Share of the freehold issues.

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    Share of the freehold issues.

    Good Morning all.
    i have always beena reader and this is my first post on here.

    Ok so in 2007 i bought ground floor flat as my first place and ww were told it was share of the freehold.
    There are only 2 flats as its a house conversion.

    So my undertanding was the limited company and myself and the guy upstairs were owning equal shares in the company.

    having not much experience at the time, the guy upstairs told me he would take care in filing returns and request the company be made dormant.

    I left there in 2010 as me and my wife had a child and wanted a bigger place. The owner upstairs also left maybe 6 months before myself and decided to rent out to the council. I rented mine out privately.

    His tenants are from hell. Fights, drugs. Armed raids. You name it. But the landlord upstairs does nothing.

    Even my tenant ran away after 6 months even though she did fulfill the 12 month agreement.

    My second tenants who still live there complain to me a lot about upstairs.

    i try to reason with the landlord upstairs but he just really does not care.

    I do all repairs and maintenance including insurance and every time have to chase for the money.

    My tenants know i try my best to help them and they know its not much i can do. They do put up with it and because of that i did not increase the rent at all on them since they moved in. And my expenses are growing where its coming tothe point where i dont want the property.

    The main problem is when i wanted to extend my lease years because it was 67 years left. It would only cost a few hundred pounds.

    So apparently the landlord upstairs was not filing any returns and the company got struck off
    Company too far gone to even restore!. So it has gone to Bona Vacantia.

    Its a very costly thing as the landlord upstairs told me he cannot afford to buy the freehold back together with me.

    i wanted to sell my place but because i no longer have a share of the freehold and the lease years being 67. I am not sure.

    So I have paid around £1500 to solicitors and a further £1000 just for the valuation of the freehold!

    They have come back with a price of £50k

    I have struggled to put the money together within a month. I understand that the new company that i will register will own the freehold.

    I will therefore be able to extend my lease only and sell up. Is that right?

    many people have told me to retain the freehold and starting imposing charges such as service and ground rent. The building is in a state of repair.

    I feel sick thinking of this everyday and I wanted to try get some advice before i hand over 50k to the crown who i see robbed up and trying to sell me back the freehold!

    have a good day people.



    There are legal companies specialising in restoring dissolved companies which would mean the assets of the company are recovered back to the company. Have you talked to them?


      Here is my 2p worth suggestion :

      You should buy a copy of the freehold title and 2 x leasehold titles from "Land Registry Online website" and download to check the legal ownership situation.- each copy will cost you about £3 by credit card.

      One leasehold title for downstairs flat should have your name as title holder. The leasehold title ( for other flat ) should have name of leaseholder or repossessed by third party such as Mortgage Lender or Solicitor ( representing bona vacantia ) .

      The freehold title should show the name of "limited company" ( which you may already know ) or the solicitor's name ( representing bona vacantia ) and the date when taken over.

      After you have obtained the info from Land Registry, you can make additional check at Companies House Records for " limited company records" and whether the last filing of list of shareholders shows your name + other leaseholder as "shareholders". Also when the company was dissolved and any info on what was the debt owing.

      Then I suggest you send an enquiry letter to the Solicitor at Bona Vacantia and introduce yourself as leaseholder of the property since 2007 and you have 50% share in the freehold title which held by the dissolved company on behalf of the 2 leaseholders.

      Ask the Solicitor to advise what was the debt owed by the dissolved company and how you can get that dissolved company returned to active status ?


        Hello Tipper. Many thanks for your answer.
        Unfotunately I have tried all of that said and the company has been disolved too long and cannot be restored. I have even pleaded with companies house but they said its a law and they cannot do anything to restore it. Even my solictitors have tried every single bit to try get us to at least restore the company, but its not possible. It was struck off in 2009

        Hello Gordon, Thanks for taking the time to repond.
        The reason the company was struck off is because taxes were never filed. From what I understood at the beginning is that it was a dormant company (this is what the other freehold said to me). And at the time I did not really understand it all and thought all was ok.

        I have copies of everything I need. I have spoken to Bona Vacantia a few occasions and every time it was the same response; get a district valuer at £1000 and I will be able to purchase it back.

        My solicitors have also talked many times with the people at Bona Vacantia but they only want to sell it back. There is no other way.

        Ok I have agreed in my head to get this sorted. I understand whilst it is classed as "ownerless", I cannot sell the place

        So once I got the freehold, I plan to extend my lease only and sell the place.

        But I am unsure whether to sell with the freehold or retain it.


          When the limited company owns the freehold title of your building and the company shareholders are only the flat owners ( leaseholders) , there is actually no ground rent income due to the company- which is a non-trading company.

          A non-trading company with no income does not owe any tax to HMRC. Non-filing of the tax return does not mean that tax is due to HMRC.

          Also if the company was owned by the leaseholders who could extend their leases for NIL charge, how can the district valuation officer put a price of £50K for the freehold title when there is no income due to the company. ?

          You probably need a Chartered surveyor or Accountant to certify the "ownership situation" and negotiate down the £50K cost to buy.

          Just my suggestion !


            I totally understand and by all means I will try all I can not to pay this vast amount. But i was told if i leave it for 3months. They will ask for another £1000 to value the place again!

            Accounts still need to be filed even though its a non trading profit company.

            until companies house deem it dormant, only then you dont need to do any action.

            if not you still have to fill taxes.

            The company was struck off due to not filing taxes in the first place.

            We couldn't extend our leases for nil charge. It has 67 years left.

            ground rent is 100 a year but us being freeholders it doesnt matter.

            until i become the freeholder and can get 100 a year charity money


              Not sure what you mean by "fill taxes" ? Do you mean "file accounts" ?

