I want to buy the freehold of my property but the landlord is missing
So, you want to buy the freehold of your leasehold home but the landlord or freeholder is nowhere to be found?
This is obviously not only stressful but complicated and specialist legal advice at an early age is key to getting the process right.
The Leasehold Reform Act 1967 enables you, as long as you qualify, to apply to the County Court to buy the freehold.
But first you need to show you have made all reasonable efforts to locate the freeholder.
How hard do I need to look for the landlord?
A few cursory checks are not enough. You need to establish as early as possible that your landlord really is missing.
For example, they may have emigrated, died or been declared insolvent. They may not realise, or may have forgotten, they have an interest in a building. They may have decided to simply ignore their obligations.
You need to make real efforts to find out what has happened to them. The courts will want to see proof you have tried to locate them before it will decide if you are entitled to buy the freehold interest, known as enfranchisement, from the landlord.
If your property is a house, you can proceed on your own. If it’s a flat, and there are only two flats in the building, you must act together. If there are several long leaseholders, you need at least half of them to agree to act collectively to buy the freehold.
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