Where did you hear about us?
The monthly magazine providing news analysis and professional research for the discerning private investor/landlord

Management of Sites to Prevent Future Impediments Arising

Karron Foot, Senior Associate Solicitor in the Property Dispute Resolution Team, or Glenn Miller, comments

In the last of our series looking at the life cycle of a new development Karron Foot considers the management of the site to prevent future impediments arising. The last thing any developer wants is to get this far and make costly mistakes or even jeopardise the whole development.

Site Security
Expensive materials or equipment on site can be attractive to thieves. An empty office building or warehouse can become a home for squatters. An open space can be taken over by squatters and their vehicles.

Keeping a site secure is money well spent. Consider security guards as well as physical deterrents such as fences, locks and warning signs.

It should in theory only take a few weeks to recover possession from squatters. However, with the current backlogs in both the County Courts and High Court, it could easily take much longer and will inevitably cost many thousands of pounds. Many squatters are quite sophisticated, knowing all the tricks, so it is vital that the paperwork is in order and procedures meticulously followed to obtain a court order for possession. Once you have a possession order that is not the end of the matter. The County Court bailiffs need to be instructed or a writ of possession obtained from the High Court. The procedure is a headache (and expense!) that any developer would be well advised to take all reasonable steps to avoid.

Management of occupier’s liability
An occupier of land owes duties not only to lawful visitors but also to trespassers. So, to add insult to injury, if someone breaks into your development site and injures themselves, you may be held liable! Another reason why it is vital to make sure the site is secure, especially at night and weekends. 

Want the full article?