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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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A local registered charity which runs a heritage railway line

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A local registered charity which runs a heritage railway line allowed a member of the society to bring a nunber of old wagons to the line 25 years ago. Since then he has done little to maintain or preserve them and refusesto allow anyone else to work on them. He repeatedly promises to start restoring them but has done little and after 25 years outside they are now rotting hulks. He refuses to declare who owns them now or show any paperwork showing ownership. He blames the society for not cooperating with him by putting them in a place that is impossible to comply with becausse it it is right next to the fence and neighbours would never tolerate it. What can they do to get him to either restore thm or remove them?
Hello my name is ***** ***** UI will help you.
Have you complained to the Charity please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The majority of the board of the charity and a number of members feel the same way so in effect it is the board that is complaining. The trouble is he just says that he needs more space and various other excuses he even threatened legal action against some members including a board member when they tried to protect one of the items from the rain.
The neighbour can't do anything. If they are not causing noise or smells etc and just an eyesore there is nothing in law the neighbour can do.
Its like someone who has an old car on their drive or overgrown garden - you can't actually do anything. Sadly only the owner of the land, ie the railway can do anything to make them remove or restore.
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
That is the crux of my question. What legal steps can the charity take to force the owner of the wagons to move them off their site? Would a board resolution be binding? would we need to hold a EGM to get a legally binding instruction and how would it be enforced. The board has already given him 3 months notice and he ignored it.
The items are on the land under licence. The management can just take a decision to have the items removed or restored. The licence can be ended and the items removed without his authority.
They are just there on licence, unless there is something different within the railways rules.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't t hink there was ever a formal licence or agreement so is the fact that we let him put them there enough to creat a licence by default?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can we sell them if he does not remove them?
The licence is created by default - there does not need to be anything in writing.
If he does not remove then you need to write and give 28 days to remove or say you will sell. If he doesnt remove then you can sell, but you need to give notice.
Does that help?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Let me check with my colleagues to see if there any other follow ups. Give a while. Iwill need to talk to them. Thank you so far.
Good luck!
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
2 supplementaries
Presumably as he owns the wagons he has a vested interest and would not be allowed to vote on the issue
and is there any reason why the charity should not buy the items?
1) No
2) No, but it would have to be fair market value.
Does that help?
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
A follow up question. The original owner variously claims that he has sold them and that they are owned by a group of people but will not tell us who. Can we post a sign on the items and/or place a notice on the gate or whatever giving notice that if the owmers do not come mforward, we will sell/dispose?
Yes you can do that. But make sure you take photos of the notices