Whether you’re a homeowner in a dispute with your neighbour, or a commercial property landowner having problems with planning permissions, disputes over property, if unresolved, can quickly escalate into complex legal cases.
Your property issue may involve, dispute resolution and possible litigation which could result in unforeseen legal costs. However, our legal experts can offer you affordable payment plans, to manage your fees upfront.
We provide direct access to our panel of property barristers, with all-inclusive paralegal support services to ensure that your dispute is resolved as quickly and efficiently as possible. Working closely with our clients every step of the way, we can help with drafting property agreements, to enforcing injunctions.
Our paralegals are on standby to assist with the administrative tasks involved in your property issue. They will take care of filing, collect all necessary documentation and provide additional litigation support if necessary.
We pride ourselves on tracking the success records of our property barristers, to ensure you receive the best possible representation.
Our panel of barristers and paralegals have the industry knowledge and legal expertise to advise private landlords, property investors, property managers and businesses who own commercial property on a wide range of property issues.
Contact a member of our legal team today for advice and cost-effective payment solutions on 0203 376 1888.
If you have already appointed a property barrister to your case, we can still offer you advice and cost-effective payment solutions. We will liaise with your legal advisor and make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf. Start your payment plan now.
Our direct access barristers and paralegals can advise clients on:
• Trespass matters;
• Right to light;
• Right of way;
• Restrictive covenants;
• Boundary disputes;
• Planning permission disputes;
• Leasehold enfranchisement;
• Conveyance of property; and
• Preparation of overage agreements.
Trespassing occurs when someone enters another person’s land or property without expressed permission. Taking legal action against an intrusion can be an extremely complex procedure. The act itself may be classified as a civil offence or a criminal offence, depending on the severity of the situation. If the trespasser threatens to, or commits physical violence or causes criminal damage to the property or land, the landowner should contact the police immediately. This category of trespassing, falls within the scope of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJPOA).
Trespassing may also involve squatting and boundary disputes. Some landowners can decide to file nuisance claims, if an individual or members of the public use private land as a short cut. In these cases, private landowners have the right to ask the police to enforce the trespasser to leave their land, if this offence has occurred multiple times and the trespasser has:
• Caused damage to the land or property;
• Has parked six or more vehicles on the property; or
• Has used threatening or abusive behaviour to the landowner, his/her family, employees or agents.
Once a trespasser has vacated the premises, it is an offence to return to the property within a period three months. If a trespasser is currently occupying your property, you can apply to the court for a possession order to be made against them. This is similar to the standard possession procedure, between landlords and unlawful sub-tenants, or when the tenant lease between both parties has expired or been withdrawn.
In the case where tenants have experienced an intrusion, they themselves can use this procedure against anyone who has entered their rented property without their expressed permission.
Any individual with an exclusive possession of land can bring a claim against someone for trespassing. Legal proceedings can be brought to the county court using a claim form. If the claimant doesn’t know the identity of the trespasser involved, a description can be enough to use as sufficient evidence to press charges. However, this can only work if the claimant is wanting an injunction. No compensation can be given if the identity of the trespasser is unknown. If there is no known address, a claimant form can be delivered personally by an official employed by the claimant’s lawyer.
In serious cases, legal proceedings may be issued High Court if there is a substantial risk of public disturbance or of serious harm to the landowner or others, that requires the court to take immediate action.
Unless the trespassers provide a sound defence the court, for example, if the defendant was acting in necessity in an emergency, or if verbal consent was given by a lawful authority, the court will usually enforce an order for possession to take place immediately. A county court bailiff may legally enforce the trespasser to leave the property by a warrant of execution form. If the trespasser fails to comply with the possession order, they could be charged with a criminal offence and be arrested on site.
If you believe you have experienced a trespasser on your property, and if all other forms of informal negotiation have been unsuccessful, you should consider talking to a property barrister at the earliest opportunity.
We understand that this can be an extremely difficult time for you, which is why we offer direct access to our property barristers and all-inclusive paralegal support to help you throughout every step of your trespassing case.
Our legal experts can advise on whether police involvement or county court bailiff may be needed to enforce an injunction, or whether sending an initial pre-action letter detailing a claim for trespass may be the best step to take.
If you’re worried about the legal costs in enforcing an injunction or possession order, we can offer you affordable payment plans to manage your fees upfront, so you can receive the support you need immediately.
