Cost of Buying Freehold

Leasehold enfranchisement can be both time-consuming and expensive, but we like to break the costs down into five simple stages.

1) Your legal fees

Leasehold enfranchisement is a collective process which can only take place with the participation of at least 50% of leaseholders in the block. The total cost depends on the number of participants and the cost per participant is based on the proportion of flats taking part in the freehold purchase process.

Your legal fees will thus be between an established minimum (based on 100% participation) and a maximum level (based on 50% participation). The more flats there are in your block the greater the overall cost, but the higher the level of participation the less each participant has to pay individually.

Your solicitor will charge for verifying title and drafting the participation agreement, drafting and serving an initial notice of claim, setting up a freehold company or draft deed of trust, and the conveyance of the freehold title to enfranchise. They may charge more if there is an intermediate landlord or if the case becomes contentious.

2) Your valuation fees

You will need a professional valuer to estimate the premium you will pay to the landlord and to negotiate with the landlord’s surveyor over that figure.

3) Disbursements

You will also have to pay expenses related to the leasehold enfranchisement, namely Land Registry fees for searches and lodging a notice to register the service of your claim notice.

4) Premium

This is the price you pay your landlord for the freehold. Although you will need to appoint a professional surveyor to calculate this figure, you can acquire a rough estimate online.

5) Your landlord’s legal/valuation fees

These should be on a similar scale to your own, plus you’ll also be liable for the costs of any other parties to the lease such as a management company. If your landlord’s fees are too high you may challenge them at the First Tier Tribunal (FTT).

Written by Simon Masters

Senior Associate Solicitor