Absentee Freeholder

First Tier Tribunal Property Chamber

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Absentee Freeholder

If you are looking to extend you 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.

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 when the cost of the terms of the lease extension can not 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 that have experience of providing an expert report and attending the First Tier Tribunal and have had successful outcomes from the Tribunal's decisions.

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Professional, efficient surveyors. Get the job done in a timely manner, had our survey back within 5 days of inspection. All team members I spoke with (Tiffany and Billy) were really lovely. Highly recommend. :)


I have only just started working with Stephen and he has already demonstrated the high levels of customer attention and dedication that this company has. The first impression he has caused is such that made me write this review. I have no doubt that the continuous service will be of same level. Looking forward to working further with Stephen. Well done!

Steve Kenny

Lease extension - I found Daniel Grove very professional and had an excellent understanding of all aspects relating to this transaction. Advice was invaluable, and it was nice to come across someone who did exactly what they said they were going to do. Would not hesitate in recommending the firm and Daniel to anyone who has a lease to extend.

Petros Kyrkilis

Amazing job and fully professional treatment. The surveyor went above and beyond to check for everything, when he could have easily claim lack of access. In addition he was more than happy to answer questions over the phone and be there to explain the steps.

Lynn Wilson

Within 48 hours I received my detailed report from Joe Arnold which enabled me to see the property as it was and not through rose-tinted glasses! The report highlighted areas where money might need to be spent and provided guidance on questions for my solicitor - just what I needed. Overall, the survey enabled me to re-assess my offer and in this respect was invaluable. Thank you for a friendly and professional service.

Mark Roberts

100% choose this company. As first time buyers we had a mortgage valuation which said the house was fine. The Arnold & Baldwin survey found over £30,000 of problems. Holes in the roof with daylight visible, damp, woodworm, broken sash windows and poor electrics. This company helped us renegotiate and save a fortune.


Arnold & Baldwin came recommended and I’ve got to say they were brilliant - not just in identifying issues with the property I was looking at but in the way they kept me informed and up to date (ie picking up the phone instead of just posting / emailing communications with you). After dealing with estate agents for so long, it’s nice to have someone who is genuinely on your side.

Kamal Rahman

From my initial interaction with the firm I found them to be prompt, courteous and helpful. I received a detailed Homebuyers report within a week of instructing and was given the opportunity to talk it through with the attending surveyour. Overall excellent service all round, would certainly recommend this firm.

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