Working nationwide, our panel of direct access barristers and paralegals have a wealth of experience with handling trespass cases.
Don’t feel like you have to go through this alone. Individuals who continue to trespass on your property can cause unnecessary stress and tension, and we can help you resolve this issue quickly and efficiently. Contact one of our compassionate legal experts today, for tactical advice and cost-effective payment plans now on 0800 888 6760.
Rights to light
Rights to light, is a type of easement that gives a long-standing landowner the right to maintain the same level of illumination through the windows in their property.
If a neighbour or commercial landowner, limits the amount of light coming in through a window, resulting in the level of light inside falling below an accepted level, this constitutes an obstruction. Unless you waive your legal rights from the development, you are entitled to take legal action against the obstruction of light.
You can make a claim for right to light if your light is impaired by:
• Garden walls;
• Tall trees or shrubbery;
• A neighbour’s new shed or greenhouse;
• Extensions; or
• Part of a new planning permission or commercial development.
If the neighbour, developer or surveyor hasn’t taken your right to light into consideration, you may enter negotiations with the other party to change the development and safeguard the light in your property.
Right to light issues can have a significant impact on any development scheme across the country. You can obtain injunctions to effectively halt planning permissions or remove the obstruction from the neighbouring property. If significant damages have already occurred, claimants can choose to claim for compensation for their loss of rights.
It’s important to seek advice from an experienced property barrister before starting legal proceedings against your neighbour or a commercial developer.
If you are concerned about potential obstructions, our direct access barristers and paralegals can advise you how to take out light insurance as a viable alternative to protect yourself against property disputes further down the line.
We can also negotiate with your neighbours and their developers or surveyors on your behalf, secure light obstruction notices, and if all other options prove unsuccessful, provide representation for compensation and/or injunctions.
Right to light issues can be extremely complex, and our direct access barristers advocate ADR and arbitration to our clients before considering property litigation.
Get in touch with one of our direct access barristers today, for legal advice and cost-effective solutions to manage your legal fees upfront. We offer our clients the opportunity to pay their legal fees back in convenient and affordable monthly instalment to suit their individual circumstances. Call one of our property barristers now on 0800 888 6760.
Right of way
Right of way is another form of easement, which allows individuals the right to cross or use someone else’s land/property for a specified purpose, without possessing it. A landowner may grant the permission for a neighbour or business professional to access their property. Right of way easements, are typically drafted by a property experts or private surveyor. However, verbal agreements, called “floating easements” to rights of way, may also be legally binding.
If your neighbour, or commercial property owner grants an easement, this allows present and future owners to access your property. Once an easement has been granted, both parties’ barristers or surveyors, will amend the property title deeds to include right of way. Some easements may also be recorded in public county records. Rights of way may be considered beneficial for businesses and landowners alike.
However, if an individual uses or crosses your property without your expressed permission, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible and make a claim of “prescriptive easement”. In these situations, legal proceedings may be necessary to determine if an easement was created prior to this incident.
We make direct access work for you by offering all-inclusive paralegal support services to ensure you have right of way, if new homeowners or employers of commercial property are restricting your movement. We can also assist you if you believe individuals are crossing your land without permission
If you would like to draft a right of way easement, or make a claim for prescriptive easement, our experienced paralegals are on standby to handle document management, filing and other litigious functions to ensure you receive the best outcome.
Contact a member of our legal team today for practical advice, paralegal support and affordable payment solutions on 0800 888 6760.
A restrictive covenant is a private agreement between landowners, where one party will restrict the use of its land, so that the adjoining land value will be preserved. This provision is placed in the title deed to a property and limits certain uses, for example, when land developers are subdividing property for residential housing. Any individual who purchases a lot in a housing development, must uphold the terms and conditions of the restrictive covenant.
The most common type of restrictive covenants;
• Prohibit any building development or extensions on a section of land;
• Disallow any use of the land which is not for agricultural purposes; and
• Restrict business activity on the land.
Restrictive covenants, once agreed between the parties, bind the land and not the individuals themselves. This clause effectively ‘runs with the land’, meaning that even if the landowners change, the covenant is still legally binding.
