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Uplift clause expires before benefit is felt in land sale

In a land sale some time ago, the seller was disposing of land which was, at that time, greenbelt land so couldn’t be used for development.  The seller wanted to impose an ‘uplift clause’ (to allow him to claim 50% of the increase in value of the land should development on it later become possible).

The buyer of the land agreed to this clause, but because this restricted his rights, insisted on acquiring the land initially for less than its market value. However, following the purchase, the buyer did not develop the land but waited another 20 years - by which time the uplift clause had expired so the seller wasn’t entitled to a penny extra.

If you have land to sell, it is well worth looking carefully at the individual circumstances of the sale, uplift clauses are not always appropriate and you can sometime sell at a higher value if you take out any restrictions concerning the sale, as in this case.

For help with land sales or purchases, please contact David Heys or Rebecca Beswick at Lawson-West on 0116 212 1000.

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