Absent freeholder since purchase in 2011 suddenly appears?Make Text Bigger
I own a 1st floor top flat that I purchased in 2011 for renting purposes. The property is leasehold however there is no service charge or ground rent payable. The freeholder has been absent since I purchased the property and I have no contact details.
I purchased a 2nd flat below mine last year, so I now own the top and bottom flat. It’s in a building with 6 flats, but they all have private entrances and gardens. The only communal area is the rear grass of the property for the building and the streets, grass verges around the estate.
I rent both flats out and 2 of the other flats in the block are rented out and have been for several years. I purchased in 2011 as a rental property when I knew others were renting on the estate for a decent rental income.
Recently a gentleman turned up at my bottom flat unannounced claiming to be the freeholder and had come to do an inspection. He told my tenant that the conservatory erected on the property (which was put up in 2014 and was on the property when I bought it), had been put up without his permission. He also told my tenant the flats were not allowed to be rented out, only the owner (myself) or my family could live in them.
My tenant passed my contact details onto him, and he has texted me threatening legal action and to serve notice to the court as he says I am in breach of my leasehold because of this conservatory and the fact I rent the property out. I have given him my name and address and told him to put it in writing.
I have never met this gentleman nor has any of the flat owners or private landlords on the estate. He has been absent since purchase and does not assist in any repair work or have any active interest to the flats. I believe the council has tried to contact him previously to sort out some issues with trees on the land but their letters have gone unanswered (whatever address they hold for him) so we have all (owners and landlords) had to chip in to sort the issues when they come up.
Does anyone have any advice on if this chap has any legal position to take legal action against me for renting the property and having a conservatory on the property? I am not sure what his motive is other than trying to get some kind of financial remuneration from me?
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