The Leasehold Reform Act 1993 (as amended) provides the right for leaseholders to buy the freehold of the block they live in from the landlord (through a collective enfranchisement). 

To have the right to take part in the enfranchisement process you must be a ‘qualifying tenant’ (a long leaseholder of a flat) and you can only buy the freehold with a group of other ‘qualifying tenants’ providing the building satisfies the following criteria:

  • There must be two or more flats in your building. If there are only two flats in the block, both must participate in the exercise.
  • At least two thirds of all the flats in your building must be held on long leases. 
  • Not more than 25% of the internal floor area (apart from common parts such as stairs) of the building is in non-residential use or intended for non-residential use. 
  • The number of tenants participating must also equal at least half the flats in the block.

For example, in a block of 12 flats, at least eight flats must be held on long leases and at least six long leaseholders would need to participate in the enfranchisement process.  

When you inform your landlord that you wish to purchase the freehold, you have to name someone to act for you throughout the process. This person is known as your nominee purchaser and will own the freehold for you after enfranchisement.  If the block contains flats let directly to public sector tenants, the landlord must take a leaseback of these flats. This means that the Landlord leases the remaining units from the nominee purchaser. 

The process of enfranchisement can be very complicated and you are recommended to obtain independent legal advice before you apply. 

Before deciding on an application to purchase the freehold of your block, please consider the following point:-

City of Wolverhampton Council would no longer be your Landlord and  you would all be responsible for the management, maintenance and insurance costs for your block and could not involve us if any neighbour disputes arose. 

For further information on buying the freehold of your block, please contact the leasehold management team.

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