Who is the freeholder??!!

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    Who is the freeholder??!!

    Gearing up for a lease extension and wish to write to the landowner. However, the Land Registry still holds the details on the original lease - a 'bank' who were dissolved due to insolvency in 2018 It seems the liquidators didn't update the LR in respect of who took over/bought the asset. Any suggestions please where/how I can identify who now owns the land beneath? Many thanks.

    #2
    if the freeholder is unknown there is a mechanism; you need an ace solicitor, see below




    Even in the case of an absentee freeholder, you may still be able to extend your lease, buy your freehold or exercise your right to manage. It might even be cheaper than usual.



    This is provided for under The Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993 as well as the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002.

    It is achieved with a vesting order, for which an application can be made to the county court, including the Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) Part 8 application form and court fee.

    Although the process usually takes longer than if the landlord was present, it often ends up costing less money than it would have if the landlord was there.

    If they are absent then you will not incur their legal, administrative and surveyor costs, for instance, whilst you may be entitled to have some of your costs refunded if these have been unfairly incurred as a result of the freeholder’s absence.

    In particular, you may save on the cost of serving a Section 13 or Section 42 Notice, and avoid the cost of negotiating with the landlord’s surveyor (since none is present).

    Furthermore the First-Tier Tribunal determines the value of the interest to be acquired, which usually amounts to a cheaper premium than normal.

    For the county court to grant a vesting order they must be satisfied that reasonable efforts to trace the landlord have been made. There is no definitive rule stating what must be done, though a selection of the following methods have been known to satisfy the court:
    • Perform a land registry search of the freeholder’s last known address to prove that they no longer own the property and have moved to an unknown address
    • Obtain witness statements to confirm that a visit to the freeholder’s last known address has not yielded a forwarding address
    • Advertise in the London Gazette or your local newspaper
    • Use a tracing agency and present the results to the court
    • Show an absentee freeholder title indemnity policy that may have been taken as a condition of mortgage by any leaseholder who recently bought a flat in the block

    The particulars of claim in the Part 8 Claim Form must show whether the leaseholders served notice of claim on the freeholder’s last known address or served it in a local paper, or else request that the court grants a dispensation from the requirement to serve notice.

    A case bundle has to be prepared, including up to date land registry title searches, copy leases, copy notices, witness statements and draft land registry transfer forms.

    The county court may set a date for a hearing or the district judge may be satisfied that reasonable efforts to trace the freeholder were made and rule on the basis of the facts presented without need for a hearing.

    When your case is proved the court will issue a judgment setting out that the freehold may be acquired by the leaseholders, with funds being paid to court on behalf of the absent landlord and the case deferred to the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) for premium determination.

    The FTT hears many absentee freeholder cases without a full hearing by issuing directions for the hopeful leaseholders to comply with and timescales for documents to be produced.

    The documents the tribunal will need include the order made by the county court, copy leases, the valuation for the leaseholders, and proposed TR1/TP1 land transfer form.

    The tribunal panel usually consists of a layperson, a lawyer and a valuer who make their determination from both the evidence put before them and their experience.

    There is therefore little point in putting a valuation before the panel that is not prepared in accordance with current case law and that reflects market trends in respect of capitalization rates and improvement rates.

    Comment


      #3
      Do you not pay service charges or ground rent?

      Comment


        #4
        Many thanks. I have identified the insolvency practiconers and asked them and also the managment company and await their reply. AndrewDod - yes,but via the management company so they should know!

        Comment


          #5
          Slightly off-topic - surely the insolvency practicioner would know to notify the LR when asset ownership changes??

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by m60njp View Post
            yes,but via the management company so they should know!
            But if it's not registered, then whoever it is don't hold the legal title and can't act as if they do?
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              You should contact the liquidator, the freehold has probably not been sold yet, it would need to be offered to the leaseholders before a sale can take place. You may wish to contact your fellow leaseholders with a view to purchasing the freehold, so that it does not get into the wrong hands.

              Comment


                #8
                At the Land Registry Online website, you can purchase a copy of the freehold title for post code address to your block of flats and check name of the current title holder . It will cost £3 by credit card to download the info.

                Comment


                  #9
                  HMLR will continue to record the existing freeholder until the freehold is sold by the liquidator who should be collecting any ground rent unless (s)he considers the collection costs would exceed the amount involved. The best course of action would be to contact the liquidator who should be able to explain the current position and let you know how much is required for the freehold.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I hadn't considered that the OP might only have looked at the leasehold title. This will not be updated on a change of freeholder. However, the actual lease should contain the freehold title number, so you shouldn't even need to do an address search to find the freehold title entry.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm seeing between £20 and £40 for this information and if it hasn't been updated.........

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Gordon999 View Post
                        At the Land Registry Online website, you can purchase a copy of the freehold title for post code address to your block of flats and check name of the current title holder . It will cost £3 by credit card to download the info.
                        Sorry to be a Luddite, but do you have a link please?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          https://eservices.landregistry.gov.u...EnquiryInit.do

                          The title register is £3, and that is all you should need.

                          Generally ignore sites that don't end in .gov.uk when looking for government information. They will charge you way over the odds.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by leaseholder64 View Post
                            https://eservices.landregistry.gov.u...EnquiryInit.do

                            The title register is £3, and that is all you should need.

                            Generally ignore sites that don't end in .gov.uk when looking for government information. They will charge you way over the odds.
                            Thank you so much. Well, well since the liquidation of the original owner, title has passed to....the management company. I have no recollection of anyone being offered to buy the freehold and it was only late last year...........

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by eagle2 View Post
                              ... it would need to be offered to the leaseholders before a sale can take place..
                              Can you point me to the source of this requirement please? Just looked back through the correspondence and there is no metion of the asset transfer, liquidation of the previous landlord, nor offer to purchase the freehold.

                              Comment

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