Do you own a flat with a share of Freehold but not set up as a company?

I am in the process of buying the freehold with my neighbour and have a few questions about how to best manage the financial parts when doing it without setting up a company (as there’s only 2 flats and this was the recommendation by the solicitor). Do we need a joint bank account (not ideal) or is there some other option?

Would love to ask a few questions.

Thanks

Yes, feel free to message me with questions although I have only bought in the last year

Thanks! I can’t seem to PM you. Can you and then I can ask those qs?

We live in a house converted to two flats. We just have a joint insurance policy for the building. I’m not sure why it needs to be more complex than that if the contract specifies that you’re joint and severally liable?

1 Like

Hi,

our leases require us to have a constant emergency fund in place (currently we pay our freeholder annually and they hold the funds.) Though we could change the leases on this point, we also think it’s wise to actually have an ongoing fund - including for things like insurance - rather than rely on finding that money as and when, in case there’s issues. The leases and other documents might have liability clauses, but having an ongoing shared fund is a way to ensure that the actual requirements are covered and might actually be a bit less burdensome as we could set up a monthly pay in rather than how we have to do it currently which is one big annual sum. My co-owner and I get on well but this isn’t necessarily guaranteed in the future (and there could be new owners) and so this is a way of avoiding issues down the line. As evidenced by my conversation with a few other people in this situation, not having centralised, ongoing funds means that there’s a real risk that things aren’t covered (beyond the basics) and only litigation will resolve it.

If we we’d set up a company we could have a suitable bank account but as we aren’t, it seems a bit trickier. Hence asking how people do it and whether there’s a way other than “joint bank account” or “hope that the other person has the money when needed”.

1 Like

I would recommend going down the company route for the usual reasons, credit score, etc. That’s what my block of 7 did and it’s worked out fine - although I imagine dealing with a 50/50 split is much easier when it comes to balance sheets etc.

Limited company bank accounts usually attract fees but if your articles of association are clear that it’s for a non-trading entity that doesn’t make a profit, you can usually apply for special accounts that don’t attract a charge.

This link might be useful:
https://www.resourcecentre.org.uk/information/bank-accounts-for-community-and-voluntary-organisations/

Good luck and all the best with your freehold purchase - you won’t regret it.

Thank you for the feedback.

Definitely happy with the freehold purchase part.

I am still not sure that we want to set up a company just for two flats (and again, the solicitors didn’t think it made any sense to do it) but I will have another think and discuss the options and take a look at your link.

I continue to believe there must be some way to do the finances that is somewhere between joint bank account and “hope you have the money when needed”.

Thanks

There’s a few that don’t, Starling Bank is one of them.