Residential Property Disputes
Residential property disputes can arise in the terms of ownership of your property, usually where the rights you have over your neighbour’s property, or indeed your own, are being interfered with. Sometimes there are disputes between co-owners about whether they should sell the property or not. Our lawyers can help you resolve the problem you are facing.
These are by far the most common arguments people have arising out of the ownership of their property.
What is the precise position of the boundary? Often, you will need the assistance of a barrister as well as an expert to help make a determination – usually, the deeds and any plans alone will not confirm the position. Early intervention by a solicitor may well help the situation from escalating beyond a point where there is no return, and enable you to maintain a workable relationship with your neighbours.
WHAT DOES THE WORDING IN MY DOCUMENTS ACTUALLY MEAN?
Older documents are usually more difficult to interpret, but even today, documents can be poorly worded or not reflect what the parties believe to be the case. Again, early intervention by a solicitor as to what any wording means can avoid unnecessary conflict with your neighbours.
It may be we are able to point out an issue that needs addressing with your neighbours, but we would need to look at all the relevant documents to properly advise you as to your position.
Unfortunately, there are people who will act in a fraudulent manner in order to take over ownership of someone’s property. Documents may be forged in relation to mortgage applications, or promises made, to the detriment of the owner, in terms of how the property is held. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to act urgently and seek legal advice as soon as you are aware that you have been a victim. It will probably be necessary to issue urgent court proceedings so immediate advice is essential.
RIGHT OF WAY DISPUTE
If you have a valid legal right over someone else’s land, and there is any attempt to stop you from exercising those rights, then your position needs to be protected, and swiftly.
These situations can arise when a mistake has been made on the purchase of the property (usually by the Land Registry), or because plans are unclear. In those circumstances, as soon as you are aware that you have the appropriate right to make a claim for adverse possession, you should seek advice. It may be that other options are available to you.
The other situation where this arises is when you are aware that land, usually adjacent to yours, has not been used by anybody for many years and you subsequently incorporate it into your own land. To formally address the issue, you should ensure you make the relevant application to the Land Registry, and seek advice as to the merits of any such application.
It may be that you are suffering a nuisance as a result of another person’s actions, or that a neighbour is trespassing on your land. These are all matters that may occur with no notice; but when there is an issue arising out of someone interfering with your property, then urgent action is necessary as any delay could lead to an adverse impact on your case.
TRUSTS OF LAND AND APPOINTMENT OF TRUSTEES ACT CLAIMS
This Act can be used to force the sale of a property. It can also be used to assist where a party considers that they have a greater interest in the property than the other joint owner believes they do. A court can assist in making a declaration as to beneficial ownership and what value that party has in the property. The interest in the property moves to the value in the proceeds of sale but the court can assist in determining what that value is, what price range the property should be sold at, and provide a timeline for the sale to take place.
Another question that arises on a regular basis is whether a restrictive covenant is enforceable. This is usually after purchasing a house: the owner’s needs change and they want to make alterations to their property but find that, potentially, there may be a problem with a restrictive covenant. Our lawyers can provide the advice you need to determine whether or not you may proceed with your project.
It is surprising how often people carry out work to their property without even considering whether the Party Walls Act has any implications on the work. This is usually when a dispute arises: a party has commenced work and a client’s property is at risk as a result. Alternatively, a client receives a Party Walls Act notice and wants to know what, if anything, they should do.
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