If you have a leasehold flat and are looking to purchase the freehold, one question that you will likely ask is “How much will it cost?”

You’ll soon find out that there is no set price. It is dependent on many factors including the length of your lease, the value of the flat and the amount of ground rent you pay.

It all depends on the negotiations with your existing freeholder, as well as a surveyor’s valuation. 

The general rule is that the longer the lease term, the more expensive it will be.

If you own a flat with a leasehold value of £150,000 with a remaining lease term of 125 years and an annual ground rent of £200, the freehold could cost £3,500 to £4,000 per flat

If you own a flat with a leasehold value of £150,000 with a remaining lease term of 125 years and an annual ground rent of £200, the freehold could cost £3,500 to £4,000 per flat

You may also need to extend your lease. However, if you do this after purchasing the freehold, then you and other freeholders will effectively grant yourself the extension. The only cost is the legal fees.

Here’s a list of costs that you should consider when buying freehold property.

1. Legal fees

To begin the process, you will need to find out how many other leaseholders would like to participate. This is because you need to have a majority before you can proceed.

To ensure that your property is eligible for enfranchisement, you will need to consult a solicitor.

Lucy Lafferty Brown, Zen Move solicitors, stated that it was best for one of the lessees to be the point of contact for the solicitor. Your solicitor will contact all lessees to confirm that they are invited to participate in the purchase. This will hopefully help to secure the “requisite majority” of lessees.

The legal costs for each individual will usually be lower the more flats take part. This is because the exercise takes the same amount of time, regardless of whether there are 30 or two flats. 

The legal fees are likely to range from £800 to £1,000 plus VAT. This would be for up to four flats and then £250 for each additional flat.

Mrs Lafferty Brownn stated that you need to be vigilant about costs because they can get away from your business. It is not necessary to hire additional staff such as a project manager. It is sufficient to have a solicitor who has experience in this area. They will be able get the job done quickly, efficiently, and within a given time frame. 

2. Valuation fees

It is also important to consider the cost to hire a specialist surveyor to prepare the report that will tell you how much the freehold purchase will cost.

Mrs Lafferty Brown explained that it was a good idea to know the cost of the valuation from a surveyor. This will make the transaction less expensive overall and encourage other tenants who were doubtful to share this information.

The fees vary, but roughly you can expect to pay £500 to £600 per flat.

3. Tenant agreements

It is a good idea to have all participants sign a “participation contract”.

Mrs Lafferty Brownn suggested that this be done because if any one changes their mind, it could jeopardize the purchase. As one leaseholder drops out, it would increase the share that all remaining leaseholders would have to pay. This could lead to an unexpected additional cost if there is not a participation agreement.

“If this is done, then you can easily avoid dealing with the extra cost.”

A solicitor can draft a participation agreement that is tailored to your particular situation. The participation agreement would be around £250 per flat, which should less if there are more than flats involved.

4. How much does it cost to buy a freehold?

This is a difficult question to answer with accuracy because it depends upon a number variables, according Mrs Lafferty Brown. 

These include the number, value and potential development of the property. 

A calculator is available on the Leasehold Advisory Service Website. It can provide an indication of the price.

However, you will get a more realistic estimate after receiving the freehold valuation report by your surveyor.

Example of freehold costs

Zen Move conveyancing executive Eden Goldie has provided some estimates on the cost of purchasing a freehold. These estimates are subject to change.

– If you own a flat with a leasehold premium value of £150,000 with a remaining lease term of 125 years and an annual ground rent of £200 then you could buy the freehold for around £3,500 to £4,000 per flat plus the associated costs.

– If you own a flat with a leasehold premium value of £300,000 with a remaining lease term of 85 years and an annual ground rent of £300 then you could expect to purchase the freehold for around £5,000 to £6,000 per flat plus costs.

5. Fees for freeholders

Your solicitor will not only pay the legal fees but also manage the freeholder’s undertaking to pay reasonable costs associated with the purchase of the freehold.

You will need to pay for the costs of hiring surveyors or getting legal advice. This cost is likely to be in the range of around £1,500 to £2,000.

6. Incorporating a limited-company

Mrs Lafferty Brown suggests that leaseholders establish a limited company to perform the role as the freeholder. This involves responsibilities such producing accounts and an annually return. This can be set up for less than £100 via the Government website.

You will be responsible for the legal fees of the current freeholder’s solicitor, which will be dependent on who they use, but this is likely to be £1,500 plus, as it will need to obtain similar advice. 

Consider legal costs 

Zen Move provided the following estimate for flat owners when they were acting as agents:

– Participation agreement £250 per flat – and decreasing if there are more than four flats involved

– Serving notice to the freeholder and negotiating with them. Preparing the notice and dealing with the counter notice and referral to surveyors (surveyor fees not included) £600 plus VAT per lease if both parties can agree a premium but this does decrease if there are more than four flats involved.

– Leaseholder legal costs: £800 plus VAT for up to four flats with an additional £250 for each additional flat thereafter


– Office copies £15 (including copies of the freehold title, leasehold title and lease)

– Land Registry fees will be dependent on the premium but range from £20 – £270 and can be established from the Government website (ALthough a solicitor will set these out on the formal quote). HM Land Registry: Registration fees – GOV.UK. (www.gov.uk).

– Final searches: £3 per flat with an additional £2 per person if the transaction is being funded by way of mortgage

– Stamp Duty: This will depend on the premium being paid for each individual property, with stamp duty being payable at £125,000 and up but this is rare.

– ID and AML Checks: This varies from firm-to-firm but you can expect to pay around £30 for this service.

– Bank transfer fee: This is usually no more than £36 per bank transaction.