quintain

Conditions when purchasing a plot

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Hi..what conditions do you know of or/and be required to accept when you purchase  a plot. i.e. time to apply for PP, time to start work on your self build or time to complete your self build.

I am interested in all conditions and how they can be monitored and enforced.

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I think this is pretty much "what you agree to", unless perhaps there is a breach of some aspect of Contract Law or illegal act required, or unenforcible clause included.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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Generally a plot purchase won't have "conditions" on it - but if you're buying something without PP then it's in your interest to use an option agreement to purchase on the grant of planning permission, usually this has a time limit on it (set by you in negotiation with the seller)

If you are looking at serviced plots (like at graven hill or similar) a plot comes with a "plot passport" which details all the conditions and timelines etc.

 

But it's a fairly open ended question, is there something particularly concerning you?

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For my recently purchased plot, which was the end of the seller's garden, I had a range of limitations in the TP1 (Land Registry transfer document).

 

They included a time limit on when I had to complete the build (thankfully long), limits on ridge and eaves height, and boilerplate limitations on usage type and disturbance, which were mirrored on the remaining garden too. I was also required to ensure any future buyer also signed up to these limitations.

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Our seller's solicitor added a bunch of conditions, many of which were later removed after we pointed out their crassness and having spoken to the actual seller. There were a few which we said had to be reciprocal and to which the seller agreed.

 

Remember, until you have signed, it's all negotiable.

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Thanks every one for your input, I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

I appreciate that any prospective plot purchaser having been made aware of any conditions then has the ability to either continue with the purchase or negotiate ( as referred to by BotusBuild etc)  or withdraw.

 

It is the enforcement procedure and how it can be carried out that I am wishing to discuss

 

Dreadnaught:

" time limit on when I had to complete the build"  how could that have been enforced if you simply decided to take much longer (I accept unlikely but possible) than even the long time allowed.

 

the_r_sole:

It was such as Graven Hill conditions & others that brought about my question, I spoke with them some time ago and was treated v pleasantly... but told to discuss such matters with my own legal adviser.

I really do wonder how the conditions are enforced or perhaps no one has came up with a wholly acceptable solution as yet 

BTW: v interesting forum name you have; I worked with a man called Richard Soles, who on occasions was called similar to your online name.

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7 minutes ago, quintain said:

" time limit on when I had to complete the build"  how could that have been enforced if you simply decided to take much longer (I accept unlikely but possible) than even the long time allowed.

 

 

I actually don't know. I assume that the seller would need to demonstrate some real loss in order to drag me though the courts.

 

The seller's main concern was blight on the price of his house if he were to attempt to sell it with wasteland or a building site at the end of his garden, so I didn't think the constraint was unreasonable.

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I would probably regard a generalised finish date term, with no named penalties, as something to sit out and let the seller build himself a toilet paper tent to shelter him from the rain, whilst he persuades himself to sell to you.

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Covenants can be enforced in the courts and damages awarded but it's expensive and takes time. I've sat in on a trial that involved a claim for damages and the defense lawyer spent two week questioning the original land owner about the damages they were claiming. This cost them both a small fortune in legal fees... "You said you tried putting up curtains to reduce the noise? Why did you choose those particular curtains? Who fitted them? Was he a professional fitter? That sort of thing went on for two weeks!

 

Covenants are generally enforceable between the original parties but have to be very carefully worded if they are to "run with the land" and survive a subsequent sale. Developers have been known to get out of a covenant by simply selling the land to a another company that they  also own. Look up the rules on positive and negative covenants.

 

Its also not possible to write an explicit penalty £amount into a covenant. These can be challenged if they don't represent the real cost of the damages that arise from the breach. However it appears you can write covenants that achieve the same thing by varying the purchase price in the event of a breach. That may sound the same as a penalty but the law is funny like that. More on this here..

 

https://www.walkermorris.co.uk/publications/corporate-matters-january-2016/restrictive-covenants-and-penalty-clauses/

 

Quote

The seller accepted that he had breached the non-compete clause but argued that it was unenforceable as a penalty. The Court disagreed. Under the test applied by the Supreme Court, a clause will not be a penalty where it is part of a primary obligation. Compliance with the non-compete clause was a “primary obligation” and the clause itself was a “price adjustment clause”

 

I would suggest you would need to ensure covenants were water tight so that there was little risk of them going to court to challenge them.

