Leasehold title, superior leasehold and freehold

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    Leasehold title, superior leasehold and freehold

    I am interested in buying a house which is for sale as a leasehold title. I have learned that not only is there a freehold but also a superior (head lease). The freehold is owned by the local council and would be relatively easy to purchase however the head lease is owned by an ltd and the current owner has been advised by their representatives not to contact them due to undertaking some works on the property a number of years ago without permission. I am keen on the house and would like to purchase but it seems to me (as a layperson) to be a mess. The property would need building works undertaking and the lease I have seen from the freeholder states permission is needed to do this. There is no ground rent payable and a 999 year lease.

    I would be grateful if anyone could advise. Should I stay well away, cut my losses before getting further involved? Is it easy to purchase a superior leasehold? Would I have any rights to this? I have been advised not to contact the superior leaseholder directly.

    Thank you.

    It's my understanding that if you enfranchise the freehold then both the head lease and its underlease are extinguished.

    I say this having done it a few years ago on my leasehold house.

    It may be worth getting the current leaseholder to serve notice on the freeholder before you purchase the leasehold.


      That would be great news but strangely goes against what weve been told by our solicitor and the council who own the freehold. I dont have much faith in the advice being given by our solicitor hence why I am asking here!


        I know that in parts of England 999 years building leases were very common, so that once the building companies had completed erecting the streets and houses, each house plot was the subject of a sub-lease.

        Enfranchisement legislation states that an application is to be made to the Freeholder to acquire the freehold, which has to be transferred, as long as the value of the freehold reversion is calculated according to a standard form of valuation.

        I looked at this web-site where useful information can be seen.

        "THE LAW

        The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (the 1967 act) gives leasehold tenants of houses the right to buy the freehold. The right to buy the freehold (and any intermediate leasehold interest, for example the head lease) without the landlord’s agreement is called ‘enfranchisement’. Some landlords will sell the freehold without you needing to make a formal claim, but whether you have to make a claim or not, you should get professional advice to find out roughly what the whole process will cost.

        The 1967 act has been amended and extended over the years, which has made the rules for calculating the price complicated. The latest amendments are set out in the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, which simplified the rules for qualifying for enfranchisement and gave leaseholders extra rights."


          Thank you. I looked at this exact website and text earlier. Much appreciated. You've both given me hope that we may be able to continue with the purchase.


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