In an economic culture where home ownership is the aim of many, one would think it bizarre that those who own the Freehold titles of property occasionally disappear off the face of the earth, yet this does occasionally happen.

For those who hold leasehold titles in circumstances where the Freehold Landlord is lost, this causes uncertainty and practical problems when it comes to selling on a leasehold interest: a competent conveyancing solicitor will invariably advise that a lost Freehold Landlord is a significant legal and practical defect.For example, who will fulfil the Landlord’s obligations under the terms of the lease; who will be responsible for the buildings insurance?

For those who have the misfortune to be in such an awkward situation, there is a legal mechanism whereby a majority of at least two thirds ofthe leaseholders so affected may apply to the County Court for a Vesting order.

The path to achieving such an order goes through various stages:

  • a professional surveyor must be appointed to give an independent valuation to the court on the value of the freehold title: the cost of such a valuation is met by those who seek to purchase the Freehold title;
  • the Court will wish to be convinced that a very thorough search has been made to track down the lost Landlord, in the experience of the writer, thorough certainly means through!Then and only then would a Vesting Order be granted to the proposed purchasers.
  • The court will direct that a sum equal to the valuation of the freehold title must be paid by the proposed purchasers of the freehold title into the Court Funds Office, and once this is done, the freehold title can then transfer into the names of the purchasers.The administrative formalities for this are completed at the relevant District Land Registry.

For more information regarding property matters, do please get in touch with a member of our team by calling 0208 735 9770 or completing our contact form.


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