Missing Freeholders

If you have a missing or absent freeholder then this is not a barrier to buying your freehold.

In some circumstances it can be an advantage as the price of the freehold can be reduced and costs can be recovered during the process. We have represented many leaseholders and helped them buy their freehold where the freeholder is missing.

There are 2 pieces of legislation that can be used to acquire your freehold where the freeholder is missing and they are often referred to as the 1993 Act and the 1987 Act respectively.

  1. Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban and Development Act 1993(“the 1993 Act”)
  2. Landlord and Tenant Act 1987(“the 1987 Act”).

Criteria for Missing Freeholder Applications

The criteria for application are broadly similar although the the 1987 Act requires that a breach of covenant is proved against the freeholder. In practice this is not usually an issue as the freeholder is missing and therefore likely to be in breach. The 1987 Act also allows some or all of the costs to be recovered and where leases are below 80 years no marriage value is paid.

Having a missing freeholder also means there will be no development value claim such as for the loft or additional building or extension to the existing freehold property.

Where possible we recommend that where the freeholder is missing you seek to purchase the freehold rather than extend your lease. Under the 1987 Act you will need 2/3rds of the leaseholders to participate. So for example in a block of 5 flats 4 will need to participate under the 1987 Act. Under the 1993 Act it is only 3.

Please call Simon Brook for a no obligation discussion of your circumstances and requirements or please use the link below to send us a quote request.

0208 832 9069

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