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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I am having an issue regarding a semi-detached house that we

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Hi, I am having an issue regarding a semi-detached house that we bought under the impression that there is off-street parking as it was advertised by the vendor and estate agent as having one. When we applied for dropped kerb to the local council, we came to know that we don't have legal vehicular access from the highway. It will be a big issue in terms of resale and it wll bring down the value of this property a great deal. When we contacted the estate agent they said that they only advertised as saying there is off-street parking but they haven't said whether its legal or not. Or conveyancer said he cannot do anything about it as these things don't show up on local council searches. Who should be held responsible in this case.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

  1. May I ask has the council refused your application for a dropped kerb please? If they have what was their reason?
  2. Do you still have the agents particulars?
  3. I note you would prefer a phone call. I don't appear to have the option to create a phone call request at the moment - I can contact customer services to find out why. You may have the option appear on your screen however?
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for the reply. We haven't applied for planning permission yet. But we did apply to the highways for vehicle crossover.
1) The highways area inspector said that he will refuse the applications on the basis that it's on a classified road, and that its close to a junction and also he is not sure if there is enough space to do a 3 point turn. Our driveway is big enough to accommodate 2 big vans that the builders use and still have space to walk. Definitely possible to do a 3 point turn. Also our neighbours have smaller drives than us. The previous owners have been using this driveway from 1954. There seems to have been no problem with regards ***** ***** safety.
2. It was advertised by YOPA. They said they relied on the sellers information which said there is drive way for off street parking. But they said that they haven't advised us if it is legal or not. So they haven't mislead us. As property agents shouldn't they have knowledge about these things when they see a property, if it's a front garden or parking space?
3) Our next step is to apply for planning permission with the council
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I think there was a mistake regarding the phone call. We would prefer messages.

No problem. Would you be able to kindly let me have replies to my two questions so I can assist further?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have sent the answers. I am not sure if you got it. Let me send that again
Thank you for the reply. We haven't applied for planning permission yet. But we did apply to the highways for vehicle crossover.
1) The highways area inspector said that he will refuse the applications on the basis that it's on a classified road, and that its close to a junction and also he is not sure if there is enough space to do a 3 point turn. Our driveway is big enough to accommodate 2 big vans that the builders use and still have space to walk. Definitely possible to do a 3 point turn. Also our neighbours have smaller drives than us. The previous owners have been using this driveway from 1954. There seems to have been no problem with regards ***** ***** safety.
2. It was advertised by YOPA. They said they relied on the sellers information which said there is drive way for off street parking. But they said that they haven't advised us if it is legal or not. So they haven't mislead us. As property agents shouldn't they have knowledge about these things when they see a property, if it's a front garden or parking space?
3) Our next step is to apply for planning permission with the council

Im sorry they didn't show before but I can see them now. Thank you... reading now...

Thanks. One last question if I may - did your solicitor obtain a statutory declaration from the sellers that they have driven over the pavement for the time they claim? Also did your solicitor advise you that there maybe an issue with regards ***** *****?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
No they did not advise us regarding the driveway issue. We only came to know about the issue when we applied to highways. Until then we thought everything was ok. Our solicitor says that this sort of thing is difficult to pick up as it doesn't come up on the local council searches. However shouldnt they be verifying access issues

Thanks for the above. There are two bases on which you have potential grounds for complaint from what you say. The first is as regards ***** ***** The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 prohibit 'misleading actions' and 'misleading omissions' that cause, or are likely to cause, the average consumer to take a transactional decision he would not have taken otherwise. The regulations require that agents ensure that any features described as benefitting the property are accurately and not misleadingly described and in particular with parking agents should confirm that owners have a right to aprk where they do. The lack of a dropped kerb will be obvious to anyone inspecting the property and failing to mention it if describing the property as haveing a parking space may be a breach of the regulations which can also be a criminal offence.

You may have grounds for complaint on this basis and if you consider the particulars are misleading in this respect you can raise a complaint which they must deal with in 8 weeks failing which you can escalate the complaint to the Property Ombudsman service the agent is required to be a member of. They must tell you which one they belong to. There are only 3 I think from memory. They can make an independent determination and award compensation where they find in your favour which potentially could be significant if the council refuse your application

Much the same applies to your solicitor though the basis of the law is different. The solicitor should have been sent a copy of the particulars and should check there is appropriate access to the property by vehicle (if applicable) and foot. The solicitor is right that the particular issue does not appear on local searches but isn't really the point. His duty goes beyond what is revealed in searches. He should note tha parking and report to you asking you to confirm that there is a dropped kerb i place and advise you if there is not there is no right to drive over the pavement. He also fro what you say has not sought to obtain a statutory declaration from the sellers to establish a legal right to drive over the pavement through long use. Acordingly there may be an element of negligence here for which you can follow much the same complaints process as above, but here you escalate your complaint to the Solicitors Ombudsmand instead who have much the same powers. Obviously you cannot claim compensation twice for the same thing so would need to disclose any complaint to either body that you have made to another.

http://www.legalombudsman.org.uk/

Does the above answer all your questions? If it does, I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to click a rating for my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Thank you for the reply. What about the vendors in this case. I tried to get in touch with them through texts and email to get them to sign a statutory declaration or apply for prescriptive easment. They have not replied to any of my messages. In this case how can I prove right to access over long use

The sellers haven;t necessarily done anything wrong themselves unless you can point to a specifi statement they have made which is untrue. Unless you can it is likely that your rights will be as against the agent and/or solicitor as discussed above. You would need to obtain a statutory declaration of long use of more than 20 years in order to secure a legal right to drive over the pavement. In principal it is possible for a neigbour who has personal knowledge of the property to also give a statement but it is not as a good as a statement from the sellers. This is something you will no doubt want to follow up with your solicitor.

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

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