Archives: Real Estate (UK)

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(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

Pubs & Planning Update

Wandsworth Council has just taken the unprecedented step of issuing a non-immediate Article 4 Direction to withdraw permitted development rights relating to demolition, alteration and changes of use from 120 pub and bar sites in Wandsworth “due to their historic or architectural value or because they make a positive contribution to their community”. Unlike an … Continue Reading

Partitions and Vacant Possession

We are often asked by landlords whether tenants need to completely strip out premises including partitioning when they are required to deliver up vacant possession. This is most common when break clauses are conditional on delivering vacant possession. What does vacant possession mean? In the leading case (NYK Logistics Limited –v– Ibrend Estates), it was … Continue Reading

Update on Small Scale Developments

Following on from our posting about the removal of the exemption of small scale developments from affordable housing contributions, please note that the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s decision. The Court of Appeal has given legal effect to the Government’s intended policy and that now means that: contributions should not be sought from … Continue Reading

Recovering Possession of Abandoned Residential Property

The headline news from the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (the ‘Housing and Planning Act’) makes it look as though there is a good new solution to enable residential landlords to get their property back in their control when it has been abandoned.  In practice it contains a number of provisions that serve only to … Continue Reading

That Sinking Feeling

Structuring the ownership of mixed use buildings requires care both initially and then during the management of the building.  In a recent case, an investor in the residential parts of a mixed use building faces a significant service charge shortfall that was avoidable. Residential tenants benefit from a statutory requirement that their service charge must … Continue Reading

Don’t Let Deposits Spoil the Deal

A recent case acted as a reminder of the risk inherent in taking a contractual deposit which is greater than the market norm. That case involved penalties for overstaying permitted parking times and re-confirmed the contract law principle that a deposit must represent a genuine affirmation of a party’s earnest intention to proceed and must … Continue Reading

The sky’s the limit…

What would you do if; your property development business had obtained planning permission to construct a 62 storey tower comprising 200,714 sq.m; you had secured funding in principle to commence the development; BUT the proposed development infringed the rights to light of 61 properties – of which 53 were maintaining their fundamental right to an … Continue Reading

A new broom: sweeper clauses in residential leases

Properly employed, sweeper clauses are designed to catch service charge costs that may be unforeseeable at the time of drafting. This is an essential fall back when drafting a long residential lease whose term will be somewhere between 99 and 999 years and subject to a statutory right of extension on the same lease terms. … Continue Reading

Update on Office Conversions to Residential

The Government has issued a statement on 13 October 2015 confirming that the temporary permitted development right to convert office premises to residential, subject to local authority prior approval of specified matters, is to become permanent.  This was originally introduced as a temporary permitted development right in May 2013 and was due to expire in … Continue Reading

(UK) New Rules for ASTs

The snappily titled Assured Shorthold Tenancy Notice and Prescribed Requirements (England) Regulations 2015 come into force 1st October 2015. In a nutshell, the landlord of any AST granted from 1 October 2015 onwards must provide the following to the tenant: Government factsheet “How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England”. To ensure you always … Continue Reading
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