mike wilson

Registered with Property118.com
Tuesday 13th August 2013


Latest Comments

Total Number of Property118 Comments: 21

mike wilson

11:56 AM, 9th October 2013
About 6 years ago

My garage roof has collapsed onto my tenants car

I am always surprised that many property owners don't understand what they own. And forgive me, I clearly don't know the details of your case and am in Scotland which has a different legal system.
But a few comments: Someone owns the garage whether it is part of your bigger block or not. I have been in a situation where the 'block of garages' was in different ownership to the 'block of flats'.

Second point is that you ought to know what you own. Did you not get a copy of the deeds?

Whoever owns the garage is responsible for any damage to the car and of course as someone pointed out someone could have been injured. So the owner should have insurance.

Good luck.... Read More

mike wilson

18:49 PM, 14th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Prohibitive Covenant restricts occupancy

Mary,
From your post:
Bottom line there is a restrictive covenant that this property was allowed to be converted under the strict accordance with the section 52 provision, legal document signed by current owner/landlord. This restrictive covenant still in effect restricts the use of the building to ancillary use and family only occupancy.

You may find it interesting to Google ancillary in respect of uk planning law. A basic one which gives you the idea is:
http://www.doineedplanningpermission.co.uk/forums/planning/ancillary-use/

The rule here is to understand that local planners can interpret the rules widely and frequently these rules change.

If your property history is correct then it is possible that the cottage was restricted to being let to family units as opposed to groups of unrelated farm workers and in the B&B business. That is NOT long stays.

One outcome could possibly be that the planners decide that its use - being rented to you 'long term' is ok IF the landlord makes an application to change the section 52 agreement. Again not your problem. I am sure that the council will extract some form of 'penalty' from the landlord. Again not your problem.

But if the council were to go down that route, suddenly your lease becomes legal. If it contains a clause where the landlord pays all taxes you simply pass the bill to him and show a copy of your now legal agreement to the council. (I would do this anyway - legal agreement or not)

Again I reiterate get advice and find out what way the wind is blowing in the council.

As to harassment keep your evidence, ensure you inform relevant authorities and best of all get a solicitor to write to the Landlord stating your position.

Finally as an example there are a lot of rural properties where local authorities have allowed a farmer to develop houses on their land in order to provide accommodation for farm workers. They allow the house to be built with a section 52 agreement restricting its use to farm employees. However some 'farmers' may take the view that the council may forget and they start renting the house out to commuters who pay a good return all year. Then some years later the farmer applies to remove the section 52 agreement because he no longer needs employees as he contracts out the work and suddenly the farmer has a valuable unrestricted property for sale ...

All by observation ....

Hope that helps your understanding of how planning law can work .... sometimes... Read More

mike wilson

16:37 PM, 14th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Prohibitive Covenant restricts occupancy

Puzzler - neither of us know what the restrictive covenant actually is. The post implies it can only be used by 'family'. I am not sure that implies a separate habitable building under ct rules. Many buildings on a farm may be for purposes involved in the business. By the sound of it there are no separate supplies for electricity and phone ...

Mary's very valid argument is that she was not told of the restriction. Had she known she would not have taken the property.

Just as you would not buy a stolen car if you were told it was stolen. At least I presume you wouldn't. The problem for you, innocent or not, is that the car would be taken from you. You become a victim of crime just as Mary is. I guess you would not feel to happy about people blaming you ...... Read More

mike wilson

16:10 PM, 14th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Prohibitive Covenant restricts occupancy

Mary, as I said in a previous post it is a complex issue. Unfortunately some people are not able to see the wood for the trees around them.

It is unfortunate that you are in this position but any sensible local authority will act reasonably. They are required to do so as a basic principle of law. That is why I have stated it is important to understand what the authorities will decide to do.

In most cases they are unlikely to take draconian steps. Whatever they decide is not your problem as they will be obliged to allow you to stay until you can find alternative suitable accommodation. They may even allow a 'retrospective planning application' to make the position of the landlord legal. (This is what has happened in the farming covenant case.) But clearly the position you have been put in by the landlord is unacceptable and not your fault. And these are factors that the local council will take into account.

What I don't know is what the legal position is for you currently and that is why I suggested citizens advice or a lawyer.

Until such time as the Council decides what to do, and that could take months, I think your lease does not exist in law for the reasons I gave before. In that set of circumstances you need legal advice.

There are issues also on whether the council tax banding is appropriate. The valuer may be wrong. I don't know what the rules are on separate properties which are not split in the title deeds. Again not an issue for you except in the council tax charge. You could query the position with the council as if the property cannot be legally occupied you could argue you are not in occupation and therefore not subject to the council tax charge.

I am not a lawyer so you do need to get advice.... Read More

mike wilson

12:58 PM, 14th August 2013
About 6 years ago

Prohibitive Covenant restricts occupancy

Ok one more try.

Knowing that the Queen goes to Balmoral in August, I offer a AST to Abramovich for 6 months in Buck Palace. He moves in.

Is the AST valid?

No. I did not own the house. The AST is illegal. Queeny can repossess or can she as there are now squatters?

A contract can only be legal if there are no fundamental illegalities.

A landlord who offers an AST on a property governed by HMO law who does not have an HMO licence - is the AST legal?

Or is a lawyer going to tell me something different?... Read More