Buying Your Freehold of House | Howells Solicitors
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Buying your Freehold

Whether you are buying directly from your Landlord or not our Property & Conveyancing specialists can support you in buying your freehold. 

Difference Between Freehold & Leasehold

If you are looking to buy a property, you may have heard of the terms freehold and leasehold. The key differences are: 

  • Freehold = You own the property and the land it is built on for as long as you want. 
  • Leasehold = You own the property for a set period of time, but not the land it is built on. 

Owning a Leasehold Property

If you own a leasehold flat or house there will be the superior interest of your Landlord, known as the reversionary title, out of which your lease was granted. Your lease will include a requirement to pay rent to your Landlord, although the rent may only be a small amount.

What is a Reversionary Title?

Reversionary titles are often owned by companies. If one of these companies dissolves, the title that it owns may vest in the Crown as Bona Vacantia. The Bona Vacantia division (BVD) of the Government Legal Department deals with such titles that belonged to a dissolved company and now belong to the Crown.

What Does Owning a Leasehold Property Mean?

Owning a leasehold means you may have less control over your property than freeholders would, and you may be paying more. For example, as a leaseholder, you will have to pay ground rent, and usually, a service charge to your landlord. 

Why Buy Freehold?

Buying a freehold means that you will not have to pay ground rent or be under a contract of conditions imposed by your lease. A leasehold will eventually diminish in value as the term shortens, which will make your property harder to sell and reduce your options for remortgaging. Therefore, buying freehold outright or buying the freehold of your leasehold property is always a preferable option. 

How to Get My Landlord to Sell me Freehold

You may have the legal right to buy the freehold of your property even if your landlord does not agree. Our solicitors can explain to you the rules for eligibility, however, the basics include: 

  • Your property must be a house
  • Your lease must be for a term of more than 21 years
  • You must have owned the house for the preceding 2 years.

If you are buying a leasehold house from a previous owner, it can be possible for the seller to inform the landlord and provide the appropriate notice and transfer the benefit to you. This would mean you would not have to wait 2 years to start the process. 

How Much Will it Cost to Buy my Freehold?

The cost of buying your freehold depends upon the premium and professional fees. The premium is the price you pay to the landlord to buy out the interest, which will reflect the market value of the freehold and the loss of ground rent to the landlord.

How Long Will it Take to Buy my Freehold? 

The typical timeframe for buying a freehold takes between 6 and 12 months but can depend on several factors. 

Why choose Howells?

Competitive Prices

Our solicitors aim to provide the best quality legal service at competitive prices meaning you will receive the best service no matter what the price you pay.

Professional Service

Our Property & Conveyancing specialists are highly regarded in the industry and receive fantastic feedback on their professionalism, whilst being down to earth and offering a personalised service to each client.

Guidance and Support

Our team is here for you. We aim to make the process stress-free and easy and will be with you every step of the way. Our solicitors are there to offer advice to keep your mind at ease, and we also communicate regularly, openly and sensitively. We are always ready to listen.

Transparency

What we quote for is what we do, and we make sure you are fully aware of the mystery of the legal process, so you have no fears or worries.

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The Team

Our experienced Conveyancing team enjoy nothing better than being recommended by your family and friends to use us for your conveyancing needs. They enjoy meeting clients on a face-to-face basis to give that support and reassurance at this stressful time. Our team are highly skilled and use the latest conveyancing technology but still offer the friendly and personal service that clients prefer. They understand that they’re not dealing with ‘cases’ but with people, not bound up in legal process but in real lives. This team is supervised by Lindsey Rawson.

Stephen Taylor

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Lindsey Rawson

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Tina Staves

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Danielle Mahyar

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Emmanuella Wallace

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Sofiah Younis

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Jessica Carnell

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Karman Wan

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Jane Nightingale

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Stacey Crane

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