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Purchasing the Freehold of a Property
Freehold vs Leasehold
Most flats are sold as leaseholds, with the freehold being owned by the builder/company the freehold has been sold to. In some cases, flats are sold on the basis that the freehold is shared between owners within the same building. This is known as ‘share of freehold’.
Houses are usually sold as freehold properties as there is only one property on one piece of land. However, occasionally this may not be the case, especially with new build properties.
Someone who owns the freehold of the property, owns both the property and the land it stands on for an unlimited period.
A leaseholder owns the property, but not the land it is built on (this is owned by the freeholder). Ownership of the property is limited to a number of years, decades or even centuries, depending on the duration of your lease. If the lease expires, ownership of the property passes to the freeholder.
How to Qualify to Purchase the Freehold
Generally, you need to own at least two flats within the building, with a lease longer than 21 years and at least 50% of leaseholders to take part.
There are legal conditions that you will have to take accountability for, such as your buildings’ management.
If the freeholder decides to sell the freehold, it must be offered to the flat-owners in the building. Flat-owners may receive a notice from the freeholder expressing their wish to sell and the price being asked. If you do not accept in given time, the freehold can be sold on the open market. Consequently, if you receive notice and wish to purchase, contact us immediately on 0161 798 9000 for a conveyancing quote.