              Non-trading company has to file accounts every year to Companies House but the figures for turnover and profit will show NIL.

              Does the last filing of "list of shareholders" in 2007 to Companies House show the name of yourself as one of the shareholders of the dissolved company ?


                Companies don't just get struck off without receiving multiple warnings. There have been serious governance failures if you were not informed, even though, as a post 2006 company, it only required the one director..

                HMRC doesn't directly strike off companies, although it is probably the most common organisation to put them into bankruptcy, which will result in a winding up.

                The most common and fastest way of getting struck off, especially for RMCs, is failing to submit annual returns/confirmation statements, but even then there are multiple warnings. One reason that leads to strike off is that these are accompanied by Companies House's annual fee.

                I guess there might be a strike off for failing to file accounts, as well, but that is usually associated with fines as the first stage.

                In theory, if the company had been re-instated, it might have had a good case to sue its director for the costs.



                  Oh man I hate typing on a mobile phone (looking back at some stuff I have written; looks bad indeed!)

                  I meant filing tax returns and yes we had to do it (unless companies house said the company status could be set to dormant).

                  In 2007. Myself and the guy is on the list of shareholders. But only in 2009 it was struck off. We could have had it restored latest in 2015. Now in 2017, it is too late


                  Yes you are right and I know we received nothing. I did not see a single letter addressing this. I contacted companies house who gave me exact dates the letters were written to us. They apparently sent multiple letters to which I never did see.

                  I have just spoken to companies house and they have now asked me to send an email in order to restore. A couple months back the guy told me impossible to restore.

                  Just different information every time. All a scam if you ask me....


                    If you do get the company re-instated, or get involved with another company, I would suggest that you register with the Companies House monitor service, which should be accessible from their old site Do not use the old site for obtaining recent documents, as the new site allows free downloads. The monitor service is free.


                      A question
                      I have a copy of my lease.

                      Would his be the same ? if not, how can obtain it ?

                      I searched land resitry site but its not obvious. Seems also a few scamming websites via google ads there!


                        Same as what?

                        There are people selling expensive agency services for every government site that provides free or cheap services. Just make sure you have a ( or nhs) site.

                        To get your lease, search by address or using the map, for the property, download the leasehold title (£3), get the title number from that, then complete form OC1 and send it off (£7) requesting the lease.


                          It's form OC2 you need to obtain a copy of the lease, and costs £7-



                            I thought it would be only fair to respond as I now have paid the money due for the freehold. However it will be a while till its registered properly via my solicitor. So that's one good thing.

                            Since my last post, we have had nothing but bad luck. A leak discovered by my tenant prompted me to get the local water authority in who agreed and said they would cover it as my garden is less than 25 metres from the mains on the road.

                            So the local water guys came in and dug the place up to discover it was underneath the house.

                            i was told there would be an excess fee and I paid it plus some private work. Altogether the bill would be £266.

                            So this has been fixed now. The person owns upstairs has decided to ignore my request for half the money.

                            As I will be the Freeholder soon, my solicitor advised me to start charging a service charge. Are there any good templates of what i can do?

                            I mean for example this work done. I will charge him costs plus admin for my time and chasing up. Failure will result in court action. Surely this is fair.

                            I have had a look on lease and I am a little lost. Any idea where I can get just a generic template?

                            I have never rented in the past so never seen one or what should be in it.

                            The ground rent one seems pretty straight forward.

                            Also this guy upstairs damaged the ceiling in the hall way. As a result you can see his floorboards from rhe ground floor. Its a big nasty hole in the ceiling. Despite numurous attempts from myself telling to sort his damage out. He has ignored me.

                            Furthermore, his tenants have dumped all their carpet in my front yard. In the lease it says to only have carpets except kitchen and bathroom.

                            So not only is the lease being breached but my yard has become a dumpsite for his tenants. I have told him several times to clear it up but I just get ignored.

                            I am hoping once i have the freehold in place. I will be able to issue more warnings which he has to take more serious.

                            Sorry for a long winded post. But this is one bastard landlord.!


                            Last edited by Djswift; 21-11-2017, 00:48 AM. Reason: Edited due to spelling mistakes typing from a mobile phone


                              You can't just decide, on the spur of the moment, whether or not to charge a service charge. Either the payment from the other leaseholder is a service charge or it is not, and the lease determines that.

                              What you can possibly do is request payments on account (to cover the current year's estimated costs) and payments into a sinking fund, to buffer against longer term expenditure. You can only do these if the lease allows them.

                              If they are allowed, the paperwork is:

                              1) a budget, which explains how you estimated the charges;
                              2) an invoice demanding the payment;
                              3) a statement showing what actually happened to he previous year's payment, and how any excess with dealt with (if the lease doesn't say, this needs to be returned at the end of the year);
                              4) a summary set of accounts, which for just two flats, need not be handled by an accountant.

                              Although ICAEW TECH 03/11 says something about the recommended format for item (4), the rest will largely be determined by the lease, e.g. the lease will indicate what can be paid for, and therefore what is eligible for the budget.

                              The money needs to be kept in a bank account identified as belonging to the service charge, not the the freeholder, and interest needs to be added to that account. It is taxed at the trust tax rate, so I assume you will now need a trust tax return.

                              If the work had cost £501, and it is a service charge, you would have needed to carry out a consultation process, or requested dispensation from the FTT (for emergencies, I think the latter is often retrospective and only sought if there is a challenge).

                              The RICS Residential Service Charge Guide gives more details of what is required.

                              If he lease fails to make anyone responsible for the cost, the FTT can declare it defective and force suitable clauses to be added, but there will be costs in the process.


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