Back
Effective 1 June, we have a new address: 34 Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 1QZ
Get in Touch Menu

Be careful what you give away

15 March 2016

A recent case has highlighted how developers need to be cautious when creating multi-use developments. In particular, they need to think very carefully about what rights each part of the development will have once it is complete.

This case concerned an estate where part of the land had been developed as timeshare units, and each owner had the exclusive right to occupy a particular unit at specified periods each year. The rest of the estate was adjacent to the timeshare land and had sporting and recreational facilities. These were open to members of the public who paid to use them.

When the timeshare land was transferred to separate ownership from the estate, it was given the benefit of a set of rights. These included usual rights of way and utilities. However, they also included a right to use the sporting and recreational facilities from time-to-time.

The owners of the estate argued that the rights to use the facilities were personal rights between the parties to the original transfer, and, as the land had now been sold on, the rights did not bind the land and therefore the current owners of the timeshare land should not use the recreational facilities. The original transfer did not contain any charging provisions in return for the facilities, so if the right to use them took effect as easements (rights capable of being used by subsequent owners of the land) they would be available free of charge.

Unfortunately for the owners of the estate the court decided that the right to use the facilities took effect as easements. The grant of the rights had been made by a developer for a number of timeshare owners, and did not concern neighbours in a purely domestic context.

There was no compelling evidence in this case to suggest that the rights to use the facilities were personal, and therefore they would continue to benefit the timeshare land. Indeed, the wording of the rights in the transfer indicated that it was a right for the transferee, its successors in title and occupiers of the timeshare land.

Speak to our commercial property team for legal advice on anything property-related. Contact them here.

We're here to help
Contact
Willans
Solicitors
About
Related services
Share this article
Resources to help

Related articles

The Charities Act 2022

Real estate

After key changes to the law were proposed in May 2021, the new act received Royal Assent on 24 February 2022, and was passed into law as the Charities Act…

Charlotte Brunsdon LLB, BA (Hons)
Associate, solicitor

Regulation changes to see rise in energy efficiency standards

Real estate

From 1 April 2023, the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations are set to become even stricter for commercial properties. The regulations were introduced in 2015 to target the least…

Charlotte Brunsdon LLB, BA (Hons)
Associate, solicitor

Webinar: Spring commercial property law update

Litigation & dispute resolution

In this Spring update our experienced partners in commercial property and property litigation will share insight on several topics. The first is a look at development land and will include…

Willans
Solicitors
Contact us