Right to Manage FAQ
Why should we acquire the right to manage our building or buy a share of the freehold?
To take control over the management of your building, especially if you are unhappy with its management.
Which is best?
It really depends on your objectives. Both are concerned with gaining control, particularly the right to manage. But if you buy a share of the freehold, you also have the opportunity to increase the value of your interest in the property.
Are there any conditions that need to be met before we can acquire the right to manage or buy a share of the freehold?
Three quarters of the building must be occupied for residential purposes and two-thirds of the leaseholders must own leases which were originally granted for a period exceeding 21 years. At least half of those leaseholders of the building need to be involved. Put more simply, if you own your flat (which is very likely if you have a mortgage) then you most likely qualify.
Does it matter if I have a mortgage?
Will I have to ask my mortgage lender's permission?
It is possible - Pro-Leagle will advise on this.
Can our landlord prevent us from acquiring the right to manage or buying a share of the freehold?
He can object and there are certain grounds he may argue to prevent you from acquiring your rights. However, Pro-Leagle will do its best to anticipate those grounds and make sensible objections.
How much will it cost to get Pro-Leagle to help?
Please refer to our services and costs sections for details on buying a share of the freehold or exercising Right to Manage. Those intending to buy their freehold will also have to pay their landlord a suggested price, which will be calculated by Pro-Leagle.
What other costs will there be?
You may have to pay the landlord's reasonable costs incurred due to the claim. This applies to both the right to manage and the right to buy a share of the freehold. Stamp duty may also be payable but we will warn leaseholders from the outset. In most cases no stamp duty will be payable.
Are Pro-Leagle's costs fixed?
Yes. Pro-Leagle's charges are fixed, while the price for the share of the freehold will be calculated according to set rules. You may think that the landlord's costs are unreasonable: if Pro-Leagle agrees then we will challenge them on your behalf.
Will it cost the same if my neighbour's flat is smaller?
Pro-Leagle's charges for acquiring the right to manage or buying a share of the freehold will be the same for all flats. However, there may be a difference in the prices paid to your landlord for buying a share of the freehold: the price will depend on the length of the leases, as well as the size or value of the flat.
How long will it take to acquire the right to manage or buy a share of the freehold?
Hopefully between three to four months for buying a share of the freehold, but this depends on the landlord's compliance. If he is not co-operative, then this may take longer. With regards to the right to manage, hopefully it will take only three to four months, but this may be longer if the landlord delays the process. The law does operate to deter the landlord from delaying the progress of your claim.
What do we have to do once we gain control over the property?
Once you have acquired the right to manage or bought a share of the freehold, you will collectively be responsible for all decisions relating to the building: overseeing repairs; providing services; calculating budgets and sinking funds. However, you can appoint a professional managing agent who will carry out these functions.
Can Pro-Leagle manage the building?
Pro-Leagle will be happy to both manage your building and undertake accounting services for a fixed annual fee.
What happens to those tenants who do not choose to participate in acquiring the right to manage or buying a share of the freehold?
They will continue to live in the building, as the terms of their leases will continue to apply. But the value of their leases will diminish and should they wish to renew their leases, they will have to pay for a new 90 year lease, as opposed to paying nothing for new 999 year leases which the tenants who collectively enfranchised can grant themselves.
Can certain leaseholders be excluded from this process?
No. It is a requirement that qualifying tenants who are not already participating in the right to buy or manage are invited to participate before the claim is commenced. Whether they choose to do so is another matter. Everyone has the right to join in.
What if I do not get on with my neighbour and communication is difficult?
Pro-Leagle will be happy to contact him on your behalf without mentioning your name.
What will happen to the landlord?
With regard to the right to manage, the landlord will no longer be solely responsible for decisions relating to the building. But he will be entitled to contribute his view as to decisions concerning the building and he may have to be consulted on certain matters such as approvals. The landlord may be a member of the Right to Manage company.
Can I contact a particular person if there are any problems?
A member of the Pro-Leagle team will take you through the process and inform you of various developments.
What happens after I have bought a share of the freehold?
If you buy a share of the freehold, you will have an opportunity to grant yourself a new 999 year lease. You will be able to then assign this lease which will not significantly decrease in value, as opposed to a lease which has less than 80 years left to run.
Where does it say that we can acquire the right to manage or buy a share of the freehold?
In 2002, the Government introduced the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act which allowed leaseholders to acquire the right to manage. In 1993, the Government allowed leaseholders to acquire the right, as a group, to buy their freehold under the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act. The Government continues to introduce legislation which supports this Act.
Are you a firm of solicitors?
