Leasehold Houses – Selling the Freehold

If you are the freeholder of a leasehold house and you have been approached by the leaseholder to sell the freehold you need advice.

Most leaseholders will have the legal entitlement to compel the freeholder to sell the freehold interest.  Whilst there are certain exceptions the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and successive amendments to the legislation have widened the ability for leaseholders to either claim a 50-year lease extension or force an outright sale of the freehold.

The price the landlord can obtain for the freehold can vary tremendously, dependent upon the number of years unexpired, the value of the property, the ground rent that is paid and most crucially which method of valuation under the legislation is to be adopted for the valuation.

The freeholder’s surveyor’s initial task is to identify whether the leaseholder has the legal right to acquire the freehold.  As we have previously said there are only a few exceptions to the general right of the leaseholder to purchase the freehold. Assuming such rights exist, the Surveyor will next identify the appropriate valuation method.   The valuation method to be applied will depend upon the location of the property, the amount of the last recorded rateable value (if the property has a rateable value) and the amount of ground rent which is payable under the terms of the lease.

If you have been approached to sell your freehold informally or by way of a formal Notice we can identify whether the leaseholder has statutory rights, advise you of the correct premium, negotiate a settlement and assist you with the legal transfer of ownership, to ensure you obtain the premium at the earliest opportunity.

Of course there are times when the premium offered by the leaseholder appears insufficient. Ultimately if the tenant does not agree to a realistic figure the matter may eventually reach the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.  The Leasehold Valuation Tribunal have far and varied powers with respect to leasehold properties and in this case will be required to determine the price you will receive, which will be influenced by the valuation evidence put before it by the respective parties. We have represented numerous clients in the Tribunal so will be happy to help should the need arise.

For a free informal discussion please call Mike Stapleton FRICS on 01702 562072 between 9am and 7pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively if you prefer please click here to direct your query to us by e-mail.