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Cancellation of leases

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Assistant Land Registrar Tim Smithers summarises HM Land Registry's practice on cancellation of leases

Cancelled flights on airport board panel.
Photo: © Mimadeo/

There are many circumstances in which leases may be determined, each requiring different evidence in order to close a leasehold title or cancel register entries relating to leases. HM Land Registry applications, therefore, require close attention to technical detail. Incorrect or incomplete applications create delay and a time cost for both HM Land Registry and property practitioners. A clear understanding of the technical aspects should reduce the need for requisitions, and thereby benefit both practitioners and their clients.

A lease may be protected in the register by substantive registration and/or by a notice on the reversionary title. This article considers situations in which leases may be determined, and summarises the minimum evidence HM Land Registry is likely to require to consider an application to close a leasehold title or cancel register entries relating to leases.

Rule 79 of the Land Registration Rules 2003 provides the statutory framework for closure and cancellation. This states that “an application to record in the register the determination of a registered estate must be accompanied by evidence to satisfy the registrar that the estate has determined”; and that if the registrar is so satisfied, they “must” close the registered title and cancel any notice in any other registered title relating to that estate. Closure of a registered leasehold title will automatically lead to the cancellation of any notice of the lease in any other registered title.


A lease granted for a fixed period automatically ends when that period expires. However, legislation may extend the lease term. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (LTA 1954) applies to most business leases (and part 1 may still apply to a long residential lease at a low rent). The Local Government Housing Act 1989 applies to many residential tenancies (in place of part 1 of the LTA 1954). The application must therefore include confirmation that such legislation does not affect the lease, or that the lease has determined in accordance with the relevant legislation. If the tenant has the benefit of an option to renew, evidence will be required that the option has not been and cannot be exercised.


A lease may contain a break clause, allowing either the landlord or tenant to serve notice to terminate it. The clause may contain pre-conditions which must be complied with for the notice to have effect. Evidence may include a statutory declaration or statement of truth attaching a copy of the notice served, detailing the method and date of service and demonstrating compliance with any pre-conditions. The application will also need to address any statutory tenure protection for tenants of residential and commercial premises, as described in the preceding paragraph.


A lease will frequently include a provision enabling a landlord to initiate forfeiture of the lease (also called 're-entry') if a specified event occurs, such as non-payment of rent, breach of tenant covenants or the insolvency of a tenant or guarantor. Statutory protection for tenants overlays common law principles such as waiver of the right to forfeit. A landlord may initiate forfeiture by taking court proceedings, or by peaceable re-entry.

Where a landlord initiates possession proceedings, it is the service of the claim form which effects forfeiture (see Billson v Residential Apartments Ltd [1992] 1 A.C. 494 (HL)). However, the status of the lease is suspended until the order for possession is given, at which point forfeiture is effectively backdated to the date of service of the proceedings (see Ivory Gate v Spetale [1998] 2 EGLR 43 (CA)). Accordingly, a HM Land Registry application based on a court order must include all of the following.

  • The claim form stating the forfeiture event.
  • A certified copy of the court order directing forfeiture or ordering possession.
  • The sheriff’s return, or a statutory declaration or statement of truth proving the facts which are stated to amount to re-entry on a stated date.

An application based on peaceable re-entry should be accompanied by a statutory declaration or statement of truth addressing all the elements listed in box A.

Box A: Required elements for a statutory declaration or statement of truth where an application is based on peaceable re-entry

  1. Prove the facts which are stated to amount to re-entry on a stated date, including details of how re-entry was effected and by whom.
  1. If forfeiture is for non-payment of rent, establish:
  • the nature of the sums unpaid, and explain how they are 'rent'
  • whether a formal demand was required and, if so, demonstrate that demand was made
  • the amount and period of rent arrears, and confirmation that this was sufficient to trigger the proviso for re-entry.
  1. If forfeiture is for breach of covenant other than non-payment of rent, establish:
    • that the landlord served the requisite notice under section 146(1) of the Law of Property Act 1925 on the tenant on a stated date (if the lease is not registered, evidence must be lodged to show that the person served was the tenant)
    • if the breach is of a repairing covenant:
      • that the section 146 notice meets the service requirements of section 18(2) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1927, and that reasonably sufficient time has elapsed to enable the repairs to be executed
      • in the case of a lease with three or more years unexpired at the date of the section 146 notice, that the section 146 notice contained the required statement (under section 1 of the Leasehold Property (Repairs) Act 1938) that the tenant was entitled to serve a counter-notice claiming the benefit of the Leasehold Property (Repairs) Act 1938, and the tenant did not do so
    • that the tenant failed to comply with the section 146 notice.

If an application based on peaceable re-entry relates to residential premises, the statutory declaration or statement of truth must address the relevant elements listed in box B.

Box B: Required elements for a statutory declaration where an application based on peaceable re-entry relates to residential premises

Establish that the following statutory provisions either do not apply or have been complied with (please refer to the legislation for the complete requirements).

  • Section 2 of the Protection from Eviction Act 1977

If the premises are let as a dwelling, establish either that no one was residing in the premises, or if someone was, that they were not lawfully residing there.

  • Section 81 of the Housing Act 1996, as amended by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002

If there are disputed arrears of service charges, forfeiture may not be initiated until the service charges have been determined by the appropriate tribunal or a court, and any right to appeal has lapsed or been abandoned.

  • The following provisions of the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002 which relate to a long lease of a dwelling (as defined).
    • Section 166: a tenant is not liable to pay rent unless the landlord has given the tenant a notice specifying the amount of and date for payment.
    • Section 167: a landlord may not forfeit the lease for failure by the tenant to pay rent, service charge or administration charges, unless the amount exceeds a prescribed sum (currently £350), or has been unpaid for a period in excess of a prescribed period (currently three years).
    • Section 168: a landlord may not serve a section 146 notice for breach of a tenant’s covenant unless the tenant has admitted the breach, or 14 days has elapsed after the appropriate tribunal or a court has determined that the breach has occurred.

Note that an assured tenancy (including an assured shorthold tenancy) under the Housing Act 1988 cannot be determined by forfeiture.

If HM Land Registry is satisfied that the application may proceed, notice will usually be served on the registered proprietor (or tenant of an unregistered lease), any subtenant, and any respective chargees and caution beneficiaries.

The tenant and any person having an interest in the lease, such as a chargee or subtenant, may apply to court for relief from forfeiture. However, the fact that any party has applied for relief is unlikely to be a valid ground for objection to the HM Land Registry application. If a court orders relief (usually by reviving the original lease or the grant of a new lease), a new HM Land Registry application will be necessary.


