Freehold confusion

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    Freehold confusion

    30 years ago I bought a flat from a friend. The freehold at the time was registered to my friend and the lady who owned the other flat. I understood at the time that I would replace the friend on the freehold but this never happened. This was not a problem until now as when work on the structure of the flats was needed we just organised it and shared the cost. Sadly the lady in the flat died and her flat was sold last year. The Land Registry of the freehold now only shows the name of my friend on the freehold entry. I haven't seen or spoken to my friend for nearly 25 years as he moved to America.

    I hope someone can help with the following questions:-
    1 - How would I go about getting my friends name on the freehold replaced with mine - if I can track him down I don't think he would have any objections
    2 - Is the freehold worth anything? - both flats have 999 year leases from 1999.
    3 - How should repairs to the outside of the flats be organised and paid for at the moment?

    #2
    1.He will need to sign a TR1 and transfer title to you but it really needs to be done through a solicitor or land registry won't be happy with his ID.
    2. If you have a separate lease on your flat then freehold is not worth much, if not then it's worth what the flats worth at least .
    3. Cost of repairs should be split as per lease but no reason not to carry on organising them yourselves as if the freeholder was absent (which he is!)

    Make sure building is insured !

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      #3
      Thanks for the reply - both flats have separate 999 year leases so i guess the freehold is of little value. I will look in to TR1.

      I have always insured my flat separately and assumed the other flat was doing the same - is this a problem?

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        #4
        Originally posted by Section20z View Post
        1.He will need to sign a TR1 and transfer title to you but it really needs to be done through a solicitor or land registry won't be happy with his ID.

        Your friend may not have to have his ID confirmed as the consideration will be far less than £5,000 and if he did form ID5 makes life a lot easier as it can be done via a video link

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          #5
          There is no cast iron rule that the freehold "share" has to be transferred with any sale. You may need to purchase it from the friend (or his estate).

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by davetg View Post
            Thanks for the reply - both flats have separate 999 year leases so i guess the freehold is of little value. I will look in to TR1.

            I have always insured my flat separately and assumed the other flat was doing the same - is this a problem?
            It's never advisable , it can cause serious issues if you have a claim affecting communal areas. For buildings insurance the whole property should be covered and the cost split between the two flats.
            The only problem with an absent freeholder is that when selling the flat a pernickity solicitor may raise concerns if they can't confirm that ground rent and service charge are up to date and no breaches have occurred.

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              #7
              In response to your questions:

              1. You will need the landlord to sign a TR1 as suggested above. If your friend has passed away then his Executors will have to sign;
              2. In short no. The real value in these freeholds is normally the money that has to be paid in order to extend leases. Having said that if you are around in 900 odd years you are in for a windfall!
              3. You could look at what your leases say but with no freeholder/landlord you have no one to enforce the covenant anyway. I think you have to take the view that no one wants to live in a poorly maintained property and try and go 50/50 with the other occupant

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                #8
                Originally posted by CStevens View Post
                In response to your questions:
                2. In short no. The real value in these freeholds is normally the money that has to be paid in order to extend leases. Having said that if you are around in 900 odd years you are in for a windfall!
                I'd partially disagree with ^.
                Certainly it will have no value on the open market sold alone. But would have value as an addition to a flat sale, simply because the control that can be exerted carries value (the same does not apply to a typical; share of freehold situation where a minority owner may have less ability to control than if they had no share of the freehold at all, but the described position is different)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks for the replies:-
                  My friend is alive and well and shows up on google as he is very high up in a big American telecoms company so I should be able to get back in touch.

                  I can't see my friend having any problem with the TR1 me replacing him on the freehold was always what was intended it just seems that the solicitor failed to do it when I purchased the property.

                  I probably should have said maisonette instead of flat - there are no communal areas except for a path from the road to the front doors which is shared with two other maisonettes so hopefully the current insurance arrangements are ok.

                  I have never paid any ground rent or service charges - I don't think that there are any.

                  Where would I find a copy of the lease - I have never seen one?

                  If I took over the freehold would that mean I was responsible for insuring the whole building and arranging repairs to the structure?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by AndrewDod View Post

                    I'd partially disagree with ^.
                    Certainly it will have no value on the open market sold alone. But would have value as an addition to a flat sale, simply because the control that can be exerted carries value (the same does not apply to a typical; share of freehold situation where a minority owner may have less ability to control than if they had no share of the freehold at all, but the described position is different)
                    Yeah i guess i would agree with that but, as you say, the value is only to the leaseholders and a freehold subject to 999 years is not worth a great deal of money to anyone other than the occupants and in fact, if the leases are drafted correctly, they should require the leaseholders to become members of the freehold company supported by a restriction on the leasehold titles so as to limit the possibility of there being a missing landlord

                    Comment


                      #11
                      davetg,

                      The property should be registered so the land registry should hold a copy of the leases. You would need to look at the leases to see who is responsible for what but normally in a maisonette situation the freeholder would insure and maintain the structure, foundation and roof with the leaseholders paying for the insurance and the works. I have got alot of property experience and dont mind giving you soe guidance if it helps. Send me a message and i will give you a clal when convenient for you

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