Archives: Real Estate (UK)

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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

BloggeRS: Introducing Eva Lai ‘Mastering the art of “guanxi” for Chinese outbound investments’

As many of you are aware when doing business with Chinese investors you will need to come to terms with “Guanxi” – meaning relationships or connections outside the family. This is the core of Chinese society and culture. It is important for the Chinese to get to know the person with whom they wish to … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Likes Reality in Business Rates

The disputed rates in Newbigin (Valuation Officer) (Respondent) v S J & J Monk (a firm) (Appellant) relate to building works in 2012 and the question was whether the rating list could give the building a £1 nominal value or whether it had to assume a market value based in an assumption of repair. The … Continue Reading

The Modern Slavery Act 2015: Effects on the Property Industry one year on

Modern Slavery is broadly a term covering slavery, forced labour, servitude and human trafficking. It has been described as “the great human rights issue of our time” by Theresa May. The Modern Slavery Act 2015 was introduced as part of an effort to tackle the issue by imposing a requirement on every large business carrying … Continue Reading

So is this the time for developers to think big and build big?

On Monday 28 November 2016 the City of London’s Planning and Transport Committee approved (19 votes in favour, 2 against) a resolution to grant permission for the development known as 1 Undershaft which at 73 storeys will be the tallest building in the City of London (that is 304.94m or a little over 1,000ft for … Continue Reading

(UK) Welsh Residential Private Rented Sector – Key New Regulations in Force

As we mentioned in an earlier post Regulations for dealing with private rented housing in Wales are increasing. From 23 November 2016 all properties need to be registered and anybody undertaking, letting or management work has to go further and be licensed. FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONTINUE READING 1. Registration by all landlords Why register? The Welsh … Continue Reading

(UK) A Construction Industry Scheme Is Taxing For Both Landlords And Tenants

It is all too easy for landlords and tenants not to realise that their deal can fall foul of the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) requiring contractors to withhold tax from sub-contractors, designed to make sure that sub-contractors income tax is paid. How does this happen? – A landlord can be deemed to be a contractor … Continue Reading

(UK) Business Rates and Compensation for Tenants

Following our recent update on business rates, we are warning developers to look at their budgets for statutory compensation that may be due at the end of a 1954 Act protected tenancy because of the VOA’s reassessment of rateable values, which comes into force next April 2017.  The timing of the notices served to end the … Continue Reading

(UK) Rentcharges: beasts of burden or burdensome beasts?

Rentcharges are, in theory, a very useful way of securing a positive obligation to pay against freehold land owners. They are  mainly now created to cover estate service charges to ensure freeholders will pay common expenses incurred in looking after communal areas of a development and to help ensure positive covenants are enforced which is … Continue Reading

(UK) Business Rates Update

There have been a number of developments on business rates which affect investment management and lettings to corporate occupiers. Exactly what use qualifies as charitable and benefits from reduced rates is clearer, as is what qualifies as a business unit in a multi-let building plus there is disturbing news on rates appeals. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION … Continue Reading
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