The case before the court involved detailed legal issues. To put it simply, although Mr Ayres` agreement would probably have been binding on him, it was not binding on Mr and Mrs Bourne. They were new owners of the country, they had not participated in any of the previous events and they had the right to rely on the full extent of the legal rights conferred on them by the act. In matchmove Ltd v Dowding and Church, two former friends first agreed to sell a building plot and a meadow on the basis of an oral agreement. According to the Basic Law of 2002, if you buy land that has been registered, you are not bound by the interests or rights of other persons in the country, unless these rights have been registered with the land registry. In 2004, Mr. Ayres sold part of his garden to Mr. and to Mrs. Pezaro so that they could develop part of the gardens for numbers 147-151. This includes most of the country through the right of priority.
Although written contracts were subsequently concluded for both plots of land, only the contract for the building plot was agreed and signed. Problems with a legal right of way to the prairie froze this written contract. Nevertheless, Mr. Dowding and Ms. Church presented the offer price for both the building land and the prairie and have in the meantime sold their home to finance the agreement. „On that occasion, the Court of Appeal accepted that such an exception applies on the basis of `implicit or constructive trust`. The judge ruled that not only did both parties intend the verbal agreement to be immediately binding, but that constructive trust was created when the couple handed over the £66,000 bail to Mr Francis. M.
and Ms. Bourne were questioned by Mr. and Mrs. Pezaro to see if they would complete the legal documents necessary to implement what Mr. Ayres had previously agreed. Mr. and Mrs. Bourne, however, were not prepared to do so; they had the advantage of priority and they were not ready to give them up, because that was their right. „While this case had a happy ending for Mr.
Dowding and Ms. Church, it serves as a warning to anyone tempted to rely exclusively on an oral agreement, including when buying or selling something of considerable value. If, in 2010, when Mr. Ayres was contacted to see if he would formalize the position, good real estate lawyers had been involved, then all the (costly) legal proceedings that followed would probably have been avoided; M. Ayers would have been asked to sign a document to confirm the release of his rights, this document would have been registered in the cadastre and that would have been the end of things. „An oral contract is not worth the paper on which it is written“ (Samuel Goldwyn) An informal agreement was reached to eliminate priority. However, the developer has delayed the necessary measures to remove the right of passage of titles to real estate. In summary, until 2004, there was a right of way in favour of Mr Ayres` property: when Mr Pezaro decided to build another piece of land, he concluded an oral agreement with Mr Ayers to terminate that right of way. Unfortunately, Mr. Pezaro did not ask the Land Office to change the titles registered for the real estate.
When the developer finally contacted the owner to arrange the formalities for cancelling the right of way, he found that the property had been sold and that the new owner was not willing to accept the withdrawal of the right of way. The case of Pezaro vs. Bourne (2019) EWHC 1964 (Ch) highlights the risks of relying only on an informal oral agreement. People often feel like they`re saving money by not seeking legal advice at an early stage. Sometimes, of course, they are right. But it`s often not until many years later that we learn whether it actually saves money or not. Often, if things go wrong, the cost of generalization — if at all — will be 10 or even 100 times more expensive than the costs would ever have been. .