Advice for being company secretary of a small management company managing 5 flats

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    Advice for being company secretary of a small management company managing 5 flats

    Good afternoon.

    I am the owner of a flat with a share of freehold along with 4 other flat owners. The freehold is kept by a management company in which we each have a share and we are all also directors of that company. We manage the upkeep and maintenance of the property ourselves in house. The current company secretary (one of the other flat owners) wants to pass on the role to one of the other directors. I was thinking about volunteering for this position as no one else seems willing. I have a reasonable idea of what it entails but was wondering about the following:

    1) The workload of the management company is split very unevenly with two of us doing the bulk of the work. The other flats are all rented. Given that the administrative burden of running a company such as this has increased over the years, should we be seriously thinking of outsourcing the management of this block to a professional firm?

    2) If we were to continue in house and I take up the company secretary role, what legal responsibilities would I hold?

    3) Should I charge for the time I spend doing the job as it seems unfair for me to work for free when other owners do absolutely nothing? Is there any other way I could receive compensation for my time? However, if I do charge, am I at heightened responsibility for any errors that may occur?

    4) What repercussions could there be if I make a mistake - could I be sued if I make a mistake that ends up harming the company or current residents?

    5) I am happy to take on the administrative work of running the company itself. However, I am reluctant to be responsible for filling in documents on behalf of the management company when other owners sell/buy their flats. This involves filling in lots of paperwork and answering solicitors' questions on behalf of the management company which can be time consuming and tedious. I also do not wish to be held responsible should any information I declare be unwillingly incorrect. Can others shed light on how we could manage this paperwork without it falling to one person (the company secretary)

    I would be grateful if others on this forum could give their thoughts about this matter? I am happy to take on the administrative role of company secretary but am concerned about the legal responsibilities and responsibilities for any mistakes made.

    Many thanks
    ap2048

    #2
    1) Probably
    2) Basically just the companies House filings but it's no longer a legal requirement to have one.
    3) This would be difficult unless it's in the lease or mem & arts but you could make a proposal to grant an honorarium
    4) no more liability than a director
    5) nature of the game that one person does most of the running but tends to give you a bigger say in running the place, if you don't want the hassle or you have some awkward lessees then just outsource it.

    Comment


      #3
      Do not take it on. You would have the same duties and responsibilities as any company secretary.
      in 1). you refer to workload not being fairly shared . I often say if everyone did a little no-one has to do a lot. However rarely happens.
      Engage a company secretary then everyone makes a contribution through service charge.
      Yes, I am cynical about this from experience.

      Comment


        #4
        For block of 5 flats and each leaseholder has a share of the freehold company , and no ground rent collected , you just file annual "dormant accounts" for the freehold company to Companies House. The service charge money belongs to the leaseholders and not part the the company accounts.

        The freehold company should appoint the 2 guys who do the "management work" as "managing agent" to collect the service charge levy from each flat and pay the maintenance bills for cleaning , gardening etc and arranging the buildings insurance cover + Officers liability cover . The leaseholders could agree on paying "management fee" say £175 - £200 per flat. Replies to solicitor pre-sale enquires are normally charged to the solicitor and money kept by the managing agent.

        The standard of management service should be complying to RIC Residential Management Code. Membership of the FPRA may be helpful for small blocks of flats.

        Comment


          #5
          Outsourcing Co Secretarial work isn't too expensive, given your size there would be much to pull together - Dormant accounts as per the previous post. Taking up the role, ill invariably mean you will be pushed more and more of the company work/decisions.

          Comment


            #6
            Exactly. I bet if you wanted Directors and Officers liability insurance they would object to the cost.

            Comment


              #7
              Isn't the validity of filing dormant accounts much debated (especially on LLZ)?

              Comment

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