Asking for readers experiences of purchasing Freehold please

Asking for readers experiences of purchasing Freehold please

10:58 AM, 11th January 2016, About 6 years ago 8

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We live in a largish development of flats, town houses and commercial properties.share

The owners of the freehold have approached the leaseholders about the possibility of purchasing a share of the freehold. Alternatively the freehold will be sold at auction.

Some of the leaseholders are interested, but would like to understand the implications. We will obviously take legal advice, but would be interested to know whether others have experience (good or bad) of this situation.

Many thanks



by Neil Patterson

11:05 AM, 11th January 2016, About 6 years ago

Hi Elizabeth,

I am sure others will have personal experience, but the reference point is the Leasehold Advisory Service >>

Also if you go into our search for article page and search for "Freehold Purchase" and "Freehold Management" you will get lots and lots of helpful articles 🙂 >>

by S.E. Landlord

11:46 AM, 11th January 2016, About 6 years ago

We went through this over ten years ago and I think all our leaseholders are pleased that we purchased the freehold.

We use a managing agent to collect service charges and also to deal with day to day management of the block.

Two or three leaseholders / shareholders are directors of the freehold company and make any necessary decisions which are based on what is best for the leaseholders.

A separate limited company was set up and those leaseholders interested purchased a share in the company - one per flat - which transfers to the new owner when a flat is sold.

The flats remain leasehold as the freehold is owned by a separate company with leaseholders owning a share in the company.

If the flats / management company have their own solicitors I suggest you talk to them about the process.

by Sian Wyatt

12:50 PM, 11th January 2016, About 6 years ago

I missed the opportunity to buy the freehold of a block of 10 flats of which I owned one. I had reason to regret this when the freehold was bought by a company which shall be nameless. They then set about making this profitable by increasing the costs for leaseholders by huge amounts and were very difficult to communicate with. I really wished I had managed to buy the freehold myself with or without other owners. I ended up selling the flat.

by Claire Smith

17:00 PM, 11th January 2016, About 6 years ago

We wanted to purchase the freehold when it was offered as this would have been cheaper than the annual payments to be allowed to let the apartment. Unfortunately insufficient owners were interested.

by David Price

10:31 AM, 16th January 2016, About 6 years ago

Elizabeth the situation can be very complicated especially when many leaseholders are involved. I went through the process of buying the freehold some ten years ago and it was traumatic but very worthwhile. For instance our insurance went down from £38,000 to £3,000, saving a third of the cost of the freehold in the first year. May people helped me at the time and now it is my turn to offer my assistance to another. I would be pleased to speak with you privately about purchasing (contact me through 118) as the situation is far too complex to explain in a blog.

by Nigel Parry

11:58 AM, 18th January 2016, About 6 years ago

Collective Enfranchisement (CE)- we as a group are going through this at the moment. Our journey is a bit different to yours in that the Freeholder is offering it out to leaseholders before going to auction. Do not be fooled, though, it is a legal requirement to offer it to leaseholders first.
My advice is to do your utmost to get it. You will need 'buy in' from a set number of leaseholders and there are rules governing who would be regarded as 'qualifying' to be able to participate in the purchase. There are several CE specialists that can help for a fee. Your first port of call would be to knock on doors and see who is interested.

You could also purchase the freehold on your own without anyone else, but that will be expensive. There is a set process to follow for CE so please ensure you get good advice before embarking on your journey. By all means message me back if you need any help.

by Richard Cordwell

17:39 PM, 18th January 2016, About 6 years ago

I am involved with the purchase of 27 freeholds. My only advise is not to use quality solicitors. It is a straight forward case and its taken nearly 2.5 years with my solicitors. I've received the new leases today which are.........wrong again!

by Elizabeth Arnold

15:21 PM, 28th January 2016, About 6 years ago

Thank you all for your contributions. Seems to be an overwhelming thumbs up. I am sure it will help to inform our decision.

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