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Collective Enfranchisement - do we qualify?

Posted 15/01/2020

The term Collective Enfranchisement refers to a process where qualifying tenants within a block of flats can buy their freehold from their landlord. But how do you know if you qualify for the process? In short, provided the block of flats qualifies, you have sufficient qualifying tenants participating in the claim and an exception does not apply, you’re good to go! Senior collective enfranchisement solicitor Callie Tuplin goes in to more detail about the qualifying factors for collective enfranchisement.

Does the building qualify?

The building will qualify for collective enfranchisement if:

  • It contains two or more flats held by qualifying tenants;
  • Two-thirds of the flats are owned by qualifying tenants (leaseholders whose lease have more than 21 years remaining)
  • It is part of a building or a self-contained building;
  • The Freeholder does not live in a flat within the building

To commence a claim, you must have at least 50% of the flats participating in the claim at the commencement, if you do, the landlord cannot object. It does not matter if you live at the property or not or whether it is owned by a company or individual.

Exceptions to the rule

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Tenant’s do not have the right to acquire the freehold if one of the following exceptions applies:

  1. A building with a resident landlord which was converted into four flats or less.
  2. A leaseholder owns three or more flats within the building – they do not qualify
  3. If the building is partly used as commercial or is intended to be used for non-residential purposes and the area of that part exceeds 25% of the building;
  4. The building is a National Trust Building, within a cathedral precinct or owned by the Crown

There is also a resident landlord exemption where there is no right to collective enfranchisement, which are

  • The building is not a purpose-built block; and
  • The same person has owned the building prior to the conversion of the building; and
  • The conversion of the building was into four or fewer flats; and
  • The owner or an adult member of their family has lived at the property for the previous 12 months.

If you and the building qualify, there are no exemptions that apply, and your fellow leasehold neighbours agree to participate and join the claim with you, then get that claim started.


Callie Tuplin

Posted 15/01/2020 by:
Callie Tuplin
Senior Lease Extension and Enfranchisement Solicitor



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