8:55 AM, 21st October 2011, About 10 years ago
Recently, one of the properties managed by our portfolio management company, National Property Group, was subject to a legal challenge against the landlord.
Since selling the property, the original vendor had subsequently been made bankrupt, and the Trustee acting on behalf of the creditors was demanding the difference between the below market value sale price and the market value, from the Landlord.
The basis for the claim was that under the Insolvency Act, compensation can be obtained for transfers of assets “under value” – with Sale and Rent Back (SARB) discounted purchases appearing to fall into this category.
The good news for anybody who has bought a SARB property at a discount is that a recent appeal case decided that a discounted rent back deal was not an under value transaction. The rationale was that the agreement to allow the owner to rent back had a value comparable to the discount.
However, what shocked me when pulling together the evidence and case law, was that the feud that resulted in the vendor’s decision to sell – to protect his home from a business partner – continued and ended up with him being the prime suspect for the horrific murder of his business partner’s family of four. Anxing Du is now on the run and described as “Britain’s Most Wanted Man”. He has not been seen since April when his former business partner Jifeng Ding was found dead at his home, along with his wife Helen Chui and their two daughters Xing, 18,and Alice, 12. They had been in dispute for several years over the Chinese herbal remedy company, Herb Magic, they had previously owned.
The murdered family were found on the day of the Royal Wedding in April, and the day after Mr Du and his family were served with an injunction freezing their assets in relation to business dealings they had with Mr Ding and his wife.
Even a nationwide appeal on ITV’s flagship daytime show, This Morning, has so far failed to locate the whereabouts of Du.
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