The first place to look will be on the last service charge demand.
Under Section 47(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, the landlord’s name and address must be included on every demand, and Section 48(1) also requires that landlords provide an address in England and Wales where they can be contacted for notices and proceedings
To this address the flat owner can direct:-
- Licence for alterations requests
- Lease extension requests
- Lease variation requests
- Notice of assignment
- Notice of charge
- Notice of letting
- Building’s Insurance information requests
Where the leaseholder has not received any communications from their freeholder, an up-to-date freehold title document should reveal the registered Proprietor’s address.
Where the landlord is a limited company, a search at Companies House will provide the registered office address.
As a last resort the leaseholder would employ the services of a tracing agent, either directly or through their solicitors.
On occasion the landlord’s whereabouts may not be traceable and flat owners should seek legal advice on whether the last known address where the freeholder clearly no longer resides can be used to validly serve notices. The answer to this question will depend on the nature of the application.
If the landlord is absent this can work in the leaseholder’s favour, particularly where they are seeking a lease extension or seeking to acquire the freehold interest.