RBS blocks Gordon Ramsay from selling £3m home amid reported business debts

RBS blocks Gordon Ramsay from selling £3m home amid reported business debts



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Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has hit headlines again, following revelations that his bank has prevented him putting his £3 million family home on the market.

According to reports in the Daily Mail, the famously volatile TV chef wanted to sell his Battersea home to help repay part of his company debt, but his bank – the Royal Bank of Scotland – took legal steps to prevent him from doing so and registered a unilateral notice on the property.

A unilateral notice can be registered against the title of a property without the consent of the proprietor. It is used as a form for announcing a third party interest in the property and often as a device to prevent a sale and distribution of sale proceeds without the notice holder’s consent.

“Typically a unilateral notice will only be accepted by the land registry if there is a registerable interest to the bank. As the property owner, Mr Ramsay can contest it and call for it to be removed if the bank has no grounds for a registerable interest,” explains Jonathan Newman of Brightstone Law LLP.

RBS has reportedly secured the notice on Mr Ramsay’s seven-bedroom Wandsworth home after granting his company, Gordon Ramsay Holdings, a £10.6 million overdraft in 2006.

Although the house is supposed to be separate and not linked to Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH), it is believed that the asset is being used as a form of security by RBS against the firm’s reported £17 million debts – a figure denied by GRH.

A spokesman for GRH confirmed the house was security for the loan, stating: “All of this is entirely commonplace and standard business practice.”

Commenting on the case from a lender’s perspective, Alan Margolis, Head of Bridging at United Trust Bank said: "It is natural for a lender to seek to maximise their security and clearly, we do not know all the facts of this high profile case. It may well bethat by registering the Unilateral Notice, RBS is buying more time for both itself and Mr Ramsay and so avoiding any immediate escalation of the situation."

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