An Englishman’s home is his castle. Right? Oh.

Posted on: April 6th, 2017

You may have had the misfortune of watching daytime TV and caught the Victoria Derbyshire show. Just kidding – you may have caught the Victoria Derbyshire show discussing home ownership with individuals who had purchased a house only to discover their dream home was, in fact, not theirs. Well, not entirely.

These individuals had bought a leasehold house. You read that correctly. A house subject to a lease. This offends just about every aspect of British sensibility and understanding (hence my use of the tagline at the top). To add perceived insult to injury, the HomeOwner’s Alliance recently reported its concerns as well as this type of ownership has grown hugely in the last 20 years.

It will provide many comfort to know that, in most cases, the lease will be for an extremely long period of time (999 years). However, for those of you that believe in the after life and/or insist on owning the freehold of your home (this is understandable), one thing we do not want is 950 years (if you are lucky) of eternity ruined by you constantly peering down from your cloud thinking, “that’s another year gone, why hasn’t my feckless son bought out that freehold yet, I tried my best with him, but quite frankly why did I bother!?! £20,000 a year in school fees etc…”

The fact is that an owner of a leasehold property may be able to, after a period of ownership of two years, force the freeholder to sell you the freehold of the property, in what can be a relatively (lawyer’s caveat) straight forward process under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. It primarily involves first determining that the right applies to the house; the right applies to the lease (it normally will); getting the house surveyed; serving a notice (with a premium for the freehold purchase) receiving a counter notice from the landlord; reaching an agreement with regards to purchase price of freehold and transferring the freehold of the house.

We can help you with this process, from start to finish.