OWNERSHIP OF BLAKENEY TIMESHARE AND BLAKENEY TIMESHARE MANAGEMENT LTD
YOUR RIGHTS AND BENEFITS
This document has been produced by Joss Knight, a Barrister at St John’s Chambers to explain the benefits of a being a leaseholder and in particular how Blakeney Timeshare Management Ltd is owned and run for the benefit of the leasehold owners.
Ownership of the Property
The freehold owner of the site at Blakeney Timeshare (including the five properties) is Blakeney Timeshare Management Ltd (“BTML”). As a timeshare owner, you own a lease of your property for your specified holiday period each year until the expiry of your lease on 31 March 2063.Your lease is with BTML. An explanation of what is meant by leasehold and freehold interests is at the end of this document.
Your Beneficial Ownership of Blakeney Timeshare Management Ltd
Like any limited company, shares in BTML are owned by the shareholders, whose identity might change over time. However, in the case of BTML the shareholders hold their shares on trust not for themselves, but for you, the Owners. This means that although the shareholders hold the legal title to the shares (i.e. the shares are in their name), they are simply trustees. The beneficial title to the shares (and therefore BTML itself) is owned by you and the other Owners. As such, the shareholders are under a strict legal obligation to ensure the company is run in the best interests of you, the Owners.
At present, the shareholders are also the directors of the BTML, meaning they owe additional duties (known as fiduciary duties) to the company. These include a duty to act in the best interests of the company. The fact the shares in BTML are held on trust for the Owners means (for example) that if the company was wound up, the assets it owned (including the Site) would be sold. Once the debts of the company were paid, the money left over would go to you and the other Owners. Similarly, when the leases come to an end (either on their expiry or because an agreement is reached between the Owners to terminate early) then it is the shareholders’ intention that the company be wound up, the assets sold and proceeds be distributed between the Owners.
The Shareholders are currently taking advice on the appropriate method for achieving this outcome.
Meaning of Freehold & Leasehold
There are two ways in which houses and land can be owned in England & Wales – freehold and leasehold. Freehold Freehold ownership is often referred to as ‘absolute ownership’. If you are a freehold owner, you have the right to do what you like with your property (including renting it out), subject to limitations created by legislation or by binding agreements you’re your neighbours.
If you are a freehold owner, you do not owe management fees to anyone, because there is no one higher up the ownership chain than you. Leasehold A leasehold interest is typically an interest in land for a fixed duration, often 99 or even 999 years. In many cases, a leaseholder has all the same practical benefits of ownership that a freeholder would have. Leasehold ownership is common – for example, almost all flats in England & Wales are owned on a leasehold basis. Unless renewed, a leasehold interest will terminate at the end of the fixed period and the freeholder will once again become the sole individual with an interest in the property. Sometimes freehold interests will require the payment of an annual rent to the freeholder, but often they are rent-free. In the case of your lease, the rent is a peppercorn.
WARNING This document does not create any legal rights or obligations between you and Blakeney Timeshare Management Ltd, nor does it contain legal advice. It is intended to be a userfriendly and accessible guide of some (but not all) of your rights and obligations. Whilst every care is taken to ensure the contents of this document is accurate, the rights and obligations you have as lessor are set out in your lease. If you are unsure about anything, please consult your lease and obtain legal advice where appropriate.
JOSS KNIGHT St John’s Chambers 5 November 2021