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If you know that the freeholder of a property is not very cooperative and you can never contact him, would you buy the leasehold?

I am a first time buyer, awaiting for some discrepancies to be sorted on the address of the flat that I have put an offer back in mid January. I have done some investigation and asked 2 neighbors of the same small block about the freeholder. One told me that the freeholder is almost impossible to contact, that never sends receipts of the ground rent that is paid yearly, that he doesn't know which company the freeholder is using for building insurance and a few more things... Anyhow I told person number One, if he was satisfied... his answer was: well you know in London there are so many dreadful freeholders that I am not wasting my time with mine. I found that incredible. What if you need to contact this mysterious freeholder and you can't? Person number Two told me, that around August the freeholder sends the bills for ground rent and building insurance, but rarely he sends any receipts. I am getting a bit worries about this flat. Can you give me some advise? Many thanks.

Asked on Apr 14 2011, Home Finance in London | Report content

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  • It is quite common for a freeholder to act in this way but of cause not correct. I have been an agent for over 20 years and have dealt with freeholders like this numerous times. Person No 2 states that in August bills for the ground rent and building insurance policiy, but service charge is not mentioned so I presume this is a maisonette? There must be contact details on the bills that are sent out to obtain an insurance policy that you will need. If one isnt provided then I did find one company that insures with regards to an absentee landlord (and without requiring to see an insurance poilcy for the flat downstairs/upstairs ). of which he is not , but you could possibly go down this route or you can find the address possibly from the tiltle documents, but It can be found with a bit of work. With regards to receipts the invoice that is sent is enough as long as you keep a record of your own payments. But your solicitor will require ground rent receipts etc to make sure on completion that all bills are satisifed, if there is no contact back from the freeholder (which is rare if money is owed) to supply these, then money will be held on account by your solicitor until such time after completion this is satified. You dont mention if the property is vacant or not and also the length of the lease which i would view as being more important together with how the maintenance of the block is split, drains/roof etc. Take into account alot of these types of properties are owned by small time freeholders who collect their £10.00 a year ground rent and arrange the building insurance on a block policy to them it is only really worth anything if you decide to purchase the freehold or extended the lease.

    Answered on Apr 14 2011, Report content
  • Who is the freeholder of my flat which is leasehold and is located at 5 Azealea Court bradford BD3 0SH

    Answered on Jun 22 2014, Report content

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