Lease extension & buying your freehold

Maximising the value of your property investment

As the owner of a leasehold property, there are a number of steps that can be taken to maximise the return on your investment or achieve the best price possible upon resale, including:

  •     Extending your lease
  •     Purchasing the freehold
  •     Lease enfranchisement

Woodfords Solicitors has particular expertise in these types of lease negotiations throughout London and particularly in Fulham, Chelsea, Putney and Wandsworth where there is a high proportion of leasehold accommodation.

Extending your lease

The cost of extending your lease is partially based upon current market values, so the most cost-effective time to extend the lease term on an apartment or maisonette is when property prices are depressed.

If your lease is nearing 80 years remaining unexpired, you should consider extending it in any event as the cost of doing so markedly increases at this threshold, notwithstanding that this may have a negative impact on the availability of a mortgage for a future purchaser and may make it more difficult to sell.

Purchasing the freehold

Owning a leasehold property normally means you own the interior of your property but not the land and building . The freeholder owns the land and you reimburse the cost of maintenance and the payment of ground rent.

When it comes to selling your property it can be less attractive without the freehold so you may wish to consider purchasing this. If so, the cost of purchasing a freehold is relative to the remaining term of all the leases the land is subject to, so the sooner you buy the less it will cost.

This can sometimes be undertaken with agreement of the freeholder. However, you have the legal right to compel the freeholder to sell the freehold. This is known as freehold enfranchisement or collective enfranchisement and is subject to a number of conditions and at least 50% of the tenants must participate.
The tenants benefit in a number of ways including:

  •     taking control of their building and management
  •     reduction of excessive maintenance costs
  •     resolution of landlord/tenant disputes
  •     ability to extend leases to their maximum levels.

The Woodfords’ team of solicitors have assisted a number of groups of tenants in Fulham, Chelsea, Putney and Wandsworth to successfully purchase their freehold.

Find out more

If you are interested in discussing any of these steps then please contact Richard Hemingway on 0207 731 0750 or email rh@woodfords.co.uk to find out whether you meet the relevant eligibility criteria.

We make no charge for an initial meeting and if it appears that we can help you, then we will endeavour to provide a fixed price quotation for our services.