Leaseholder rights

All leaseholders of social housing landlords have a variety of rights which are set out in their Leases.

Leaseholder law

By law leaseholders have the right to:

  • extend the lease or buy the freehold of a house under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967
  • extend the lease or buy the freehold of a flat provided that certain criteria are met
  • buy the freehold of a flat when it is sold, under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
  • pay a service or administration charge in as far as it is ‘reasonable’ and to challenge that charge at a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal
  • be consulted about certain works, often referred to as Section 20 consultation rights
  • have information on how to challenge service charges
  • form a company which can take over responsibility for management of the block
  • avoid repossession for arrears of ground rent or service charges when the debt is relatively low
  • the right to buy the freehold is through collective enfranchisement, which means that leaseholders act together to obtain the freehold.

Leaseholder enfranchisement

Leasehold Enfranchisement is simply the technical name given to the process by which tenants can, in certain circumstances, buy their freehold or acquire a new lease (often called a ‘lease extension’) from their landlords.

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