Collective Enfranchisement

Pros and Cons of Collective Enfranchisement

Pros

  • Increased sale value due to improved marketability. Some buyers will not consider purchasing a leasehold property due to problems with previous properties.
  • The leasehold property stops deteriorating in value over time. After freehold purchase, the leaseholders jointly control the freehold and can grant themselves new leases of up to 999 years with no ground rent to pay.
  • Creation of a secure family inheritance.
  • The leaseholders will gain control of property maintenance which, if the leaseholders are proactive, can be more efficient and less costly than a commercial managing agent. Pro-Leagle offer several property management law packs to help with this process. Alternatively, a new managing agent can be appointed.
  • Mortgage companies are likely to approve loan extensions to cover the cost of freehold purchase as the property is then recognised as a more secure asset.
  • Following the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 legislation, a freehold purchase can take less than a year.

Cons

  • The entire freehold must change hands at the same time. Leaseholders who participate in the process will hence have to pay not only for their share of the freehold, but also for a proportion of the cost due to non-participating leaseholders. Pro-Leagle can provide you with a Freehold Valuation detailing the likely cost.
  • Some leaseholders may initially decide to participate in the freehold purchase but later change their minds. To counter this, a Participation Agreement is generally used to bind all interested leaseholders into the freehold purchase process. Pro-Leagle can assist you with this.
  • Within the current rules, once you have served your official notice on the Freeholder setting out how much you should pay, you will be required to pay the Freeholder's 'reasonable costs' associated with dealing with your request. This essentially means he or she can take legal advice and/or request a further survey to be undertaken at your cost.
  • Your existing leases will normally contain provisions on property maintenance to avoid your property falling into a state of disrepair. You will have to consider whether you should manage the property yourselves or whether to employ a Managing Agent for this purpose.