What is a freehold purchase?

If you own a leasehold house, you can purchase your freehold interest from your freeholder. You can do this voluntarily or you can exercise your right in law, provided you have owned the property for more than 2 years. You can 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.

Is it worth buying your freehold? In most cases, yes! They are easier to sell and get mortgages on if properties are freehold. This is particularly the case if there is a short lease. There are different types of valuation depending on the value of your property, so it can be very affordable.

How do I purchase the freehold of my house?

It is possible to negotiate with your freeholder voluntarily, but in most cases the best value for money is to exercise your rights in law and service a Notice of Claim under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, which we can do for you. We then negotiate the price payable using our expertise, agree the price payable and instruct your solicitors. How long does it take? Usually, a formal claim takes about 6-9 months to reach completion.

After all that, does it add value to own the freehold? Yes, it does. With new build houses, there was such a scandal surrounding leasehold houses that they can be difficult to sell quickly. With older houses on short leases, it makes a huge difference to the value of the property and its’ saleability.

Can my freeholder refuse to sell their interest? Not if you have owned the property for more than two years, or have an exempt landlord, like The Crown or National Trust. If they are unwilling to sell, you can serve a Notice and they have to sell it to you at a reasonable price.

We are often asked if it is better to buy freehold or leasehold. Certainly freehold, as you are master of your own property and have the freedom to do with it what you like. Clients also ask if a 999-year lease is the same as freehold – sort of, provided that the lease does not have a ground rent or any clauses that prevent you from doing what you like to the house, then yes.

Call us on 0121 708 2266 to see how we can help you. When you do, it is usually helpful if you can let us know how long you have left on your lease and what your ground rent is.