If a beneficiary of the restrictive covenant objects to all or part of the clause, it can be enforced by the courts through an injunction. This ensures that the new landowner doesn’t break the agreement.
A person who is affected by another party refusing to abide by the restrictive covenant, have two options:
• Take out ‘indemnity insurance’, to cover against unauthorised buildings or extensions and breaches in covenants; or
• Ask for declaration from the Lands Tribunal to prove that the covenant is valid.
It will typically be more cost-effective to insure against the risk of covenant breaches than to seek a declaration from the Lands Tribunal.
Where there is a restrictive covenant not to build on land, any landowner or commercial property that wishes to extend or rebuild, must obtain permission from the person benefitting from the restrictive covenant.
If you feel your restrictive covenant has been breached, it’s important to seek legal advice from a specialist property barrister to know if you have the right to enforce the covenant.
We can help individuals enforce restrictive covenants by obtaining an injunction to stop any building development or business activity that goes against the title deed on the land. Our property barristers can also assist your claim for damages and compensation if the breach has already occurred, and build the best defence to ensure a successful outcome. We can help you claim back any loss sustained by the actions of neighbours and/or commercial property owners that have resulted in the loss of market value and demolition costs, so you receive what you’re entitled to.
Our property barristers are highly skilled in drafting restrictive covenants, negotiating with developers and neighbours on your behalf, and if necessary, enforce injunctions. We offer tactical advice and cost-effective payment plans, so you can get the help you need immediately. Contact one of our legal experts now on 0800 888 6760.
Disputes between neighbours and commercial property owners can arise when property deeds do not accurately reflect the way boundaries divide land. Over time, boundaries may have been gradually adapted and pushed, resulting in significant differences from the original deed. Therefore, prior agreements once made with previous tenants, may be disputed by new tenants.
The first step, is to request the official copy of the Land Registry title plan. This plan is based on a large-scale Ordnance Survey mapping, and may be subject to interpretation as time passes. This can contribute to one of the main reasons behind boundary disputes.
It is advisable for new owners to discuss this plan with the seller, and talk to neighbours or commercial property owners about maintaining boundaries around the property. If you need more information about neighbouring properties, you can find it from HM Land Registry.
With boundary disputes, emotions between both parties can run particularly high, making alternative dispute resolution an attractive avenue. If you are involved in a property or boundary dispute, it is important to seek expert legal advice from property barristers and specialist surveyors at an early stage to ensure your property rights are protected.
We will liaise with your surveyor on your behalf and always act in your best interests, which often means offering negotiation, ADR and arbitration with the other side to resolve the dispute amicably and efficiently without court action.
However, if litigation is unavoidable, our all-inclusive paralegal services can help you collect necessary documentation such as photographs, plans, expert surveying, aerial views and cartographic information to present to the First-Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
Our direct access barristers offer a tailor-made strategy to ensure the best possible outcome in court. We take the time to understand the nature of your dispute, so you can receive tactical advice to end your property issue quickly and efficiently.
Buying property may be one of the biggest investments you ever make, and we’re here to defend the legal boundaries of your home/business. Our property barristers and paralegals will review your conveyancing deeds, title registers and lease plans in order to establish right of ownership.
Call one of our legal experts today for boundary dispute advice and affordable payment plans to cut your costs upfront. Get in touch with us now on 0800 888 6760.
Planning permission disputes
Construction work may potentially result in disagreements with between neighbours or Local Planning Authorities (LPA) over boundary infringement or noise disruption. Many disputes will be taken to the LPA to decide if it fits with the initial development’s plan. They will take into consideration:
• Landscaping needs;
• The size, layout, and external appearance of building;
• The infrastructure available, for example, water supply and access roads;
• What the individual wants the development for; and
• How your development would affect the surrounding area, including traffic, noise and general disruption.
If the LPA refuses your planning permission, or imposes certain conditions to construction, you must be given a written explanation. Individuals may choose make an appeal to the planning inspectorate.
You can count on us for guidance and advice through your whole planning project, from drafting planning agreements, to negotiating infrastructure, and in some cases advising on planning appeals.
We take a different approach to direct access to barristers. Our additional paralegal support services aim to help prepare all of the necessary documentation at a fraction of what a solicitor or barrister would charge for these services.
Our direct access barristers have a wealth of experience in dealing with a wide range of planning permission cases, from small household extensions to large industrial projects.
