Leasehold enfranchisement—what is a house and premises?
Leasehold enfranchisement—what is a house and premises?

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

  • Leasehold enfranchisement—what is a house and premises?
  • What is a house?
  • Designed and adapted/reasonably so called
  • What are premises?
  • Additional premises
  • Excluded premises
  • Mines and minerals

The tenant of a house which is held under a long lease has the right to acquire the freehold or an extended lease of the house and premises under Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (LRA 1967), s 1(1). Consequently, the definition of house in LRA 1967, s 2 serves two purposes: firstly, it identifies those tenants who are entitled to claim the freehold or an extended lease, and secondly, in conjunction with premises, it identifies the extent of the property that they can claim.

A tenant cannot enfranchise where the lease demises only part of the house. In Freehold Properties 250 Ltd v Field and others, the leases excluded from the demise the structural parts of the houses (ie the roof, foundations and load-bearing walls). The court held that a tenant does not fall within the LRA 1967 enfranchisement regime unless they are the tenant of substantially the whole of a leasehold house. The tenant’s leasehold interest was insufficient to give rise to a right under LRA 1967, s 1(1). This means that a landlord who wishes to avoid the statutory rights conferred on tenants in LRA 1967 can do so by excluding from the demise a substantial part of the house (such as the structural parts).

What is a house?

The definition of house is not straightforward, notwithstanding that the opening