The following documents relate to the first of the problem scenarios for which you must draft written advice in the form of a memo to your supervisor. The advice should set out and explain the legal advice to be given to the client.
Identify the issues, state the law, apply and then advise.

This morning you arrived at work to find a new file on your desk. On it is a note from your supervisor. In the file is your supervisor’s attendance note of a telephone conversation with the client, Oscar Cowan.

These documents, which contain your first problem to address, are set out on the following pages. You should read the note from your supervisor and the attendance note to gather the essential facts of the case and to identify the
client’s legal problems.

Note from your supervisor
FROM: Barbara Keating
TO: Trainee Solicitor
DATE: [Today’s date]
FILE REF: COWAN/0001
RE: Fairway House
Oscar Cowan is a new client. He consulted me this afternoon and appears to have a number of legal problems concerning a freehold property ‘Fairway House’ that he purchased from Arthur Briar earlier this year.

He has just registered his freehold ownership of Fairway House and he saved money by doing all of his own conveyancing. His problems appear complex and I need you to undertake the legal research while I am on annual leave this week.

Can you please prepare an email to me setting out the advice we should give to the client? I will need to review the reasons and the authorities before sending this to the client next week. You will find his problem detailed in my attendance note. Please research any relevant legislation and cases and include details in your advice. You do not need to give the full case citation, only the name and year of the case.

Attendance Note
ATTENDING: Oscar Cowan
FEE EARNER: Barbara Keating
DATE: Today’s date
TIME ENGAGED: 20 minutes
FILE REF: COWAN/0001
Oscar Cowan raised issues regarding a freehold property, ‘Fairway House’, he has recently purchased from Arthur Briar. He did his own conveyancing in relation to his purchase to save money and it appears he may have missed some key issues. He recently registered the freehold property in his name.

When Oscar went to move into the property he was shocked to discover Arthur’s estranged wife, Anne, is living there. Anne is refusing to move out of Fairway House because she claims that she contributed £30,000 towards the
purchase price when Arthur purchased the property. She was not registered on the freehold title. Arthur and Anne are not divorced. Anne was on holiday at the time of the transfer of Fairway House to Oscar.

I informed Oscar that I would advise him whether Anne has any right to live in
the house.

When Oscar purchased Fairway House, he intended to use the garage to store his Aston Martin DB4 (car). However, when he went to the garage he found that Arthur’s friend, Jason, is using it as a workshop. Jason has shown Oscar a
written document (a lease) allowing him to occupy the garage for 5 years. I  checked the lease document in the meeting – it is a deed and is signed by Arthur and Jason. Signatures were witnessed. The document refers to a period of 5 years. The commencement date is 2nd August 2015.

I informed Oscar that I would advise him whether Jason has any right to
continue to use the garage as a workshop

Finally, when Oscar viewed the property before he offered to purchase it, the back garden resembled an Italian terrace complete with a coal fuelled outdoor brick barbeque pit. Oscar mentioned to Arthur that this would make the property more attractive and it would be a perfect place to host dinners for family and friends as he frequently did. However, on the day he moved in, he went around the house and was surprised to see that the barbeque pit had been removed. He wants it returned!

Action taken after the meeting
Regarding Jason, Oscar emailed documentation including a copy of the Register to Fairway House (dated prior to the purchase). It clearly states the name of the previous owner, Arthur, in the Proprietorship Register, but there is
no reference to a lease, nor to anyone call Jason.

Regarding Anne, Oscar also emailed documentation regarding Fairway House, including a copy of the Register (dated prior to the purchase). It clearly states Arthur in the Proprietorship Register, but there is no mention of Anne.

Advice required
a. Advise Oscar whether Anne has any interests or rights over Fairway
House and if they are enforceable in the context of registered land.
b. Advise Oscar whether Jason has any interests or rights over Fairway
House and if they are enforceable in the context of registered land.
c. Advise Oscar whether he has any grounds to argue for the return of the
barbeque pit.

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