Q&As

A council is obliged to sell leasehold properties under the Right to Buy provision, but there remains only 71 years on the leasehold of a property whose freeholders are unknown and unregistered. Is there a way for the council to extend the lease the leasehold ownership or acquire the freehold?

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Published on LexisPSL on 28/10/2020

The following Local Government Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A council is obliged to sell leasehold properties under the Right to Buy provision, but there remains only 71 years on the leasehold of a property whose freeholders are unknown and unregistered. Is there a way for the council to extend the lease the leasehold ownership or acquire the freehold?

Under the Housing Act 1985 (HA 1985) the right to buy (RTB) scheme gives eligible secure tenants the statutory right to buy their property at a discount. Subject to conditions a secure tenant in England has the right to buy the freehold of their house or the lease of their flat (or leasehold house). The Abolition of the Right to Buy and Associated Rights (Wales) Act 2018 abolished the right to buy and the right to acquire in Wales from 26 January 2019.

HA 1985, s 120 provides that the right to buy does not arise unless the landlord owns the freehold or has an interest sufficient to grant a lease in pursuance of this Part for:

  1. where the dwelling-house is a house, a term exceeding 21 years, or

  2. where the dwelling-house is a flat, a term of not less than 50 years

commencing, in either case, with the date on which the tenant's notice claiming to exercise the right to buy is served.

In this case

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