Merger occurs where a tenant acquires the immediate reversionary estate. The lease is absorbed by the reversion, and determined. For merger to occur, the lease and the reversion must be in the same ownership, and held in the same capacity (so, for example, merger cannot occur where a lease is held as an absolute owner, but the reversion is held as a trustee). The person holding both estates must demonstrate an intention to merge, for example by the tenant applying for closure of the registered leasehold title or cancellation of the notice of the lease.

Beneficial easements granted in the determined lease, or otherwise benefitting the leasehold estate, may benefit the reversionary title following merger (see Wall v Collins [2007] EWCA Civ 444). HM Land Registry will not automatically enter the benefit of such easements in the reversionary title, so a specific application to do so would be necessary.

Express surrender

When a tenant surrenders a lease to their immediate landlord, who accepts the surrender, the lease is absorbed by the reversion, and so determined. The surrender must be by way of a deed. Form TR1 may be used, but is not essential. Evidence of the landlord’s consent must also be lodged, whether as a party to the deed or by separate letter.

Surrender by operation of law

Where there is no deed, surrender may occur as a result of the actions of the landlord and tenant. Rule 161 of the Land Registration Rules 2003 requires 'sufficient evidence of the disposition' to be lodged with the application. Accordingly, a statutory declaration or statement of truth will be required (including the elements set out in box C below), except where:

  • the landlord grants a new lease of the premises to the existing tenant, or
  • the application is made by or with the consent of the registered proprietors of both titles (so long as the leasehold title is registered with either absolute or good leasehold title).

Where these exceptions apply, HM Land Registry will require a letter (from either party’s conveyancer) confirming that no deed of surrender was entered into.

Box C: Required elements for a statutory declaration where an application is based on surrender by operation of law

  • Specify the consideration for the surrender (if any).
  • Confirm that no deed of surrender was entered into.
  • If the tenant was occupying the property and has given vacant possession to the landlord, describe when and how the premises were vacated and the keys returned to the landlord.
  • If an underlessee is occupying the property, provide evidence that the landlord is receiving the rent directly from that underlessee.


When an individual becomes bankrupt or a company is being wound up, the trustee in bankruptcy or liquidator may disclaim onerous property by giving notice under section 315 or 178 of the Insolvency Act 1986, respectively.

When property belonging to a company immediately before its dissolution has vested as bona vacantia, the Treasury Solicitor (on behalf of the Crown), or the solicitor to the Duchy of Lancaster or to the Duchy of Cornwall (‘the Royal Duchies’), may disclaim onerous property by giving notice under section 656 of the Companies Act 1985 or section 1013 of the Companies Act 2006 (depending on the date the company was dissolved).

An application to close a registered leasehold title and/or cancel the notice of a lease on the landlord’s title following disclaimer by a trustee in bankruptcy or liquidator must be accompanied by an official copy of the notice of disclaimer (unless previously lodged under the Insolvency Rules 1986, as amended) and evidence of the bankruptcy or liquidation and of their appointment.

The disclaimer notice operates to determine the rights, interests and liabilities of the bankrupt and their estate, or of the company, in or in respect of the property disclaimed, but it does not affect the rights or liabilities of any other person (see sections 178(4) and 315(2) of the Insolvency Act 1986, section 657(4) of the Companies Act 1985, and section 1015 of the Companies Act 2006, and Hindcastle Ltd v Barbara Attenborough Associated Ltd and others [1996] 1 All ER 737). Accordingly, it will not be possible to close the registered leasehold title and/or cancel the notice of the lease on the landlord’s title in cases where there is a registered or noted charge or a sublease or some other encumbrance in the register entered before the date of disclaimer. In such cases, unless the application is accompanied by evidence of the release, determination or consent of any party with the benefit of a continuing interest, the title will be kept open and/or the notice retained, with appropriate entries noting the disclaimer.


A lease may determine when the occurrence of an unforeseen event makes performance impracticable. These cases are rare, and HM Land Registry’s approach to an application is considered on its individual facts.


Where a tenant holds an unexpired residue of at least 200 years, and the original term was of at least 300 years, he may enlarge it by deed into a new freehold estate, under section 153 of the Law of Property Act 1925 (which includes other requirements). If the landlord’s title is registered, HM Land Registry’s practice is that it will not be closed, with the unusual outcome of two registered freehold estates in the same piece of land.

The practicalities

  • Use the correct application form – AP1, FR1 or CN1. CN1 is only ever required if the lease in question is not substantively registered.
  • Lodge the correct supporting documentation. In most cases, HM Land Registry will require a certified copy of the lease (or an explanation as to why it is not available), any deed which determines the lease, any notices served and a statutory declaration or statement of truth to confirm any circumstances which are not apparent from the submitted documents. Practice Guide 26: Leases – determination offers further information on the application process and information required.
  • Where a leasehold estate or a reversionary estate is unregistered, lodge appropriate documentary evidence to prove title.
  • Where a lease is determined by merger, surrender or disclaimer ensure that incumbrances are suitably discharged, withdrawn or cancelled. If determination is by notice, forfeiture or frustration – or in the case of an assured tenancy, an order for possession under the Housing Act 1998 – all incumbrances will normally end automatically with the determination of the lease. In the case of effluxion of time, all incumbrances other than any noted leases will normally end automatically.
  • Ensure the application addresses any subleases, including any statutory tenure protection.
  • Enclose the land transaction return certificate, or self-certificate, as appropriate
  • Although the facts underlying an application may be superficially similar to those in a reported case, they will never be identical. Accordingly, the fact a lease was found to have determined in one case does not necessarily mean that a similar application will proceed or that, if it does, any objection will be groundless.

Remember that this is a brief summary. HM Land Registry examines each application on its own merits and our practice guides contain a great deal more information. In every case, HM Land Registry must be satisfied that the application should proceed.

  • This article was first published in the December 2016 edition of Property in Practice, the magazine of the Law Society’s Property Section (

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  1. Comment by Carol Moscardini posted on

    The Management Co. as party in my tripartite underlease with Sup.Lease transferred to it via TR1 has defaulted on all the covenants. It petitioned me for bankruptcy (even though I was not bankrupt) for non-payment of service charge and Ground Rent. I was withholding payment because there was no evidence that s/c and GR paid to the Management Co./Landlord accounts since 2006. The case went before a District Judge who refused to reveal the grounds for the bankruptcy and I believe lease law was not her competence. I was evicted.

    The flat is held by Trustees in Bankruptcy. The Trustees demanded annual certified accounts for years 2014/2015 which evidence that monies due under the Lease is not paid into the Management Co./Landlord.

    Reading the above regarding cancellation of leases, it is apparent that the bankruptcy legal process not followed (and bankruptcy not allowable under the lease).

    Can I put a restriction to prevent sale of the flat ?

