Q&As

Where the beneficial interest in freehold property was owned by two companies as tenants in common prior to dissolution of one of the companies, and the Treasury Solicitor has disclaimed the property, what happens to the dissolved companies’ interest following disclaimer?

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Published on LexisPSL on 16/11/2018

The following Property Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Where the beneficial interest in freehold property was owned by two companies as tenants in common prior to dissolution of one of the companies, and the Treasury Solicitor has disclaimed the property, what happens to the dissolved companies’ interest following disclaimer?
  • Bona vacantia and escheat in the context of dissolved companies
  • Trusts of land
  • Legal title
  • Beneficial interest
  • Company restoration and/or vesting orders following disclaimer/escheat
  • Escheat

We have been unable to find definitive authority on how freehold property would be treated. However, the below content may assist with your research.

Bona vacantia and escheat in the context of dissolved companies

Section 1012 of the Companies Act 2006 (CA 2006) provides that, following dissolution, the property of a company (including leasehold property and property or rights held on trust for the company immediately before its dissolution, but excluding property held on trust for any third party) is deemed to be bona vacantia (see Commentaries: Property of dissolved companies: Atkin’s Court Forms [31], Company’s property vesting as bona vacantia; Crown disclaimer: Halsbury’s Laws of England [1713], and Q&A: What is the position of a security holder if the company that created the security is dissolved?).

On the basis that no mention is made of escheat in CA 2006, s 1012, various authorities have accepted that on dissolution, freehold property vests in the Crown (in practice, the Treasury Solicitor) as bona vacantia. Under CA 2006, s 1013, the Crown can then disclaim the property. Following disclaimer, the property will be deemed to not have vested in the Crown under CA 2006, s 1012. However, the freehold will then revert to the Crown as a result of an automatic escheat. The Crown will not incur liability unless it takes possession or exercises control over the property. In

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