Missing Joint Freeholder on a short lease flat - want to buy freehold

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    Missing Joint Freeholder on a short lease flat - want to buy freehold

    I own a flat, which is one of only 2 flats in old conversion, bought in 2007. Myself and the other owner are both wanting to buy the freehold, or at least extend our lease - both flats have only 78 years remaining on lease.
    We have never received a ground rent demand or any correspondance from the freeholder and we both pay our own individual buildings insurance and organise our own maintenance.
    The problem is that our freehold is owned jointly by a husband and wife. They are now divorced and she has moved to France and got re-married. I have contacted the owner who is still in the UK. He is prepared to sell the freehold but doesn't know how to get hold of his ex-wife.
    Can someone please advise on what my next best steps are without me having to pay a solicitor to advise me!
    Many thanks

    #2
    This thread may help :

    http://www.propertytribes.com/missin...er-t-2640.html

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you Gordon999. This thread was very helpful, however I understand there may be a way of buying the freehold with just one of the freeholders rather than having to locate the missing ones?
      Can anyone clarify this?

      Comment


        #4
        The husband cannot deal on his own. You will still have to go through one of the procedures unless the husband appoints a new trustee as allowed by section 36 of the Trustee Act 1925.

        Comment


          #5
          Thank you Lawcruncher. Would appointing a trustee negate having to do a Vesting Order through the courts?

          Comment


            #6
            It would seem so. See the section: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/.../19/section/36

            Comment


              #7
              I'd hire an inquiry agent to trace her in France.

              France has white pages telephone directories too

              Maybe he just doesn't want to contact her !
              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


                #8
                Great news... I have tracked down the joint owner in France and have written to her; she is happy to sell her share of the freehold.
                Now I know that both joint freeholders are willing to sell, is it best to offer a figure informally? I hear this may be the cheapest/quickest option if a figure can be agreed. If so, any suggestions on letter format? Is there anything particular I should include? Sorry for all the questions, real lack of information on net re informal purchase of freehold.
                There are 2 flats in the building, both owners (leaseholders) are keen to purchase freehold. 65 year lease remains on both.
                Many thanks

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                  I'd hire an inquiry agent to trace her in France.

                  France has white pages telephone directories too

                  Maybe he just doesn't want to contact her !
                  Originally posted by landlord2014 View Post
                  Great news... I have tracked down the joint owner in France and have written to her; she is happy to sell her share of the freehold.
                  Awesome

                  Of course they own the freehold, no one has shares of it.

                  Assuming that there are no loan or charges on the freehold title it is an offer of £x subject to contract and can be achieved by a simple payment and a signed TR1.

                  However given that they are far apart and these things often drag up old arguments, it is best to use a solicitor so that, at the last moment, one decides to upstage the other and refuse to sign.

                  If you cannot agree a price then given the circumstances you might be better to use the statutory route, in this case the 87 Act as the valuation terms are more favourable, to ensure that they are bound to actually sell it.

                  if you can agree a silly low price say ground rent x 15 times then they may ask for more and you can hem and haw and reluctantly agree, as they are unlikely to realise the real value is the very short leases eg £15 GR x 2 x 15 = £4500, and you'll pay their legal costs, is likely to get them asking for £6 and you argue for £5 and settle at £5.5 etc.
                  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
                    Thanks for this. Though can I ask how you came to £4500? Why x 15? There are 2 flats, both paying £30 each ground rent. 65 years remaining on lease.
                    Just so I can put together a figure for the freeholders and show the calculation.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                      A

                      if you can agree a silly low price say ground rent x 15 times then they may ask for more and you can hem and haw and reluctantly agree, as they are unlikely to realise the real value is the very short leases eg £15 GR x 2 x 15 = £4500, and you'll pay their legal costs, is likely to get them asking for £6 and you argue for £5 and settle at £5.5 etc.
                      Don't go down this route, the danger is that you could alienate the vendor; they can easily look at the online calculations on the Lease website and making a silly offer could immediately close off any sensible negotiation as they may think you are trying to rip them off. Under teh statutory route you could easily pay nearly £2000 in the landlords fees and your own fees could be the same amount ie a total of some £4,000

                      In any event "£15 GR x 2 x 15 = £4500" is out by a factor of 10!!

                      The statutory cost of extending your lease is around 8.5% to 9 % of the value of the flat assuming it had a very long lease. I would suggest you open your negotiations at around 7% and see how they respond

                      Comment


                        #12
                        it is predicated as a sillly low price and "if", and the £15 simply a typo of £150-

                        At £30 the figure could be £900 to £1200 and therefore an offer of that amount plus offering to pay their legal costs as a chum told you thats what normally happens, predicated on "no longer having to pay you £30 each a year".

                        What Sgclacy is referring to is another part of the freehold value which is the right to sell you a lease extension and assuming
                        -extensions on the statutory basis of 90 years and a peppercorn rent
                        -your flat is worth £250k and ground rent does not change materially ( i'd bet it goes up to 60 and 90 every 33rd year)
                        then were you to ask for an extension you might pay £8 to £10k

                        Even if you paid £10K plus £600 (£1200/2) that is substantially less than 9% i.e. £22500.

                        If you then both extended now, and there are tax advantages to doing so before buying the freehold, the value of the freehold is thereafter minimal as there is no prospect of ground rent until the lease expires in 90 + 78 years, and as in most cases it would likely be extended again with another premium, that is some 70 odd years away.

                        What is the present value of another £10k in 78 years? The value is therefore notional a few hundred perhaps.

                        So at worst rather than 9%, £22500 each, you might be better of extending your leases now, at say £10k each, and buying the freehold afterward for a the price of decent weekend away.

                        How you approach this as a low ball offer of £1200 or as sgclacy suggests a sensible representative one depends on
                        -how much you think the freeholder knows or will act
                        -how you pitch the offer
                        -whether you are prepared to risk an additional £1k each if they are "alienated", rather than lose the chance of a knockdown price

                        sgclacy as an experienced owner might well be alienated ,I on the other hand would smile " nice try" and deal with it fairly, and others might scream and as sgclacy warns, decide to put the boot in.

                        Thats the bit they don't tell you about at LEASE
                        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

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