Enfranchisement is a complex, multi party process which can be a minefield for the unwary but, with the right advice offers enormous opportunities for leaseholders. Forsters has a dedicated team of award-winning lawyers with experience of all aspects of the enfranchisement regime including lease extensions, house claims and complex collective enfranchisements.
The team can advise clients on each step of the process or, on discreet issues which require expert input. We have been involved in a number of the test cases in this area, including the notable cases of Sportelli and Aggio.
We act for both landlords and tenants. Clients include Central London estates such as The Phillimore Estate, The Stanhope Estate, The Mexborough Estate, The Corporation of Trinity House and The City of London Corporation, as well as commercial landlords and management companies. We also act for individuals who own leases of flats or houses.
The team also provides advice on how enfranchisement issues might affect investment or development opportunities and particularly on how enfranchisement rules affect mixed-use properties.
The Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities estimates that there are around 4.98 million leasehold homes in England, making up a significant proportion of all residential housing. Impacting on the lives of so many, leasehold ownership has therefore been the subject of much debate over the years.
Forsters were named 'Solicitors Firm of the Year' at the Enfranchisement & Right to Manage Awards 2021, organised by News on the Block.
Supreme Court decision favours landlords
The Supreme Court has by a majority of 3 – 2 reversed the Court of Appeal decision in Sequent Nominees Limited v Hautford Limited 2019. The decision is an important one for landlords since they will now be justified in refusing consent for an application for change of use on the grounds that it will lead to the tenants acquiring enfranchisement rights.