  2. Comment by Niamh posted on

    What happens if a leaseholder is in a company name and the director is sent to prison

    • Replies to Niamh>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Niamh - This would not necessarily impact on the cancellation of leases as the normal rules and requirements relating to companies will still apply.

      The process for dismissing or disqualifying a company director is essentially a legal one and anyone affected may want to consider seeking independent advice from a legal professional. There is also some related information on - .

  3. Comment by Russell posted on

    I have a situation whereby there is an unsurrended lease on my property. In 2001 a new lease was created covering the flat and in addition the garden by the person who owned both freehold and leasehold. This was sold to me - but it seems that at that time the old (presumably redundant lease) was not surrendered or deleted from the land registry. It does not sit against the freehold but is on the Land Registry and is causing concern for the party looking to buy my leasehold from me.

    What are the steps to remedy this situation. ?


  4. Comment by Marie clarke posted on

    In the case of my garage being fenced off, my round rent is paid to a limited company, not to the new land owner, who wishes to enlarge his large garden

    • Replies to Marie clarke>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Marie - I'm unclear as to what the issue or question is here although it reads very much as to your needing legal advice

  5. Comment by George posted on

    My mum has died n has a caution title on a bit of no mans land can i transfer it into my name?

    • Replies to George>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      George - Except in the instances given below, when a cautioner dies any interest she held at the time of death will vest automatically in her personal representatives. The exceptions to this are where the interest is either held by the cautioner as a joint tenant with another person or it came to an end on the death of the cautioner because it was a life interest.
      The personal representatives can apply to be cautioner(s) in place of the deceased cautioner using form AP1 and submitting it along with an official copy of the probate.

  6. Comment by Barbara posted on

    my husband and i have joint ownership of our property that we live in, we would now like to each have a 50% ownership.
    Can this be done without instructing a solicitor?
    If so how do we go about this?

  7. Comment by Ben posted on

    Hello my wife and I are in a house that is shared ownership with a housing association which we own 50% but went to purchase the other 50% which was all going well till we where told that we could only purchase 80% due to a restriction in the lease which we where not aware of. So my question is could this restriction be lifted from the lease so we could then purchase the remainder to make it freehold once again which is was 12 years ago ?

    • Replies to Ben>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ben - the terms of most leases can be varied providing the landlord and tenant agree. We register the outcome so I would suggest seeking legal advice/assistance and/or contacting your landlord as appropriate

  8. Comment by Mrs Barbara Blundell posted on

    18 years ago I registered ownership of my property in my 4 daughters names. Weeks later my solicitor registered a lease on the property in my sole name without explaining the implications. Now I am aware of the implications I wants to surrender the lease to ensure that the property is registered in all 4 daughters names. How do I surrender the lease? Will this automatically revert the property into the four daughters names and is there a charge fir this?
    Ps is this something I can do myself or should I get a solicitor to do it?

  9. Comment by Zaara Begum posted on

    I am buying a property that is a leasehold however the buyer has advised us that the property will be a freehold upon completion.

    Will the seller need to give us a written statement to show her intention that the property will be a freehold upon completion? Please advise how the seller can show intention that she wishes to merge the title into one so that I hold the property as a freehold and not as a leasehold?

    Thank you.

    • Replies to Zaara Begum>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Zaara - you'll need to rely on your conveyancer with regards what undertakings a seller needs to provide. If she owns both the freehold and leasehold then presumably she is transferring both to you and you can then request merger as appropriate. Again something to check and confirm with your conveyancer

  10. Comment by Rebecca posted on

    I am in the process of purchasing a house, which is being sold freehold. During the conveyancing process, a historical leasehold was discovered on the property as well. The vendor's conveyancer has requested with the Land Registry that this leasehold be removed, but this has not yet been completed and is delaying the completion of the purchase for us. How long does it usually take for such a transaction to be completed?

    • Replies to Rebecca>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Rebecca - if everything is in order then I would expect a timescale of 4/5 weeks depending on what has been provided to support it's removal. The timescale os a 'wait' period between the 3 stages after receipt, namely consideration, referral and registration.
      I should stress that such applications/circumstances are not routine

  11. Comment by Steve posted on

    I currently hold the freehold for a pair of flats. I live in the lower flat and the upper flat has been left empty for many years. The leaseholder does pay his ground rent but has only visited and not stayed twice in the 4 years I have been here. The state of the rear garden is causing issues with the neighbors and after many emails he is failing to get the boundary wall repaired and arrange for the garden to be maintained. His windows are rotten and need replacing but he insists they are ok. I am concerned about damp due to the windows and that there is a flat roof on top of the building extension. With no body living there I would never know if it is leaking.

    Do I have any grounds / what steps should I be taking to be able to cancel his lease or get him to comply with his lease?

    • Replies to Steve>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Steve - you would have to read the lease to understand what grounds existed on that score re it being determined in that way. Whether you have any legal grounds as the freeholder is something you would need legal advice on

  12. Comment by CCAB posted on

    I have a commercial property which has an old lease attached to the title on the Land Registry, from an old tenant who was made bankrupt. My solicitor is sending the appropriate documentation/statement of truth to you. Can you give me an approximate timescale for how long it will take to get this old lease removed please?

    • Replies to CCAB>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      CCAB - we can only give average timescales and that is currently 9 working days. I should stress however that such applications rely totally on the supporting evidence provided to show that the old lease has indeed determined

  13. Comment by Jeremy posted on

    In 2015 we purchased a commercial property which had an old lease noted in the Charges section of the title at the Land Registry. The lease noted on the Title actually expired in 2011 although a subsequent lease had been granted which then expired in December 2017. By that stage the tenant had not been in occupation for over two years and had no interest or indeed a right to a further lease. However, no notices were served to bring the lease to an end. We now have a new tenant who is keen to take occupation but is concerned about the lease noted on the Title. What documentation do we need to submit to enable the removal of this historic lease?

  14. Comment by CHRIS MARSH posted on

    Hello I have completed a new lease of commercial premises which is now being registered. There is an existing lease where the tenant went into Administration and the lease has been given up. Is it necessary to clear the existing lease off the title before the new lease can be registered?

    • Replies to CHRIS MARSH>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Chris - all depends on the circumstances as to whether it affects your new lease or not but something to discuss with the landlord/your solicitor as appropriate. In my experience and if it's of the same premises I would expect the new tenant to ask for it to be determined and cancelled before completing on a new lease but very much something to get legal advice upon

  15. Comment by Andrew posted on


    I am purchasing a leasehold property where the Freehold was transferred during the seller's ownership. The lease has the name of the original Freeholder. The seller has no paperwork indicating they are aware of any change of Freehold. The new Freeholder is registered at Land Registry and I only knew of this by checking the Freehold Register. My own (very busy) solicitor did not inform me, nor appear to know until I pointed it out.

