Buying a flat with an absent freeholder and a 74 year lease

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  • Buying a flat with an absent freeholder and a 74 year lease

    Hi everybody,

    I'm looking at buying a property at the moment, but it seems that the freeholder is absent. Having read other threads on this subject, I realise that the general opinion is that it's a lot of hassle and probably a bad idea, but if I were determined to go ahead with it, would it be possible? And what does the process of proving the freeholder is absent and then extending the lease/buying the freehold involve?

    I will speak to my solicitor to get more detail on it, but I was hoping someone here would be able to give me a general outline of what's involved before I decide whether I do want to go ahead with it or not.

    The property is a two bed flat in south east London, and there are currently 74 years left on the lease. My concern at the moment is that if I were to successfully buy and then have trouble extending the lease, I could then have difficulty selling the property later on, because it's relatively short at the moment.

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Without knowing the value of the flat or its ground rent I estimate that the premium for a statutory lease extentsion in two years time when you qualify would be around 7% of the value of the flat. The value being based on the flat having a very long lease with a negligible ground rent. In making this estimate I have assumed the ground rent is modest.

    In your negotiations to buy you need to factor in legal costs and valuation fees for making the claim which will be protracted. I would allow £4,000 on top of the figure I have suggested.

    There may be a bargin to be had as most buyers will be put off from the process but with professional help this matter is relatively straight forward, although protracted and expensive, but there is certainty you can get it. In some ways a missing freeholder is a little easier than a very awkward one as some can be when faced with a statutory lease extentsion claim

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