiating and granting a new lease to you or selling the freehold. This can be a complex process. We recommend that you and other leaseholders appoint a solicitor to act for all of you.
The Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) can provide guidance and advice to leaseholders interested in finding out more about how to buy the freehold of their building.
LEASE is an independent organisation. They provide free legal advice to leaseholders.