    Is there an outside chance the Lease the seller has sent is no longer valid? Is there a chance the new Freeholder can contact me after completion stating that there are amendments or changes which were agreed to be made to the lease and which I must now abide by? Or would any such changes have to have been registered at Land Registry and therefore be publicly searchable?

    Is there anything I should be aware of proceeding with a new Freeholder not mentioned on the Lease or any specific questions we need to put to the seller's side in this regard?

    • Replies to Andrew>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      Hi. As to the validity of the transaction, it would be best to continue to consult your solicitor on this as they are best placed to advise you on the legal position, for example, whether any unregistered Deed of Variation of a lease is binding on a successor. However, in general terms, a change of freehold ownership in itself should not impact on the validity of the lease. The Leasehold Advisory service may also be of assistance and a source of information - .

  16. Comment by Simon posted on

    I have just been notified by the lawyer acting on behalf of the estate of a late tenant - paying peppercorn dues as a part of a reversionary lease on a property I purchased from them - that they now wish to surrender the lease (no further info available but am guessing leaseholders have died or vacated property ). They're insisting I too get a solicitor but surely this is a straightforward matter that their lawyers can handle directly with me ( I know. I can't believe I'm asking ) but I'm overseas and don't really want to blow money on legal fees for something that I should be able to handle - it sounds like jobs for the boys.

  17. Comment by Kay posted on

    I’m selling a property where I have absolute title. During the conveyancing process, a historical 999 lease was identified as logged under the charges register. We found the original lease, set up between the house builder and original purchaser back in 1966, but in 1990 the freehold was bought . My solicitor believes this is now determined and is not significant and shouldn’t delay completion. However The purchasers are wanting this removing. Our solicitor therefore requested with the Land Registry that this leasehold be removed from the title.How long does it usually take for such a transaction to be completed?

    • Replies to Kay>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Kay - you also contacted us via our online forum and I have replied there.

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Gengis posted on

        Adam I have the same issue, I have an absolute title but a 999 year lease from 1935 in the charges register. No one has a copy of the lease and the buyer is insisting it is removed. They have rejected my offer of indemnity insurance. I have lived her 13 years no issues. Is it likely I can remove the lease

        • Replies to Gengis>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Gengis - that all depends on what evidence you are able to supply to confirm that the lease no longer exists and the tenant has no further interest. You need to rely on your conveyancer to advise you on the law here and it is very much up to the buyer as to whether they will accept indemnity insurance or not

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Gengis posted on

            Thanks no one has a copy of the lease would possession alone be good evidence if not wouldnt that mean my absolute title is worthless

          • Replies to Gengis>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Gengis - whilst possession of the lease can be significant it is not everything if there is wider evidence to confirm what has happened to the leasehold interest. For example if the tenant is no longer there then that too can be significant. Our Practice Guide explains how leases can be determined in a wide variety of ways so you need to fit the guidance to the facts as you know them

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Elliot W posted on

        We have this same issue. An old lease agreement has been found on a freehold house we have purchased but not exchanged yet.m Our solicitor has contacted land registry in the past few weeks.
        Do you know much delay do you think COVID-19 is currently causing to response times for land registry?

  18. Comment by Sophie Johnson posted on

    The Companies House-registered private management company of which I am one of twenty members/shareholders has registered its pre-2006 Lease.

    1.Does each of us have a seperate registered Lease, or is there only a 'collective' Lease that pertains to all 20 of us?

    2. The Lease contains the Clause that authorises our company's one source of funding. Can that or any other Clause of the Lease be varied?

    • Replies to Sophie Johnson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sophie - there would only be the one lease with a single counterpart. The landlord hold one and the tenant the other normally. I imagine any clause can be varied if the landlord/tenant agree but a Q for a legal adviser and not us.

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Sophie Johnson posted on

        Thank you, AdamH.

  19. Comment by Oana posted on


    We are buying a property that is freehold, on the title there is an expired lease that says "Lease dated from 13 june 1910 to r.d. and a.j. for 99 years from 25 march 1910. Note the lease comprises also other land"
    Our solicitor has requested for the lease to be removed. How long should this take as its delaying our completion.

    • Replies to Oana>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Oana - all depends on what evidence is submitted when they apply and whether it is sufficient to confirm that the noted lease has come to an end or can be cancelled. Average wait time between receipt and consideration is 9 working days. So it's all about the evidence being ok and then what wider checks, if any, we have to make

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Damien J posted on

        Hi Adam - we have the same issue looking to purchase a property with a notice on the charges register citing a lease "1905 for 99 years from 25 march 1905." - so expired 15+ years ago. The property was recently tenanted under an unrelated AST for the past 9 years but is now confirmed and to be sold vacant. In the absence of any copies of the old expired lease - are able to offer any guidance on what would constitute "sufficient evidence" of determination due to expiry in such a case? e.g. would a stat dec re the property being vacant and the seller not aware of any renewal/holding etc be ok? I've reviewed the Practise Guide 26 but couldn't see this clarified. Many thanks

        • Replies to Damien J>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Damien J - it reads as if you are looking at section 5 of our PG 26 and the need for suitable evidence to confirm that the lease has determined and the tenant(s) have surrendered the lease
          We won;t consider the evidence until the application is submitted so you'd need to rely on your conveyancer here to advise as to what is required to satisfy the legal requirements before applying to cancel the noted lease

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Damien J posted on

            Thank you AdamH. I was actually looking at at section 2 (Points/documents to consider on all applications) and section 7 (determination by effluxion of time - since the fixed term of this lease expired 15 years ago per the entry on the charges register). The Guidance note in states that "satisfactory evidence of title may be shown by the counterpart lease and copies of any assignments". In this case, where there are no copies of the lease available, it wasn't clear if/what documentary evidence LR would require (e.g. provision of a Stat Dec) in such cases, so was hoping you might clarify. Many thanks

          • Replies to Damien J>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Damien - if the lease is being determined by the effluxion of time then the section you refer to asks you to account for the absence of the lease/counterpart. That would not require a stat dec at this stage but you should explain why you don;t have a copy for example as part of your application

  20. Comment by Sophie Johnson posted on

    The Leasehold Advisory Service (LSA) insists that:

    1. my private Company's Lease, made under the Land Registration Act, can be varied under provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act.

    The LSA insists also that:

    2. unlike under the Land Registration Act, Company members do not have to obtain 100% of members' agreement to vary a clause of our Lease if we act under the Landlord and Tenant Act.

    Can either 1, or 2. possibly be true?

