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
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
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.