Most houses which are not divided into flats are freeholds. Leasehold houses are
rarer than leasehold flats but they can be found in London and some other towns in
the UK. They are more common on landed estates where the houses were sold on
leaseholds in order to retain a measure of control over the estate.
The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 gave tenants of houses the right to buy the freehold.
The original legislation has been amended many times since to expand the ambit of
the legislation. Unfortunately the rules (particularly in relation to valuation of the
sum due to the landlord) differ in relation to different properties. In some cases
tenants also have an alternative right to extend the lease.
Q u a l i f i c at i o n
to be for a term greater than 35 years. The leaseholder also has to satisfy a residence test.
The house must be designed or adapted for living in and reasonably be described as a “house”. It must also be divided
p R o c E D u R E
vertically from any adjoining building. Following the House of Lords decision in Boss Holdings
in January 2008
To start the claim it is necessary to serve the landlord with
the definition has become wider. This means that it must
a statutory notice. There is no time limit on the landlord’s
be adapted for living in or at some point in its past must
counter notice. If terms cannot be agreed the claim will be
have been designed for living in. A more recent case called
referred to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal who will make a
Grosvenor v Prospect Holdings Ltd
suggests that predominately
commercial buildings will not qualify but it is sensible to obtain advice on this issue. We always recommend that an
inspection is carried out to assess whether a building qualifies.
The premium is essentially the sum of the loss of the ground
W h o c a n a p p ly ?
rent, the loss of the reversion and 50% of the share of the marriage value which is the uplift in value of the house once
The tenant must hold a long lease i.e. one granted for more
the freehold and leasehold have been “married” together.
than 21 years or with a right to renewal. The applicant must
The type of statutory valuation that applies does vary and
have been the leaseholder for two years prior to making the
we strongly recommend that specialist valuation advice is
application. There is no requirement that the applicant
obtained. We have a number of specialist enfranchisement
resides in the property. If the lease is a business lease there are
valuers who we work closely with and who we can
further restrictions which effectively mean that the lease has
Natasha Rees on 020 7863 8385 or firstname.lastname@example.org or
Paul Neville on 020 7863 8401 or email@example.com
Forsters LLP | 31 Hill Street | Mayfair | London | W1J 5LS | T: 020 7863 8333 | F: 020 7863 8444 | www.forsters.co.uk
This briefing offers general guidance only. It reflects the law as at March 2009. The circumstances of each case vary and this note
should not be relied upon in place of specific legal advice.
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