    • Replies to Sophie Johnson>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sophie - very much something you will need to get legal advice on as we can't advise you on what can or cannot happen here as our role is to register the details as appropriate

  21. Comment by Mick Sheehan posted on


    We've recently bought a commercial property that we were leasing. I'm now the director of the company that is trading from the property and also the director of the (new and different) company that has bought the property.
    I wish to create a new lease between the two companies and cancel the old one. The old lease is registered with the Land Registry as it was for 10 years and it expires in 2022.
    Can i simply leave the old lease to expire and is there a problem in doing this? Or do i need to cancel the old lease and how do i go about it please?
    Many thanks

    • Replies to Mick Sheehan>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Mick - an old lease can expire but that would not mean it would automatically be removed from the superior title. An application is always required and our Practice Guide explains the various ways a lease may be determined and how an application would be made to close the title and update the superior title for example.
      We cannot advise you on whether any problems might arise and I would recommend seeking legal advice as appropriate

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Mick Sheehan posted on

        OK thank you Adam.

  22. Comment by Marilyn posted on

    I have been renting a field for 20 years and the original landlady and her husband have both died over the years. The husband died about 4 years ago. I paid them rent every month and continued paying one of their sons after both their deaths, right up to date. I have had sole use of the land for my horses, sheep and chickens (in the old buildings). He has, for no reason, recently given me notice and allowed another person to be taking over the rental of the field. On checking with Land Registry who legally owns the land, it is still registered in both the deceased's names. Would I have any legal rights to stay on the land as it has not been re-registered to the son? Could I claim adverse possession as I have had complete control over the land all these years and there is no rental contract apart from verbally with the original landlady. Is there any way I can remain as the tenant and not be pushed off the land, purely for someone else to take over ? Are there any other routes I should take to remain the tenant ?

    • Replies to Marilyn>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Marilyn - it&#039's not something we can advise you on I&#039'm afraid and it is very much legal advice you need as to what rights you, and indeed he, may have.

  23. Comment by Ant posted on

    I am buying a property with an absolute freehold from 1974 but also has an unregistered leasehold title from 1972. Land Registry have asked for proof of the lease assignment to the vendor before they will cancel the lease on the title however the vendor does not have any documentation. What happens in this situation? The vedors solicitor is saying that the lease doesn’t need to be cancelled and this is quite common yet my solicitor is concerned by this and we seem to have hit a real impasse.

    • Replies to Ant>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ant - if they can't prove that the lease has been determined (ended) then it stays. You need to rely on your legal advice here as to what options exist

  24. Comment by Jacqui Mills posted on

    We are nine flat owners who have recently purchased the freehold (last year) and have been awaiting the lease extension since October 2018. The solicitor emailed yesterday (6/3) saying that it should have been finalised a long time ago, but due to serious delays at the Land Registry, they have been constantly phoning and writing , which of course has incurred legal charges. They have failed to contact us sooner to inform us of this delay, which is incompetent on their part. Therefore would I be able to dispense with their services and continue to deal with the land registry myself, as I am not prepared to pay them anymore charges? They say they are considering applying for compensation to cover their costs?

    • Replies to Jacqui Mills>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Jacqui - if you wanted to dispense with their services around a pending application then you would need to contact them and ask them to contact us to confirm that you were now dealing with the application.
      I should stress that we do have a backlog of work and it can be several weeks after receipt of an application that it is considered by us. I'm unclear as to why they have kept phoning/writing as they would be aware of this.
      If there is an urgency involved such as an onward sale or expiring mortgage offer then they can contact us with those details and ask us to expedite the process. This would be a one off request and reduces that wait time to around 2 weeks. Everything then hinges on whether the application is in order of course. So just one email plus details would suffice

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Jacqui Mills posted on

        Hi Adam - I really appreciate your reply to my comment, which I should have written under the section Extension of Leases. I have emailed the solicitor to say I am not prepared to pay any more legal charges incurred. Interestingly, you mentioned a delay of weeks, however, it has been months since we all signed the paperwork for submission to the LR. I actually thought it had all been finalised until receiving their email about "serious delays" at the Land Registry and their constant phoning and writing. Would you be kind enough to let me know if I would need to send a fresh application, if I decided to deal with it myself or would the original application still be valid? Thanks for all your advice.

        • Replies to Jacqui Mills>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Jacqui - very much depends on how your solicitor wishes to approach your request. They could contact us to confirm that they no longer act and that you have taken over. Or they may cancel it and you would then need to submit it as a fresh application.

  25. Comment by Maria C posted on

    Hi can anyone help? I have tried a solicitor costs me lots and have no more funds available. My brother owned his flat with a leasehold, he sadly died and was presumed missing until he was found by bailiffs looking to recover leasehold arrears - due to his death. They have possessed the flat and want £8000+ so that we can apply for relief from forfeiture. The debt last year was only £1850 from documents we have obtained recently.

    • Replies to Maria C>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Maria - it is very much legal advice you need here. If you are looking for wider comment/advice then online forums such as Money Saving Expert can be useful resources

  26. Comment by Jan posted on

    Hi I need help finding out who the land belongs to next to my house
    It’s just land with pump station on it and the land doesn’t belong to them
    Can anyone please help me?
    Thank you in advance

  27. Comment by Childminder V posted on

    I am the owner of a flat with 999 lease.(started 1959).
    The lease has been initially between New Ideal Homesteads Limited and a lady that I don’t know and she might not even be present. Later tha same flat was sold few times and the initial landlord was replaced by the residents company- freeholders.
    I used to live as a tenant from 2008- 2010 and from 2010 till now 2019 I am a joint home owner with my ex- husband. Since 2005 (after having my own kids )I have earned income by looking after children as an Ofsted registered childminder trained under all UK rules and regulations. I have practiced the same in three different rent flats and no issues for noise or disturbance of neighbours occurred, and certainly not permission from the landlord was required. For the last two years, since July 2017 up to now I have been tortured by directors of freeholders to quit childminding because it considered breach of the covenants of the lease. As for this specific “ business “ HMRC accept tax but have excluded to be called a “business “ because everything remains residential. In my case it is my only home and income so I have refused to quit or move. In the lease , the landlord which unfortunately now are represented by disqualified freeholders ( as these directors do not reside in our block of flats) are allowed to give consent/ license to allow business and the same has been advised by FTT on July 2018 and in October 2018 Upper Tribunal for my childminding. Freeholders without any reason to withhold such license have given some confusing dates, ( end of March, April or July 2019 the latest) and served even notice 146 for forfeiture appointing a solicitor that feeds their malicious intentions . I have contacted both solicitor from previous vendor that allowed me to do childminding during my tenancy why they did not reported this as a breach of the lease as well as to my solicitor that knowing my profession why they didn’t warn me or didn’t make any variation to that particular covenant . No one cares. While the professional negligence of solicitors is protected somehow that the issue is raised after 6 years, I refused to be the one to suffer. I even disagree with both FTT and UT that considered childminding business as breach of the lease. I have not signed a single document to obey such covenants, Setfords solicitors did everything on our behalf. Same long standing directors of freeholders never presented a document explaining such restrictions and funnily enaugh my ex husband was even a director of freeholders from 2011- 2016 but in 2017 somehow the company managed to understand the “meaning of childminding”, as they thought I looked after kids for free. What are my chances to fight such malicious intents and be able to continue my job which can run only from a residential property ? Can freeholders refuse to give permission/ licence to me when nothing is touched at the building structure /envelope of the property and no complaints ever come from neighbors?Can they succeeded to forfeiture at the County Court? Can I apply any other remedy like RX2 to avoid that restriction? Can I apply for this by myself? I have asked for the help of solicitors but they charge thousands only to get to know my case, I can’t afford that and I have lost even faith that professionalism works any more in UK.
    Hope you will be able to help with any info.
    Thank you for your time in advance

