Enfranchisement enables the tenant of a property, usually a house that is held on a long term lease, to acquire the freehold of that property. This is not limited to acquiring the house, the tenant can also be entitled to acquire the premises which can consider a garage, out-house, or garden.
Our residential conveyancing solicitors have been dealing with enfranchisement for a number of years. They have followed and kept up to date with changes in Enfranchisement Law to best serve our clients and strive to ensure the process is as simple and efficient as possible.
Why should you Enfranchise?
There are a number of benefits to enfranchising which make it worthwhile to consider. These include:
- Removes ground rent
- It allows you to live in the property as long as you wish
- The ability to alter or effect property without consulting the Landlord
- A tenant owned building is a positive benefit when selling a property
- Peace of mind
In order to qualify for enfranchisement there are certain stipulations to the long lease:
- The lease must exceed 21 years when first agreed
- You must have been the tenant for the whole of the house under a long tenancy for at least two years at the relevant time of the claim to have the right to enfranchise
- You do not qualify if the tenant is a charitable trust and the house is provided pursuant to its charitable purposes
There are other issues that may relate to your case depending on your circumstances. Please speak to one of the team at W Davies if you require further information.
What is the Enfranchisement process?
In order to enfranchise, a tenant will serve their Landlord a “Notice of Tenants Claim” (NTC). This can be done at any time during continuation of the tenant’s long lease although there are some exceptions.
Once the tenant has served an NTC the tenant and Landlord become contractually bound to grant and accept the freehold. Terms must be agreed as well as costs. The Tenant will then hold the property freehold.
A typical process could entail:
- Checking the eligibility of the claim
- Organising for enfranchisement
- Choosing a nominee purchaser
- Selecting and instructing professional advisers
- Assessing the purchase price
- Serving the initial notice
- Preparing for the subsequent procedure
Collective enfranchisement occurs when a group of tenants living in a block of flats decide as a group to enfranchise. It is usually initiated to take over the management of the building which will include managing repairs as well as gaining the ability to grant longer leases at a lower cost to other tenants.
In order to qualify for enfranchisement there are a number of requirements including the building being self-contained and for at least two thirds of the overall occupiers of flats within the building to qualify to enfranchise.
The group of tenants will normally form a company made up of tenant members to purchase the freehold or may nominate a tenant who will represent the tenants with the intention to enfranchise.