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Land & Property Litigation

Morgan McManus have a broad range of experience in dealing with property related disputes. We act for landlords, tenants, property developers, companies and the private client in relation to any property dispute resolution.

Furthermore, our firm has developed long-term and valuable relationships with professionals such as Barristers, Quantity Surveyors and Valuers etc who are instrumental to litigation disputes.

We advise on:

 

 

Landlord And Tenant Litigation

We act for both landlords and tenants of properties. We endeavour to provide a thorough service from initial lease negotiation through to the resolution of disputes arising in connection with tenancies of all types.

 

Specific Performance

Specific performance is a remedy available to clients who are having difficulty enforcing the sale or purchase of a property.

Specific performance is where a Court compels a party to perform its contractual obligations under a contract. It is an equitable relief awarded at the Court’s discretion in circumstances where the normal remedy of damages is inadequate or inappropriate.

For example, where a vendor enters into a contract for the sale of land and it transpires that on the closing date the purchaser is unable to comply with the terms of the contract signed, the vendor may seek an Order from the Court to compel the purchaser to specifically perform the terms of the contract.

 

Joint Venture Disputes

Trust forms an integral part of a business joint venture. However when unexpected problems arise this trust can deteriorate between parties. As it is in the business’s interest to overcome these problems, companies should tackle these problems as they arise.

In some instances there may be a lack of clarity as to the terms of the contract of joint venture. Morgan McManus will help to simplify such terms and reassure all persons concerned. An alternative option for the company is to renegotiate the initial contact, where one or more aspects of the original Joint venture contract are changed. 

Joint ventures require structured governance and a clear method for resolving conflicts as they arise. Morgan McManus Solicitors have the legal due diligence necessary to deal with such complications.

 

Boundary Disputes

It is always advisable that agreement be reached between neighbours prior to any works being carried out. However where a dispute arises, Morgan McManus Solicitors will strive to come to an effective resolution for our client.
The most recent development in relation to boundary disputes came in the form of The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009. It introduced specific provisions aimed at alleviating the problems which might occur between neighbours when works are to be carried out by one of them.

The building owner can carry out works to a party structure for the following reasons:

a) To comply with a notice or order served on them.
b) To carry out development which is exempted development or development for which planning permission has been granted.
c) To preserve a party structure.
d) To carry out other works which will not cause substantial damage or inconvenience to their neighbour or even if it does cause damage and inconvenience that it is reasonable for them to still do these works.

It deals with party structures only. A party structure is defined as any arch, ceiling, ditch, fence, floor, hedge, partition, shrub, tree, wall or other structure which divides the properties. The building owner does not have to ask his neighbour for permission and he does not have give any notice.

This Act however does not give the building owner the right to do whatever they want. If buidling owner causes damage when they are carrying out the works they must make good this damage or reimburse their neighbour in order to allow them to do so. They must also pay their neighbour the reasonable costs of them obtaining professional advice to advise them on the consequences of the works which they propose carrying out along with reasonable compensationCompensation
An amount awarded by a court or tribunal if your employer has treated you in a way that breaks employment law or breaches your contract, sometimes called damages
for the inconvenience caused by the works. The adjoining owner does not have to notify the building owner that they intend to obtain such advice. If the works which they are carrying out will be of benefit to their neighbour they may in certain cases be able to claim part of the cost of the works if the adjoining owner will obtain use or enjoyment form the party structure. If they fail to make good any damage caused by the works within a reasonable time, they fail to reimburse costs or their neighbour fails to meet their claim for contribution then an application can be made to court.

Where the parties are unable to reach agreement in relation to the works they can apply to court for an order authorising the carrying out of the works and this is called a "Works Order". The court can order the carrying out of the works on such conditions as it thinks is necessary.

These conditions may be such as to allow them to enter on to their neighbours land to carry out the works and the order may require them to either indemnify their neighbour for any damage they may cause or give security to their neighbours. However, the works order cannot authorise a permanent interference with or loss of any right or easement which their neighbour may have in relation to the party structure such as the right to light.

Morgan McManus Solicitors understand that disputes between neighbours are troublesome and will seek to ensure a speedy and effective solution for our client.

 

Right Of Way And Wayleaves

Right of way and wayleaves form an integral part of property transactions and should not be overlooked.

A right of way is an entitlement to pass or repass over the property of another. More specifically the right may dictate over what piece of land the right shall be conferred, the manner in which the passing may take place i.e. by foot/by animals, or whether the person upon who the right is conferred shall be subject to any obligations or conditions in relation to the right of way such as repair and maintenance.

A right of way may be conferred upon the public at large or confined to a specific set of people.

