Q&As

A client purchased a flat in a converted house in 2002 (one flat upstairs, one downstairs). However, no formal lease was granted, and the freeholder cannot be found. The titles are not registered at the Land Registry. How should the client go about formalising their position? Does the fact that there is no formal ‘long lease’ mean that he cannot use the provisions in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 Act to obtain a new lease?

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Published on LexisPSL on 24/02/2020

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A client purchased a flat in a converted house in 2002 (one flat upstairs, one downstairs). However, no formal lease was granted, and the freeholder cannot be found. The titles are not registered at the Land Registry. How should the client go about formalising their position? Does the fact that there is no formal ‘long lease’ mean that he cannot use the provisions in the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 Act to obtain a new lease?

It is unclear on what basis the client in this scenario came to purchase the flat and why no lease was granted at the time. If the freehold to the property was unregistered, the granting of a lease would have triggered first registration under either section 4 of the Land Registration Act 2002 (LRA 2002) (if the lease was granted on or after 13 October 2003) or section 19 of the Land Registration Act 1925 (LRA 1925) (if the lease was granted before that date). Assuming that the client used solicitors to deal with the purchase, the fact that there was no lease to be assigned or no new lease being granted should have given rise to significant concerns, and the lease itself should have been registered at HM Land Registry.

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