Quite often it is not possible to locate your freeholder. We work with your legal advisors to help you extend your lease, or buy your freehold, even if the freeholder cannot be located.
If you are looking to extend your lease or buy your freehold but the freeholder can not be found, the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 give leaseholders the right to still continue the process of extending their lease or buying the freehold when the freeholder cannot be contacted.
In the first instance it is important to ascertain that the freeholder is absent. This must be done through your solicitor and it must be shown that they have made every effort to make contact with them.
If the solicitor can not make contact they will make a vesting order to the County Court.
Once the County Court have decided that the freeholder is absent you will require an Expert Valuation Report for the First Tier Tribunal as they will decide the cost of the lease extension or the cost of the freehold.
Arnold & Baldwin specialise in providing these valuations either for the lease extension or the purchase of the freehold.
If the freeholder is absent the cost to purchase the freehold could be much less if the leases are less than 80 years and marriage value is applicable. It may be possible to enfranchise under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 and marriage value would not be applicable. The Court would need to grant an Acquisition Order determining that the freeholder was in breach of their repairing, managing, maintaining or insuring obligations to proceed down this route.
First Tier Tribunal
The First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) is the last stage of a lease extension or freehold enfranchisement. It is required when the cost of he terms of the lease extension cannot be agreed between the surveyors and solicitors or if the freeholder is absent.
The Tribunal will make a judgement on the cost of the lease extension or freehold based on the expert reports of the individual parties involved.
At Arnold & Baldwin we have experts with experience of providing expert reports and attending the First Tier Tribunal and have had successful outcomes from the Tribunal's decisions.