Pro-Leagle is a law firm regulated by the Rennes Bar (registered in France: SIRET ID 794 947 358 00014). All and any Pro-Leagle solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) of England and Wales. The Managing Director of Pro-Leagle is a solicitor qualified to practice in England and Wales and is registered with both the Law Society of England and Wales and the Rennes Bar.
Why should I engage Pro-Leagle to acquire the right to manage or buy the freehold?
Pro-Leagle is a firm of solicitors which specialise in residential leasehold issues. We are not intermediaries, unlike some leasehold company's you may seen on the internet. We can undertake the whole matter on your behalf, from start to finish, saving time and resources.
Pro-Leagle's founder experienced difficulties with leasehold property and understands the difficulties involving landlords and litigation. So we are determined to provide cost effective solutions for tenants, delivered in a consumer friendly and accessible manner.
Unlike many firms of solicitors, Pro-Leagle has fixed fees for acquiring the right to manage or buying the freehold and it will regularly inform the leaseholders of the progress of their claim. Pro-Leagle's fees have no hidden extras.
I do not understand the process - what do I do?
No problem - Pro-Leagle will be happy to talk to you in person.
How can I contact Pro-Leagle?
You can contact Pro-Leagle either by telephone or through the internet. Letters will only be sent as a last resort. This is how Pro-Leagle keeps your costs down.
Where is Pro-Leagle based?
Pro-Leagle's office is near Croydon in London.
Will Pro-Leagle charge for an initial consultation?
No, but if you wish to acquire the right to buy a share of the freehold then Pro-Leagle will charge £60.00 for an Eligibility Assessment. For Right to Manage, an Eligibility Assessment is £50.00. This will be refundable less £5.00 administrative charge if we discover that you cannot buy a share of the freehold or acquire the right to manage.
Does Pro-Leagle provide any other services apart from acquiring the right to buy or manage?
In addition to the right to collectively buy the freehold or manage, Pro-Leagle can acquire the right to buy houses for individual tenants and the extension of a new lease. It is also happy to challenge unreasonable service charges and to pursue the appointment of a manager. Pro-Leagle also provides property management and company secretarial assistance.
How will my freehold be valued?
Pro-Leagle will rely on the information that you supply for the purposes of the Initial Valuation. If we have any queries then we will contact you by email or phone. The law sets out a series of rules used to calculate the cost of acquiring your freehold. These rules are complex, and the calculations are dependent upon geographical variables and the remaining length of your lease. Pro-Leagle uses data from previous First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) decisions to calculate the fair value for acquiring your share of the freehold.
The valuation of your freehold will be used in negotiating a sensible price with your landlord. Where the landlord refuses to sell the freehold, Pro-Leagle will identify a competitively priced qualified surveyor who will prepare a valuation report for you to use. The price quoted by the surveyor is the amount stated in the Initial Notice sent to your landlord.
What value or price will Pro-Leagle propose to the landlord?
Pro-Leagle will propose the fair value that is calculated using our calculation tool. It makes no sense to make an unreasonable or unrealistic proposal as a negotiating ploy. It is not like negotiating through an estate agent. An unrealistic offer unsupported by valuation evidence will be challenged by your landlord and will be fatal to your claim.
What is a virtual freehold?
When you own a share of the freehold you will be able to grant yourself a new 999 year lease. This lease is worth the same as a freehold interest in your property and so is called a 'virtual freehold'. You may need the approval of your mortgage lender. This is bound to be given as you are increasing the value of your property as security for your mortgage loan.
Will I need a professional valuation?
In many cases this will not be necessary providing that Pro-Leagle has seen your lease or been given full details of the ground rent that you pay over time. You will also need to give a sensible and realistic valuation of the current value of your home. For leases with less than 80 years to run or more complex situations Pro-Leagle will advise you accordingly.
Where the matter does proceed to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber), Pro-Leagle has found that instructing a surveyor to prepare a valuation is useful in determining what price should be paid for the freehold.
What if I don't take part in the collective purchase of the freehold?
You continue to own and live in your flat. Those of your neighbours who did take part will now be your landlord. You will pay ground rent and service charges to them. If you later wish to buy a share in the freehold then you will have to negotiate with those of your neighbours who did take part and pay them money. If you wish to extend your lease then you will have to pay those of your neighbours who did take part.
What if I didn't take part in acquiring the right to manage?
Again, you will continue to own and live in your flat. Those of your neighbours who did take part will now manage your building and you will have to pay your service charges to them. They will manage the building instead of your existing landlord. You will relate to them the same way that you used to relate to your present landlord.
What happens if I pay Pro-Leagle to prepare an Eligibility Assessment and I don't qualify?
Pro-Leagle will refund you the money you paid less an administrative fee of £5.00.
What happens if I have dispute with Pro-Leagle and the arbitrator finds in my favour?
Pro-Leagle will honour the binding award made by the arbitrator.