Q: What do I need to do to buy the freehold on my house?

A: You are entitled to buy the freehold of your house if you satisfy the following criteria:

  • The property must be held under a long tenancy (a term of more than 21 years)
  • You must have held the lease for 2 years leading up to the date of the service of your notice
  • You must have a lease of the whole of the house

The freeholder can then either admit the claim or dispute it.  You may be required to pay a deposit of three times the annual rent or £25 (whichever is the greater) and to deduce your title to the house. If your claim is admitted, the freeholder can specify rights and covenants he wishes to be included in the transfer and you can do similar.  If agreement on the right to purchase or the price cannot be reached you can ask the First-tier Tribunal to decide. They will do so after considering both parties’ positions and their submissions.

Completion will take place at least four weeks after the purchase price has been agreed. The purchase price will be calculated by your valuer who should be a surveyor with experience in enfranchisement. An experienced property solicitor should be appointed to advise you throughout the process, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and no additional costs arise.