Collective enfranchisement—what are qualifying premises
Collective enfranchisement—what are qualifying premises

The following Property guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Collective enfranchisement—what are qualifying premises
  • Vertical division
  • Independent services
  • Identifying the relevant part of a building

Subject to various qualifying criteria, tenants who hold long leases of flats have a collective right under section 1 of the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (LRHUDA 1993) to buy the freehold of the building containing those flats. LRHUDA 1993, s 3 describes the premises affected by the right and that section is virtually identical to the equivalent provisions in relation to the right to manage (in section 72 of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002). Therefore case law on those sections applies equally to both regimes. The right to acquire the freehold applies to premises if:

'(a)     they consist of a self-contained building or part of a building

(b)     they contain two or more flats held by qualifying tenants; and

(c)     the total number of flats held by such tenants is not less than two thirds of the total number of flats contained in the premises'

A self-contained building must be structurally detached from any other building. This means detached above ground; it is immaterial that structurally separate buildings are connected by common pipes, drains, cables, etc. It also seems that other connections which have no bearing on the structural integrity of separate buildings should be disregarded, eg a covered walkway or a block of garages (but even if they are not to be disregarded then each building appears to