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Advice on buying your freehold

This article appeared in the Mercury newspaper on 6th October 2010.

Jane Meldrum of Norrie Waite & Slater Solicitors answers questions on buying the freehold to your property.


I have been told it may be a good idea to buy the freehold of my house. What are the benefits?

Many properties in Sheffield are leasehold and as the owner of the property you will have to pay an annual ground rent to a landlord who owns the freehold.

As the owner of a leasehold property you may be able to purchase the freehold to your property, if certain criteria are met.
Purchasing the freehold to your property can offer a number of benefits including:

  • no longer having to pay ground rent to a landlord
  • giving you more control over what you can do with the property

Leases vary widely, but many include restrictive buying property freeholdclauses which mean that if you want to carry out a variety of alterations, from minor things such as installing a satellite dish to bigger alterations such as building an extension, you may need to get the landlords written consent, usually incurring a consent fee.

Owners of flats can also, under certain circumstances, get together to buy the freehold of their building. This process is known as collective enfranchisement.

How much will it cost me to buy my freehold?

There is no set formula to calculate the cost of purchasing your freehold. The cost is usually worked out as a multiple of the annual ground rent. The remaining length of the lease may also affect the value of the freehold.

If you wish to purchase your freehold the first step is to contact your landlord and ask them how much they would be willing to sell the freehold for. In addition to the cost of the freehold you will also have your own solicitorís legal fees and it is normal practise for you to pay your landlords legal fees for this type of transaction.

Once you have all this information you can make a decision as to whether it is worthwhile for you to purchase your freehold.

If you want further information or advice on buying your freehold speak to one of our experienced conveyancers.

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