Absent Landlord

Extend the lease, buy the freehold or take over management

You can still extend your lease, collectively buy the freehold or exercise the right to manage your building even if your landlord is completely absent.

It is important that your landlord is missing and not simply uncommunicative; there must be no trace of them for them to be considered absent. If you know where they are but they just don’t respond, then you would follow the normal processes.

How much does it cost?

Lease extensions – you will have to pay your own legal and valuation fees, the lease extension premium (this is paid in to Court), and disbursements including County Court and Tribunal fees and Land Registry fees. You can ask the Court to deduct your legal and valuation fees and disbursements from the premium, though this is discretionary.

Collective claims to buy the freehold – you will have to pay your own legal and valuation fees, the purchase price (this is paid in to Court), and disbursements including County Court and Tribunal fees and Land Registry fees. You can ask the Court to deduct your legal and valuation fees and disbursements from the purchase price, though this is discretionary.

Right to manage claims – you will have to pay your own legal fees, Tribunal fees and disbursements such as Companies House fees.


County Court / Tribunal Application

To extend your lease or collectively buy the freehold when your landlord is absent you must first make an application to the County Court. To exercise right to manage you must apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal. You will be asking the Court or Tribunal to allow you to skip the notice serving procedure that would start each of these processes if your landlord were present. In the case of the right to manage, you will also be asking the Tribunal to award management. We can help you make the Court or Tribunal applications and represent you at any hearings.

Trying to find the Landlord

The Court or Tribunal will only make an order if you are able to satisfy the judge that your landlord really is absent. That means you must have taken steps to find them. This could include writing to their last known address, paying a tracing agent to search public records and registrations and even putting advertisements in local papers. We can help you search for your landlord so as to satisfy the Court they are absent.

Application to the Tribunal

In respect of lease extensions and buying the freehold, once the County Court has allowed you to skip the notice serving stage, you must apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal in order to assess the price. For that purpose you will need to obtain a valuation report from a valuer specialising in lease extension valuations. We can help you make the application to the Tribunal, but your valuation expert will deal with the hearing.

Grant of the new lease / freehold title

In respect of lease extensions and buying the freehold, once the Tribunal has determined the premium payable you must apply back to the County Court. You must then pay the price determined by the Tribunal into Court at which point the judge will sign the lease extension or freehold transfer (depending on which right you are exercising). It can then be registered at the Land Registry. We can help you make this second application to Court, attend any hearing and register the executed deed to complete the process.

Further information

More information about your rights where your landlord is absent can be found on the Leasehold Advisory Service website.

Absent Landlord Prices

Our prices depend the complexity of your claim. If you email us information about your claim we will be able to provide you with a detailed quote. There is no obligation to instruct us.