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Adverse possession – before 2003

LRA 2002 came into force on 13 October 2003. From that date, the new regime introduced by the 2002 Act provides a restrictive regime for the registration of squatters.

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Right of way – actionable interference

The existence of a private right of way over a development site can have a major impact on the site’s potential value. So, to what extent can the developer change the right of way?

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Wales – LTT

 A reminder that Welsh land transaction tax came into force on 1 April 2018, as the Welsh version of SDLT (Scotland also has its own separate regime).

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Party wall – service methods

Party Wall Act 1996 lists various methods by which notices and documents ‘may’ be served. Since that list pre-dates the use of e-mails, it was assumed that service by e-mail would be invalid; accordingly, Regs were passed in 2016 saying that e-mail could be used – provided the recipient agreed.

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Fencing – positive easement

For many years the courts have recognised an obligation to fence as being a binding obligation that can run with the land. Such fencing easements are not ‘true’ easements since they impose a positive (not negative) obligation.

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Right to light – LA power

A recent dispute involving Chelsea’s proposed new stadium has illustrated how an LA can intervene to override the private right to light.

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Timeshare – defences?

In practice, it can be extremely difficult to defend a timeshare claim, even though the client may complain of having been pressurised into a one-sided contract. In practice, there will often be no express ‘exit’ provisions in such contracts and there will be obligations to pay annual fees whether or not the property is used.

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Compulsory purchase – changes

Compulsory purchase procedures have been changed by Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017. Not all of the Act is in force, but these changes came into force in September 2017:

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Surveyor negligence – ‘but for’ damages

It seems a simple question – but it has taken the Supreme Court to come up with an answer (and that answer has been much criticised). The question is this: a lender makes Loan 1 to a borrower. Later, the lender makes Loan 2 to the same borrower – but about 75% of Loan 2 is to be used to pay off Loan 1. However, it turns out that the surveyor who did the valuation at the time of Loan 2 was negligent, and the property was worth less. Accordingly, the lender sues the negligent surveyor for the losses arising. Are those losses the full 100% of Loan 2, or just 25% (given that 75% was already owed on the property)?

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Public right of way – s31(6) deposit

There are several ways in which new public rights of way can be created: by express grant, by order of a public authority, or by ‘dedication’ by the landowner (which can be either express or implied). In practice, the most common of these is presumed dedication (ie implied dedication), which can be either at common law or by statute. In practice, statute is by far the most common, and the statutory test for presumed dedication is set out in s31(1) HA 1980:

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