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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3495
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I recently took over as Executive Director/Company Secretary

Customer Question

I recently took over as Executive Director/Company Secretary of the management company that runs the flats where I reside. I have written to the previous Executive Director/Company requesting the return of the Company records which he is holding. He has refused to return them, giving no reason. Does he have the right to do this and if not would it be appropriate to take him to court i.e. through the small claims procedure?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer.

Are the books still at the registered office of the Company?

Kind regards

AJ

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I am not quite sure. In one of his replies he stated that the records had been destroyed! In his next response he back-tracked on this, presumably realizing the seriousness of his admission, and stated that they were kept at the registered office.

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

By law the company books must be kept at the registered office for inspection or at a Single Alternative Inspection Location as notified to Companies House. This under S.1134 of the Companies Act 2006 failure to do this and you risk a fine.

What this former director has done really amounts to potential theft of company property. I would say that if he doesnt agree to return the property that you consider reporting this to the police. It is potentially theft and it could have serious consequences for you and the company.


If the Company books are lost or destroyed then there is no specific process for reconstructing but I would advised that you immediately hold a board meeting report them as lost or stolen and then try to reconstruct them as you can from the records at Companies House. That way you can absolve yourself of personal liability.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for this. One final question. Not withstanding your information re Theft, would it be appropriate to take action through the Small Claims procedure should he continue to retain the accounts? Or is this redundant given the circumstances?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thank you.

You could take him to county court. I just think this would be an expensive way of remedying the situation. You would need an injunction which means it would probably end up in the high court.

The threat of police action will probably have fr greater effect.

Also this is a freehold management company, the books are not that essential and can be replaced and therefore it is probably not worth wasting the money on the County Court. If this was a trading company that had creditors and owned multiple assets with numerous I would agree that the situation may warrant an injunction.

Kind regards

AJ
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you for your advice.


 


Kind regards,


 


Peter

Expert:  Alex J. replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

No problem.

I wish you the best of luck.

Whatever you decide to do make sure you justify it in a board minute e.g you report the books as stolen and therefore take the decision to replace them etc.

Kind regards

AJ

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