Freeholder repossessed and done a runner?

by Roger Barton

11:54 AM, 30th August 2017
About 4 years ago

Freeholder repossessed and done a runner?

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Freeholder repossessed and done a runner?

Hi my wife and I own 1/3 share of a freehold Victorian conversion house split into 3 flats. We currently rent this out.

The previous owner/occupier of the top floor flat did a runner and his flat was repossessed by his bank and resold leasehold only, apparently he still owns the freehold.

We wish to sell our flat and had an offer last year, but the sale fell through because we were unable to extend our own lease which has 69 years left and we were unable to transfer the freehold to the potential new buyer.

The whole situation seems ridiculously complicated and we are stuck with a property which potentially has a lot of equity in it, but in reality is unsalable, because of the issue with the missing freeholder.

I could really do with some advice.

Thank you



Neil Patterson

12:05 PM, 30th August 2017
About 4 years ago

Hi Roger,
From the Leasehold Advisory Service >>

"I own a leasehold house. My freeholder has gone missing. What do I do if I wish to acquire the freehold?

The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 enables you, if you qualify, to apply to the County Court to acquire the freehold. However, you will be required to demonstrate that you have made all reasonable attempts to locate the freeholder. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the freeholder is indeed missing. It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the freeholders absence and the application to the County Court.

Buying the freehold can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area."


18:23 PM, 31st August 2017
About 4 years ago

Your solicitor should have been able to deal with this for you. In absentia (and yes there is a process) the court can grant an order with regard to your situation. Suggest you approach a specialist in lease law though not just a run-of-the-mill conveyancer. It would be advisable to start well in advance.

Nick Farrell

20:59 PM, 1st October 2018
About 3 years ago

Hi Roger, what did you end up doing to resolve your issue? I have the exact same problem!

Ian Narbeth

14:10 PM, 2nd October 2018
About 3 years ago

Hi Roger
If you want to contact me I have solicitor colleagues who can help.

Nick Farrell

15:12 PM, 2nd October 2018
About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Ian Narbeth at 02/10/2018 - 14:10
Hi Ian, would you be able to put me in contact with your colleague?

Ian Narbeth

15:33 PM, 2nd October 2018
About 3 years ago

Nick. Please call me.

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