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

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • 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


    Latest Activity


    • service charge payments
      Hi, there are 36 flats, 12 flats per block where I live. My lease says my contribution is one thirty sixth for a 2 bed. Looking at the service charge payments provided I can't work out what percentage the other flats pay, some are 1 and 3 bed as the amounts noted are different for the same size flats....
      21-08-2017, 19:57 PM
    • Reply to service charge payments
      As others have said - you pay the % that is in your lease. Fairness (I have a bigger garage, I have a smaller flat) has nothing to do with it.
      21-08-2017, 22:31 PM
    • Reply to service charge payments
      Also, are you sure there are not three percentages:

      one for the grounds, covering all 36 flats

      one for the block, covering 12 flats

      one for the garage.
      21-08-2017, 20:34 PM
    • Reply to service charge payments
      You can get the total amount payable for each thing for which you have a different percentage by making a section 21 request for a summary of accounts. Best practice is that this should be provided automatically. This will be for the previous year.

      To find out the percentages, you need...
      21-08-2017, 20:29 PM
    • Reply to service charge payments
      Hi, I'm slow on the uptake so not clear where you are referencing your data? Doesn't sound like all from your own lease?

      The total service charge would need to add up to 100% of costs. Likewise the schedule for garages.

      Short of paying £12 x 36 for all the individual leases...
      21-08-2017, 20:21 PM
    • Breakdown of LA costs...
      As a LL am I able to insist on seeing the breakdown of costs each quarterly bill?
      We appointed a new Agent to manage the property and now only get one figure on the bill to be paid. Before we received a full breakdown of each item such as gardenng, lighting, insurance, postage etc
      20-08-2017, 17:49 PM
    • Reply to Breakdown of LA costs...
      Normally the bills are payments on account, so represent something based on budget for the year, and possibly a longer term budget, not the actual expenditure.
      21-08-2017, 20:14 PM
    • Reply to Breakdown of LA costs...
      Hi, if you are the landlord of one of 18 flats then you are the leaseholder. What do you mean when you say "we" appointed a new agent?

      Are you part of n RMC or RTM cpompany?

      Service charges should be accounted for as you describe, broken down into cost heads, but...
      21-08-2017, 20:00 PM
    • Reply to Breakdown of LA costs...
      It is the lessor for the long lease (often the freeholder) that should be providing the breakdown. You have to request it, and they may have up to six months to provide it. Your service charge demand should contain a statutory notice, explaining this and without that notice, the demand has the same...
      21-08-2017, 17:33 PM
    • Excessive Communual repair works - New Landlord
      Hi There,

      I'm hoping you can help. First time posting but getting desperate. I'm a part owner of 3 flats out of 4 that are situated above a takeaway in a building. Recently we have a new landlord who has paid to have a fire safety check completed and also an assessment of the external...
      21-08-2017, 12:26 PM