January 25, 2012

Developer client saved £30k through our innovative site assembly

Property developers excel at spotting a good opportunity. But the opportunity can only be realised when it’s realised on the bottom line. Our developer client, Havard Tisdale, had acquired a development site by site assembly through five separate purchases of adjoining commercial premises.

The opportunity was good; the site was a good size and well positioned for a profitable mixed commercial development.

But there was a snag. There was an access area serving some of the units which our client couldn’t acquire. Worse yet, its title was unregistered and our client couldn’t determine who owned it. Obtaining this access was integral to the design of the development. Without it, the future profit of the site would be at risk.

Using our tenacity and long experience of finding innovative solutions to title problems we overcame the problem and found a successful solution for the client.

First, we obtained a quotation for defective title indemnity insurance, which included insurance cover against some of the usual restrictive covenants insured against on developments. For insurance to cover the projected build out development value of £30million, the initial quote was about £50,000.

Ultimately, the solution was to make an application based upon two aspects of its guidance to HM Land Registry to assert ownership of the access based upon the presumption that the true boundary of each plot of land in this particular case extended to the middle of the access and not just to its edge.

The result? We were successful in obtaining registration of this parcel of land in our client’s name and the red line plan for the overall scheme was amended to include it. Not only did we manage to secure for our client the ownership of an integral part of their development scheme, but they did not have to pay for it! We also saved our client about £30,000 in insurance premium as the premium for the remainder title defects was reduced to £21,000. Our client got the right result and the right return on their investment.

John Havard and Peter Tisdale, The New Riviera Estates Limited, comment: “We have worked with Paul Daniels and RWK Goodman's Commercial Property team on our development in Torquay for a number of years. From the initial assembly of the development site through to the completion of our initial pre-lets we have found RWK Goodman to be responsive to our needs and provided us with pragmatic solutions where required. We were particularly pleased with their innovative approach to the inclusion of an access road into our title; which has unlocked an area of the site for further development. We would happily recommend RWK Goodman's commercial property and construction team to other developers involved in mixed use regeneration projects."

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