Missing Freeholders

Locating absentee freeholders and missing landlords can pose challenges for leaseholders and property professionals. Our expert researchers specialise in a fast and cost-effective tracing solution. Regardless of the complexity, we are committed to resolving your case efficiently and economically. Our detailed reports outline all steps taken to trace an absent freeholder and help obtain a Vesting Order.

Why do I need to trace the freeholder?

An absentee or missing freeholder can create issues for leaseholders where they are seeking to extend a lease, buy the freehold, update/repair communal areas or sell the property.
Securing a mortgage for a property with an absent freeholder can prove challenging as lenders often prefer their presence to enforce specific lease terms. The value of the leasehold can also be significantly impacted where communal areas are not maintained.

What is a Section 42 Notice (of Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993)?

A Section 42 Notice is served on the freeholder by an eligible leaseholder to extend the lease via a formal framework. This can only be served if the freeholder’s name and current address is known. A RICS valuation should be obtained prior to serving the Notice to help calculate the premium payable for the lease extension. The landlord typically has a 2 month period for response with a counter-notice (a Section 45 notice).

How can I prove a freeholder is absent?

Before making any requests to court, all reasonable attempts should be made to trace the missing freeholder. This should include instructing a tracing agent such as Finders International to make enquiries and placing advertisements in local newspapers and the London Gazette. Finders International have a wealth of expertise to help locate missing freeholders.

Contact us for a free case assessment.

Finders International can assist you

Our comprehensive research team specialise in finding missing individuals. We have a tried and trusted solution to help solicitors, surveyors and conveyancing professionals with our thorough investigative reports. All quotations are prepared free of charge and without obligation. Get your quote today.

What is a Vesting Order?

A Vesting Order can be issued by the County Court under Section 27 where the freeholder fails or refuses to respond to a Section 42 Notice (via a Section 45 Counter-Notice) or is absent. If the approved, the Court will assume responsibility as the freeholder and grant a new lease once the Vesting Order Process has been completed in full. It will be necessary for the leaseholder to undertake searches for the freeholder as part of this process and tracing agent’s report will be used as evidence that the freeholder is missing.

We will assess your case promptly and send you our recommendations.

Not quite sure how to proceed or if we can assist? Get in touch, we are here to help!