Can I purchase a freehold title AFTER freehold enfranchisement has taken place?

by Readers Question

13:50 PM, 29th October 2020
About a month ago

Can I purchase a freehold title AFTER freehold enfranchisement has taken place?

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Can I purchase a freehold title AFTER freehold enfranchisement has taken place?

There may be the potential to do a rooftop development or extension on the top of my building.

Freehold enfranchisement took place a few years ago and 18 lessees (of which I am one) are now all members of the freehold.

If any development is to take place, it would be preferable to have purchased the freehold first.

Is it possible to make an offer to all 18 lessees to purchase the freehold?

If so, does anyone have ideas on the best way to approach this?

Many thanks

Gordon


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Comments

Puzzler

9:19 AM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Why is it preferable to have the freehold yourself? You wish to have all the benefit of this new development at your neighbours' expense? I think it is highly unlikely they would sell even if legally possible. Perhaps one of the legal people on here will comment on that but the Act was to enfranchise not disenfranchise. Bear in mind that the costs of any such development would then fall to you and the development potential would be included in the price.

JohnCaversham

12:31 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

I love these 'supposed' easy roof tops developments under PD across the top of other owners existing properties..I looked at something a few yrs ago that fell at the first hurdle as the bank wanted a full structural survey on the existing building below to show the structure could take the additional loading, which necessitated getting access into the other flats in the block..Needles to say it didn't get far... And you will need a structural survey for 10yr build warranty's etc. In order for these things to work you need full control of the other units in the block-i suspect it will prove a nightmare...I can imaging the conversion-you to owner "my builder just needs access to the soil stack in your bathroom to connect the waste above", owner "xxxx off"!

Laura Delow

12:41 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Why not i) offer to buy the roof/air space from the other free/leaseholders? or ii) ask if any/all of the other free/leaseholders want to do a JV?

BernieW

16:49 PM, 30th October 2020
About a month ago

Gordon - from what you say above, you are a leaseholder ... and you also have a share in the freehold company (assuming all 18 do not own in individual names, which would be a nightmare). Therefore, the freehold company owns the air space above your flat - if your flat is top floor. Your lease will have clauses which state you cannot "cut or maim" the structure of the building - and to add an additional flat on the roof will require cutting and maiming. So, you have no 'right' to do what you want to do.

You will therefore need to ask the freehold company if they are willing to sell the airspace in question AND will have to ask them for permission to alter the structure of the building, so you can connect the new flat to the existing stairway/access.

Assuming the freehold company agrees to sell - and you agree a price - the freehold company will then have to serve a section 5 notice upon every leaseholder ... stating that the freeholder is intending to sell part of the freehold ... and advising the leaseholders that if "the majority" wish to do so, they can purchase at the price stated - rather than allow the sale to proceed to you. They may do so, they may not. If they do not, then the sale can take place.

Then you will need to get planning permission, despite the current changes to permitted development rights. Of course, you could get planning permission earlier - but then the value of what the freehold company is selling will be higher and thus the price you pay will be higher. Heads they win - tails you lose.

Following all of that, the freehold company will have a chunk of income ... the price you paid for the airspace. That income will produce a profit in the company's accounts. Corporation Tax will need to be paid upon that profit.

Once you've completed your new flat - a new lease will be required, so you can sell it. That lease will provide for the leaseholder of the new flat to pay a proportion of the service charges for the building. That will mean the proportions to be paid by the existing leaseholders will need to be lowered slightly, so the total remains 100%. Those service charge proportion changes will need formalising - which requires legal work - which the freeholder will want you to pay for. The new lease will need a signature from the freehold company - which the freeholder will want you to pay for.

After all that - you can sell your new flat.

Good luck!

Puzzler

7:34 AM, 31st October 2020
About a month ago

Reply to the comment left by BernieW at 30/10/2020 - 16:49
One of the reasons for limited companies is that the maximum permitted individual registered owners is four.

terry sullivan

17:12 PM, 31st October 2020
About a month ago

typical legislation from our inept politicians

Anton

5:23 AM, 8th November 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Thanks everyone for your feedback. It is good to know that one can purchase the freehold in principle. It assumes all the freeholders agree. So, yes, there are a number of options:
1) JV with freehodlers
2) purchase a lease for the airspace
3) purchase freehold
It is worth considering all options.
Thanks again.

Jay James

8:49 AM, 8th November 2020
About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 31/10/2020 - 07:34
Where does this information come from?


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