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Is there anyone out there who is a joint freeholder in a small block of flats?

(9 Posts)
Sammycat123 Wed 11-Oct-17 22:06:39

Help! I live in a house that is converted into 4 flats. 3 of the flats, including us purchased the freehold between us two years ago, each with an equal share. The other flat is renting and has a long lease with us. The problem is none of us know what to do as freeholders! We searched and scoured the internet and everything is advice for leaseholders. There is an assumption that the companies who own the free holds are all big legal companies and we are just ordinary people! What should we be doing? Do we need to make a company and if so, how? Do we need a joint bank account to charge ground rent to the other flat? Does anyone know of any guides that could help us or books that would tell us what to do?
We've been stuck on this for two years and I'd really appreciate help!

sleepwhenidie Wed 11-Oct-17 22:13:44

Yes you should set up a company that will own the freehold, then each of you who bought it will own a share in the company. I'd have thought this was how it was set up when you bought the freehold, you should check.

There will be ground rent and service charges payable under the terms of the leases. As freeholders you also have responsibilities, most importantly to insure and maintain the property properly. Also collect the ground rent and service charges and file annual returns and accounts at Companies House for the freehold company. You can outsource this to a management company and share the cost of this between you, typical cost ime is around £200 per flat.

sleepwhenidie Wed 11-Oct-17 22:15:01

Oh and you will need the freehold company to have a bank account. Bank will need details of directors of the company (typically each freeholder will be a director).

sleepwhenidie Wed 11-Oct-17 22:17:21

Who advised you/managed the purchase of the freehold?

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 11-Oct-17 22:23:47

Even as freeholders you shoild be paying a service charge in each month to cover the costs of running the building eg. Decorating, communal areas, fire alarms etc, gardening etc. The reality is the flats are still held on the leases but you also own a share of the freehold.

flingingmelon Wed 11-Oct-17 22:26:11

We have the same set up, although we are all owner occupiers so it might be simpler for us.

We have a company which owns the freehold and everyone has one share. We submit accounts to companies house annually.

We don’t have a bank account because we don’t have any shared costs. However that is because we have split areas of responsibility between each flat. (Two flats each in two storeys, it’s pretty straight forward). We also don’t bother with a management company.

Regardless, your conveyancing solicitor should be able to advise on all this.

sleepwhenidie Wed 11-Oct-17 22:33:12

As allthebest said, even though you own the freehold, you are also leaseholders and need to adhere to the terms of the lease in the same way as your 'odd one out' leaseholder does.

SnowBallsAreHere Mon 16-Oct-17 12:30:02

2 years and you've (as freeholders) done nothing? Could you not have done the same as the previous freeholders, or got a company in to manage for you?

Get a copy of the RICS code for managing agents from here
www.rics.org/uk/knowledge/professional-guidance/codes-of-practice/service-charge-residential-management-code-3rd-edition/

How have you been insuring the building without a company or bank account?

TBH if you haven't managed to find any information in 2 years I'd get a small management company in asap.

GreatBigWindow Mon 16-Oct-17 20:31:05

Check out the Federation of Private Residents Associations
https://www.fpra.org.uk
They have lots of info for people who self manage a block and/or have bought the freehold.

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