Our specialist property barristers work closely with property developers, businesses, residential landowners and landlords to ensure the most successful outcome, whether it be accepting or rejecting planning permission. We can offer guidance on disputes involving:
• Boundaries and party walls;
• Permitted Developments;
• Conservation areas; and
• Public access to listed buildings.
If you’re concerned about the fees that may be involved, our legal experts can also offer you cost-effective payment solutions, so you can make affordable instalments to suit your personal circumstances. Contact our property consultants now to see how we can help on 0800 888 6760.
Enfranchisement is the right to purchase the freehold of your leased property. The Leasehold Reform Act 1967, has been amended and expanded over the past four decades, and states that long leaseholders can either purchase the freehold as an individual, collectively for a block of flats, or seek a lease extension.
If your leased property is a house, the individual has the right to purchase that freehold. If your leased property is a flat, the individual has the right is to buy the freehold together with the leaseholders of the other flats. This is called ‘collective enfranchisement’, meaning you will share the freehold with a number of other leaseholders in the same building.
Changes introduced by the Commonhold and Leasehold Reform Act 2002, have made it easier than ever for leaseholders to apply for leasehold enfranchisement. For individuals to be successful, they must meet the requirements of a qualifying tenant and the property must be a qualifying building.
To be a qualifying tenant, you must have a long lease of your property, which typically exceeds 21 years from when the lease was originally granted. If your leased property is a house, your lease must cover the entire house and you must have held it for at least 2 years. If your leased property is a flat, the enfranchisement must contain 2 or more flats, and have two thirds of the flats occupied by qualifying tenants, with no more than 25% of the building being used for non-residential purposes.
If the tenant and building qualifies for enfranchisement, the tenant can serve notice to the landlord or managing agent, in order to receive details of the legal interests of the property. In this document, the individual will name the Nominee Purchaser who will acquire the freehold, and effectively become the new landlord. The Notice must be signed by the Nominee Purchaser, or on behalf of all the participating tenants.
At this stage leaseholders, particularly those who are applying for collective enfranchisement, may set up a cost fund to cover the initial stages of the process and formalise future financial arrangements for loans and mortgages.
After this, leaseholders need to calculate the cost by obtaining a valuation of the property. It is important to seek the advice of a property barrister and a qualified surveyor with experience in the field of enfranchisement to oversee the negotiation of the property purchase price.
Within the period of initial notice, the current freeholder must service a counter-notice. If the claim is rejected, participating tenants must decide if they want to dispute the rejection through ADR and mediation, or by taking legal action. Either party must take their issue to the leasehold valuation tribunal within six months following the date of the counter-notice, or the claim cannot be taken to court.
Enfranchisement can be quite complex. The correct notice needs to be served on the current landlord, for him/her to respond accordingly so the process can begin. It is advisable to speak to a property barrister and specialist surveyor before starting this process.
Our direct access barristers and paralegals can help you through each stage of the enfranchisement procedure. We can assist in drafting initial notices; negotiating with your current landlord on valuation and purchase prices; offer ADR to resolve disputes if your notice is rejected and provide representation in county court so you can receive the best possible outcome.
Becoming a freeholder can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Contact one of our legal experts for pragmatic advice and cost-effective payment solutions, so you can manage your costs effectively. Call us today on 0800 888 6760. Or start your payment plan now.
Conveyance is the act of transferring an ownership interest in real property from one party to another. It can also refer to the written document between the seller and buyer, stating the date of transfer, purchase price, and responsibilities of both parties.
Conveyancing ensures that the buyer is informed in advance of any restrictions on the property, such as mortgages and liens, and assures the buyer a clean title to the property. Many buyers purchase title insurance to protect against the possibility of fraud in the title transfer process.
The next step, is to draft up a contract or terms of engagement, with an appointed surveyor and experienced property barrister. Your property consultant will raise any enquiries with the seller’s solicitor to avoid potential disputes further down the line.
Even if you have received approval from estate agents and housing surveys, it may be worth considering hiring a conveyancer to conduct a property search. They can investigate title registers and title plans at the land registry, flood risk and local authority searches among others. Barristers may also make searches to ensure that they are protected from any liabilities the property might have.
