Most leases contain a provision whereby within one month of completion of any purchase or mortgage of the property, you have to serve notice on the freeholder
and it is usual for the freeholder
to charge you a fee to receipt the notice.
Purchasers can take an assignment of the right to extend the lease from the seller of the property where the seller serves a notice of claim for a lease extension upon the freeholder
, even though they will not have owned the property for the requisite two years.
The Newbiggin freeholders
own about 185 acres of the town's links, common, moorland, foreshore and beach, and each receives an annual dividend of around pounds 180 from land leased to the local golf course and caravan park.
The highest bidder will become one of fewer than 50 freeholders
, a title and status symbol which dates back to a charter granted by King John in 1235.
"Residents who own their own homes as freeholders
are left feeling helpless as they try to find out how much is left in the scheme and they are rightly aggrieved that, despite their payment into said fund, the opaqueness of it makes them powerless to try and enforce the responsibilities of the landlord or management scheme manager."
"For too long, housebuilders and developers have not been transparent enough about what it actually means to buy a leasehold property," says Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, pointing out that thousands of homeowners are locked into confusing contracts with freeholders
A surveyor may be able to negotiate the premium directly with the freeholder
without having to utilise the enfranchisement procedure.
At the two Green Quarter blocks, Vallea Court and Cypress Place, each resident was individually told they would need to pay thousands to replace the cladding - despite the government calling on freeholders
and developers to 'do the right thing.' Now, after months of negotiations - and help from Manchester council - they received a letter confirming they have won the argument.
"Then there are the admin fees that homeowners have to pay when asking the freeholder
's permission to make changes to their own property."
The company added that it had contacted the freeholders
on August 14 to inform them about the problem and then again on August 21 to advise them that "the rodent problem was block-wide and should be dealt with by the freeholder
as trying to tackle the problem on a flat by flat basis would prove futile without wider action across the block".
When a house is sold as leasehold, the ground it is built on or some other part of the property remains in the hands of the freeholder
When a house is sold as leasehold, the ground it is built on stays "owned" by the freeholder