Ground rent/absentee landlord

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    Ground rent/absentee landlord

    I have jointly owned a freehold of 2 flats since 1988. I co-owned one of the flats at the time and we purchased the freehold along with the leasehold. The second owner left to live abroad abandoning the flat and freehold ownership in the mid 1990's when the flat was worth less than we paid for it and I have no idea of her current whereabouts. The flat was repossessed by the building society in 1996.
    I am currently endeavouring to collect outstanding ground rents.
    For the past 4 years I sent letters to the leaseholders requesting payment of ground rents (50 per flat per year), with no response. Last year I obtained details on-line of the names of the leaseholders and sent recorded delivery section 166 notices demanding rent back to the date of their ownership in 2001 (I now realise that there is a statute of limitations of 6 years). Again no response. I sent a reminder with no response and then wrote to their lending institutions and got an immediate response.

    They both claim never to have received any notices (one owner has lived elsewhere for the past 5 years) and that any non-payment is entirely my fault. The land registry does not include my current address and I am in the process of rectifying it.

    They state that they will pay some ground rent, 6 years, but only from the date that they finally received their notices in Feb 2011, as they state that the original notices were not served correctly, presumably because they include more than 6 years rent. (Strangely, these notices seemed to arrive just fine despite not being sent recorded delivery, once they knew they were on their way). They insist that the land registry is updated before any monies are paid.

    Should I fight this (going back to august last year when the S166 notices were sent would provide an additional 50 pounds per flat). Or should I just take the money and put it down to experience?

    Secondly, how can I deal with the fact that there is an absentee second freeholder if they exercise their rights to buy the freehold?
    thanks

    #2
    You are not 'the freeholder', merely one of the two joint freeholders.
    Is there not (dating from f/r purchase in 1988) a Deed between you + other freeholder? This might be labelled:
    a. Trust Deed; or
    b. Participation Agreement; or
    c. Management Agreement.

    Also look at another LZ thread on a similar problem: http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums...ature-from-TR1.
    It offers advice re s.14 of 1996 Act which you could use.
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by eiranne View Post

      Secondly, how can I deal with the fact that there is an absentee second freeholder if they exercise their rights to buy the freehold?
      thanks
      With two flats and if as it appears you still owning one, there is no right to exercise.
      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
        With two flats and if as it appears you still owning one, there is no right to exercise.
        I agree; but there will certainly be a problem if the other flat's lessee seeks merely to extend the lease.
        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
          I agree; but there will certainly be a problem if the other flat's lessee seeks merely to extend the lease.
          Indeed yes. Or the awol LL turns up on the door step " any chance of my 50 % of the rent".

          A task for an enquiry agent if they are believed to be in the UK.
          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

          Comment


            #6
            As I said, my flat was repossessed by the building society in 1996, since then I have owned neither flat.

            Comment


              #7
              The other freeholder left the UK in 1991 for the U.S. and I have not been in contact with her since.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by eiranne View Post
                As I said, my flat was repossessed by the building society in 1996, since then I have owned neither flat.
                So the best solution is for you to encourage both flats' leaseholders to enfranchise the whole.
                There is an 'unknown owner' procedure. If they adopt it:
                a. their purchase price is paid into Court;
                b. you plus a Judge (in lieu of the other f/r owner) execute a Transfer;
                c, they get legal title to the f/r; and
                d. you get 50% of the net sale price and then walk away.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by eiranne View Post
                  The other freeholder left the UK in 1991 for the U.S. and I have not been in contact with her since.
                  Well the USA has a rather better system of tracing via credit checks and their enquiry agents, though an evening on the internet via the various people check sites in the US might help. Unless their name is John Smith of course!
                  Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    John Doe, there!
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                      John Doe, there!
                      The DOE is claimed to stand for Dead on entry but as a solicitor you may interested to know that it is an Americanisation of the old British ficticious plantiff John Roe.
                      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Read that as 'Richard Roe'.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                          Read that as 'Richard Roe'.
                          It was actually both
                          Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yes- John Doe and Richard Roe (= not 'John Roe' suggested in post #11).
                            OTHER LZ MEMBERS (unless asleep by now): see the background to all this, at
                            http://uk.ask.com/web?q=john+doe+ric...=196&o=0&l=dir
                            The most accurate and succinct of the sources cited there appears to be
                            http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_b...ssages/31.html
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment

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