Thinking of extending your lease or purchasing your freehold?

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Freehold Purchase Expert | Birmingham

Why do I need to purchase my Freehold?

As your lease gets shorter the value of your house will go down compared to a similar house which has a long lease of, say, 100 years or more.

This reduction in value is much less pronounced in the early years, but it’s when your lease gets to less than 80 years remaining that the real problems start.

At this point the house’s value really starts reducing, and it steadily becomes less saleable. This is because the cost of purchasing the freehold becomes significant and continues to rise, the house will have less appeal to buyers, and mortgage lenders are increasingly unwilling to lend on houses with short leases.

If you buy your freehold you reverse this reduction in value and the house will become marketable once again and will be far more likely to fetch its true market value.

So the longer you put off buying your freehold means:-

  • The house will become relatively less valuable
  • The house will become more difficult to sell
  • The cost of purchasing the freehold will continue to increase

What our clients say

“I can honestly say that you were the only person who was able to give me accurate advice and help throughout.”

Lisa, Selly Oak

Lease Extensions

100 Years unexpired – No issues at this stage with the lease and the saleability of the property

90 Years unexpired – Still no major issues at this stage with the lease and the saleability of the property

80 Years unexpired – This is where the real problems start – “Marriage Value” may become a factor and the market price of the property is affected

70 Years unexpired – The property now becomes difficult to mortgage as lenders become nervous. The cost of buying the freehold starts to become significant. Potential purchasers are deterred by the length of the lease.

60 Years unexpired – The situation is similar to that at 70 years but much worse. You may well see a fall in the market value of your house of around 10%.

50 Years unexpired – You are unlikely to sell the house with such a short lease and will be limited to cash buyers and property investors only. By now you may well have lost at least 15% of the true market value.

Can I just Extend my Lease?

It is possible to extend your lease on a house, rather than buy the freehold, but this should only be considered in certain very special circumstances. For example, these would only be if the lease was very short and had just a few years remaining (say, less than five), and you were unable to find the funds to buy the freehold. Get in touch with us and we will be happy to explain this in more detail.

Do I need a specialist valuer?

There are two main reasons why you should consider using a specialist valuer for your freehold purchase. Firstly it is almost inevitable that the price offered by your Landlord will be excessive, and secondly the enfranchisement (freehold purchase) process, which is conducted through the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (see Glossary), is complicated and fraught with difficulties.

Instructing Nick Plotnek Associates in your freehold purchase will ensure that you pay a fair price and will be guided through the process to a successful conclusion.

What is the right time to buy freehold?

There’s no time like the present! With property values currently at a reduced level the time to act is now – this is because the value of your house has a bearing on how much your freehold will cost you.

Fortunately, once you’ve formally started the freehold purchase process the valuation of your freehold is ‘fixed’, which means you won’t pay more even though the lease is getting shorter until the matter finally gets settled.

Am I able to purchase my Freehold?

We will check your eligibility but the chances are that you will be able to buy your freehold as long as you have owned the house for at least two years. You do not have to have lived in the house.

How much will I have to pay the Landlord?

The Landlord is entitled to receive compensation for the loss of the ground rent income to be paid under the current lease, together with the loss of the right to receive the value of the land on which the house stands at the end of the current lease. He may also be entitled to receive a share of the marriage value (see Glossary).

The calculation of this compensation is somewhat complicated and is the reason you need to employ the services of a specialist valuer.

Other than the price I have to pay to the Landlord, are there any costs?

Once you commit to the enfranchisement process you become responsible for the freeholder’s “reasonable” costs.

These are limited to professional fees such as legal costs and valuer’s fees. You will not have to pay his costs of going to a First-tier Property Tribunal, should the matter not be agreed beforehand.

Do I have to go through the Act to buy my Freehold?

No, you can always negotiate informally with your Landlord to buy your freehold, either on the same terms as under the Act or on different terms. However if you cannot agree on terms you cannot go to the First-tier Property Tribunal if you haven’t applied to buy your freehold under the Act.

Can I get any financial help with paying for my Freehold?

If you currently have a mortgage, your lender will usually be happy to help you out if you have sufficient equity as it increases the value of their security. Other options can be considered, and we will be happy to discuss these with you.

My Landlord wants an ‘administration fee’ for pricing my Freehold. Should I pay this?

You are better off getting your own valuation first as a price given to you informally by a Landlord (that is, without going through the formal procedure under the Act) is quite likely to be unfavourable. If you pay the Landlord’s fee first and later challenge the price, that fee will be lost and you will still be obliged to pay the Landlord’s fees under the Act.

My Landlord seems to be stalling when discussing my Freehold. Why is this?

It’s in your Landlord’s interest to stall matters as the price of your freehold continues to rise the shorter your lease gets

I can’t get hold of my Landlord. Can I still get my Freehold?

Even if your Landlord has disappeared without a trace you can still get your freehold as the County Court has the power to dispense with the need to formally serve a Notice on your Landlord.

How long will the process take?

This really depends on how difficult your Landlord is to deal with, but from experience we would allow somewhere between five to nine months.

How do I start the process?

By visiting our web site you have made the first, most important step. Nick Plotnek Associates will take the next step and ensure that the Freehold purchase process continues to run smoothly for you.

We will carry out a valuation of the cost of the purchase as required by legislation. This can be done either desktop or full report depending on your requirements.

If you proceed with the Freehold purchase we will then continue the negotiation process and if necessary represent you at Tribunal should both parties fail to reach an agreement?

Please contact us for further information or Call us now on 0121 427 2800