How do you prove a freeholder is absent?
Proving the absence of a freeholder can be a challenging task, but there are several steps you can take to gather evidence and establish their absence. Here are some methods that can help in proving the absence of a freeholder:
- Review the lease documentation: Start by carefully examining the lease documentation for any contact information or details regarding the freeholder. This may include their name, address, or any designated representatives. Check if there are any provisions or clauses related to contact or communication with the freeholder.
- Contact the managing agent or previous owner: If there is a managing agent or property management company involved in the management of the property, reach out to them to inquire about the current status of the freeholder. They may have information regarding their whereabouts or contact details.
- Attempt communication: Make efforts to contact the freeholder directly using the provided contact information from the lease documentation. This can include sending letters or emails, making phone calls, or even visiting the registered address, if applicable. Keep a record of all communication attempts.
- Seek information from neighbours or residents: Talk to other residents or neighbours within the property to see if they have any knowledge or information about the freeholder's whereabouts. They may have had previous interactions or may be experiencing similar challenges.
- Conduct a search: Use public records and online resources to search for information about the freeholder. This can include property records, company registries, or other relevant databases. This search may provide information about the freeholder's address, contact details, or potential company affiliations.
- Hire a tracing agent: If all attempts to locate the freeholder prove unsuccessful, you may consider hiring a professional tracing agent who specializes in finding individuals. These agents have access to various databases and investigative techniques that can aid in locating the freeholder.
It's important to document all the steps you have taken to establish the absence of the freeholder, including copies of correspondence, records of communication attempts, and any evidence gathered. This documentation can be useful if you need to pursue legal avenues or seek assistance from relevant authorities or legal professionals. Consulting with a solicitor who specializes in leasehold matters can provide valuable guidance and help navigate the process effectively.