    • Replies to Childminder V>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Childminder V - I am sorry to read of the issues you have and are facing but unfortunately this is not something we can advise you on. It is very much legal advice you need here albeit I appreciate there is a cost involved.
      The only guidance we can provide is with regards form RX2 and our PGs 19 and 19A explain how such restrictions are registered and may be disapplied, modified, cancelled or withdrawn.
      If cost is an issue I would recommend contacting your local CAB to see if they have a list of local solicitors who may offer a fixed fee/hourly consultation which may be of some help

  28. Comment by Emjay Edwards posted on

    My mother owns a new-build house (no mortgage) and the builder has now offered owners the opportunity to buy the freehold. The solicitor has stated that for an additional fee, he can merge the lease/freehold by a 'simple application to the Land Registry'. Is this something we can do for my mother instead of her incurring another £200+VAT in solicitor's fees?!

  29. Comment by Karen B posted on

    My daughter (with landlords agreement) is surrendering her lease on a shop that expires ten months. Please can you explain what she has to do?
    Draft 'deed of surrender?'
    Will simple letter will do?

    Also obtain written confirmation from landlord, can this be a simple letter too?

    Which land registry forms does she have to complete if any to remove her name from the register?

    What are the land registry cost?

    • Replies to Karen B>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Karen B - our Practice Guide explains how leases might be determined and sections 4 and 5 deal with surrenders. I would imagine section 4 is the relevant one here. We cannot offer you any more guidance than what is in the guide and I would recommend that you/she also seeks legal advice/assistance

  30. Comment by David Johnson posted on

    The purchaser of the property next door has removed all references to a Lease in the Charges Register section of the Title Register at H.M. Land Registry, which contained details of the Rights of Way which I still have over his land. There is now no way from reading his Title Register that any Rights of Way exist over his land. Does this mean my and my neighbours Rights of Way over his land have been extinguished please?

  31. Comment by Gary posted on

    Hi how long does Land Registry take to process a request to remove a lease from a title through expiry?

    • Replies to Gary>

      Comment by ianflowers posted on

      The average completion time for updates to an existing register is 9 working days. But this type of application is often not straightforward and therefore make take longer than the average.

  32. Comment by Gary posted on

    I was previously the named tenant before buying the property so hopefully no issues.

  33. Comment by HadleyC posted on

    We are currently in the process of purchasing a property as a Freehold however have come to a hurdle.

    Our conveyancers have informed us that the vendor owns the freehold title but not the leasehold as this was recently uncovered and therefore cannot proceed until the lease is merged/surrendered.

    How long does this process take on average and what is the success rate?

    • Replies to HadleyC>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      HadleyC - all depends on how it is to be determined as merger and surrender are two of several methods of achieving that. We won't record success rates but the key is in the detail of how the lease has come to an end, if that is the case of course.

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by HadleyC posted on

        Hi Adam,

        Thank you for getting back to me, as far as i can tell the original owner of the property did not assign across the leasehold and only the freehold to the current owner.

        An application has been sent for surrendering the lease.

        What is the time scale roughly?

        • Replies to HadleyC>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          HadleyC - roughly 10 working days on average. But the devil will be in the detail so if they are claiming something happened rather than proving that it did by way of a legal deed then it can take longer depending on the legal scrutiny required

  34. Comment by Nm posted on

    What's the process for a landlord when a Tennant that had a commercial lease has sadly passed away and the family has informed the HM land registry of the death of the leasholder with the death certificate. landlord has given a truth of oath to confirm the death of the Tennant. & also can the landlord forefitt the lease if so what are the requirements and process.

    Any help would be appreciated, slightly confused in what to do.

    • Replies to Nm>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Nm - the ways a lease can be determined are covered in our Practice Guide
      The key will be in combining the various details inc proof of death and the terms of the lease as to what happens to the lease as a result of the lessee's death
      If you are confused by what happens next then I would strongly recommend that you seek legal advice

  35. Comment by Hank Des posted on

    A Lot of Conveyance solicitors can not even answer these legal questions, as their reply is they do not know. So we are paying these solicitors to do nothing.

  36. Comment by KeithM posted on

    We are trying to buy a flat. Our conveyancer found that it shared one lease with 7 other flats within the same block. We were advised not to proceed.
    The Management company have agreed to grant a new separate lease on the same terms. Will the registration of this new lease replace and supersede the shared lease by operation of law without the original lease being formally surrendered.

  37. Comment by catherine posted on

    It is interesting (and perhaps conveniently to the Freeholder)that forfeiture is also called 're-entry' considering a typical freeholder never set foot in the property in the first place. As a matter of fact, whatever was erected on the land the freeholder does not contribute a single penny towards. The developer, the leaseholder get to pay for everything that ADD value to the land..yet the Leasehold (or lessee) is considered a tenant under the terms of Lease; They are aslo considered tenants by the relevant statutory acts and courts/tribunals. In this respect Forfeiture is nothing short of state-sanctioned theft as one MP put it..and Leasehold tenure is probably the most sophisticated "scam" ever conceived by lawmakers.

  38. Comment by Debbie Hill posted on


    I am recently divorced and as part of the court order my ex has to remove me from the lease of the business that we jointly owned and he now owns soley. He is delaying this as he does not want to pay the costs.
    Can you tell me which forms are required and if it can be done without a solicitor. We will have the permission of the landlord.

  39. Comment by Linzi Heyworth posted on

    Hi my partners and his ex wife got divorced and she signed the papers to say she did not want anything from him and also signed a TR1 form witnessed by his financial advisor stating she did not want anything too but now she is sending solicitor letters stating she wants half of the house? Can she get any money from us even tho she has signed tr1 and they are divorced? Please help

    • Replies to Linzi Heyworth>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Linzi - it’s legal advice you need here. We can’t give you that

  40. Comment by emma Deighton posted on


    I am looking for some advice....

    My stepdad was the leaseholder for a cafe for 5 years. He passed away last year 1.5 years into the lease. My mum continued to run the cafe for a short period until she had finalised and sorted everything. She does not want to continue with the lease although she is being told by the landlord that she automatically has to take on the lease as she is next of kin and kept the cafe open for a time after his death. The business does not make enough to pay rent and bills. Can she walk away?

    Thank you for any help

    • Replies to emma Deighton>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Emma - it’s legal advice you need here. We can’t provide that. The key is looking at the terms of the lease to see how it is worded and what may or may not happen in certain circumstances, for example how might it be determined (brought to an end).
      If you are looking for wider online advice then you should try forums (not blogs) such as Money Saving Expert or Mumsnet but you’ll need to include more details normally. The Leasehold Advisory Service May also be worth checking too.

  41. Comment by Shane Kelly posted on

    Hi, I'm buying a leasehold flat that comes with the FULL freehold of the building.

    Will I be able to either 1) extend the lease myself, as the sole freeholder, or 2) cancel the leasehold once the mortgage is paid off?


    There is both a leasehold title for the flat and a freehold title for the whole building, and they shall both be in my name once the deal is done (there is another flat in the building, again leasehold, owned by someone else, but with no claim on the freehold). There will be a mortgage secured on the leasehold, and I aim to pay it off in 10 years (fingers crossed!)


  42. Comment by PaulaM posted on

    A Freehold Semi detached house I am purchasing has an old unregistered Lease in the charges section. The same lease is mentioned in the charges section of the adjoining house however on this title it states the lease has been determined. Does this mean under land registration rule 79 (2) that the same lease on my property is determined as well?

  43. Comment by Kim Ponsford posted on

    I'm in the process of hopefully purchasing a shared ownership leasehold flat, the lease needed to be surrendered and a new lease started. I have been told the notice on the surrender has expired, how long is it likely to take for the new lease to be applied please?

    • Replies to Kim Ponsford>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Kim - if you mean an application to register the surrender and regrant has been lodged then it will be some months I suspect. If you’re buying then ask the sellers to request expedition

  44. Comment by Kim Ponsford posted on

    Hi Adam, thank you for your reply. The sellers solicitor have asked for it to be expedited which HMLR have approved. Will this still take several months do you think?

    • Replies to Kim Ponsford>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Kim - if it’s been expedited then it’s usually considered within 2 weeks. Everything then depends on it’s complexity, being in order and if wider checks are needed. The conveyancer can check an£ confirm progress via their secure online portal. Suggest making a note to ask them to check next Monday if you don’t hear before then

  45. Comment by Kim Ponsford posted on

    Thank you Adam I really appreciate your help and information

  46. Comment by Gerry48 posted on

    Hello, I wonder if you give any advice as to possible courses of action.

    I am company secretary for a residents company which owns the freehold on and manages a building that contains six flats. Each flat is owned by a leaseholder and each leaseholder holds one share of the residents company. The owner of one flat died a year ago. In his will he left his flat to his partner and made her the primary executor. However, she is elderly and is no longer mentally capable and has therefore taken no action to initiate probate. She has now been taken into care by the local authority and is unlikely to return. As far as I know she has no relatives.
    After she was taken into care I discovered that the flat had been left unlocked and there was no sign of any keys, so I have changed the locks as a precaution. The flat is in a very poor state of repair internally and is unoccupied.
    There are a number of charges on the flat; a mortgage plus several county court judgements for credit card debts etc.
    The residents company levies a service charge each year to cover building and gardens maintenance and insurance. This flat is currently about £2500 in arrears on these charges.
    I believe that the owners bank accounts were frozen on his death so I assume no mortgage payments are being made. So I presume that once the reposition moratorium ends the mortgage company will seek to repossess the property and then sell it to recoup their debt.
    However, as freeholder do we have any course of action available to us to recover the debt owed to us and to ensure that the flat is restored to reasonable state of internal maintenance? Is there any possibility that we could take steps to forfeit the lease?

    • Replies to Gerry48>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gerry48 - we can’t advise you on such matters I’m afraid and I’d recommend that you seek legal advice to understand what options you have.

  47. Comment by DD posted on

    How long does it take to surrender and regrant the lease? What are the steps for the entire process?

  48. Comment by Gez Quinn posted on

    An unregistered property that is part of an estate of which I am the administrator has recently gone through the first registration process. The documents I gave the solicitor dealing with the registration for me contained a letter that stated the freehold conversion had completed, however there were no supporting deeds. They didn't bother to ask me about this before the first registration application was sent. I've since contacted the lease owners and they have confirmed that their records state that the property is indeed freehold. The register of title for the property states the lease is still in effect.

    What is the minimum evidence required by the land registry to correct the register of title so that it correctly records the property as freehold?

    • Replies to Gez Quinn>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Gez - our Practice Guide explains what is required depending on the circumstances

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Gez Quinn posted on

        There's a lot of extraneous information in the guide and I'm finding it hard to pinpoint the relevant section that pertains to my situation. Any chance you could highlight which section I should read?

        • Replies to Gez Quinn>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Gez - only you and the lessee know how the lease came to an end (was determined) so start with that and then refer to the relevant section.

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Gez Quinn posted on

            Well, I mentioned in my first post how the lease was came to an end - it was 'enlarged' to freehold. This was done by my my father in 1985. Since no payments have been paid for 20 years now, it may also be considered ended under that definition. I'm assuming section 12 of the guide is the right one for my circumstances. If that is the case, a statutory declaration will suffice. Since my solicitors did not include this in the original first registration application, will I need to make a new application or can I just send this in as evidence that should have been in the original application?

          • Replies to Gez Quinn>

            Comment by AdamH posted on

            Gez - you’ll need to make a new application.

  49. Comment by Dawn Miller posted on

    We are surrendering a 21 year lease on a commercial property at the 5 year break clause point.
    What form do I need to fill in and send you and what evidence do you need to see?

  50. Comment by Sam posted on


    If a vendor holds both freehold/leasehold Title. How long does a merger of these normally take if all the evidence fit the criteria of Merger? I am purchasing a property but have asked for the freehold and leasehold to be merged before signing contacts.

    • Replies to Sam>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sam - approximate wait time of a month. Everything then hinges on it being in order

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Sam posted on

        Thank you for your reply.

  51. Comment by Jo Wood posted on

    My conveyancer failed to deal or alert me to an unregistered lease which is now a problem during the sale and my buyers are now allowed to use their mortgage to purchase the house. The original purchase conveyancer is refusing to deal with it and says it’s not a problem for them to deal with.

