Restrictive Covenant Derails Village Housing Development

Freehold owners of land generally believe that, subject to planning permission, they can develop their properties in whatever way they wish. However, as a High Court ruling strikingly showed, that is by no means always the case. Two men wished to build...

What is an 'Annoyance'? High Court Defines the Correct Legal Test

Restrictive covenants that forbid property owners from causing annoyance, nuisance or disturbance to their neighbours commonly appear in title deeds – but how are they to be interpreted? In the context of a dispute between residents of a housing...

Buying Land? Have You Fully Understood Any Restrictions on its Use?

When buying land it is vital to have a full understanding of any restrictions on the use to which it can be put. In a striking case on point, a couple were caught unawares by one such restriction and had their hopes of constructing an equestrian training...

Overlooked Homeowners Fall Foul of Ambiguity in Planning Permission

Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...

Judge Laments Heavy Cost of Suburban Boundary Dispute

Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...

Absentee Tenant Pays High Price for Failing to Leave Forwarding Address

Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...

Houses in Multiple Occupation - Landlords Overturn Rent Repayment Order

Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without a required licence are exposed to the double whammy of criminal prosecution and the prospect of having to repay rent to their tenants. As an unusual Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed ,...

Do You Object to a Neighbour's Development Plans? Consult a Solicitor

If a neighbour has been granted planning permission for a development to which you object, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it. As one case showed, however, with the benefit of expert legal advice that is by no...

Relationship Broken Down? Do You Understand the Legal Consequences?

When a relationship between partners who jointly own their home breaks down, one of them may move out leaving the other in sole occupation. That is a commonplace scenario but, as a High Court case showed, it can give rise to legal and financial issues that...

Litigation - You Need a Lawyer to Navigate the Procedural Minefield

The litigation process can, to a non-lawyer, appear to be a maze of procedural rules replete with traps for the unwary. In one case, a woman's claim against a builder went wrong almost from the start when she failed to pay a court fee on time. Following a...

Parking Obstruction of Rights of Way - The Legal Principles Explained

The parking of cars along shared access routes is all too often a source of acrimony between neighbours. A High Court ruling provided a clear explanation of the legal principles commonly applied when resolving such disputes. The case concerned a lane that...

Are You a Pandemic Home Worker? Do You Need Planning Permission?

Vast numbers of people have been prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic to take up working or running businesses from home – but do they need planning permission for a change of use? The High Court addressed that burning issue in the case of a personal...

Property Dispute Looming? Now is the Moment to Seek Professional Advice

A word out of place can lead to the sacrifice of valuable legal rights and that is why it is vital to seek professional advice the moment a potential dispute looms on the horizon. The point was made by the case of a couple who faced a challenge to their...

Neighbours Encroaching on Your Right of Way? Consult a Lawyer Today

Many homes or businesses are only accessible via neighbours' land and that can prove fertile ground for dispute. However, as a High Court case showed , expert lawyers are adept at ensuring their clients' unhindered use of rights of way. A couple's home and...

Homeowner Pays Price for Unauthorised Subterranean Leisure Development

Judges play a crucial enforcement role in the planning process and those who fail to comply with their orders can expect stern punishment. In one case, a homeowner who breached planning control when he built a huge subterranean leisure facility under his...
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