Bishop & Sewell

Freehold acquisition, or “collective enfranchisement”, is a group activity where a number of leaseholders in a block of flats combine to purchase their freehold. It is a highly technical and specialised process, in which we have extensive expertise that sets us apart from other property law firms.

Some of the key features of collective enfranchisement, and a broad outline of the process, are summarised in our comprehensive factsheet (request your free copy today by emailing

We always take care to identify and address any specific technical points unique to your individual case. We know our way around the enfranchisement process better than most, from initial consultation, through to successful completion.

Alongside our legal expertise, we offer plenty of practical guidance to ensure that your claim does not lose momentum. We can also help you identify an investor, if needed, to fund any gap in the cost of buying the freehold, or a surveyor suitable to undertake the valuation work.

Buying The Freehold Of Your Leasehold House

Anyone who has owned a leasehold house for at least two years has a right to buy the freehold of the property.

The legal right to do this is set out in the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. In order to qualify, the property must be classified as a ‘house’. This might seem like a simple statement, but there has been a lot of case law on what constitutes a ‘house’ under the 1967 Act – some of which we have been involved in.

Essentially, the lease that you have must have been granted for more than 21 years originally, and be a lease of the whole of the property. In other words, if the lease is of the ‘inside’ of the house only, then the chances are that you will not qualify for these rights, although you may still be able to claim a lease extension.

How Much Will It Cost?

In order to work out the premium payable for the freehold of the house, a valuer will look at the rateable value of the property on a number of dates and/or carry out a specific calculation if the property was built after 1990. The detail of this is best looked at by a specialist but, essentially, this (along with your lease length) will determine how much you will pay. If your lease has under 80 years remaining, then you will pay significantly more, because of an additional factor known as ‘marriage value’ which comes into the calculation.

There are a number of other key points to consider, including alterations and additions to the property, and whether there has been a previous lease. This is an area where advice from a specialist is required.

If you have not already had valuation advice, we can recommend suitable surveyors familiar with the 1967 Act who can assist with this.

Contact our Landlord & Tenant team

Our friendly and professional team are experts in Landlord and Tenant matters. Call us today on 0207 631 4141 or email us on and one of our experts will be able to advise your best course of action going forward.

Buying Your Freehold Services

Initial advice about whether your building qualifies for collective enfranchisement.

Checking and reporting on the legal title to assist your surveyor.

Helping you with valuation advice in the early stages of the collective enfranchisement application.

Advice regarding, and if necessary drafting, a "participation agreement" setting out how the collective enfranchisement costs will be borne amongst the participants.

Drafting and serving the necessary notices.

Referring, where necessary, any dispute about value to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

Advising in relation to the ownership and use of any relevant basement or vault.

Buying Your Freehold Solicitors