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Collective Enfranchisement

Collective Enfranchisement

The right to manage and collective freehold acquisition

Collective Enfranchisement & The Right to Manage

The majority of owners of properties which have an over-arching freehold are unaware of their right to take over the management of their building from their landlord without paying any premium.
With two main routes available you have the right to take ownership of your freehold via collective enfranchisement or alternatively take control of your building via the "right to manage".

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Collective Enfranchisement

As members of the Association of Leasehold Enfranchisement Practitioners (ALEP), Ashley Wilson Solicitors are experts in collective enfranchisement – compelling your freeholder to sell the freehold of your property to you, the Leaseholder.

Understanding the technicalities of the legislation will provide you with the best advice to achieve your objectives. We work closely with your instructed valuation company to ensure that you achieve the very best result from a financial perspective and support you through the process to ensure a smooth transition.

Our expert team of solicitors can provide you with advice around whether the extent of the property you are entitled to acquire and all the information you need to help you start a claim to buy your freehold and undertake all legal and compliance actions on your behalf.

Right to Manage

The “right to manage” is a useful tool in the event that you, like many others, are experiencing poor management of their building or paying high services charges and management fees and receiving little or no benefit. 

By exercising your right to take over the management of your building you will take control and ensure that your services charges are reasonable and you benefit from the money which you are spending.

To acquire the right to manage you do not have to prove poor management by the Landlord. There are very little grounds for your Landlord to resist the claim. The process is relatively simple & quick. The Landlord’s consent is not required. No court order is necessary. A capital payment is not payable to the Landlord. 

Qualifying Criteria

  • The building must be self-contained (or if part of another building be capable of being re-developed independently);
  • The building must include at least two flats;
  • At least two thirds of the flats must be let to qualifying flat owners (broadly meaning a flat owner who has a Lease originally granted for more than 21 years – the normal scenario being that you hold your flat on a 99 year Lease); flat owners do not need to live in their flats to qualify;
  • The building can contain commercial parts i.e. shops, but they must not exceed 25% of the total internal floor area of the building;
  • Owners of at least half of the total number of flats in the building (not half the number of qualifying flat owners holding flats) must be members of the RTM Company.

For comprehensive guidance on the right to manage please see our Right to Manage Guide within the document downloads section of this page.

The main disadvantage of exercising the right to manage as an alternative to freehold or collective enfranchisement (where you acquire the freehold) is that each flat owner's lease continues to become shorter and will need to be extended at some point (at capital cost to that flat owner). Also ground rent continues to be payable.

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Legal Updates

Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022

The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill received Royal Assent on 8 February 2022. The main elements of it, i.e. the ground rent restrictions themselves, remained to be brought into force by regulations. This has now taken place; The Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 (The Act) will come into force on 30 June 2022.

Japanese Knotweed

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) have published updated guidance around Japanese Knotweed which came into effect on 23 March 2022.

Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 – Royal Assent

In 2018, the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid announced a “crackdown on unfairly sold practices” that would include setting ground rents on new long leases to zero and working with The Law Commission to make the process of purchasing a freehold or extending a lease of a flat “much easier, faster and cheaper”.