Leasehold Enfranchisement Section 13 Notice

A Leasehold Enfranchisement Section 13 Notice - also known as an Initial Notice, is the formal notice which, when it's sent through to your landlord/freeholder, triggers off the official statutory collective enfranchisement process (click on the link to learn more about this).

When you complete this process successfully, you and the other participating leaseholder/s effectively buy the freehold of your flats and take on their management, granting yourselves as much lease as you decide to, up to 999 years, so your lease greatly increases in value.

NB Before instructing a solicitor to serve the Section 13 Initial Notice, you must have your entire flat block valued, including all the individual leases and any other buildings which are connected with the block, such as garages.

You must hire an experienced RICS valuer to do this for you as the valuation figure is critical and central to a Section 13 Notice because the more fitting and correct the amount is, the more likely your landlord is to respond quickly and favourably to your request and the whole process is likely to work out cheaper. Click on the following link to learn more about the cost of buying your freehold.

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Check that you and other leaseholders are eligible to buy your freehold first

The collective enfranchisement process is a complicated one and there are numerous conditions to fulfil before you can progress to serving a Section 13 Initial Notice under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993.

For example, two-thirds of the flats must be occupied by qualifying tenants and you should have long leases and more than 50% of the qualifying tenants have to want to collectively enfranchise - click on the following link for a more in-depth discussion on eligibility conditions for collective enfranchisement.

You should also note that you have to decide on a Nominee Purchaser to represent the interests of all the participating qualifying freeholders and this is required for serving the Section 13 Notice.

Serving a Section 13 Notice correctly is critical!

A conveyancing solicitor experienced in the area of leaseholders wishing to purchasing their freeholds is fully aware that a Section 13 Notice served on a landlord/freeholder must be complete and with no inaccuracies. If your landlord/freeholder finds faults in the notice, they can apply to court to have it dismissed, which means not only that your application is stopped but also that you cannot make another application for 12 months.

Need an experienced conveyancing solicitor to serve a Section 13 Initial Notice on your freeholder? Call 0333 344 3234 or click here

The Section 13 Initial Notice is a clear milestone in the freehold purchasing process also because all matters of valuation and compensation etc. are calculated from the date it is served and the strict legal timetable which accompanies the formal process is started.

What's in a Section 13 Notice?

The leasehold enfranchisement Section 13 notice's sections are dictated according to the rules set down in the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (as amended). They include:

Bullet-1-1DJnbE.png  Details of your landlord/freeholder, any intermediary landlords (full names in all cases) and their address/es.

Bullet-2-pg1MCU.png  The full names and addresses of the qualifying tenants giving the Section 13 Initial Notice.

Bullet-3-vfu763.png  Details of the premises you wish to buy the freehold of, including a plan and any relevant description.

Bullet-4-DFZRWv.png  Details of any other freehold interests which you wish to acquire.

Bullet-5-jeb7rQ.png  Rights to be required - this refers to such matters as, for example, vehicular access, rights of way, access to drainage - all of these matters should be clearly described and marked using plan diagrams.

Bullet-6-r5E0TH.png  The grounds for your claim. This is where you must state the facts which make your case an eligible one - that 2/3 of the flats are leased by qualifying tenants etc.

Bullet-7.png  Details of all the leaseholds that are to be purchased. This must be complete.

Bullet-8.png  Details regarding any mandatory leasebacks. This refers to any leaseholders who have the right to continue their leases, such as those with secure tenancies etc. and which must be honoured by the Nominee Purchaser once the process has completed.

Bullet-9.png  The price proposed to pay for the freehold and any other interest/s which the qualifying purchasers wish to buy.

Bullet-10.png  Names of ALL the qualifying tenants involved, with their full addresses.

Bullet-11.png The full name/s of the Nominee Purchaser/s.

Bullet-12.png The address of the Nominee Purchaser/s.

Bullet-13.png The date by which a Counter-Notice must be served (must be at least 2 months after the Section 13 Initial Notice is served but no more than 6 months after).

Bullet-14.png Details of any other landlords involved (intermediates etc.). There may be none.

Bullet-15.png The signatures of the Nominee Purchaser/s and ALL the qualifying tenants must be provided at the end of the notice.

What happens next?

The landlord has to serve their Counter-Notice by the date specified in point 13 above otherwise you can apply for a Vesting Order.

Assuming they do serve this notice, you can reasonably expect that if you've hired the right professionals, the Counter-Notice will normally agree to your claim and you can then look to pay the landlord's premium, their compensation and for the final conveyancing required for the process to complete.


Bullet-1-3PR3Sa.png  Once your solicitor has served the notice, you are liable to pay your landlord's 'reasonable costs', which normally include what they have to pay for their own freehold valuation and their legal representation.

Bullet-2-3HmQ1e.png If your landlord does not agree with your claim, they must say why in their Counter-Notice and then, at least 2 months after but not exceeding 6 months, either you or they have the right to take the matter to the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber). You have to pay a small sum to access this court but from this point, your landlord must pay for their own costs entirely, which is often the reason they'll choose to settle without taking this option.

You can get an overview of the whole process here

Want to buy your freehold? Call 0333 344 3234 or click here

*RICS Surveyors – Local Knowledge – Same Week Availability

Related News Articles

Collective Enfranchisement (the purchase of your freehold)
Cost of Buying Freehold
Freehold Valuation for Collective Enfranchisement
What to do when you have an Absentee Freeholder

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