If you are the owner of a property with a long leasehold you have various options at your disposal. Under the 1993 Leasehold Reform Act you are entitled to extend your lease by 90 years and reduce any owner’s ground rent to a much lesser amount, a peppercorn rent, a nominal rent without any rent review clauses.
If a sufficient number of leaseholders in a block wish to purchase the freehold there are rights within the Act to compel the landlord to sell the freehold giving the leaseholders ownership of the property and the right to manage and control the property: this is known as Collective Enfranchisement.
If you are dissatisfied with the freeholder’s management of the property, especially if you are paying a significant amount of service charge, there is a Right to Manage within the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 which will put the leaseholders in charge and no further service charge will be payable to the freeholder. There is no need to prove mismanagement by the freeholder or managing agents.
Provided you have a qualifying lease your request to extend the lease, purchase the freehold or obtain the right to manage cannot be refused by the freeholder. Timescales are in place to prevent procrastination on behalf of the freeholder and process can also be completed even if the freeholder cannot be found or contacted, i.e. an absentee freeholder or, indeed, if the freeholder refuses to reply to notices served.
If you would like to have more control of your leasehold property or if you wish to extend your lease, particularly if the remaining term is close to or below 80 years then contact us for further advice.