Jointly owned woodland

calyjo
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Location: Derbyshire UK

Jointly owned woodland

Post by calyjo » Sat May 14, 2011 5:34 pm

Hi I will try to explain my situation as briefly as possible, we recently jointly purchased a small coniferous woodland to the rear of our property with our next door neighbour who made a verbal agreement witnessed by our solicitor that we register the land in joint names and immediately apply for Deed of partition so that we have a 50% boundry between the two properties, the neighbour has now gone back on her word and is saying she does not want to go ahead with the Deed of partition and wants to buy our half from us, this is because she wants sole ownership of the woodland and doesn't want us to carry out any work in the woods, we had every intention of thinning out the woods allowing light onto the floor and eventually replacing the felled coniferous trees with broadleaved. This is obvoulsly going to drag on as she has involved a solicitor as have we but only for a short period as we cannot afford to throw money at solicitors.
My question is as joint owner can I start to thin some of the trees obviously within my legal allowance, as I'm sure she will try to stop me from doing this.
Thank you
Calyjo

Geometer
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by Geometer » Sat May 14, 2011 8:45 pm

I can't comment on your legal situation, but Spring is the wrong time of year to start felling trees or thinning woodland. There will be many birds nesting in your woods, and disturbing nesting birds is illegal.

Geometer

calyjo
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by calyjo » Sat May 14, 2011 10:09 pm

I am aware of this and have been guided by the forestry commission and an arborist as to my legal rights regarding felling
Thank you

Roblewis
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by Roblewis » Mon May 16, 2011 8:40 pm

In a sense it is Breach of Contract and you could actually sue. Verbal Agreements are legally binding in contract law. The original contractual agreement was for joint purchase then division - this should be enforceable

mr sheen
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by mr sheen » Mon May 16, 2011 9:05 pm

In relation to land a verbal contract may well prove difficult to successfully claim damages for. Property sales are initially verbal but you can't sue if someone pulls out. Verbal contracts in relation to land are likely to be considered 'subject to contract'.

ukmicky
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by ukmicky » Tue May 17, 2011 10:32 pm

Except in situations which would be covered under equity all contracts to sell land need to be in writing.

However even though they are linked the agreement to split the land has nothing legally contract wise to do with the agreement to purchase of the land and should be in my opinion considered as a separate agreement and even though verbal under contract law is binding.

You should therefore be able to sue for breech of contract if she fails to abide by the terms and conditions agreed .

If your solicitor will be used as your witness you may need to get another one to send her a letter asking her to abide by the terms and conditions agreed or you will sue for breech of contract.

At the same time if she sill refuse you can sue for damages and costs
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Conveyancer
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by Conveyancer » Wed May 18, 2011 12:01 am

calyjo wrote: we [...] made a verbal agreement witnessed by our solicitor that we register the land in joint names and immediately apply for Deed of partition
You are up against section 2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 which provides that: A contract for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land can only be made in writing. However, if the neighbour persists you may be able to apply to the court under section 14 of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996; see also section 15. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/199 ... s-of-court A court application will be expensive.

The solicitor ought to have had it all sorted out so that this did not happen. Did he draw up any sort of an agreement? Tell him if he does not sort it out you will look to him to pay your costs for an application under section 14 and/or report him to the relevant authorities for acting where there was a conflict of interest or for failing to carry out your joint instructions.
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Clifford Pope
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by Clifford Pope » Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Verbal means using words. It can be oral or written. A misused ambiguous word.

Conveyancer
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by Conveyancer » Wed May 18, 2011 9:58 am

Clifford Pope wrote:Verbal means using words. It can be oral or written. A misused ambiguous word.
Whilst lawyers should be careful to distinguish between "oral" and "written", I think that in practice when non-lawyers use "verbal" it is usually clear what they mean.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/verbally
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calyjo
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by calyjo » Wed May 18, 2011 2:39 pm

Just for the record by verbal I meant spoken (oral)
Thanks

calyjo
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by calyjo » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:19 am

Well here I am again six months after purchasing the woodland and no further forward, I'm waiting for a reply from my solicitor due to the fact the neighbours brother called to see me last week stating that her solicitor had asked him to act as mediator which I don't understand as mediation should be done by someone impartial, her brother basically gave me an ultimatum that if I do not agree to sell her 13% of my 50% which will move the boundary encroaching on my privacy then she will put an embargo on the land so that I cannot carry out any work on the woodland without her permission.
My next step is professional mediation if anyone can recommend an organisation for this I would be grateful, I will then have to go to County Court if mediation is not successful as I refuse to be intimidated & bullied into something I do not agree with

ukmicky
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by ukmicky » Sat Oct 15, 2011 4:02 pm

Maybe she has realised the land has the potential to be more than a little wood and is looking at developing the land if she gets hold of it all. ?

i would call her bluff and say fine i am happy for it to remain as nature intended and in joint ownership and then see how that goes down.

Her brother cannot mediate, any mediator must be impartial.

As part owner you are allowed to maintain your property
Any information provided is not legal advice and you are advised to gain a professional opinion

Sadgardener2
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by Sadgardener2 » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:25 pm

When you bought the land together, did you agree where the boundary was going to be?

robj191269
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by robj191269 » Thu Oct 20, 2011 8:43 pm

I hear the pikeys in Essex are looking for somewhere new to live :D

calyjo
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Re: Jointly owned woodland

Post by calyjo » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:56 pm

Just an update, we started work on the woods on Sunday taking down 5 cubic meters until we can apply for a thinning license which we wont be able to do until Deed of partition is in place and we are sole owners of our 50%, concentrated on the area adjacent to our back garden as we want to create a glade, the neighbor next door turned into a banshee threatening my lumberjack taking pictures of him and called the police reporting it as criminal damage! police had to respond but realised it was civil & went away, what a horrible person she is and her brother is just as bad they are both compulsive liars.
My solicitor is writing to her solicitor stating we now need to take it to professional impartial mediation, he witnessed the oral agreement to divide the land 50/50 and will give evidence of this if necessary.........what a horrible person she is I don't know why a person of her age wants all this agro but she is and always has been a control FREAK!

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