Discussing UK law. Links: swarb.co.uk | law-index | Acts | Members Image galleries

jointlyowned land dispute

Land, Registered Land, Planning law etc.

jointlyowned land dispute

Postby manateegirl » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:01 am

Good Morning. Someone I know has this problem and I would value any input or ideas from the forum to assist them please. Piece of commercial land in South of England. Jointly purchased by 2 people. Both put equal amounts of money into the purchase. Now (surprise surprise) they have fallen out. One has erected a fence in the middle of the land (but taking much more of it than 50%). My view is that you cannot do this as both parties own all the land not half of it. But how to go about dealing with it? Tearing down the fence creates possible "criminal damage" allegations and perhaps violence from the other party? Is the only way to go to court (costing a lot of money)? Any ideas or experience please?
manateegirl
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 am

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby atticus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:30 am

Short of resolving in court - either one buys out the other or both sell and divide the proceeds.

Court action would be for an order for sale under Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.

I acted in a similar dispute a couple of years ago. Mediation led to agreement on a price one paid the other.
User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19700
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby dls » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:52 am

Your basic description of teh ;aw is correct.

A court will sometimes order partition. A half in value may not be a physical half.

Mediation of some sort is clearly required. It will not come at a cost similar to a full court action, but it is still a long way from cheap.
David Swarbrick (Admin) dswarb@gmail.com - 0795 457 9992
User avatar
dls
Site Admin
 
Posts: 12193
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:35 pm
Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby manateegirl » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:04 pm

Thank you both that is extremely helpful. Who would arrange mediation please?
manateegirl
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 am

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby atticus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:12 pm

The parties or their lawyers should initially contact a mediation provider.
User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19700
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby atticus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:24 pm

User avatar
atticus
 
Posts: 19700
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:27 pm
Location: E&W

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby manateegirl » Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:37 pm

Thank you Atticus that is extremely helpful. Much appreciated.
manateegirl
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 am

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby manateegirl » Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:57 pm

Chapter 2 of the saga - all comments and advice appreciated. The person I know (A) offered mediation to (B) who flatly refused. "A" has now given me more details. A large parcel of land was originally purchased. Part of it was sold off about 15 years ago (long story won't bore you) but some land was retained in the names of A and B themselves. Each party would have the same amount (some 3 acres) in their own name. "A" trusted "B" to arrange everything. Fast forward a few years and suddenly "B" (with whom A has fallen out) has erected a fence on what A thought was his land. A survey has subsequently revealed that A has about three quarters of an acre less than he should (it is valuable developed land so worth quite a bit of money). A wants B off the bit he considers his and wants it transferred to him or to receive payment of its value. I have not seen the LR documents so do not know if the area of the land is on the title or just a plan. A has only just found out about the problem he says. He always believed he had the full 3 acres until he saw the survey. B has more than him. B's solicitor says statute of limitations bars any action. I would say not as it does not apply to fraud or a mistake. If there is proof that A should have had 3 acres but has not got it then would A have a case (I know there are a million hoops to jump through but just in general terms?). I believe it hinges on whether he should have known from the Land Registry docs (ie is an area given) as the 12 years would tick from that point. Would written evidence be needed that it was agreed at 3 acres each or would sworn statements suffice? B says that A has no proof that equal amounts were agreed and without that he cannot do anything. "A" will take legal advice of course but any ideas or help would be appreciated.
manateegirl
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 am

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby theycantdothat » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:52 pm

Not entirely sure I understand what has happened. It seems to be that land was bought and most sold leaving six acres and either:

1. The retained land was partitioned between A and B, that is, part was transferred to A and part to B. B organised the conveyancing for the partition and allotted more land to himself but A failed to notice until recently.

2. The retained land is still vested in A and B jointly. An informal partition was agreed (something like: you get the west half and I get the east) and no fence was erected until recently.

If it is 1. and the land was partitioned over 12 years ago B's solicitor is probably correct that any claim is barred by limitation. I fear that section 32 (postponement of limitation period in case of fraud, concealment or mistake) will not ride to the rescue. Even if B proceeded on the basis that he hoped A would fail to notice he had allotted himself more land, everything was put before A who had the opportunity to check the documentation. It is difficult to see how, even if there was fraud, concealment or mistake, time did not start to run from the date of partition.

If it is 2. we need more details about what has happened since the sale off. Has the land just been lying fallow? Has anyone been in occupation of the land or any part of it? How long ago was the fence erected?
theycantdothat
 
Posts: 1144
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: jointlyowned land dispute

Postby manateegirl » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:20 pm

THank you so much for taking the time to reply. The scenario is as per 1.
Thank you for your comments re section 32. A says that he had no idea he did not have 3 acres. This is why I thought it may turn on whether the land registry documents said 2.5 acres for example or whether they are silent on the area and just have a plan. A made the mistake of trusting b. If there is only a plan he would have no reason to think he had been short changed. Until he comes to sell, employs a surveyor and bingo!
manateegirl
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:56 am

Next

Return to Land Law

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest