We’re specialists in leasehold enfranchisement

We remain one of the few specialists in leasehold enfranchisement in the West Midlands, with over 25 years’ experience in this area of property law. In fact, most of what we do involves advising tenants and leaseholder clients in relation to this area. To us, each case is as important as the next, and we’ll resolve every freehold purchase or lease extension to the best of our ability.

Over 25 years’ experience

Here at Lawrence & Wightman, we’ve been practising in this area of law for over 25 years. We’re considered experts in helping clients understand their rights, as well as negotiating the best possible settlement for everyone.

Over 90% of our enfranchisement work involves helping leaseholders exercise their statutory right to purchase their freehold or extend their lease. If you’re looking for help in the enfranchisement process, we can draft a Notice of Claim and negotiate settlements under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

Freehold purchases - houses

Under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, leaseholders have the right to buy their freehold if the individual has owned the property for more than two years. However, like all areas of complex law there are some exceptions. It is possible to force the freeholder to sell their freehold interest at a reasonable price too, but you will be responsible for the freeholder’s legal costs and surveyor’s fees.

As we’ve been practicing in this area for many years at Lawrence & Wightman, we’ve almost certainly dealt with every single eventuality and can provide advice to resolve most situations. We’ve also come across most freeholders or their agents, and in most cases, have a good rapport that enables us to settle cases at the best possible outcome for our clients.

When calling, it is usually helpful if you can let us know how long you have left on your lease and what your ground rent is.

Freehold purchases - flats

This area of law is particularly complex and requires tailored specialist advice. Basically, a group of leaseholders are entitled to purchase the freehold interest of their block of flats or maisonettes, provided that more than 50% are participating with a qualifying interest. That qualifying interest only has to be a lease that is longer than 21 years with a ground rent.

Here at Lawrence & Wightman, we’ve dealt with many successful collective enfranchisement cases—and this allows us to advise you on all the important areas—such as how to start the process, what to do, and the hurdles you’ll need to overcome.

We’ll work closely with your solicitor and provide tailored valuation advice as well as expert negotiation skills to obtain the best possible price for everyone.

Lease extension - flats and maisonettes

The majority of our work involves helping leaseholders to obtain a lease extension of their short leasehold flat. Again, this is a complex and often confusing area of law for clients. Our job is to provide clear, uncomplicated advice, and a workable solution for each person.

Essentially, if you’ve owned the property for more than two years, you’re entitled to a lease extension for an additional 90 years added of the existing lease, at a peppercorn ground rent (in reality a zero payment). In exchange for this, a premium is paid to the freeholder and anyone else holding an interest. In effect, you’re forcing them to do something that they may not want to do, so will have to pay their reasonable legal costs and surveyor’s fees.

If you would like more information about the lease extension process please see the attached lease extension advice leaflet that provides more information about the statutory process and how we can help.

We would be happy to talk through your individual claim, please contact Michael Cannon, Sarah Abel or Keith Chew at the office. When you call it would be extremely helpful if you could provide us with the number of years left on your lease and your current ground rent.