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Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10977
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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Counsel, I wish to acquire title to a it of land adjacent my

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Counsel, I wish to acquire title to a it of land adjacent my property. Land Registry checks reveal Title registered to an extra-territorial company (Isle of Man). Company checks reveal the company is struck off. No one has returned (12yrs+). The land was previously offered for sale without success. The property remains listed on an defunct estate agent agent. I seek to s.49 against the IOM Treasury but congnisant of Bona Vacantia. Is it possible and would Irish law invoke a 30yr possesory period
1. Dear Ron, can you please first confirm where the land is? Is it in Ireland or the UK? How long has the Isle of Man company been struck off? Who previously offered the land for sale?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The plot of land is situate in Republic of Ireland. The property holding company is Struck off for 2yrs, which I'm led to believe has a loose term of meaning under Isle of Man Law? The Estate Agent was situate in Ireland but no longer practising.
2. Dear Ron, here the land would now be in the ownership of the State by reason of bona vacantia as the Irish state is the successor in title to any defunct company, from whatever jurisdiction (including the Isle Of Man), which gets struck off the company's register. The effect of the company getting struck off the Register of Companies in the Isle of Man is that the company no longer exists from a legal point of view. However, the shareholder of the company can bring an action in the Isle of Man courts similar to a restoration to the register application in both Ireland & England and restore the company to the register of companies. This then means that the company continues once again to own the company.
3. Accordingly, if you wish to purchase the land, you should speak to the majority shareholder in the company which has been struck off. They have the power to restore the company to the register and then convey the property to you. As things stand, the Irish State won't obtain absolute title to the property until six years have elapsed, as the company can still be put back on the register and obtain title once again to the land. So here the first person you should speak with is the owner mentioned in the estate agent's notice from Ireland. Whilst the land is currently in the ownership of the Irish state, they will not convey it to you until after the six year time limit has expired as there is always the possibility of the original company being restored to the register and re-claiming ownership.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for outlining the limitations, there was a suggestion that the elderly directors are now also deceased but no known DOD. Are we correct in assuming that because the land vests in the Irish state the 30yr rule for Adverse possesion against a state body now also applies?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As I understand, from research conducted in the Isle of Man they would not seek to contest assets aggregating extra-territorially. Could you clarify by operation of which Irish or international law the assets convert to the Irish state.
5. Yes, the 30 year rule for adverse possession would also apply should you wish to establish adverse possession. Secondly, I am not sure what you mean by the assets "convert to the Irish state"? Essentially, because the land is in Ireland, it is the irish state which obtains bona vacantia. Just because the company is from the Isle of Man, this does not mean that the English state or the Isle of man suddenly has ownership of land in Ireland. The rights to bona vacantia in Ireland follow the crown prerogative which vested in the Irish State as a result of the 1922 constitution.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Then if applying the 30yr rule in relation property of a State body as per Land Registry Rules & Legal Directives. Can you clarify, as you say; 'they will not convey it to you until after the six year time limit has expired' what class of Title would one expect to be registered with under a successful application after the expiration of six years? Slightly confused when comparing this with Land Registration rules who it appears would perhaps not register agaisnt a state body without 30years factual possesion.
6. I used the word "convey" which connotes a transfer from the true owner. Not adverse possession. I suggested you buy THE property from the true owner, which would be the state. I said the State will not sell you the land for at least six years as it might not be theirs to sell you during that period if the company is put back on the register. You are getting confused between adverse possession (30 years) and a transfer, which cannot occur for six years. Be aware that seeking adverse possession over a 30 year period is just foolish. Many things can happen in a generation, including the State waking up to what they own. Additionally, you only get a possessory title after 30 years, which is not very saleable, if at all. You would then have to wait another 40 years to get an absolute title. A lifetime. Too long to think about.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Very helpful, deeply grateful. Finally, share value of the holding company is listed at £2000 - surely the the irish state couldn't charge much more, could they? I assume part of the problem in re-listing the company to sell this assets would incurr significantly more expenses than the land is worth. It being a landlocked plot without an entrance. Please indicate if you work through an Irish practice. I admire your patience in this matter and would instruct you given your understanding.
7. The share holding of the company will have nothing to do with the value which the state would place on the land. There will have to be some independent valuation, I regret to say. Just because it is the Irish State you may be dealing with in the future does not mean that they will limit the amount they want for the land. However, if the plot is landlocked, well, it won't be worth anything to the state or to any other bidder. I caution you, so that you don't get your hopes up that the price will be very cheap. The State will most likely suggest an independent valuation from a nominated agreed auctioneer.
8. I am not living and working in Ireland, so I regret to say that instructing me in relation to this matter is not an option.
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