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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22403
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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We've recently purchased a new-build ground floor apartment

Customer Question

Hi. We've recently purchased a new-build ground floor apartment in a small city centre development (12 flats). We've discovered that there is a kebab van that trades at ~5pm to 1am, 7 days per week outside our property which creates a significant amount of noise and potentially has a detrimental impact on letting the property (and potentially selling it in the future).
We've discovered the kebab-van was trading at this location prior to the development being built as the site was previously offices which have been converted. Nothing was revealed in the survey prior to purchase. The council have somewhat fobbed us off saying that they can't do anything about it. Can you recommend any legal action against the kebab van, developer we purchased the apartment from, our legal advisor or the council? Thanks, Richard
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 3 months ago.

Good evening. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you this.

You would only have a cause of action against the solicitor if there was something which would be revealed in the local search or any reasonable search and the solicitor overlooked it. It is most unlikely that would be the case.

If there are no enforcement proceedings being brought by the council against the van, then it would ensure on the local search.

The developer is not under a duty under the doctrine of caveat emptor, to reveal anything except where specific enquiries had been made.

This is not something where anyone (solicitor) would make this specific enquiry of a seller prior to purchase.

There is potentially an action in common law nuisance against the van if it is literally a nuisance. However that is potentially problematical for you because the van pre-exists the development and hence, if it is a nuisance, you are coming to the nuisance, the nuisance is not coming to you.

If this is on private land, whoever owns the land can bring an action in trespass.

If it is on public land, the local authority can bring an action for lack of planning permission and consent to trade off the highway without a licence.

If the local authority refused to do anything about this, and you don’t want to risk spending an awful lot of money making an application to court for judicial review then you can make a formal complaint about the council’s lack of action to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Just going back to the nuisance issue, there is potentially a noise issue if there is excessive noise with people visiting after 11 PM and that would be a matter for the Environmental Health Department at the local authority.

Does that answer the question?

Can I answer any specific points arising from this?

Please don’t forget to use the rating service to rate my answer service positively. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

You may think that the thread closes after rating, but it does not, it remains open and we can still exchange emails if anything needs clarification.

Kind regards.

Stuart

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