Edited by Temp

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55 minutes ago, quintain said:

It was such as Graven Hill conditions & others that brought about my question, I spoke with them some time ago and was treated v pleasantly... but told to discuss such matters with my own legal adviser.

 I really do wonder how the conditions are enforced or perhaps no one has came up with a wholly acceptable solution as yet 

 BTW: v interesting forum name you have; I worked with a man called Richard Soles, who on occasions was called similar to your online name.

 

yeah, these are a bit more "interesting" because they are fairly new, the thing they want/need to avoid is for people to not complete on time and then the rest of the street living in a building site...

I believe that if you don't meet the timescales that the plot will be bought back by the developers (which doesn't really solve their problem!) But I also think with this type of plot sale there is a lot more diligence carried out to give buyers the best chance of meeting the conditions

(username is just based on my love of fish, honest guv)

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Again I thank you all for your input.

 

I believe most of us are of the opinion that conditions imposed on self builders cannot effectively be enforced.

The contribution by 'Temp' of this forum encapsulates the problems.

 

A 'non-business/legal' friend advised that an amount of the purchase price be returned by the site developer/owner to the plot purchaser when all conditions had been completed within the agreed time scale. e.g. plot price £100k return £10k, or similar sums.

In thanking him for the input I said when/if the £10k was refused, there would be potential for a messy/lengthy legal fight.

 

Perhaps a number of conditions are of limited importance but such as a build out time as a condition is very important.

I fully accept that most self builders will complete their build in a relatively short time as it is to the advantage of the self builder to do so.

However there will always be, albeit limited number, of self builders who even against their best endeavors will allow a partially completed building shell to stand within a community.

 

It would be good if some of the LAs who became "Right to Build ‘vanguard’ councils" accepting various amounts of tax payers money could show how they are answering this matter.

 

Perhaps; legislation albeit with great difficulty, could be written to give an answer to the problem and written into the NPPF.

 

I do look forward to "Right to Build ‘vanguard’ councils" joining this discussion with their best advice on how they control the conditions such as build out time.

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Useful summary, however ...

 

>Perhaps; legislation albeit with great difficulty, could be written to give an answer to the problem and written into the NPPF.

 

Nothing to do with ownership and sales agreements will be written into the NPPF; that is across the grain of the law. "That is a Civil Matter" is the Planners Get Out of Jail Free card when asked about anything to do with boundaries or ownership.

 

Planning law is to do with use, not ownership - and they would chew their own legs off before they entered that particular shark infested custard.

 

It would more likely be addressed via Fair Trading advice wrt Contract Law.

 

I agree that they are still working towards a way to integrate Serviced Plots with eg Section 106 in a practical way; it will be seat of the pants and Heath Robinson for a few years yet imo.

Edited by Ferdinand

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30 minutes ago, quintain said:

Again I thank you all for your input.

 

I believe most of us are of the opinion that conditions imposed on self builders cannot effectively be enforced.

 The contribution by 'Temp' of this forum encapsulates the problems.

  

A 'non-business/legal' friend advised that an amount of the purchase price be returned by the site developer/owner to the plot purchaser when all conditions had been completed within the agreed time scale. e.g. plot price £100k return £10k, or similar sums.

 In thanking him for the input I said when/if the £10k was refused, there would be potential for a messy/lengthy legal fight.

  

Perhaps a number of conditions are of limited importance but such as a build out time as a condition is very important.

 I fully accept that most self builders will complete their build in a relatively short time as it is to the advantage of the self builder to do so.

 However there will always be, albeit limited number, of self builders who even against their best endeavors will allow a partially completed building shell to stand within a community.

 

It would be good if some of the LAs who became "Right to Build ‘vanguard’ councils" accepting various amounts of tax payers money could show how they are answering this matter.

 

Perhaps; legislation albeit with great difficulty, could be written to give an answer to the problem and written into the NPPF.

  

I do look forward to "Right to Build ‘vanguard’ councils" joining this discussion with their best advice on how they control the conditions such as build out time.

 

What's your interest in this?

 

If you are looking at Graven hill style plot conditions, they are very different to plots for sale on the open market, in some instances you will find that the conditions you sign up to can be readily enforced but the pre-qualification process rules out a lot of the potential problem purchasers, it's not just as simple as offering to buy a plot in these developments...

 

Are you talking about Local Authorities selling off serviced plots? they would be the only organisation placed to change legislation but the reality is they can't deal with the legislative framework they already have and it only represents a tiny number of plot sales

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