Weekly review: 29 August – 2 September

Conveyancing: unpaid management charges can be a defect in title

Significant management charges arrears can be a defect in title where they were not known to or contemplated by the buyer at the time of the contract (Wise Wave Investments Ltd v TKF Services Ltd). 

Fixtures

Is a structure (such as a building) or some item (garden or household furniture or decoaration, machinery) part of the land so as to pass automatically on a lease or sale? The traditional tests look at the degree and purpose of annexation as guides to the intention of the person bringing the item onto the land. This intention is thought to determine the question. In Elitestone Ltd v Morris, the House of Lords introduced a new category of structures that are part and parcel of the land. Here the House of Lords thought that a free-standing bungalow was simply part and parcel of the land. The Hong Kong courts applied the Elitestone test in Goldful Way Development Ltd v Wellstable Development Ltd (a greenhouse was held to be part and parcel of the land). In Hamp v Bygrave the court looked at the intention of the seller at the time of the sale. The intention formed at this time has not usually been thought to be relevant (though it could be an indicator of the intention formed when the item was brought onto the land).

Redevelopment: missing owner

When there is a missing owner, a compulsory sale can only be ordered if the court is satisfied that a fair and reasonable offer has been made for the shares of the undivided owner (Hero Progress Ltd v Ting Ping Kwan Billy).

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