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Penningtons Manches has a wealth of expertise in dealing with enfranchisement claims backed by a 25 year track record in this frequently complex field. Our team consists of specialist enfranchisement solicitors drawn from our real estate and property litigation teams who advise both landlords and tenants in London and across the UK.
Essentially, there are three categories of claim that leaseholders can bring either to acquire the freehold to their building or to obtain a lease extension. If you live in a house, you should be able to acquire the freehold by virtue of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. It is not always easy to determine this, particularly when dealing with a mixed use building such as a corner shop with residential accommodation above.
Rights to acquire the freehold of a block of flats were given to leaseholders through the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993. The larger the block of flats, the more complicated such claims become because flat owners may have leases of varying lengths as well as different motives for purchasing the freehold. These types of claims are called collective enfranchisement claims and will usually require the establishment of a company to act as the nominee purchaser.
Under the 1993 Act, qualifying tenants also have the right to extend their lease by 90 years, paying no further ground rent. If you are thinking of buying a leasehold property which has a short term, then you should always consider whether to extend, particularly if you require a mortgage.
Each type of claim has its own challenges, most of which are well known to the team at Penningtons Manches. Our lawyers have the requisite experience and knowledge to be able to progress the full spectrum of enfranchisement claims and are often able to conduct difficult negotiations without resorting to litigation. Where litigation is required, we can call upon our property litigation experts.
For an initial, no cost assessment of your case, please contact us. We are members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP).
Representing a commercial tenant on a Marylebone estate in central London bringing a £5 million claim for the freehold under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967.
Coordinating and conducting proceedings seeking the collective enfranchisement of a 72 flat block following the replacement of previous lawyers as a result of allegations of professional negligence.
Advising a commercial tenant holding a headlease and successfully claiming an extended lease of the self-contained maisonette within the building.