Recovery of costs following enforced sale

When enforcing the sale of a property under the Law of Property Act 1925 for costs incurred when carrying out work in default under various legislation on empty properties, is anyone aware of where a Local Authority comes in the order of priority for recovery of costs registered as charges to the title.

Does a Local Authority charge take priority, or are other charges (e.g. mortgage lenders) given higher priority?

Some of the legislation we regularly use and incur costs include:

  • Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949, Section 4
  • Building Act 1984, Sections 59 and 79
  • Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 80
  • Town and Country Planning Act 1990, Section 215
  • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act) 1982, Section 29
Enforced Sale

Hi Tony


Long-time no see. We at Grafton’s specialise in Enforced Sales providing advice and/or support to Local Authorities bespoke to what the authority needs. On your question the council’s charges relating to the list of charges you have provided is that on their own none of the charges to the Acts you have listed have any priority or ability to override any existing charge. However, when you are undertaking an Enforced Sale at the point of registration you can make application for your charge to override existing charges but again dependant on the original Act's existing provisions. So in your list the first 2 are great, the second 2 are possibilities dependant on the empty property circumstances and the last one is a definite no goer.  Albeit all can be recovered through the process but not all will have the available overriding priority option. Remembering our past associations Tony, I am more than willing to come over in the New Year and explain these intricacies in detail to you and your team for a cup of coffee and a hobnob. Just let me know.

All the best Dave Stott

Dave Stott