Buying the freehold
You are usually able to buy the freehold of your house. You will own your property outright and no longer have to pay ground rent to the freeholder. You usually can't buy the freehold to a flat but you may be able to negotiate with your freeholder.
Can I always buy out the ground rent?
You are usually able to buy out the ground rent of a house. You may be able to purchase the freehold of a flat but you will have to discuss this with your freeholder.
You won't be able to automatically buy out the ground rent of your property if you own:
- a commercial property,
- there is less than 50 years of your lease to run,
- a National Trust property,
- you bought your home through Co-Ownership.
How do I buy out the ground rent?
You must apply to the Land Registry of Northern Ireland . You can get the application form from the Land Registry or by downloading it.
You must return the form to the Land Registry with:
- a receipt for your last ground rent payment,
- confirmation from the freeholder that you don't owe any ground rent,
- evidence that you own the property,
- a compensation fee of nine times your annual ground rent payment,
- cheque or postal order for £50 administration fee payable to the Department of Finance and Personnel.
Do I have to tell the freeholder?
You should tell the freeholder that you are going to buy out the ground rent. The freeholder can't stop you from doing this.
What happens after I make my application?
The Land Registry of Northern Ireland will issue you with a 'certificate of redemption' when it is satisfied that your application is complete. This means that you now own the freehold of the property.
Do I have to give money to the former freeholder?
No, the former freeholder can claim the compensation fee from the Land Registry of Northern Ireland. Your former freeholder should contact the Land Registry of Northern Ireland for more information on claiming compensation for ground rent.
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