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Ronan
Ronan, Solicitor
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 2209
Experience:  B. Corp Law, Ll.B. Dip Comm Prop. In general practice for more then 6 years
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Ronan, I would like you to try and advise me please. Let me

Customer Question

Hi ronan, I would like you to try and advise me please. Let me explain. My sister owns all the land surrounding my house as it was left to her in my late fathers will, as she is now out of a job and in financial difficulties she has decided to sell. My husband is a farmer and pays her rent for the use of this land every year, due to this she has offered us the chance to buy it off her which we were quite happy to do until she moved the goal posts and stated that as this land has road frontage she could get 2 potential sites off this land, she told us that if we wanted the land we would have to be prepared to give her the market value of these 2 sites (keep in mind she has no planning premission) plus the agricultural value of the land that would remain. As we would prefer to keep our privacy intact and have no one building around us we told her that we were not happy about this to which she replied that we would have to exchange these potential sites for 2 more potential sites elsewhere on our farm. I feel this is most unfair to ask us to do this considering she might never get planning on the two sites on the field she wants to sell and we would be giving her money for nothing.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Expert:  Ronan replied 4 months ago.

There is no legal issue here per se. This is simply an issue of negotiation and agreeing terms. It is her property and she can sell it to whoever she likes at whatever price she can obtain. However the reality is that she is in financial difficulties, needs to get this resolved and most likely cannot wait for a planning application to be submitted and process completed. Be mindful also that you are entitled to object to any such planning application.

I would suggest you have the property valued as agricultural lands and offer that as the amount your are prepared to pay

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
thanks for your reply ronan, she has had all the land valued but insists on having these 2 sites sold at site price i.e one at 60K and one at 50K and can only maximise the amount of money she can get by doing this according to her, she is selling the remainder at agri price but has had an auctioneer which she plucked out of the blue and knows very little if anything about the price of agricultural land, apparently he is only an auctioneer that works in a town and his main line of work is dealing with sales and purchases of land houses - he has totally overvalued the land and she is taking his word as gospel, my husband is a farmer and knows the price land is currently making but she seems to think he wouldn't know or is telling her lies, should be suggest she get someone else???
Expert:  Ronan replied 4 months ago.
That's her perogative. She's entitled to sell the land to who ever she wants at whatever value she want. The fact you don't agree doesn't assist you legally. By all means get your own auctioneer and refer her but she's entitled to do what she wants
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
ok ronan, well we have land elsewhere which we were thinking of exchanging 2 sites on that land for the sites she owns on her own land, thing is our sites are far more superior sites than her's but we will have to be the losers if we want to be rid of her i guess. Is there any way of getting sites valued, our own auctioneer told us you cannot make comparassions, is this true?? It feels most unfair that she is asking the full market value and no planning on them so in effect they are not legally sites?? I just feel the whole situation is wrong, there is nothing fair about it at all.
Expert:  Ronan replied 4 months ago.

You have to forget about whether they are sites or not. Its her land and she is entitled to sell it at whatever price she can get for it. You are not obliged to buy it. You may feel the price she is asking is unfair. However if you are still willing to pay it, that is simply commerce. You can get valuations done on the lands, I am not sure what you are asking about comparisons

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
comparasions on the value of potential sites, there are 4 potential sites in question here, my sisters two and our two. What I What I mean is if my sites are more valuable than her's surely we are the losers as we have no choice but to give them to her if we want our privacy protected. Buying all of the land is definately not a runner as she is looking for the site value on both potential sites plus the price of what is left when 0.75 x 2 of an acre are taken out of the picture. So what you are saying is we have no choice, she calls the shots and if we want it then we have to give it. From a capital gains point of view can we put the sites in as agricultural value now and whenever the exchanged sites are in my sisters name let her pay the capital gains tax if she gets planning and sells the sites down the line. I have been told by my accountant that this can be done. For now they may be potential sites but without planning on them they really are only 2 x 3/4 acres of agri land??
Please advise.
Expert:  Ronan replied 4 months ago.

They are not sites, they are agricultural land!!!!It doesn't matter either way

They auctioneer will not give a valuation based on a contingency. i.e. them possibly getting planing down the line

CGT is paid by the vendor based on the value of the land when sold regardless of whether it is a site or agricultural land

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
that would be my thinking, now let me put this to you. Initially she wanted the value of the 2 sites plus the price of the remaining land which financially we just couldnt do so we thought about offering her 2 sites in exchange with less of a financial demand to buy the remainder. Now considering none of these sites have planning we are literally exchanging 3/4 acre X 2 for 3/4 acre times 2 but not for the full value of the sites as there is no planning but for agri value. So let me put it to you like this, if say we said well we will buy the complete parcel of land off you including those two potential sites BUT ONLY AT AGRI VALUE (maybe a bit extra as they have road frontage) and in exchange we will give you 1 site in to the value of the 1 and a half acres (her potential sites x 2 - agri value and not site value) would we be above board. I need to research this legally before we put a proper proposal to her. She knows her rights as her stepson is a solicitor and would also know her legal rights and steer her on the correct path. I apologise for all this correspondence but i need to know where i stand and really appreciate your help.
Expert:  Ronan replied 4 months ago.

Yes, that is perfectly legal

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Great, so that means we can put that proposal to her and she cannot disagree legally, if the potential sites are only worth agri value now (say 15K per 3/4 acre i.e 30K) and somehow we can find that money along with the price of the land this is all she is entitled to and not the full site prices on top of the land. If we were to say well we will offer you 10K per acre for the rmainer and 15K per 3/4 acre site that would be a total of 80K altogether. We could possibly sell one of the sites we were going to give her in exchange ourselves and if she is willing to wait we could then sort her out financially. Am i correct in saying this, its either the above or exchange 1 site and 1 site only.

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