Archives: Real Estate (UK)

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The Economic Crime Act and Registration of Overseas Entities: the latest developments

Continuing on from our previous commentary on the  Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act (the ‘Act’), the new Register of Overseas Entities introduced by the Act (the ‘Register’) is now expected to be brought into effect on 1 August 2022. We must all be prepared for this new regime. From the 1st August, overseas entities … Continue Reading

Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 – first arbitration award gives little comfort to retailers

We have recently seen what may be the first award made under the arbitration scheme established under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022. Ernest Jones and H Samuel, jewellery retailers, has been ordered to pay £450,000 in unpaid office rent, where it had been argued that the offices, its headquarters, served purely to support its … Continue Reading

Will the Levelling-Up Bill really help the high street?

Tucked away in Part 8 of the Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill is a provision that may alarm commercial landlords. This provides for local authorities to intervene in the normal commercial landlord and tenant relationship and agree lettings of vacant high-street premises through auction. The Bill gives the local authority the right to act where high … Continue Reading

UK Government extends moratorium on commercial evictions to March 2022

In a move which has shocked the property industry, the government has extended the ban on commercial lease forfeiture again, this time for a further nine months to 25 March 2022. Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery is similarly deferred, with tenants having to have built up 554 days of unpaid rent before landlords are able to … Continue Reading

Regis CVA revoked on a technicality – Good news for landlords?

Hair salon chain Regis’s company voluntary arrangement (CVA) was revoked on 17 May in a hearing that considered several arguments put forward by a number of landlords. The judge found that one of the creditors had been incorrectly categorised by the nominees as critical, and that this treatment unfairly prejudiced the landlords. On that ground … Continue Reading

Planning and construction in a post-COVID world: The Business and Planning Bill

As pressure continues to mount on the Government to ensure the survival of the British construction industry, the Housing Secretary has announced new measures to boost building activity in the UK and to make it easier to comply with new safe working requirements introduced last month. The Business and Planning Bill (“B&P Bill”) tabled in … Continue Reading

UK Real Estate and COVID 19: A new code for commercial landlords and tenants, and extended measures on forfeiture and CRAR

The government has today published a code of practice for commercial property relationships, seeking to codify what should be existing good practice between commercial landlords and their tenants during these extremely difficult times for businesses on both sides. It recognises that everyone is impacted and that businesses should operate reasonably and responsibly to provide support … Continue Reading

The temporary changes to permitted development rights: key takeaways

In a remarkably swift response to the current crisis, the government brought in an amendment to the permitted development regulations a day after lockdown was imposed, allowing pubs and restaurants (A4 and A3 uses) to be used for the sale of takeaway food. These measures introduced a new Class DA: “Restaurants and cafes, drinking establishments … Continue Reading

Hold that thought – CRAR and Forfeiture

Where a landlord is owed rent, the first instinct may be to reach for the bailiffs to carry out Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) and remove the tenant’s goods. The case of Thirunavukkrasu v. Brar and another reminds us of the dangers of exercising CRAR in situations where a landlord may also look to forfeit the … Continue Reading

Flexible offices: the way forward for landlords?

Flexible offices are no longer seen as the letting of last resort or a stop gap solution for start-up businesses. They increasingly appeal to a wide range of organisations attracted by flexibility, quality of buildings and unique collaborative working environments. However, as the recent WeWork cancelled initial public offering (IPO) highlights, in this fast-evolving industry … Continue Reading

French CNIL data protection authority hits property management firm with large GDPR violation penalty

In a blog entry posted on Reed Smith’s Technology Law Dispatch Blog, authors Daniel Kadar and Laetitia Gaillard review the first large fine imposed under GDPR regulations. The company, French property management firm Sergic, failed to comply with its obligation to limit the storage of personal data and its security. The fine, €400,000, represents close to … Continue Reading

Telecoms Code – the price is right. Or is it?

Landowners have historically put unproductive parts of their land to use by allowing telecoms operators to site apparatus on them and charging the operators market rents. Increasingly, digital communication is perceived as a basic need, similar to gas, electricity and water, therefore demand for suitable sites to provide the infrastructure will only increase, particularly with … Continue Reading

Commercial service charges – a case for transparency

The RICS Professional Statement on Service Charges in Commercial Property (the Professional Statement) comes into force for service charge periods commencing on or after 1 April 2019.  What is it and why should we take notice? Unlike previous codes of practice on service charges, this one has been published as a professional statement, meaning it … Continue Reading

The Telecoms Code – A New Human Right?

The first substantive decision under the new Electronic Communications Code (the ‘Code’) was given by the Upper Tribunal on 30 October 2018 and it’s not good news for landowners. This judgment confirms that any ambiguity in the Code’s wording will be resolved firmly in favour of operators delivering electronic communications. We now live in an … Continue Reading

Getting One Step Ahead Of The Trespassers

The recent case of Vastint Leeds BV v Persons Unknown is a welcome decision for developers, who are concerned about the possibility of trespassers on large development sites. Vastint Leeds BV’s (Claimant) development site on the site of the old Tetley Brewery and adjacent land in Leeds has suffered in the past from trespassers.  Due … Continue Reading

Method in the madness: new certainty in valuation methods for viability assessments

Viability assessments for affordable housing have long been a source of frustration for developers. This difficult element of the planning phase is often the cause for delays in getting a development to the point where works can start. There is hope on the horizon in respect of one aspect at least however: a recent ruling should … Continue Reading

Landlords, let’s be reasonable: otherwise you might pay the price

Landlords take note, on the back of a recent case, you face an increased risk that tenants will challenge costs which they are responsible for in a lease. The case in question related to tenants’ challenge of  insurance costs the Tribunal found in favour of the tenants, because the costs incurred were considered to be … Continue Reading

Consent to Assign – taking the good with the bad.

The case of No.1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd v East Tower Apartments Ltd surprised the legal profession in 2016 when the court held that one bad reason for refusing consent to assign a lease effectively trumped two other good reasons, making the landlord’s refusal unreasonable. This decision provides some welcome pragmatism for landlords, residential … Continue Reading

Attack of the Triffids: Knotweed nuisance cranks up a notch

Investor, developer, indeed landowner in any capacity – recent rulings mean Japanese Knotweed is now more of a nuisance (and a costly one) than ever. With over 6000 UK locations identified as containing the weed, you best be clear on how to handle this inconvenient invader or you face ending up in a bind. What’s … Continue Reading

GDPR: Three Months to Go

Changes to the privacy laws in the European Union reach beyond Europe. Any company regardless of location can fall under the new guidelines issued under GDPR. Reed Smith’s IP, Tech & Data Group hosted a webinar on February 22 that discussed key priorities and strategies for compliance during the final three months remaining before the … Continue Reading
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