Misrepresentation

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Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:12 am

Hi,

I know I have another thread open but this one is purely regarding a possible misrepresentation case we may have with our vendors. I didn't want this to get jumbled up with the chartered surveyors thread as technically they are regarding two separate subjects on two separate properties.

We are steadily discussing the subject of moving as we cannot bare the thought of living next to our neighbours any longer in such a toxic situation but are very nervous about marketing our house because a) what financial hit we would have to take b) what potential timebombs we could be leaving for potential buyers and c) what potential timebombs we could ultimately leave ourselves. We feel trapped.

We would have to declare two separate boundary disputes. One on our property and one that my Mum bought next door. As previously stated, both disputes with the same neighbour.

I am making an appointment with a new solicitor for late August (unfortunately much more expensive but highly recommended property litigators). What evidence will I need? The only hard evidence I have is the property information pack and the many letters and emails from the dispute.

Soft evidence includes our neighbour saying their solicitor got involved with our vendors over that piece of land. The man who sold us my mums property saying he had a legal dispute with the same neighbours. Our Vendors specifically omitted explaining the strip of land to us.

Due to the costs that this will incur have I got tangible grounds to do anything? Ultimately, will it be worth it?

mr sheen
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by mr sheen » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:01 pm

The 'soft' evidence you refer to is even worse than that it is 'hearsay' and cannot be admitted. You need hard evidence that a dispute was active prior to your purchase, eg copies of correspondence between vendors and neighbours or one of the parties willing to testify for you which is unlikely to happen.

It gets worse...it appears that .you physically moved a fence that was in situ when you purchased the property so it could be argued that you initiated a boundary dispute that did not previously exist.

The evidence you need for the solicitor ......aerial photos/photos/plans etc showing that the previous owners moved the boundary and correspondence showing a boundary dispute was in existence at the time you purchased the property.

If you really want to move, you could go round to the neighbours with a proposal to move the fence back to where it was when you bought the property in return for a letter notorised by a solicitor that any and all disputes between them and you and your mother and all 3 properties are fully resolved. This would enable you to show both properties to buyers without any dispute and as the boundaries stand at the time of the viewing.

Or...you can buckle up for battle against the neighbours and the previous vendors for the next 5 years or so.

Roblewis
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Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Roblewis » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:12 pm

All disputes have to be declared on the SPIF not simply the unresolved one. It is a commonly held fallacy that resolved disputes do not need to be declared. The buyer is entitled to have all the facts available in order to make a proper judgement. Many agreed solutions still leave simmering issues such that any change, eg a change of ownership, can re ignite the dispute yet again.

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:45 pm

mr sheen wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:01 pm
The 'soft' evidence you refer to is even worse than that it is 'hearsay' and cannot be admitted. You need hard evidence that a dispute was active prior to your purchase, eg copies of correspondence between vendors and neighbours or one of the parties willing to testify for you which is unlikely to happen.

It gets worse...it appears that .you physically moved a fence that was in situ when you purchased the property so it could be argued that you initiated a boundary dispute that did not previously exist.
Thanks for the response Mr Sheen. When we won (rubbish word as we don't feel like we've won anything) / or warded off the adverse possession claim we were advised by our solicitor to then fence round the perimeter of our garden as then our neighbours started walking over our garden trying to claim a prescriptive easement. We had initially just wanted to clarify ownership and said they could continue using the 'path' but it spiralled out of control and turned nasty. Our new fence wasn't erected until all offers of permitted access and mediation was rebuffed.
mr sheen wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:01 pm
The evidence you need for the solicitor ......aerial photos/photos/plans etc showing that the previous owners moved the boundary and correspondence showing a boundary dispute was in existence at the time you purchased the property.
We do have photos of how it was before and how it looked before our vendors erected the fence we moved.
mr sheen wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:01 pm
If you really want to move, you could go round to the neighbours with a proposal to move the fence back to where it was when you bought the property in return for a letter notorised by a solicitor that any and all disputes between them and you and your mother and all 3 properties are fully resolved. This would enable you to show both properties to buyers without any dispute and as the boundaries stand at the time of the viewing.
That would hurt my sense of justice. I hadn't thought of that avenue properly. Maybe an offer to sell the strip of land to them would soften any blow to my pride as giving them something they tried to take so underhandedly would prickle to say the least. Obviously it would have to be registered to avoid any potential buyers from posting a similar thread to this one in a few years time.
mr sheen wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:01 pm
Or...you can buckle up for battle against the neighbours and the previous vendors for the next 5 years or so.
Wow! We're thinking of selling up because we feel battle weary, not sure anything is worth another 5 years of my life.

