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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10737
Experience:  LLB(HONS) 23 years of experience in dealing with Conveyancing and Property Law
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I bought a flat in 2009 that had a lease of approx. 125 (sub

Customer Question

I bought a flat in 2009 that had a lease of approx. 125 (sub lease). Above that there was a head lease (999 years) and a freeholder above that. In 2010, the owners of the four flats comprising my block purchased the head lease under a company we formed (limited by guarantee). One of the flat owners was the director and the other 3 of us were subscribers. When he sold his flat, he terminated his membership and I took over. The buyer of his flat never joined the limited company and also since then, one flat has been sold and the owner of another flat has passed away. No-one else has ever joined or left the company and so at the moment it is myself, the deceased gentleman, one lady who sold her flat and I guess the original director (unless terminating his directing also removed him from the company).

I am trying to work out who actually owns the lease now then. When I have looked at the title register for the recently purchased property, they make reference to the old head lease holder, but not the company that was set up to buy the head lease. I don't know whether the people who sold their flats would therefore have forfeited their rights to stay in the company and what I do about keeping / removing them, as one is deceased and I have no contact with the other.

In theory, as I am the director of the company, am I able to remove the others, and would I have an obligation to add the new flat owners, or not, since they weren't around when the head lease was bought. And why would I not be able to see any reference to the limited company on the title register for the recent purchases?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 3 years ago.
Hello and thanks for using Just Answer.

I am Al and am happy to assist you with your enquiry.

I note a Company was set up to buy the headleasehold interest and this was limited by guarantee. This means that whichever parties joined in with the purchase at the time are automatically members and that their ownership also automatically passes to their successors (ie anyone who purchases their respective Flat).
Therefore, on the basis that all 4 of the owners joined in at the time, it does all the current owners of the 4 Flats are also members.
As the Company is limited by guarantee, it means that ownership passes automatically to each new owner and no paperwork is required to be done.

As regards XXXXX XXXXX to the recently purchased Flat, this will only show the Lease under which the property is held- ie the sub Lease.
The Headlease will have a separate Title Number at the Land Registry, and will show that the Proprietor is the Company. You will be able to obtain a copy (called "Official Copies") from the Land Registry website.

I am sorry this is not perhaps the answer you were looking for, but it sets out the legal position.

Kind Regards