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    • LukeHolloway
    • By LukeHolloway 15th May 18, 8:51 AM
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    LukeHolloway
    Restrictive covenant - Choosing a solicitor
    • #1
    • 15th May 18, 8:51 AM
    Restrictive covenant - Choosing a solicitor 15th May 18 at 8:51 AM
    I'm after a bit of advice for choosing a solicitor for a covenant removal situation.


    I am currently negotiating the sale of a 'ransom strip', which is a small portion of my front garden. It has come to light that there is a restrictive covenant on my property which will need removing before they will purchase the land. The developer has an alternative access point, however that is at a higher cost and problematic (its over common land etc). It is made slightly more complicated by the fact I have an extension that also contravenes the covenant.


    I tried to negotiate with the council for the removal of the covenant however as I refused to tell them the value I would get from the sale, they have now refused to negotiate for its removal.


    I currently have a solicitor on board doing the contractual bits for the sale (paid for by the development land owners, their choice of solicitor), however I have found them to be pretty useless (I'm the one pointing out potential issues/ finding a way around things, they arnt being proactive).


    I am considering using a different solicitor just for the covenant removal issue, however, this will most likely have to be paid for by myself. The alternative solicitor has local offices and on their website they appear informed on covenants and the Law of Property act which my current solicitor didn't seem to have any knowledge of.


    I have also found a 3rd solicitor who seems to specialise in covenant removals, but they are on the other side of the country (restrictivecovenants.co.uk) and seem to be more of a one man band. That said, they appear to have more direct knowledge than the other two.


    What are peoples opinions, option 1, 2 or 3? I will be taking this to the land Tribunal.


    Thanks.
Page 1
    • MEM62
    • By MEM62 15th May 18, 10:56 AM
    • 1,632 Posts
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    MEM62
    • #2
    • 15th May 18, 10:56 AM
    • #2
    • 15th May 18, 10:56 AM
    Any reason for not taking the obvious (and cheapest & easiest) route out and letting the Council know how much you are realising from the sale?
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 15th May 18, 11:33 AM
    • 2,773 Posts
    • 3,979 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #3
    • 15th May 18, 11:33 AM
    • #3
    • 15th May 18, 11:33 AM
    Only you can decide if you want to foot the bill (as per options 2 and 3) to get the outcome you want, or let someone else pay (as per option 1) and take more of a chance that things won't work out as you want them to.

    However, regardless of who does the negotiation, they may have limited success if you're not going to be open and honest with the council. Ultimately, I suspect that you are both the cause of, and solution to, the covenant problem.
    • LukeHolloway
    • By LukeHolloway 15th May 18, 12:19 PM
    • 2 Posts
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    LukeHolloway
    • #4
    • 15th May 18, 12:19 PM
    • #4
    • 15th May 18, 12:19 PM
    The issue I have is that the council wish to base their assessment for removing the covenant on the value I am getting for the land. At 128K, they will likely seek half of this, which is unacceptable.

    The Law of Property Act provides an alternative route to the removal of the covenant, the basis of which is the loss value to the council at the time the property was sold with the covenant, which ultimately is a minimal figure. The assessment has nothing to do with the potential benefit now that the land may hold.
    • MEM62
    • By MEM62 15th May 18, 4:17 PM
    • 1,632 Posts
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    MEM62
    • #5
    • 15th May 18, 4:17 PM
    • #5
    • 15th May 18, 4:17 PM
    The issue I have is that the council wish to base their assessment for removing the covenant on the value I am getting for the land. At 128K, they will likely seek half of this, which is unacceptable.
    Originally posted by LukeHolloway
    The important point highlighted.

    Is there any legal basis on which exploring this avenue to the point where you have a conclusion would disadvantage you if you then sought to have the covenant removed by an alternative legal process? If there isn't then you may as well pursue that to the point where you have a figure from the Council which you can then weigh up against the potential legal bill.
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