Purchasing Your Freehold

Purchasing your freehold is a collaborative process and involves a group of leaseholders agreeing to purchase the building’s freehold. The benefits far outweigh the cons, so experts like ours at the Freehold Collective aim to assist you in making freehold ownership hassle-free, straightforward and rewarding.

What is a freehold?

Freehold refers to the permanent ownership of property or land. If you own the freehold, you own the building and the land it stands on. You are also responsible for setting leaseholder terms and managing the maintenance and upkeep of the building.

A leaseholder only owns a right to occupy a part of the building, i.e., a flat, but doesn’t own the walls or building the property is in or its surrounding land. They usually pay a ground rent.

For an instant and accurate estimation of the value of your freehold, try our Freehold Purchase Calculator.

What To Know When Purchasing Your Freehold

Are you a qualifying tenant feeling the impact of your landlord’s failures to meet property obligations? The empowerment lies in the hands of qualifying tenants like you through collective enfranchisement. This opportunity allows participating tenants to take control when a landlord fails to fulfil their responsibilities.

Here’s what you should know about the process before you get started:

  1. The right of first refusal in England and Wales means that leaseholders should be the first ones to be offered a freehold when it is to be sold. (last updated April 2024)
  2. The journey starts with an initial notice. This is a formal declaration expressing your collective desire to acquire the freehold of your property. Our dedicated team guides you through the intricacies of the notice and the subsequent steps, ensuring that your collective voice is heard and respected.
  3. If we encounter a roadblock in negotiations, we can escalate to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal. We will help with a solicitor and ensure the leasehold enfranchisement of the property. The leasehold valuation tribunal will review any possible discrepancies.
  4. Understanding the financial implications. Concerns about the landlord’s valuation costs are addressed through transparent negotiations, ensuring a fair distribution of responsibilities. We will help review any existing lease contracts and possible lease extension options while the negotiations are ongoing. Sometimes, the landlord’s costs must be covered by the buyers.
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Can you own the freehold of a flat?

It’s not possible to own the freehold of a flat independently, but it is possible for a group of flat owners to collectively own the freehold of a building. To purchase the freehold of a flat, at least half of all other leaseholders in the same building must also show willingness to purchase the building’s freehold. This can sound daunting, but it needn’t be. For example if a building has four flats, only two flats would need to want to buy the freehold to begin the process.

Smaller groups can purchase freeholds just with signatures of cooperation from other leaseholders, and at the Freehold Collective, we can provide our expertise to help you approach your neighbours in a way that also doesn’t make it sound as ominous to them.

Once agreed, the group then becomes a collective who will need to purchase the freehold’s premium. This contains things like the purchase price for the freehold, costs for a surveyor to do an accurate freehold valuation, legal fees for the leaseholders, the existing freeholders legal and valuation fees, as well as stamp duty land tax (if the purchase price is over £125,000).

At the end of the freehold purchase process, each member will own a share of the building’s freehold. Collective members assign certain leaseholders to be directors (a group must have a minimum of one director), or can assign other specific roles and responsibilities. This means that someone owning a share of the freehold could do so without taking on additional responsibility if they didn’t wish to.

Legal eligibility requirements to be aware of when purchasing a freehold are:

  • The building must contain at least two flats
  • Less than 25% of the freehold building must be under a commercial lease, i.e: being used for non-residential purposes such as an office or shop
  • At least two-thirds of all flats or apartments in the building must be owned by leaseholders with long leases (a long lease is one granted for more than 21 years
modern apartment blocks

Is it worth buying the freehold of my flat?

The benefits of buying the freehold of a flat are substantial and include, but are not limited to:

  • Removing the obligation to pay ground rent for freehold owner, whilst collecting ground rent from other non-freeholders

  • Ability to take out insurance plans which are more comprehensive or affordable

  • Reducing service charges through finding better, or more affordable service providers

  • Full oversight of the quality of works and maintenance done to the building

  • Ability to develop land around the building or or roof spaces to build flats for profit

  • Ability to make lease extensions free and extended to as long as 999 years at no extra cost, barring legal fees

  • Ability to reduce or change building terms and conditions

  • Ability to add value to the building as buyers tend to prefer freehold flats to those of leasehold

  • Ability to overall take better control of how the building is managed

Different types of freehold

At the Freehold Collective we can help with purchasing the freehold on a wide array of block types, including:

  • Purpose built blocks

  • Conversions

  • New builds

  • Luxury blocks

The TFC Freehold Purchasing Process

The journey to purchasing your freehold starts with consulting us. At the Freehold Collective we’re project managers that have been there and done that. Our founder, Mike, undertook his first freehold acquisition when he became disenchanted with how his building was being run. Building on Mike’s personal experience, we crafted a tried, tested and honed process that guarantees success for other freehold purchasers. It looks a bit like this:


Inception is the most important phase in our service. It sets up your entire Freehold Acquisition. As part of our inception service, we communicate, engage and recruit your neighbours and then organise them into a group, which often takes the form of a company. We then analyse the value of your Freehold, and begin our proven groundwork for a successful Freehold Acquisition.


In the acquisition phase, we negotiate with freeholders. Our expertise tells us that the acquisition phase is the most unpredictable of all as it depends on several variables, such as the Freeholder’s approach to negotiations. Here, our services provide assistance with those negotiations through a meticulous and dedicated approach that ensures you will be successful in not only acquiring your Freehold, but acquiring it at a fair market price or less.


Finally, in our ownership phase, which is where some Freeholders can feel out on their own and unsure of where to start. We prevent that by offering our consultation service. Not only will you have your share of Freehold and 999 modernised leases, you’ll have our help to structure your group in a way that maximises the potential of your Freehold. Afterwards, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your homes and investments long into the future.


In theory owning a 999 year lease is as good as owning the freehold. A 999 year lease does provide benefits such as reassurances around the security of owning the property, and will also outline rights and responsibilities of residents. However, it has the disadvantage of you still being underneath a freeholder, who can hold you to account and cause problems. By buying the freehold, you as a leaseholder will be in complete control, and there won’t be anyone above your head.

The length of the purchasing process can vary depending on the circumstances involved. As there are many stages to a purchasing process, like forming a collective residents group, negotiating with residents and landlords, and then seeing the process through legal stages, a purchase of the freehold could conclude in as little as 6 months, or as long as 2 years!

Yes, an owner of a share of freehold of a building will own a share of the building’s freehold which includes a share of the land the building is placed upon. Because of this, freeholders are responsible for maintaining the property and the land surrounding the building, but this is normally achieved very easily through a managing agent as normal.


Book your free consultation

We’d love to hear from you. Send us a brief message on any leasehold or freehold matter, and we’ll be in touch to book your free initial consultation.

Our free, no obligation, consultation will include:

  • A brief review of the Land Registry information relating to a flat or building
  • A discussion around the specific problems faced by a leaseholders
  • Feedback based on our review Land Registry records and other information relating to your specific flat or building
  • Advice on your options, pros and cons of the the best way to solve your problems and realise additional long term benefits of your property