Once you have completed the property searches, you will need to arrange mortgage terms and conditions with your property barrister. You may also consider taking out buildings insurance for your new home. After these documents have been collected, both parties will sign and exchange their house contracts and agree on a completion date.
Upon completion, your barristers and paralegals will help you:
• Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf;
• Receive your legal documents about 20 days after completion once your barrister has sent them to the Land Registry; and
• Send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender, who will keep them until you pay off your loan;
Our experienced property barristers can help you through each stage of the conveyancing process. With our additional paralegal support services, we can assist you with drafting your contract or terms of engagement, property searches, draft your mortgage terms and conditions on your behalf, negotiate agreements with your seller and pay your stamp duty.
Our team of legal experts can help buyers and sellers prepare the correct conveyance documentation to ensure the transaction is as smooth as possible.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today to get direct access to barristers and start your conveyance process. Call a member of our legal team on 0800 888 6760.
Preparing overage agreements
Individuals and commercial property landowners can sign overage agreements if they are selling property or land, and want to receive profit if the land gains value in the future from planning permissions. If you are considering property disposal, you should consult an experienced property barrister to understand your seller’s rights to a share in the future value of the land. The payment is in addition to the agreed purchase price established in the house or land contract.
In order to negotiate an overage agreement, a trigger event must occur. A trigger event could be the granting of planning consent, or the completion of a new development on previously owned land.
When drafting an overage agreement, you and the buyer will need to consider the following:
• Time period: how long should the overage agreement last? Both parties can agree on any amount of time, be it years or decades.
• Trigger: Situations when the overage payment be triggered. This often can be made on the sale of land, or implementation of the planning permission.
• The overage percentage: The share amount given to the previous owner, which should be sufficient to justify imposing the overage agreement.
• Protection: Agreed procedures will need to be put in place to ensure a smooth transaction of shares.
• Tax: Both parties need to discuss the Stamp Duty Land Tax implications for the buyer.
Obtaining planning permission can be very expensive. When calculating overage costs, addition planning permission costs may be deducted from any increase in value before an overage amount is decided.
When drafting an overage agreement, you will need an experienced property barrister to negotiate with the buyer or on your behalf, to ensure your interests are protected and that the agreement is legally enforceable. Both parties will need to consider whether the valuation should be based on the land value at the date of acquisition by the buyer, or on the date of calculation for the overage payment.
The key difference is that in a rising property market, the property may increase in value from the date of acquisition. The buyer may consider it unacceptable for the seller to anticipate capital growth, while the property has been in the new buyer’s ownership.
Disputes between sellers and buyers may arise concerning overage valuation. Therefore, it’s good practice to consult a property barrister, to ensure a disputes resolution clause is built into the overage agreement.
Our direct access barristers can help you through every stage of your overage agreement process. We also have a panel of paralegals on standby to help draft overage agreements, calculate the correct overage percentage based on your individual circumstances and offer alternative dispute resolution if issues arise. We can effectively negotiate with buyers on your behalf, to ensure you get what you’re entitled to.
If you are concerned about the legal costs involved in making an overage agreement, don’t worry we’re here to help. We offer affordable payment solutions so you won’t need to make any large payments upfront. For tactical advice and cost-effective payment plans, contact one of our legal experts today on 0800 888 6760.
Whether you’re a landowner in a dispute with your neighbour over boundaries, or a commercial property landowner having problems with the Local Planning Authority (LPA) over planning permissions, our property barristers are here to offer legal support to help you move forward.
If you can’t resolve your property issue through informal negotiations or dispute resolution, we can ensure that you receive the best possible representation in court proceedings.
If you’re concerned about the legal fees involved throughout your property dispute, we can offer you cost-effective payment plans, so you can make affordable monthly instalments that are convenient for you.
Our property barristers have unrivalled industry knowledge and expertise to advise private landlords, property investors, property managers and businesses who own commercial property. We offer a different approach to direct access to barristers by providing all-inclusive paralegal support to help you throughout every stage of your property issue by drafting restrictive covenants, preparing overage agreements on your behalf, setting up a company for collective enfranchisement, and much more.
Contact one of legal experts today for legal advice and payment solutions on 0800 888 6760.
If you have already appointed a property barrister to your case, we can still offer you paralegal assistance and cost-effective payment plans to help you manage your costs upfront. We can work with your barrister and make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf. Start your payment plan now.