Jump to content

Buying repossession property and obtaining freehold information


Recommended Posts

Hi All, Firstly, apologies if it's not the right forum, but I was thinking quite a few here have experience with buying properties and maybe someone could help.

Basically I'm in a process of buying a repossession flat, but there's a bit of a problem about getting necessary information for mortgage lender.

The building has about 6 flats and I had a chance to speak to a lady, which has one of the flats, and she told me they do not use any external management company and they manage the building themselves. She also told the building is a freehold.

The problem is she isn't very cooperative. Solicitors wrote to her before on numerous occasions and she isn't very helpful, which is a bit of a mystery to me.

Is there a way to get some information without her help? The most important thing for me is getting some sort of 'certificate' which would say the flat I'm buying is a share of freehold. Is there some soft of an office where I could go myself and obtain that information for a lender?

Many thanks,


Ps. I'm also wondering if there are any ways to force the cooperation from this lady (her address is officially registered as the management company)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Adam,

If you are buying this lady's home as a repossession it is hardly likely that she will be overjoyed at the prospect.

When your solicitor gets copies of the deeds they should mention the name of the management company if a 'share of the freehold' is involved (it will be registered at Companies House) and you can check up on it. Your solicitor should know this stuff so ask him/her.

Go onto the Land Registry website and for a fee of £4 you can check the register and for more money you can search more on your proposed purchase. It will tell you the name of the lender and mortgagee.

Try knocking other doors in the block and explain the situation - do not rubbish the unhelpful ones - ask if they will give you the name of the management company they operate under. They will have to have yearly meetings and put in accounts to CH so someone there must have knowledge of the goings on.

No, you cannot force this woman to co-operate - maybe a job in Mr Putin's government is for you?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You want to be a bit careful when buying a share of freehold following repossession.

I bought my first share of freehold repossession last year and here are some of the things I learnt:

- The mortgage company are very unlikely to have any security over the freeholdshare. Consequently they'll be pushing for you to complete asap on the leasehold, and they're unlikely to want to hang around while you ensure that transfer of the freehold is effective.

- You will need to make sure your solicitor is on the ball with the share of the freehold position. It's not difficult for an experienced solicitor to ascertain how the freehold is held, but how it is held can make a big difference. In a block of six flats it's likely to be a company which owns the freehold and each leaseholder will have a share in the company. That company should have been set up in such a way to deal with repossessions and the transfer of shares. If it's not a company (and that would be risky with so many joint freeholders) then you'll not only have to get the repossessed person to transfer their share of the freehold to you, but you'll also have to get all of the other freeholders to consent to the transfer. This can become quite expensive, and a real hassle, as the Land Registry now require each person transferring a share of the freehold to be identified, and this usually means each person having to go to a solicitor to get the necessary documents signed.

In my case there were three flats in the property and the freehold was held jointly by four people (one of the flats was owned by husband and wife). I not only needed to track down the repossessed person (this can be difficult as they will already have moved out and you'll need to get their contact details asap as they're potentially homeless), but had to actually meet him and accompany him to a solicitors to get the transfer documents signed. Fortunately he was co-operative and all it cost me was his solicitor's fees (about £30). However, if he hadn't co-operated (I was, after all, buying his repossessed flat!) then there was little I could do. He could have simply refused to transfer the freehold to me or he could have asked for money to buy the freehold share off him. It is actually in the repossessed person's best interests to transfer their share, but following repossession they may not see it that way!

I then had to get each of the other freehold owners to transfer the shared freehold into my name as well as theirs. Fortunately,they were also co-operative, but it was a slow process.

In the end I took the risk and bought the repossessed leasehold before being in a position to have the freehold transferred to me,and I was lucky, it all worked out! However, next time I will be very cautious and will not exchange on the leasehold until I have spoken to all the joint freeholders and satisfied myself that they'll co-operate.

Ultimately if there are any problems transferring a share of the freehold it isimportant to remember that it is in everyone's best interests to ensure the share of the freehold accurately reflects the leasehold ownership. The repossessed person would potentially still be liable for repair and maintenance to the freehold parts of the property if they refuse to transfer to you (useful to point out if they're reluctant to co-operate). The other freehold owners will want to ensure that the repossessed person's share is transferred because it'll make it much easier for them when they come to sell their share (they won't want to be chasing the repossessed person in years to come!).

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...