Archives: Real Estate (UK)

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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

Buying in Wales? Why a speedy completion should be top of your priorities

Those of you involved in the acquisition of properties in Wales over the next couple of months should take note – if the value is over £1,000,000 for non-residential properties (or for non-residential leases, a net present value of over £2,000,000) or £400,000 for residential properties, then you’ll pay less tax if you can complete … Continue Reading

Placemaking without Lawbreaking

Placemaking? Mixed-used developments in and around London are in the midst of a golden era with the creation of mega-schemes such as those in Nine Elms and Old Oak. The new Wembley Park Development will see the creation of an unprecedented 7,000 apartments, surpassing the Olympic Village scheme in Stratford by some 4,000 residential units. … Continue Reading

Public Register of Overseas Companies – Now You See Me…..

If you are an investor currently using overseas entities to hold UK property you should be aware that the UK Government is putting together proposals for greater transparency of the beneficial owners of UK properties owned by overseas entities. The regulations will have implications for: the risk management, timing and due diligence in real estate … Continue Reading

One year to go. Are you ready for the MEES Regulations?

It’s now less than one year to go until the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015, commonly known as the MEES Regulations (minimum energy efficiency standards) come into effect. It is time to act if you haven’t already. The MEES Regulations (the Regulations) provide that: From 1 April 2018 landlords of … Continue Reading

Time for Plan B? Amending a planning scheme.

In today’s volatile markets the commercial viability of a project can change in the time it takes to implement a hard-won planning consent and even after works have begun. It may therefore be necessary to amend a scheme to maintain its profitability and viability. To accommodate such changes, planning schemes are often amended or a … Continue Reading

BloggeRS: Eva Lai ‘Proposal for new Chinese investment rules – Is UK property investment still attractive?’

Reports suggest that China proposes to impose greater monitoring of large outbound investments and potentially block state-owned enterprises from purchasing overseas property with a value of more than US$1bn in a single transaction. Additionally, permission may be required for the transfer of funds over US$5m. The previous threshold was US$50m. It is likely that more … Continue Reading
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