It has recently been brought to my attention that the purchaser of the Glebe Cottage, is concerned with the purchase arrangements made through Cooper Taylor Solicitors. I have reviewed this issues and have surmised that further review of this arrangement is needed by the company.
There appear to be many conflicting interests in this case. The previous owner Ms. Smith had in place several contracts premising neighbors to use her property over an extended period. Now that the property in the process of transferal, these previous contract issues have been cause for concern from the neighbors. The contracted are Mr. Gilbert, who had a ten year deal to use the pathway on the property, Ms. Brown, who had in place a written agreement to graze her horse on the property, and Mr. Cavendish, who has a deed to the stable block that he claims was an act of goodwill from Ms. Smith so that he could maintain his classic car collection. In addition to these issues, Ms. Smith’s ex-husband, Mr. Smith, is also disputing the legality of the sale stating that Ms. Smith did not have his permission to sell the property to Ms. Richardson. Ms. Richardson is naturally concerned about these issues as well as the removal of a few fixtures from the cottage that she felt was included in the purchase arrangement, such as the kitchen island and the hot tub.
After reviewing the included documents and the concerns of those involved, I feel that British land laws should be consulted. According to the LPA 1925 laws and legislations land ownership and property ownership provides for owners or third parties to be involved. Legal documentations which include land titles or mortgages are required to affirm ownership. This gives the owners a leeway in which they can have probable and unique causes whereby they can make better decisions upon their land. In the last part where land is concerned and that may require more legal aid is the co-ownerships and trusts. The laws are like a covenant passed between either an owner or a lessor and in this case providing an agreement that will not withstanding bear time to time vested to the conveyance of the law in regards to the land. LPA allows only the fee simple absolute and the term of years absolute to be legal estates. Provides a limited list of legal interests with all others being equitable interest. This part of the legislation has highly reduced the problem of divisional interests and has made the land much simpler. This is because in the past the ownership was confined to ordinary and commercial kind. The land laws provided as a result of these reforms clear state owners began to emerge. Land and property sales have been made easier and much simpler to buy and sell but the challenge of measuring up to the specific tasks is what makes it much difficult.
Co-ownership operates behind a mechanism whereby the formal, legal title is held by joint tenant trustees on the statutorily imposed on the land. The number of co-owners in equity is not limited be they joint tenants or tenants in common. The property legislations of 1925-26 in the law of co-ownership had two important objectives: to ensure that the value of land as an economic asset was utilized to the full and to that end promotes the free alienability of land. The other objective was to ensure that the co-owner or the occupier of the land and no person with any interest on land was unreasonably prejudiced by the procedural and substantive changes. According to Megarry and wade, the impasse of English law is how to settle security of title with simplicity of transfer. The 1925 legislation therefore provided for an easy and codified with accessible laws which offered to safeguard both the purchaser and the third party.
As for the issues of the three who have contracts from the former owner, Ms. Smith, tenure plays a role in deciding the legality of their claims. English law states, “In the eyes of the law, of course, a private person can be nothing more than a tenant of land, a fact which was of great moment to him when his right to undisturbed possession depended upon his observance of the tenurial services and incidents. With the disappearance of these, however, tenure can now be regarded only as an academic conception we may safely brave the wrath of the purists and describe a fee simple tenant as an absolute owner of the land. It is an affectation to dispute the fact.” These individuals have a person right, not necessarily a property right because they are obligations that have come from a contract. Before a personal right can become a property right it has to be undeniably understood by the third party and have some degree of permanent. Contract agreements can be passed on to Ms. Richardson, but not without her agreement. She can’t be forced to accept these terms. This would rule out both Mr. Gilbert and Ms. Brown’s requests since they are both personal rights. If Ms. Richardson agrees to carry on with the contract then she is bound to them, but not before. The case of Mr. Cavendish, proposes a property right. If Mr. Cavendish can prove that the stable block was transferred to him legally in the deed and that he is truly the owner of this land, Ms. Richardson is bound to honor the deal. This would be a problem if Ms. Smith didn’t disclose this information to Ms. Richardson. However, Mr. Cavendish must provide undeniable proof that he is in possession of this property and that he has been for an extended amount of time.
As for Ms. Richardson’s complaint that some of the house fixtures have been removed one must first have to understand what a “fixture” is. English law defines a fixture as any anything attached to the land or house. Degree of annexation explains that the item must be affixed to the land, it can’t be removed or be nearby to be claimed as a fixture. This means that the stable block is a fixture on her property and if it belongs to Mr. Cavendish and Ms. Richardson was not aware of this she is within her rights to contest the sale with Ms. Smith. An object of annexation refers to an object that is affixed to the property that makes it more convenient or useful. Botham vs. TSB Bank plc, states that household appliances, bathroom fixtures, and fitted kitchen units are object fixtures and belong to the property. I do not feel that Ms. Richardson has claim to the kitchen island as it is a removable item that is not essential to the house. As for the hot tub, this issue is a bit more contested. The hot tub would add value to the home and is typically meant to stay in one area, however it is not essential to the home and usually has a connection, therefore is not included.
As for the contention of Mr. Smith to the sale of the house, divorce law states that he may have rights to the property in the martial dissolution that requires mutual consent to sale. Property ownership is often decided by the gains and losses of the partners as a result of divorce, unless a pre-existing arrangement, such as a prenuptial agreement is in place. If the cottage and property are solely in Ms. Smith’s name as they appear to be in the documents, then she is within her rights to sale the property. Mr. Smith does reserve the rights to contest the proceeds of the sales before a court of law. Overall this issue should not affect Mrs. Richardson, just possibly Ms. Smith. Co-ownership operates behind a mechanism whereby the formal, legal title is held by joint tenant trustees on the statutorily imposed on the land. The number of co-owners in equity is not limited be they joint tenants or tenants in common. The property legislations of 1925-26 in the law of co-ownership had two important objectives: to ensure that the value of land as an economic asset was utilized to the full and to that end promotes the free alienability of land. The other objective was to ensure that the co-owner or the occupier of the land and no person with any interest on land was unreasonably prejudiced by the procedural and substantive changes. According to Megarry and Wade, the impasse of English law is how to settle security of title with simplicity of transfer. The 1925 legislation therefore provided for an easy and codified with accessible laws which offered to safeguard both the purchaser and the third party.
In conclusion, there are a few issues that need to be discussed to insure the legality of this sale, however for the most part I feel these issues can be worked out. Mr. Gilbert and Ms. Brown are only allowed to continue their contract if Mrs. Richardson agrees. Mr. Cavendish must provide proof of ownership or else Ms. Richardson would also have the option of if she wants to continue that contract as well. Ms. Richardson most likely doesn’t have rights to the kitchen island or hot tub, but she does to the stable block if she was not aware that it was not part of the land purchase. Mr. Smith can’t stop the sale from going forward since the property is in Mrs. Smith’s name, yet he may be entitled to some of the proceeds should a judge rule in his favor.
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