Commercial Property Rights & Restrictions
Acquisition of rights by Deed
When owning or acquiring a property is may be necessary to obtain additional rights to supplement the rights which are granted by the title. Examples are rights of way over, or entry onto, neighbouring properties or rights of support and shelter for connected properties.
We are able to advise and assist in relation to what rights may be necessary or appropriate, as well as to negotiate on your behalf and prepare the final Deed of Grant. We would also attend to registration of the Deed at the Land Registry.
Advice concerning restrictive covenants
Restrictive covenants are binding obligations entered into by one party, when disposing of land, which are intended to bind the land, regardless of the identity of the occupier. In order for such a covenant to continue binding subsequent owners, it must be restrictive (i.e. negative) in nature, meaning that the covenant will normally be expressed as an obligation “not” to do something.
We can provide advice and assistance as to whether or not a particular property is bound by restrictive covenants and/or if they are unenforceable. We can also advise concerning imposing new restrictive covenants and enforcing existing ones.
In addition, we have previously represented clients in applications to the Property Tribunal for discharge of a restrictive covenant which is no longer deemed to be appropriate in particular circumstances.
Acquiring ownership by long user
It is possible to obtain rights over neighbouring property where those rights have been exercised for a period in excess of 20 years without the consent of the owner of that property and without objection from that person or any third party.
Rights acquired in this way are known as prescriptive easements which often relate to rights of way or rights of access. We can advise and assist as to whether or not such rights apply and, if appropriate, make an application to the Land Registry for registration of such an easement.
Acquiring rights by adverse possession
Where land has been occupied for a period in excess of 12 years and there is no formal legal title to that land, it may be possible to obtain ownership by a process known as adverse possession.
When applying for adverse possession of land, it is necessary to show that the occupation has been undertaken without the consent of the owner and without objection to any third party and that the land in question has been clearly demarcated and (usually) fenced off. If the conditions are fulfilled then an application may be made to the Land Registry.
Where the property is registered (which is most often the case) the Land Registry will notify the registered proprietor who will have a right of objection.
We have advised and assisted clients in respect of the registration of adverse rights in respect of both registered and unregistered land.
Party Wall advice
A Party Wall is one which divides one property from that belonging to a neighbour.
If you are working on such a wall or building a new wall on or near that boundary you will need to serve a Party Wall notice upon the neighbouring property. The process can be somewhat complicated and we are able to advise and assist in relation to the preparation of notices, the persons upon whom the notice should be served and the method of service.
We are also able to negotiate on a client’s behalf prior to the Party Wall Notice procedure being invoked and, in addition, provide advice as to how to deal with any counter-notices or disputes that arise.