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I want to extend my lease but my landlord is missing. What should I do?

As a leaseholder can try and extend your lease either formally or informally. 

However, if your landlord is missing you would need to try and find the landlord before you start the formal or the informal process. In some cases an enquiry agent may be useful to carry out a search and to produce a report which can be used as evidence that the landlord is indeed missing. 

After you do your searches and you manage to find the landlord, it is always best to start with informal negotiations as this route could potentially save you costs and time.

If you have done all the searches and have not been able to find the landlord that it is best to use the formal route under the law. You can use this process only if you qualify and comply with the legal criteria. 

If you qualify, you can apply to the court for an order to allow you not to have to serve a notice on the missing landlord. This means that the court can grant you a lease extension instead of the landlord.  But you would need to show to the court with evidence that you have done all the necessary searches and made all reasonable attempts to find the landlord. That is why engaging an enquiry agent may be useful.

It is wise to seek advice from a solicitor both on investigating the landlord’s absence and the application to the County Court.

Lease extension can be a difficult process. We recommend you get professional help from a solicitor and surveyor with experience in this area.

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