Historic rentcharges Bristol Bath Manchester

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Re: Historic rentcharges Bristol Bath Manchester

Post by FilthWizzard » Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:47 am

Now that is interesting, as it would appear from the extracts (and keep in mind I can only see what you have posted) that none of the positive covenants are linked to the rentcharge. So, in order:

"hereby grant unto LB all that plot of land ...part of a certain close of Pasture Ground ...and adjoining other land lately granted by the same IP to the same LB and the messuage now being erected thereon.AND ALSO ALL THAT messuage dwelling house or Villa with the outbuildings and appurtenances now being erected by the said LB"

I believe this to be an overblown and unnecessary way of saying that all the land and buildings on the property are transferred, so not a covenant at all.

stuff about connecting to drains gutters sewers "which now exist or from time to time may be made Together also with the use in common with the said owners and occupiers of a certain pleasure ground delineated on the said plan he the said LB his heirs etc paying a proportionate part in common with such several owners and occupiers of the expense of keeping the said pleasure ground in order and of maintaining and painting the fences hereof......"

The drains, gutters and sewers thing is an easement that is often present and is not a covenant. The use of the common and responsibility for expenses is clearly about sharing costs between those with the right to use, not about paying rentcharge for the maintenance to another party. So a constructive covenant, but not linked to the rentcharge.

"And also that the said LB his heirs executors etc will within 6 calendar months from the date hereof at his and their own cost enclose the said plot of ground hereinbefore expressed to be hereby granted with a Wall which shall be then several lines of what the wall must be built of ,topped with height etc.

This is clearly not linked to the rentcharge, as it states 'at his and their own cost' and that the owner must do this. The owner would not need to do this if they were paying a rentcharge for the benefit and to fund someone else to do this. So, a positive covenant but not linked to the rentcharge from what I see here.

Whilst wording can be misleading (so a covenant telling you not to let a fence fall in to disrepair is positive as it really means you must maintain said fence), negative covenants telling you not to take action are not relevant to the rentcharge.

It looks very much like if the rentowner could be traced then the rentcharge could be redeemed. If that is confirmed by a solicitor, then I personally would do the following if buying. I may not bother with rentcharge insurance, but assuming no rentcharge has been paid I would ask that the seller set aside a fund of 6 years worth of the rentcharge payments to be passed to myself (the buyer) that could be used if a rentowner turns up asking for back rentcharge (they can only go back 6 years if asking for back rentcharge). That money would come off the price of the property of course. I would want to know all and any info known about the identity of the rentowner. If the rentowner turns up then I could pay the 6 years and then redeem the rentcharge. If not, then no problems. There is a risk that the rentowner 'turns up' but plays silly games and won't tell you where they are located or how to pay, also making it hard to immediately redeem, so I suppose the insurance could be helpful for that situation, depends what the cost is. If it's not too expensive it may be worth the seller getting that insurance just to set potential buyers' minds at rest. Think it over.

Sounds like it could have been a lot worse. Be sure though, by getting a solicitor to go over all of the title documents. One small detail linking the rentcharge to some positive covenant that we have missed would change things very significantly so good professional advice is essential.

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