A public right of way is a person's right of passage along a road or path, even if the road or path is not in public ownership. Public right of way exists where it can be shown that:

- there has been public use since time immemorial, or
- the right of way has been created by statute, or
- the owner of the lands has dedicated the lands in question for public use and there is an acceptance of this dedication by the public.

A private right of way is the right to enter onto private lands, but only for the purposes of gaining access to or exiting from another piece of land. Private rights of way are created by a Deed of Grant of Right of Way. The two landowners, usually with the assistance of a Solicitor, need to draw up the details of the grant and register it.

A right of way can also exist through long use by a process called prescription. Currently the Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 provides that the time necessary for the acquisition of a right of way by prescription to a period of 12 years.

Right of way can be easily dealt with by a legal advisor. It is important therefore that you contact a Solicitor to guarantee the correct approach is taken in order to avoid future contentions.

 

Breach Of Covenant

A breach of covenant is a violation of an express or implied condition of contract to do or not to do something. They appear regularly in landlord and tenant contracts, for example, to pay rent or not to sub-let the said property.

Remedies available for breach of covenant

Injunctive relief
It has generally been accepted by the courts that an injunction is the natural remedy for a breach of covenant. Time is very much of the essence when seeking injunctive relief. This is highlighted by the fact that a Court is more likely to grant a prohibitory injunction restraining any anticipated breach of covenant rather than a mandatory injunction requiring the breach to be rectified.

Damages
The Court may also consider whether damages would be a more appropriate remedy than an injunction. The Court may take the following factors into consideration when deciding whether to award damages, for example, whether it can be shown that the likely injury caused to any Claimant Claimant Also known as the Plaintiff, he is the party who makes a Calims / issues proceedings in a civil law action. by a breach of covenant would be small, whether the breach can be assessed in monetary terms, whether a monetary payment is adequate compensationCompensation
An amount awarded by a court or tribunal if your employer has treated you in a way that breaks employment law or breaches your contract, sometimes called damages
, and whether an injunction would be oppressive.

Forfeiture
This remedy is available to landlords where the tenant has re entry or ejectment by way of breach of covenant in a lease.

It is fundamental that the party seeking redress for breach of covenant brings an action as soon as possible. If you have any queries about the above do not hesitate to contact Morgan McManus where a Solicitor will be able to advise you.

 

Trepass

Trespass is the intrusion into another person’s property. It should be noted however, not all persons entering the property of another are trespassers. The law recognises the rights of persons who are given express permission to be on the property i.e. an invitee and persons who have a legal right to be on the property i.e. a licensee not to be treated as trespassers; for example, a meter reader on the property to read the meter.

Morgan McManus Solicitors can advise you on whether the act of trespass has taken place and the legal steps that need to be taken once trespass has been identified.

 

Unauthorised Development

Unauthorised development relates to developments and/or uses that are in breach of the planning laws.  

A development is unauthorised when:

  • Planning permission is required but has not been obtained.

  • Planning permission was granted but the development was not completed in accordance with the conditions attached by the planning authority.

  • The Development does not qualify as an exempted development (see below).

What is an exempted development?

Exempt development is development for which planning permission is not required.  It generally relates to developments of a minor nature such as:

  • Works of improvement, maintenance or other alterations that affect only the interior of a structure.

  • Works that do not materially affect the external appearance of a structure.

  • Building of an extension, shed, garage, boundary walls etc. within the curtilage of a dwelling house, subject to conditions and limitations.

  • Certain categories of changes of use.

  • Works that affect only the interior of a structure.

Full details of exempted development provisions including conditions and limitations is contained in Schedule 2, Part 1 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001, S.I. 600 of 2001 which can be viewed on www.irishstatutebook.ie.

 

Disputes Concerning Development Agreements

Due to the complex arrangement between various parties involved in developments, disagreements can easily escalate into disputes with far-reaching consequences for all involved.

If a dispute arises, it will be important for parties to act quickly to assess their position and prepare a strategy whether involving litigation, renegotiation, mediation, restructuring or a combination of strategies. It is important for parties to bring claims promptly in order to establish a proactive strategy and protect their position.

We advise on:

  • claims over defective title;

  • contested rights to acquire land under a contract for sale;

  • possessory title/adverse possession claims;

  • boundary issues; and

  • planning disputes.

As every situation is different, it is for the benefit of the parties to contact a qualified Solicitor who can establish a blended strategy which addresses all of the relevant issues enhancing the prospects of securing a successful outcome.

 

Tax

We advise on all Tax implications that may arise in connection with the above issues.

If you require more information in relation to the above, please contact our office to make an appointment with one of our Solicitors.

 

 

The Diamond, Clones, Co.Monaghan, Ireland. Tel from ROI: 047-51011 Tel from NI: 00353 47 51011 Email: law@morganmcmanus.ie