Property Purchasing Process

You are consulted by four friends – Amna, Bob, Cathy and Dave – who want to buy the freehold of Rosewood House, a large country house with two acres of grounds in Buckinghamshire, to live in as their home. They each intend to contribute 25% of the purchase price. Title to the property is registered in the name of the current owner, Eric, who lives in the house with his partner, Frieda. Frieda’s mother, Gertrude, lives part of the year in Rosewood House and the remainder in Italy. Harry, who owns the neighbouring farm, claims to have an easement over a track that passes from his farm through the grounds of Rosewood house, to the main road.

In relation to this case scenario, please advise Amna, Bob, Cathy and Dave on the purchase of the property, and on all the steps that you, as their solicitor, will need to take, and why. The four friends also want to know what would happen if they pulled out of the sale after contracts for sale are exchanged. Additionally, they would like advice on what would happen if, in the future, one of them wanted the property sold but the other three did not. Finally, they would like your advice on what would happen if Bob, who is always broke, were to mortgage the property without their knowledge and fail to meet the mortgage repayments.

More generally, critically discuss the difficulties a purchaser would have had if they wanted to buy Rosewood House before 1925, and the reasons for the great land reforms of 1925.