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Commercial Property

Overview of the Commercial Property Team

The Commercial Property team sits within the Commercial Team in the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s Chambers.  The Commercial Property team have a dedicated liaison with each of the Departments of Government and statutory boards, and carry out the following types of work, for or on behalf of all Departments and statutory boards:

Work TypeInstructing Department Contact
Sales and purchases of Government property; Land owning Department/Prospective purchaser
Leases of Government property; Land owning Department/Prospective tenant Department
Financial assistance – for example Shared Equity Purchase Assistance Scheme, Aids and Adaptation Grants Department of Infrastructure – Public Housing and Estates Division
Cancellation of Government loans or charges Treasury (or in certain circumstances Department of Infrastructure or Department for Enterprise – the owner of the scheme the charge is granted under)
Easements and Wayleaves Land owning Department/Prospective grantee
Bona vacantia property Treasury
Section 13 Planning/Development Agreements Department of Environment Food and Agriculture (Planning and Building Control)
Land Registration, boundaries or title matters Land owning Department
Mining Leases/Licences under the Minerals Act 1986 Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture

In all respects, Chambers can only act on the instructions of the Department in question. All initial enquiries regarding any of the above matters by members of the public, or their Advocates and representatives should be addressed to the appropriate Department dealing with a particular sale or disposal as they are set out above. It is important to remember that Chambers only advise Departments, and prepare the legal documentation to give effect to a transaction, Chambers does not make decisions or determine matters which may be in dispute. Many transactions which are high value, or involve long leases will usually require Treasury and Tynwald approvals, and Chambers cannot act until such time as this is in place.

Bona Vacantia Property

See our further information on Bona Vacantia matters. If you wish to apply to purchase land which has fallen to the Crown by Bona Vacantia principles, you should in the first instance contact the Treasury.

Shared Equity Purchase Assistance Scheme (SEPA)

Advocates acting for a first time buyer or other purchaser under the SEPA scheme are sent instructions for completion of the relevant documentation once the offer has been approved and Chambers have received instructions. Advocates will be advised of those instructions, which Chambers carry out on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure (Public Estates and Housing) in respect of the charge and security, and the terms and conditions of the Scheme. Please note, unless the Department is the owner of the house being sold pursuant to the Scheme, the Department nor Chambers are able to give assistance in relation to the conveyancing process. 

Cancellation or Release of Charges

Advocates and members of the public should contact the Treasury in the first instance in relation to any historic charges owed to Government (even if they have been repaid). Some charges may relate to other types of schemes, for example in relation to development or enterprise, and the benefit of the charge may ‘belong’ to the Department for Enterprise in such cases. In any event, it is for the person who wishes to cancel the charge to contact the Departments to obtain agreement to the cancellation of the charge. Chambers will deal with the legal documentation only, and cannot make decisions on whether or not the charge can be cancelled and if so on what terms.

Mines and Minerals

Persons wishing to apply to extract minerals should contact the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture to formally apply for permission. Consent from the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture is required for extracting minerals of any quantity and over any given time period. It is expected that the applicant will have, or is in the process of obtaining, planning permission for land which is the subject of a minerals extraction application. Chambers will assist the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture with the legal documentation that is required once an application has been accepted and the terms of the extraction have been agreed.  Chambers cannot give any advice or assistance on making an application or regarding the process of an application.


Nicola Pitts – Legal Officer (Commercial) –

Paul Shimmin – Conveyancing Clerk –

Andrea Callow – Administrator –

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