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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19918
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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I jointly inherited property now held as tenants-in-common.

Resolved Question:

I jointly inherited property now held as tenants-in-common. I do not occupy it. It is to be sold. I invested some £5000+ in obtaining planning permission for a substantial extension. This was opposed by the other owner to the extent that a formal objection was submitted by him. At the time, he thought he might purchase the property and keep the price low. He placed at risk that I might gain nothing from the money that I had spent. I am informed by the Estate Agent that this has added 10% to the value of the house on sale. Can I claim for this increase in value (this does not seem comparable to a divorce settlement where one partner has, say, added a new kitchen as part of their occupation)
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 months ago.
Thank you for your question here on Just answer. It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me if I need to ask for any further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully. My name isXXXXX and I am a practising solicitor. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008. During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
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Was the extension eventually agreed by the other owner?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.


No, at no time has he agreed. It has not yet been built and will not be before sale. The 10% increase in value is purely for being granted planning permission on the property. The other party has been invited to accept the estate agent valuation or agree to the appointment of a jointly appointed expert. He has not responded to this request.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 months ago.


If he did not agree to you applying for planning permission, then
in effect, you went off on a frolic of your own.

If the planning permission cost a couple of thousand pounds and
the value has gone up by ten grand, he has two options. Agree to pay half of
the planning and take half of the uplift or pay no half of planning and get no half of uplift.



Just because you spent the money on planning doesn't mean that
you get 100% of the uplift




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Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19918
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you. I am pleasantly surprised by your answer. He was written to after planning permission was granted and invited to pay half the cost of the application and associated services of planning consultants, architects and surveyors involved. He refused. On the basis of your answer, this would support my claim for the whole of the uplift. Could you confirm this, please.


 


As you can guess, I am in the process of formulating my claim prior to going to court in the absence of a mediated settlement.


 


I should like to ask another similar question that I will pay for by bonus, if I may. In what is regarded by others as a well written and fully evidenced Witness Statement, it is shown that for six years the other owner has frustrated the sale of the property. He has achieved this by misrepresentation (e.g. he had commisioned a "full survey" of the property that proved only an inaccurate plan), making written undertakings to prevent the matter being brought to Court only to renegade on these (e.g agreements to sell the property and appoint a joint solicitor to prepare the property for sale and subsequent conveyance) and obstruction (e.g turning down highly acceptable offers without consultation).


 


Throughout this period, he used the property in an attractive seaside village extensively as a second home until, in 2009, his wife ceased earning and he placed his main home on the market. Two months ago, he managed to sell his home and has moved full time into occupation of the jointly owned property without consultation. At no stage has he paid any rent, despite requests.


 


As well as seeking to recover some rent, for six years I have been denied realising the substantial money that is locked up in the equally inherited property. Can I claim interest on this and, if so, at what rate of interest is the Court likely to award? I should add that the other owner has made a couple of offers to purchase the property at a valuation £200,000 below that of CPR cfonforming valuer.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 months ago.


That is not to say that he is not going to be
unreasonable or an idiot or want the benefits of the uplift without the burden
of paying for half of the planning permission. I think the only issue here is
whether he will pay half of the application for the planning permission because
he will want half of the uplift in any event and you don't give him half of the
uplift, expect him to take you to court, you would then counterclaim half of
the cost of the application for planning permission which, if he has any sense,
he will accept readily.

Remember there is no legislation for "stupid".



Regarding the next question, I need the
background please because it appears that these are hypothetical facts where is
in actual fact they are not, it is a real scenario.



It appears to be a completely separate property.
I am going to need the full facts from start to finish please.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

With the hearing in court next month, he has not altered his position of refusing to pay half the near £6000 in costs of the planning submission. Unfortunately, the maximum I will be awarded is half of these, with the Court unwilling/unable to dispense "justice" by recognising the size of his gain despite his best efforts to prevent it!


In relation to the claim for loss of interest, the facts given to you are actual and evidenced and relate to the same joint owner of the same property. Without your being specific, there is not much I can add. For six years I have been desperate to obtain my half of the property as I am a cancer patient and concerned about the expensive home care that I shall need. The simple fact is that I am now forced to go to court to gain an order for sale ( which should be automatic) and an order for responsibility for this sale to be passed to me to prevent continued obstruction. In terms of damages, nothing can be done about the anxiety caused to me over this period but I have suffered real financial loss by being cynically and demonstrably denied access to my half share of its eventual sale value for these six years.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 months ago.


Please remember that I have given you my opinion
and I have no control over what view the judge will take on this or what the
other side are going to say.

Please remember that litigation needs at least
two parties and no one ever goes to court expecting to lose and yet one of them
generally does having been advised by the respective legal advisers that they
had a good chance of success!



Too late now, but the situation with this would
have been to make an application to court for an order for sale a long long
time ago.



I am still of the opinion that if he wants the
benefit of the uplift (assuming you can prove all that and have evidence from
valuers) he has the burden of half of the cost of planning permission.



Please remember that the court can make
pretty far reaching orders regarding the sales process, such as:



the agent to be
used,



the solicitor to be
used



the asking price



the price to be
accepted



for the co-owner to
cooperate with all aspects of the process



for the co-owner not
to be present when viewings take place



actually for the
co-owner to move out to facilitate the sale if they are using to comply with
the previous point cooperating general





and if they refuse
to sign any documentation, the court can actually grant power of attorney for
you to deal on your own or can actually signed the documents instead of the
co-owner and charge them legal costs for the privilege!



Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Thanks. I am pretty sure the judge will award half the planning costs despite his earlier refusal and thereby remove half the upflift from consideration. Cry


 


I have not had an answer to the question of the six years loss of interest on my inheritance that I have incurred, based on my ability to show this has been due to deliberate frustration by the other party to getting the property on the market despite undertakings made by him throughout this period.

Expert:  Stuart J replied 10 months ago.

Sorry. Mea culpa. Yes, add that in if it has been lost because of his obstruction. The worst that can happen is that it is disallowed. Go for it

Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 19918
Experience: PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
Stuart J and other UK Property Law Specialists are ready to help you

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