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Acquiring a Leasehold

Circa 1979, my father’s then boss and friend bought a house but registered it in his mother’s name. He then agreed to sell the house to my father on a rental purchase agreement (unwritten). My father paid him rent into the 1980s until the agreed amount was covered. He has not paid rent since.
the leasehold was never legally transferred to my father and is still registered in the name of his old boss’s mother who died well over 20 years ago. He is no longer in contact with his old boss.
Since 1979 my father has been paying a small ground rent to a property company. It is less than £1 per year. 
Is there any way for my father to get possession of the leasehold? The house needs extensive renovation works and he does not want to spend money renovating a house that he does not own and can never sell.


  • user1977
    user1977 Forumite Posts: 11,698
    10,000 Posts Fifth Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    What a mess!

    I'm not sure whether there's any sort of adverse possession potential. Otherwise, I think it will involve tracking down the executor(s) of the leaseholder (assuming they never did anything with this part of her estate) and persuading them to part with it. How you evidence the ancient unwritten arrangement, I don't know.
  • NameUnavailable
    NameUnavailable Forumite Posts: 2,567
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
    I think your father needs to urgently track down this old boss and hope that he's going to co-operate to resolve things. Quite how the sale price is determined is another matter! There are stamp duty/tax implications to consider too. 

    Without anything to prove otherwise, your father is just living there rent free at the moment.....

  • Jonboy_1984
    Jonboy_1984 Forumite Posts: 865
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    How long remains on the lease?
  • Gill560
    Gill560 Forumite Posts: 2
    First Post
    How long remains on the lease?
    According to land registry, the lease is for 999 years.
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