Share of freehold disputes

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    Share of freehold disputes

    I own the 1/4 share of freehold of a house, we are 4 flats in total. We arrange meetings on an adhoc basis when we feel there are issues to discuss, and we have email conversations about fixing things etc.
    At our last meeting things got heated and I felt ganged up upon by the 3 other flats and so I left the meeting.
    I would like further discussion/ decisions about the house to be over email. We have in fact exchanged emails about various things. The others have now called another meeting with an agenda, I have stated my opinion on all the items on the agenda over email and said I do not wish to attend another meeting. One of the others has replied stating I have to attend the meeting or send someone by proxy, and if I decide not to then they can as a majority make decisions without me being present.
    Firstly is this true that I have to attend a meeting?
    Secondly are they allowed to make decisions without me being present?
    Thanks in advance.

    I assume that you are tenants in common. All must agree unless you have a trust deed that says otherwise.


      Thank you, yes we are all tenants. Do we have to meet in person or can the discussions/ decisions be made over email? And if we do have to meet, is there a minimum number of meetings in a year? And what would the notice period be? Thanks again


        Tenants in common referred to your ownership of the freehold. The alternative is that the freehold is owned by a company, of which you are members.

        My understand is that the default position for tenants in common is that there must be a unanimous decision. Typically where it is really important, all four must sign any document. How you get to that consensus decision is not specified. Couples who own their own home are often tenants in common but may not be actively involved in decision making about their ownership for years on end.

        You may have a trust deed which provides for alternative ways of making decisions.


          The sharehold is owned by a company for which we are directors and hold 1/4 equal share. They are threatening to take a majority vote on decisions on the house if I don’t attend a meeting, so I want to know where I stand if I don’t attend. The last meeting got nasty and was unproductive, I prefer to discuss the issues over email, but they do not agree.


            If the freehold is owned by a company you will need to check what is said in the company articles and in any existing regulations that have previously been correctly passed in accordance with the articles and any other applicable rules.

            I would personally expect that, if 75% of shareholders agree to a certain course of action in a properly arranged meeting they will have the majority that they require.


              For a company, the rules for how decisions are made are in the articles of association of that company.

              Typically the rules for electronic communication is that everyone in the meeting must have access to all the information being communicated.

              Using our, ancient, pre-electronic articles as an example, a meeting has to be called with reasonable notice. Anyone outside the country doesn't need to be given notice. At least two directors must attend the meeting. The directors can choose how decisions are made (although one would normally start on the basis of a simple majority of those attending who didn't have a conflict of interest).

              Modern articles may well consider that issuing notice overseas is sufficiently easy, not to need that exemption.

              With a typical constitution, as long as they give adequate notice of the meeting, if you don't attend, your vote won't count.

              Board meetings don't generally allow proxies. However modern articles often allow for alternative directors, who can stand in for the corresponding director, if they cannot attend.

              Unless the articles say otherwise, which is unlikely, there is no requirement for any particular frequency of meeting. Older articles may require a meeting of all members, once a year. In such a meeting proxies can be appointed. As you hold 25% of the voting rights, you can force a general meeting, but that may well be seen as petty.

              However, to know what applies in your case, you must look at your own articles, as we cannot read them from here.


                Thanks for your reply. I think the key thing here is properly arranged meeting, it has been previously been arranged at one of their houses over alcoholic drinks, last time I had underhanded racist comments, and shouting, to the point that I was afraid and had to leave. They want to hold the meeting in the same place again.


                  I see no reason why a meeting of four resident shareholder shouldn't be in one of their homes, and no reason why refreshment shouldn't include alcoholic drinks (assuming that everyone present was sober).
                  Have you raised objections and suggested a viable alternative venue?

                  Regarding shouting and 'underhand racist comments', if this has taken place it is unreasonable, but, unless you can speak to any of the shareholders who were more reasonable in their behavior and get them on side (perhaps chairing the meeting), I don't see that there is much that you can do short of moving (unless you can demonstrate that the other three are managing the building poorly and want to invest the time and money needed to try to get an independent manager appointed).


                    Hi everyone, I hope that I have managed to click on the relevant button for a new post. Question..... I live in a period property split into two flats. I own the Freehold of the building. When I purchased the property I inherited a management company that was dormant and consisted as just the management company and I retained the Freehold along with two transferred shares. The woman downstairs wishes to have half a share. I did not have a problem with that until I put my flat on the market with a view to half share and extension of a new lease of 125 years. The woman downstairs also wishes to extend her lease it is now at 81 years. She will have to ask me as Freeholder for that extension at a cost. I understand that. But now she is causing disputes and instructed a solicitor who researched the property on the Land Registry and found irregularities stating that as there are two flats each flat is entitled to one half share. I think the leases were changed in 2005 and that is when the "shares" had irregularities, However in 2006 there was a Deed of Variation and some clauses changed to First Floor Flat (i.e. me). Well I bought the Freehold and the shares were transferred to me along with the "management company". That "management company" is just in name alone. There are no monies going into any management fund. I am very annoyed to say the least because I bought the Freehold and don't see why I should "give" half of it away. I have instructed a solicitor to assist but just wanted to see if anyone can clarify this issue because I am having to wait for his response and the stress is so aggravating to me. Thank you


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