An unutterably sad window into a life … A man who committed suicide and whose body was left undiscovered in his flat in Kettering for more than two years had his lease forfeited by the landlord.
The man had led a reclusive life for some years following the death of his son in a cycling accident aged 12.
It was only when bailiffs broke into the property to enforce forfeiture that the dead man’s body was discovered.
The debts of the deceased were around £700, but the legal costs ramped up in obtaining forfeiture, which was granted in August 2018.
The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership managed to persuade the freeholder to hand over the proceeds of the flat to the dead man’s mother when it was eventually sold at auction for £65,000 last month. Combined legal and other costs accounted for £22,000.
The family chose to make a donation of £1,000 to LKP for its assistance in obtaining the repayment of the remainder.
So a debt of £700 owing from a defendant who obviously will not be engaging at all, somehow mutates to £22,000
It would be very interesting to know how the costs racked up to £22,000 in that two year period
If government does not remove English law forfeiture after this story they are a shower. Even if the deceased left a will it wouldn’t help until the death was registered alerting executors to pay off ground rents etc.
Suicide adds even more tragedy – but loads of old folk live alone in leasehold flats isolated from family. Leaseholders, be sure to die (natural causes or otherwise) in common areas? Maybe government should circulate an advice leaflet?
Well done LKP as ever.
This greedy Freeholder should be named and shamed for their selfish inconsiderate behaviour.
Name the freeholder. Obtain breakdown of legal and other costs. Ask solicitors to make a generous donation to family. Ask freeholder to make amends by paying over the balance to the family.
If you read the article carefully, you will see that LKP was able to secure the £43,000 surplus to the mother of the lessee
It would be interesting to know the breakdown of the £22,000 in costs. It does seem most surprising, as of course any action brought by the freeholders solicitors would not have been challenged
I do think the £1,000 donation out of the £43,000 estate was somewhat mean – an amount of just 2.5% of the inheritance. Had the family instructed a solicitor to challenge the forfeiture the costs could easily have run up to £15,000 if not considerably more. – Only specialist knowledge and having political influence (which takes years to build up) can assist in such cases.
Heir hunters that dig out beneficiaries and unite them with an inheritance they knew nothing about often seek some 20% + as their fee
A depressing story. Did nobody think to visit the flat? Did the freeholder and/or their managing agent not think to physically check what was happening ‘on the ground’?
Surely there must be more to this story than you’ve shared here.
Karma will get you.
How compassionate you are… and oh yes there is more to this story ..
I hope readers will have a look at an item posted some time ago…
After plc housebuilders … here comes bottom feeder Bernie
May 15, 2017
// by Sebastian O’Kelly
A very sad story indeed. But in cladding forfeiture cases where the cost of remediation will exceed the value of the property even after the work will the landlords take the risk of making themselves liable? Check on the planning application and permission granted as a result. If uPVC or cladding was added and a Certificate A of ownership was given when it should have been a Certificate B, as Southwark LBC has done in at least ten of its refurbishments, the planning permission can be challenged as part of a defence to a service charge demand. If the planning permission can be successfully overturned so too can the service demand based on it. There are also criminal sanctions:s.65 T&CPA 1990.
Why didn’t the deceased’s family have the door broken door to find out what had happened to him?
The financial servcies industry / solicitors circle like buzzards then name their price. Thieves, as ever.
Did the freeholder/managing action not think to check what was happening on the ground.
LOL, I dont think in 10 yrs ours has ever visted. They just collect rent and charge for services not provided. Yes I’m taliking about you y&y management. And you if you read this you can threaten me with libel because I have documented proof so din’t care.