Joint Freeholders – Now I feel totally let down?

Joint Freeholders – Now I feel totally let down?

4:20 AM, 2nd May 2022, About 4 weeks ago 4

Text Size

I recently purchased my share (one third) of the freehold in a block of three flats together with the other two flat owners. We jointly purchased it through a limited company in which we have one equal share each. Since this has happened I have voluntarily been doing all the administrative work for the company and I have not been taking a “salary” for this work from the company.

I have been organising the maintenance, taking care of any issues such as water leaks, doing the bookkeeping and also paying the bills for all this through the company bank account. I have transferred money from my personal account into the company account in order to cover the costs as the company itself does not receive any income.

We agreed at the beginning of the takeover to split the costs three ways and when any new bill was received, I informed my fellow freeholders in a timely manner and requested they pay their share to me. Initially, they would pay albeit at random times and/or after several reminders, but they would still pay.

However, for the last four months, they have not paid me a single penny and are not returning my emails, messages or phone calls. I have sent several reminders but they seem to fall on deaf ears.

As time goes on, the bills are still coming and the administration of the company still needs to be done. I cannot just stop doing it or only do one-third of the work. I am currently owed several thousand pounds between the two of them. I cannot afford to keep on paying the bills on my own. I knew these people for several years and they seemed to be trustworthy but now I feel totally let down.

Can anyone suggest what my next course of action should be?

We do not have a legal agreement that states that we are each responsible for a third of the costs but I have kept all the emails that show their agreement to an equal division of them. Furthermore, I don’t want to antagonise them into not paying me anything at all but I can’t afford to keep the company going from my own funds.

Do I have any legal recourse?

Frank



Comments

by Judith Wordsworth

9:32 AM, 3rd May 2022, About 3 weeks ago

As Freeholders you have the option of small claims action against leaseholders for nonpayment and the great of a s146 notice ie terminate the defaulting leases.
Do you have an official title lodged at Companies House eg Company Secretary?
If CS then send the demand requesting payment within 28 days. Also state that unless payment is received in full by that date you will have no alternative but to notify their mortgagor.
That might shake them up.
When is your next AGM? As a LTD Company you need one annually

by NewYorkie

11:04 AM, 3rd May 2022, About 3 weeks ago

I understand your frustration. I was a share of freehold Co. Sec. for 5 years, and while there were 12 equal owners, the workload fell on 3 of us, and 2 of us had demanding jobs. The Treasurer then died, and we couldn't keep up with the workload and all the complex regulatory responsibilities. We also had problems with non-payment of service charges. We appointed a managing agent, but maintained overall control on costs. This allowed us to devolve the responsibility for bill payment and cash collection. It took only a few 'threats' from the agent to 'encourage' the delinquent owners to pay up.

There is no excuse. These are the bills anyone who owns a property must pay. Why do they believe they shouldn't?

I'm assuming the bills are in the Ltd company name. You are paying personally, in which case you are making loans to the company, and must record them as such in the accounts. Talk to your accountant. You should be running a service charge account and issuing regular demands for payment to cover ongoing costs and build up a fund for surprise bills e.g. roof or damp.

by mk5769

19:35 PM, 15th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Judith Wordsworth at 03/05/2022 - 09:32
Thank you for the reply, Judith.

To be clear, all 3 of us own the freehold through a limited company and we are also the 3 joint directors (we don't have a company secretary). As well as that, we are also the flat owners of the 3 flats that make up the block. Does that mean we are both leaseholders and freeholders? I don't remember having a new lease put in place when we bought the freehold.

The 2 others have paid off their mortgages so won't see informing their mortgagors as a threat.

We don't have an AGM. Am all new to this so had no idea that one was required.

by mk5769

19:38 PM, 15th May 2022, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by NewYorkie at 03/05/2022 - 11:04
Thank you for the reply, New Yorkie!

I will speak to my accountant and solicitor. I am really getting fed up with it. The current outstanding amount is now over £3k.


Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

BECOME A MEMBER

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now