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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9324
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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My flat is leased but there are only 44 years left. What if

Resolved Question:

My flat is leased but there are only 44 years left. What if I wanted to extend the lease ,would this be possible? Would I be able to get equity on my flat?But the main problem is that the freeholder ( or is it Landlord?) is not contactable!The head leasholder has tried for over a year to contact him!We do not know his current address . The Head leaseholder said he may have died!The Headleaseholder is now retiring.
What initiated this enquiry is that I need money to maintain the property ,i.e. the outside windows have urgent need of decorating, but i am a pensioner and have no savings .
I shall be so grateful for your advice. Thank you.
Margaret Godwin
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Is this a house or a flat? What attempts have you made to contact the landlord?

The landlord is usually the freeholder provided there is no sublease. For the purposes of what we’re talking about, we can use either phrase.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
As I said this is a flat , a maisonette, and I have tried to contact the landlord at the address the land registry gave me, recorded delivery , no reply. This was the the same address known by the Headleaseholder. All transactions had to be done through the Headleaseholder, who now thinks he may have died! so no means of contact still ! Margaret
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Having an absent landlord, particularly if the absent landlord is a individual rather than the company, is not unusual.

Chapter II of the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 is the statutory provision under which the right to extend the lease arises.

Section 50 of the Chapter http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1993/28/section/50

gives the procedure when the landlord cannot be found.

You have to satisfy the court of the attempts that you’ve made to find the landlord and the court will grant you a new lease.

There is no legal reason why you cannot do it yourself but the process is not simple.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

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Best wishes.

FES

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