    No one is being helpful and i don’t know how to proceed to remove it!

  52. Comment by Ann posted on

    If I am preparing an application to close a leasehold title, what forms will I need to complete? We have a deed of surrender

  53. Comment by Jason posted on

    I am a tenant surrendering a 21 year lease on a commercial property at the 5 year break clause point.

    Do I need to change the land registry or is that my land lords responsibility?

  54. Comment by David McArthur posted on

    I have a leasehold bungalow (999 years) and was about to buy the freehold but discovered the company I pay ground rent to - and had offered to sell freehold - actually owns head lease. I have now asked both the freeholder and head lease holder their respective costs to buy (I am waiting for replies). Is it possible for me a non-legal person to do the paperwork required to merge freehold with head lease and acquire title?

    • Replies to David McArthur>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      David - you don’t have to use a conveyancer. That’s your choice although we’d always recommend you do as they are familiar with the process of how to get from decision to application

  55. Comment by Anne posted on

    My brother had serious mental health issues, took his life and was not found until bailiffs entered his flat. He had not paid his lease due to his death, was not found for a period of years. Now his flat has been taken by the leasehold company who now want me to send in a death certificate to allow them to close the title, is this all right? He always paid his lease while he was alive.

    • Replies to Anne>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Anne - I’m so sorry to read of your loss and the difficulties encountered re the property. We can’t advise you on whether it’s right or not as much will in my experience depends on the terms of the lease and how it might be determined, come to an end.
      In the circumstances I’d recommend you seek legal advice as to what rights may exist re the lease/property as part of his estate for example.

  56. Comment by Sian posted on

    We own the freehold on a property which appears to have a 99 year leasehold. The leaseholder does not currently occupy the property and is unknown to us. The leasehold will expire in 2023. If we do not hear from the leaseholder or no-one takes up occupation of the house next year (2021) am I right in thinking that they would lose the right to extend the lease or apply to buy the freehold as they won't have occupied the property for two years prior to the expiration date? If this is the case would we be able to apply to have the leasehold cancelled next year?

    • Replies to Sian>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Sian - you’ll need legal advice here to understand how a lease might determine (come to an end) in the way suggested. We deal with the end result, namely removal if the lease from the register. We don’t deal with how you get to that point hence legal advice is needed
      Our Practice Guide May be of interest re the many ways a lease might determine though

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Siân posted on

        Thanks for your reply we will take a look.

  57. Comment by Catherine posted on

    We’ve renovated our house and returned it from multiple occupancy back to single. We own the two leases but want to dissolve in favour of freehold, which we also own. Can we do this without solicitors?

  58. Comment by P Singh posted on


    when I bought my property it was with two tiles, one is leasehold and other freehold. Both titles register on my name, could you advise how can I remove my leasehold tile. So that I can keep freehold title only.?


  59. Comment by John Unsworth posted on

    7 years ago we bought a flat which had a 125 yr lease. At the present time there is about 89 yrs left. The building consists of 2 flats. Our flat was the ground floor. The upper flat owns the freehold to the building and the lease.
    Two years ago the upper flat and freehold came up for sale.We decided to buy the upper flat and freehold.
    We decided to move into the upper flat and our daughter lives in the lower flat.
    Can we remove the lease hold on the lower flat ?

    • Replies to John Unsworth>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      John - see our practice guide which explains the various ways a lease can be determined
      Where the freehold and leasehold come into the same ownership some may determine the lease and merge it back into the freehold. On paper that can be quite routine but it’s important to understand an6 legal and wider ramifications involved and we’d always recommend seeking legal advice as well.

  60. Comment by Ann posted on

    I am trying to buy a property where the owner and sole occupant (now deceased) had done equity release and leased it back on a lifetime tenancy lease. There is no equity left in the property and the equity release company now own it 100%. A determination of lease has been fixed to the property for 30 days and there has been no one come forward to challenge the notice. The equity release companies solicitor wants the lease to be formally determined with Land Registry on completion of the sale but my solicitor is advising me that this should be done before completion? The property is currently registered with Land Registry as Leasehold, the equity release company own the freehold. Any suggestions?

  61. Comment by Ann posted on

    Thanks, but what would be the usual process in this scenario, I can’t be the first person to have had this situation? The other side suggest that this is standard procedure, determine the lease after completion, my solicitor ( who seems unfamiliar with this situation) wants it done before I complete but tell me it’s my decision?

    • Replies to Ann>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Ann - we wouldn’t know which is usual as we register it after the decision has been made. Based on similar enquiries alone most refer to a solicitor/lender not completing with the lease still in play but very much between you and them to decide.

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Ann posted on

        Thanks Adam, we have agreed that the lease should be determined with Land Registry prior to completion, an application with request to expedite has been made, can you give me some idea of how long this is likely to take please?

        • Replies to Ann>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Ann - expedition means it should be looked at within 2 weeks, generally in reality within 1 though. Everyth8ng then hinges on it being in order

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Ann posted on

            Yes I understand - thanks so much Adam

  62. Comment by Richard posted on

    I own a property that has freehold areas (garden and land) and a leasehold area (the plot the house sits on). The title is leasehold and is held by virtue of a Lease dated 5 October 1932.

    The title is strange in that in effect the 999 year and 1 day Lease of 5 October 1932 is at a nil rent. The person that granted the lease died many years ago, his two daughters have also both now died, in 1993 and 1988 and both had no children.

    I would like to purchase the leasehold in order to unite the property as a freehold, however there is no known owner of the lease. Is there some way to effect this in the absence of a known leaseholder?

    • Replies to Richard>

      Comment by AdamH posted on

      Richard - you state that the title is leasehold so I assume it’s registered. If so then you’d need to identify the legal owner. Whoever granted the lease would be ireelevant surely

      • Replies to AdamH>

        Comment by Richard posted on

        Hi Adam,
        The title is registered and I am the owner of the leasehold along with my wife. We would like to buy the rights to the leasehold in order to convert it to freehold, the problem is no one knows who the owner is. As there is no rent to pay we are unable to claim the freehold title by adverse possession via non-payment of rent. There must be a mechanism in this circumstance where we can apply to claim the freehold title?

        • Replies to Richard>

          Comment by AdamH posted on

          Richard - I’d suggest seeking legal advice as to what rights you have re the freehold acquisition but take a look at The Leasehold Advisiry service website also
          Our involvement is after you’ve acquired it so we cannot advise you on how you get to that point

          • Replies to AdamH>

            Comment by Richard posted on

            Thanks Adam, have had legal advice but no solution as yet, will have a look at Leasehold Advisory, cheers