Can I buy the freehold?
If you’ve owned the leasehold on your property for two years or more, and there are at least 21 years remaining on the lease, you have the right to buy the freehold.
It’s actually not very common for a leaseholder to buy the freehold. This is mainly because most leasehold properties are flats. If you want to purchase the freehold of a flat, all your fellow leasehold neighbours in the block would have to club together and agree to jointly buy the freehold.
If you decide to proceed with buying the freehold, you’ll need to start by giving the freeholder notice and the opportunity to reply. At this point, a price can be agreed, and the sale undertaken. If you and the current freeholder can’t agree on a price, the issue can be taken to tribunal, where an independent third party will set the price. There are several moving parts to the process of buying the freehold of your leasehold property, and it can get complicated, so it’s advisable to have a solicitor on hand to help you.
Is a leasehold worth buying?
Only you can decide whether buying a leasehold property is right for you. The prospect of an expensive lease extension should certainly factor into your decision. That said, if you pick a property with more than 100 years remaining on the lease, you won’t see any effect on your property’s value for decades to come.
If you’re considering buying a leasehold, be sure of the remaining term before proceeding. Also, make sure you know the fees and charges you will be liable for, and what restrictions and responsibilities you can expect.