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Matthew J
Matthew J, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 671
Experience:  4 y PQE (Partner) - Commercial / Residential Property & Property and Civil litigation experience
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Land Grab

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Since 1985 the council have rented, under licence, 283sqm of land to the rear of our garden. The previous occupiers maintained it to a high level until we purchased the house from them in July 2000 and equally maintain the land to a high standard. It is very much an integral part of our family garden.

We have requested to buy the land from the council every year, as did our predecessors. The council simply refused to sell it to us for no specific reason.

One month ago we read in the local press that the council were going to auction off pieces of land around our area one of which is our garden we rent.

We feel we should have had first option to buy once the land has been independently valued. If at this point we find we can't afford it or indeed don't wish to keep it then and only then should it go to auction.

There is a problem as the neighbours to the rear of the garden have also been trying to buy the land we rent and maintain.

If this auction goes a head the council will be complicit in pitching neighbour against neighbour which will only lead to animosity and dis-harmony between us.

And what can we do to keep the land as our garden?

Do we have any rights to prevent the auction from happening?

 

 


Matthew J :

Hi I will try and help.

Matthew J :

Do you have a written contract with the council?

Matthew J :

If so what type is it I.e. is it a licence or a lease. Also is the agreement renewed periodically?

Customer:

It is a licence which we signed only the once in the year 2000. Every year the council sends us a bill for a peppercorn rent for the plot. We pay it immediately every year. The agreement has never been resigned or reviewed.

Matthew J :

thanks

Matthew J :

on the original agreement, what does it say about a term of years?

Customer:

the only point it makes about time is: "to pay £75 on the twenty-first day of July two thousand and thereafter at annual intervals until the determination of this agreement.

Customer:

I don't think there is anything untoward about the licence and in reflection they probably have covered themselves sufficiently. Whether such a rolling licence is legal without it be re-viewed every year is a question.

Matthew J :

just one other question - it says "until the determination". Does the licence mention how this can be determined? i.e on notice by either party

Customer:

The notice may be determined by either party giving to the other in writing at least six months' notice to that effect expiring on any day.

Customer:

It also states "This agreement does not constitute a lease and confers no legal or equitable estate in the Land upon the Licensee".

Matthew J :

I see thanks

Matthew J :

it appears that, unfortunately your arrangement with the council is very loosely tied. A licence at law is very easily ended, as opposed to a lease arrangement which is much harder.

Matthew J :

I am afraid therefore that I cant see anyway of stopping the action by the Council, other than lobbying your local councillors (remember they need your votes) and your MP as you have done

Matthew J :

I am sorry that this may not be what you wished to hear but I cannot always give a reply that is positive

Matthew J :

do please ask any follow up questions however

Customer:

It is as I thought.

Matthew J :

yes sorry about that, as I say sometimes the advice is not always what people want to hear but it is truthful. I hope my reply has clarified matters however. If you can click on the positive feedback I can get paid for my time. Many thanks.

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