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:46 pm

Roblewis wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:12 pm
All disputes have to be declared on the SPIF not simply the unresolved one. It is a commonly held fallacy that resolved disputes do not need to be declared. The buyer is entitled to have all the facts available in order to make a proper judgement. Many agreed solutions still leave simmering issues such that any change, eg a change of ownership, can re ignite the dispute yet again.
This is exactly what I am afraid of Rob. If we do move, I want to move safe in the knowledge our buyers aren't going to come on here asking for advice on suing us and precisely why we feel so aggrieved at our vendors.

mr sheen
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 2:33 pm

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by mr sheen » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:35 am

Resolved disputes, with formal legal paperwork signed by both sides are ....resolved and finished. These give people the clarity that the issue cannot become a dispute again. It is in the interest of the seller to declare these so that the buyer knows exactly what they are buying. Don't think anyone has said resolved disputes don't need to be declared.

Resolving all issues and declaring these will enable you to move safe in the knowledge that the will be no comeback.

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:24 am

I had a long conversation with my new solicitor on Friday and although he hasn’t yet looked at all the documents he did suggest that, as it is now 18 months since we put our fence up and next door have acquiesced to it coupled with the fact it is 14 months since the LR turned down their application for a prescriptive easement the matter is actually resolved in its own way. He said there was rarely a ‘full stop’ after these things.
I have property alerts on our house and no action since July 2017 which can only be good. Their evidence was patchy to say the least. Downright lies to say the most.
Obviously we would have to declare and explain the situation fully to any buyers but he says it is unlikely the neighbours would try again.
He did back up what my previous solicitor said though. That we’ve not really suffered any financial loss apart from legal costs and new fencing but couldn’t offer any advice until he’d seen all the details and taken instruction.

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:53 am

The solicitor did express surprise that the estate agents / conveyance didn’t highlight the moved boundary though and they should have if they’d have done their job properly. This is something Mrs Vol (who is a solicitor herself) has always said.

Eliza
Posts: 343
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:28 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Eliza » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:15 pm

Well it looks as if they havent been able to steal the land or get "prescriptive easement" over the land.

So - if I'm reading this right - you have everything that's yours now with you - ie all your land and they don't have any rights over it.

I can't see that there is anything else they can do to you - other than "glare and mutter" at you as you walk past them and that's nothing, ie "Sticks and stones can break my bones - but words can never hurt me".

It sounds like it's over and done with and you've resolved it all in your favour. Which just leaves the one issue - ie what your vendors owe you for having lied to you. That is the thing - ie whether to take up more of your life chasing your vendors for what they owe you (which you may or may not win) or just "put it all on the back burner - and hope for the chance to 'repay' your vendors some other way for all this aggro at some point".

1. How much do your vendors owe you - ie in direct costs you've incurred to fight off these neighbours?

2. If you move - then there would be a lot of costs incurred there (solicitor/removal/estate agent/etc) and any work you decided to do on "next house". I'm guessing all those costs totalled up would come to rather more than your vendors owe you for their lies?

It does leave a nasty taste in one's mouth to have nasty neighbours like this still living in the houses they've created these problems from. But would it create an even "nastier taste" to have to go to all the hassle and expense of moving when you wouldnt choose to of yourself by the sound of it?
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:41 pm

Eliza wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:15 pm
Well it looks as if they havent been able to steal the land or get "prescriptive easement" over the land.

So - if I'm reading this right - you have everything that's yours now with you - ie all your land and they don't have any rights over it.

I can't see that there is anything else they can do to you - other than "glare and mutter" at you as you walk past them and that's nothing, ie "Sticks and stones can break my bones - but words can never hurt me".

It sounds like it's over and done with and you've resolved it all in your favour. Which just leaves the one issue - ie what your vendors owe you for having lied to you. That is the thing - ie whether to take up more of your life chasing your vendors for what they owe you (which you may or may not win) or just "put it all on the back burner - and hope for the chance to 'repay' your vendors some other way for all this aggro at some point".

1. How much do your vendors owe you - ie in direct costs you've incurred to fight off these neighbours?

2. If you move - then there would be a lot of costs incurred there (solicitor/removal/estate agent/etc) and any work you decided to do on "next house". I'm guessing all those costs totalled up would come to rather more than your vendors owe you for their lies?

