Chapter 5 Problem questions and answer guidance

The draft contract



To:       Trainee solicitor

From: Property partner

Re land to the rear of 14 Wellington Road

We act for Philip Brown of 14 Wellington Road, Midchester who has recently obtained planning permission for the building of a dwelling-house and garage at the rear of his garden. He has decided to sell this building plot to a property developer. The area in question is approximately half a hectare. A price has been agreed, subject to contract, and he has asked us to progress with the sale as soon as possible. 14 Wellington Road is freehold and registered at the Land Registry with title absolute under title number MB 34857. Mr. Brown bought the property back in 1991. I attach a plan that the client has given me. The proposed boundary between the building plot and the land Mr. Brown is retaining is shown by a thick black line. We will use the Law Society form of contract incorporating the Standard Conditions of Sale.

Mr. Brown has given me the following specific instructions:

  1. Access to the building plot will be along the client's driveway, which runs from Wellington Road along the side of his garden. Mr. Brown will share the use of the driveway with the buyer of the plot. The driveway is shown hatched black on the plan.
  2. The buyer of the plot can lay new drains and sewers and connect them into the client's existing drains and sewers ('the existing services'). The existing services in turn connect into the mains drainage and sewage systems in Wellington Road. The run of the existing services is shown by a broken line on the plan.
  3. Once the buyer's connection is made, the buyer can share the use of the existing services and come on to Mr. Brown's retained land to carry out any necessary maintenance or repairs to the services.
  4. There is a greenhouse on the building plot, the position of which is indicated on the plan. Once the sale is legally binding on the buyer, Mr. Brown says he will relocate it in the part of the garden he is keeping.
  5. The client does not want to be overlooked, so the new building must be no more than one storey high - this is very important. Mr. Brown will also want to see and approve the plans for the new property before it is built.
  6. The buyer will put up a suitable fence along the boundary between the plot and the land Mr. Brown is keeping, and the buyer will maintain the fence.

a)  We will have to prepare the draft contract for approval by the buyer's solicitors. Please explain the particular matters we should consider when drafting the contract and draft the special conditions of sale that you consider will meet the requirements of both our client and the buyer. (25 marks)

b)  In relation to Mr. Brown's proposed sale please let me have a note of any tax advice we should give him. (5 marks)

Plan of 14 Wellington Road, Midchester


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