You and the Law – 21st September 2010

Knocked down

I was involved in a traffic accident, so I signed up with an accident claims
company which has appointed a solicitor to act for me.  The problem is that
both the accident claims company and the solicitors‚ service is very poor;
they don’t seem to care because they are going to get paid anyway.  LS

I cannot understand why people instruct accident claims companies to deal
with their claims for personal injury.  There are several local solicitors
specialising in this type of work who are accessible, professional and who
would do the work efficiently to obtain a satisfactory result without
claiming a penny of your compensation.

If you now consult such a solicitor he or she will contact the accident
claims company with a view to transferring the papers.  They will also advise
you whether you will have to pay the accident claims company anything for
their involvement.

Land covenant

We bought some land from the council in the 1970’s to build a commercial
garage and our bungalow.  The council included a covenant restricting the use of the premises to a garage only.  We now want to sell it, but no-one will buy it with the covenant in place and the council want a lot of money to remove it.  We are told that if the covenant holder has no adjacent land the covenant is void.  Is this true?  RC

There has to be some land that benefits from the covenant, but it doesn’t
have to be adjacent necessarily.  The document containing the covenant should state which land is affected.  If it’s vague you may be able to argue that it is unenforceable, but you would have to go to court to do this, which is likely to be expensive. 

You could also apply to the Lands Tribunal to have the covenant removed, but this too is an expensive and lengthy procedure.  Your best bet is to come to some arrangement with the council. If it looks as though you could have the covenant overturned the council will accept less.

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