It does leave a nasty taste in one's mouth to have nasty neighbours like this still living in the houses they've created these problems from. But would it create an even "nastier taste" to have to go to all the hassle and expense of moving when you wouldnt choose to of yourself by the sound of it?
Thanks for the post Eliza. You’re right, we have seen off all attempts to take ownership of or claim any rights over our land. I beleive now on the advice I have been given that there is nowhere more for our neighbours to go with any attempted claims.

You are also right that all we now face is some rubbish behaviour. It has no doubt calmed down from what it was and we are left with a bigger and more private garden.

At this point in time, regardless of what we beleive our vendors have done, I feel all battled out and want to just start enjoying life again so although I have an appointment with a solicitor in late August I am already resigned to just letting it all go.

The whole thing has been the most stressful thing. It’s made me ill, it put enormous strain on us as a couple and as previously mentioned made us consider moving.

This may still be an option for us but for reasons other than to just move away from our neighbours.

It does feel like it’s all reached some kind of resolution so I’m just going to chill out and see what happens. I’m going to start that right now with a nice cool mid-afternoon beer.

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:42 am

Chilling out only seems to be a brief affair here. Came home from the gym last night to find our neighbours solicitor next door. Now we’re back to waiting for the next move :(

Eliza
Posts: 343
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:28 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Eliza » Mon Sep 03, 2018 6:28 pm

Have you found out what the "next move" is yet?

With any luck their solicitor has taken a look at the situation on the ground and told them "Don't be so daft. Leave things be".
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

Volumiza
Posts: 140
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:15 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Volumiza » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:43 am

No moves as yet. In fact our neighbours have definitely started behaving themselves either a) of their own accord (I doubt this) b) been advised to stop misbehaving by their solicitor to avoid harassment charges or c) had their wings clipped by their son in law / landlord due to him being fed with me complaining about them and causing him to spend his money on solicitors fees.

Either way, they seem to have stopped all annoying behaviour and don't even make eye contact any more. This is bliss.

Personally I believe their solicitor has advised against pursuing any more action against me as fundamentally I had never done anything wrong (unless you count 2 or 3 major losses of temper on my part). It was always - they try and take something / break something / move something until I erupt then they would cry victim. Completely maddening.

Anyway, with regard to my solicitor appointment last week I have been advised that we 100% have a case for misrepresentation. I have gone to a very well recommended firm by the way and this advice isn't coming cheap. Our vendors, in his view, definitely lied to us over certain aspects of our property and without doubt had entered into some informal agreements with our neighbours without mentioning them to us, knowing full well this could and probably would lead to the dispute we have been in. The details of the dispute along with the sellers information pack shows very clearly that there was a lot of information deliberately kept from us and two outright lies.

He laid out some potential options:

1. We could theoretically make them buy the house back for breach of contract - total nuclear option that has no appeal to me whatsoever. I love my house.
2. We can have valuations done and try and sue for the devaluation amount with an active dispute and the costs of our legal fees spent and fences put up
3. We can offer to sell the parts of our land that our neighbours tried to take in return for an agreement between parties to indicate the dispute is now over in addition to option 2

My personal view is if our neighbours can keep this new behaviour up that will suit me fine and the process of taking action against our vendors seems a heck of a lot of money and hassle for outcomes I'm not really bothered about.

Anyway, I'm waiting for the definitive communication and detailed options letter from my solicitor and we'll take it from there but hopefully ... hopefully this is all quietening down.

Eliza
Posts: 343
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:28 am

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by Eliza » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:34 am

Just come back to this thread.

Fingers crossed all is still quiet on the western front.

Imo one almost gets a mild form of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) after an episode battling neighbours - even if all is resolved.

I'd just "give it time" and your frazzled nerve ends will settle back down.
Apologies for not giving exact personal details in my posts - you never know who is reading....

jonahinoz
Posts: 1547
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:15 pm

Re: Misrepresentation

Post by jonahinoz » Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:20 pm

Hi Eliza,

Fingers crossed for you.

I'm guessing that you could avoid any accusation of misrepresentaion, should you ever decide to sell, by leaving the new fence in place, and erecting another on the line where the fence you saw before buying, was,and then splitting the strip from the rest of your plot. Any buyer sees and buys what you saw and believed you were buying. Two Land Registry fees of £40 each, ???, and you still have a strip of land that has a value to the two adjoining properties ... probably worth more to your clefti neighbour than the new owner of your house. Maybe their "land-lord" would like to buy it?

John W.

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