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propertylawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 288
Experience:  Property Solicitor with expertise in commercial and residential property transactions.
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We have leased the land our property is on for 35 years.

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we have leased the land our property is on for 35 years. About 10 years ago the agent we paid the ground rent to informed us that the landowner was deceased and they were no longer the representatives, from that day to this we have not heard from anyone about the lease or rent, as the lease only has some 15 years left we are anxious to know what options we have.

What type of lease is this. Residential or commercial?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


As your residential lease only has 35 years of the term remaining it is vital that you extend the term.

You are eligible to extend the term by an additional 90 years and reducing the ground rent to a nominal sum (peppercorn).

You do this in two ways (1) direct negotiations with the landlord or (2) serving notice under the statutory procedure. in (1) the landlord may not be agreeable to reducing the ground rent to a peppercorn but you may be able to negotiate a longer term. Under (2) the landlord cannot refuse as it is your statutory right.

In both cases you will have to pay a premium. This is likely to be quite expensive due to the length of term left, once you go beyond 80 years the premium increases quite considerably.

In the first instance you need to determine the landlord. Hopefully this is a simple and quick exercise of searching the land registry. The freehold title should identify the landlord. If it still shows the deceased landlord further investigation will be required.

It costs £6 to get a copy if the title from the Land Registry.

Check the leasehold advisory service website for more information on lease extension.

Any questions or queries in relation to my reply? I am happy to assist further.

Please can I kindly ask you to accept /positive rate my reply otherwise the website will not pay me for my time in responding to your question. Many thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
firstly there is 0nly 15 years left on lease I have a copy of land registry and it is still showing landowners the same as on my deeds which are deceased. I am more interested in acquiring the freehold but i don't know who to approach as it seems there is no next of kin, I am really at a loss where to begin, I cannot give positive feed back at this time unless you can point me in right direction as i am still none the wiser where to begin

It is a bit of a grey area. Based on your original question, I assume that you are looking at a house, rather than a lease extension of a flat. There does not appear to be a statutory procedure for dealing with an absent landlord in respect of a lease extension. There is a procedure for dealing with a missing landlord that applies where the tenant is seeking to acquire the freehold of the house (see section 27 of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967, as amended).

The lack of a provision for dealing with a lease extension may be related to the fact that, for a lease of a house, it will usually be better to acquire the freehold. changes to the legislation have often applied only to the right to enfranchise (I.e acquire the freehold), and not to the right to an extended lease. This may be a policy decision to encourage people to take the freehold, rather than a longer lease. there is no longer a valuation advantage to taking a longer lease, then acquiring the freehold.

If, however, you are actually dealing with a lease extension of a flat, the tenant requiring a lease extension can apply to court for a vesting order. The court will either require that further steps are taken to locate the missing landlord or make a vesting order (section 50(1), Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993).

There is guidance on the lease advisory service website in respect of enfranchisement of a house.

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