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What to consider if you are planning to rent or purchase railway - Tristan Wark writes for EG land

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Network Rail sold a commercial property portfolio for £1.46bn to Blackstone Group and Telereal Trillium (The Arch Company) in 2018. TfL’s property portfolio is 16 times the size of Hyde Park, and the mayor of London Sadiq Khan has set a target to start building 10,000 homes on the land by 2021. It is clear that the spaces around transport infrastructure are being utilised (and are under pressure to be better utilised) like never before.

Tristan Wark, senior associate in our commercial real estate team has explored the risks and considerations involved if you are intending to purchase or rent such property in the latest edition of EG (Estates Gazette), covering:

  • Solicitor Searches – what do the usual conveyancing searches show when it comes to railway infrastructure and how useful are they?
  • Environmental – land around railways is at high risk of being contaminated – how should someone acquiring such land protect themselves against environmental clean up costs?
  • Retained Rights – is the Property close enough to the railway that Network Rail or TFL may still occasionally need access to your property, for example in an emergency or for maintenance works?
  • Development – are development works intended close to a active rail track?  If so you may need to enter into an asset protection agreement with Network Rail or TFL.
  • Issues with leases of Arches – as the Arch Company bring unoccupied arches back into use for small and medium-sized businesses across the country, what does a tenant taking a lease of an arch need to be aware of? Restrictions in relation to fit-out and alterations, service charge considerations, restrictions against electronic equipment at the Premises that may interfering with railway traction or signalling equipment may all affect a tenant.

Subscribers can read the full article on the EG website at this link, https://www.egi.co.uk/legal/the-great-british-railway-property-journey or you can download the pdf at the link at the bottom of the page.


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Goodman Derrick Real Estate

Tristan Wark

This guide is for general information and interest only and should not be relied upon as providing specific legal advice. If you require any further information about the issues raised in this article please contact the author or call 0207 404 0606 and ask to speak to your usual Goodman Derrick contact.