When your contract contains a clause excluding oral variations… A recent decision of the Supreme Court in Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited brings an end to the long standing debate over whether clauses excluding oral variations to a written contract (so called “NOM” clauses – “no oral modification”) are valid. This […]
Real Estate know how
As first appeared in the Financial Times on Sunday 20 May 2018. The cladding on my flat has been deemed unsafe. Who is responsible for paying for its replacement and the 24/7 fire watch that is required in the interim? The first place to look is at the terms of the lease. When it comes […]
As you will have seen in both the legal and mainstream press, the requirement of a minimum energy efficient standard for premises (known as MEES) was introduced in 2015 as part of a range of measures to meet the UK government’s carbon reduction targets. As a result of this requirement, a landlord cannot let commercial […]
This article first appeared in Prime Resi. If you are buying, selling or developing a property in England or Wales, it is critical that you understand easements and how they could affect a property’s intended use. Easement is a medieval word that derives from the 14th century Old French “aisement”, meaning comfort, convenience, use or […]
If so, make sure you have understood your obligations under the lease. You may have read in the news earlier this year about the High Court decision in the case of Victory Place Management Company Ltd v Kuehn & Anor  EWHC 132 (Ch) which concerned the keeping a dog in a flat. Pet issues […]
A Court of Appeal decision on a landlord’s refusal to consent to an assignment It is common for leases to require a tenant to obtain landlord’s consent to an assignment, and to provide that the consent cannot to be unreasonably withheld. This unreasonableness condition was recently considered by the Court of Appeal in No. 1 […]
Mr and Mrs Conway lived in a prestigious house in London, but in 2010 they decided to sell it with the intention of relocating to Cambridge. When their house first went on the market the asking price was £7m, but that reduced over time as they struggled to find a buyer. In 2015 they reduced the […]
It seems that barely a year goes by without a break clause related tale of woe emanating from the Courts. Sackville Property Select II (GP) No.1 Ltd & Anor v Robertson Taylor Insurance Brokers Ltd & Anor can be added to that ever expanding tome. In that case the Court considered the validity of a […]
It is often the case that a landowner’s exercise of a right of way over a neighbour’s land is challenged and there is nothing in writing to evidence the right. This is not necessarily fatal to establishing a right of way as in certain circumstances it may be possible to establish a right of way […]
An area of some confusion among clients, now bracing themselves for the arrival of the GDPR, is on what basis they can continue to market themselves to customers: is fresh consent required, or what are the alternatives? With the 25th of May fast approaching, this short article explains that the new restrictive form of consent […]
A business tenant with the benefit of a lease which has security of tenure is automatically entitled to renew after the expiry of its contractual term. Usually, if the new lease terms cannot be agreed then either the landlord or the tenant may apply to Court for the terms to be determined. Whilst the majority […]
It is no secret that sought-after areas with development potential in the UK are densely populated and that securing land is increasingly difficult with demand outstripping supply. Many “infill” development sites rely on access or services being provided via land owned by third parties. The need to properly check that the development has both sufficient […]
The Chancellor announced some welcome changes for first-time buyers (“FTBs”) to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) regime in his Budget on 22nd November. From this date, FTBs of residential property of up to £500,000 will benefit from the following: For purchases of up to £300,000, no SDLT will be payable. This represents a considerable […]
While the Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) has been with us since August 2007, it has been largely viewed as a administrative bother that has to be done before a premises was to be let or sold that once seen could be quickly discarded and ignored. This was even the view where the premises was given […]
Details have emerged this month on what may replace the unpopular CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (“CRC”). Abolition of the CRC from 2019 Under the CRC, companies consuming significant amounts of electricity must report their energy consumption to the Government through purchase of allowances. Such companies are also required to collate data on their energy use […]
Earlier this summer, an important judgment concerning the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the 1954 Act”) was handed down by Mr Justice Jay. The case of S Franses Ltd v The Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd  EWHC 1670 QB was an appeal from the County Court in Central London […]
New leases for seven years or more must be registered at the Land Registry, normally by the Tenant, and within 2 months of completion. But what happens if you don’t? It rather depends on whether your landlord’s title is registered or not. The Landlord’s title is unregistered Where the Landlord’s title is unregistered, the new […]
This article first appeared in the Estates Gazette. The case of Clear Call Limited – v – Central London Investments Limited  EWCA Civ 1231  provides further guidance of the application of the Ladd – v – Marshall ( EWCA Civ 1) test for the submission of new evidence in a case where judgment has […]
This article first appeared in Estates Gazette, 22nd July 2017. Many employers will be paying additional sums by way of the apprenticeship levy that came into effect on 6 April 2017. Some savvy property sector employers will already be exploring ways in which these sums (plus more) can be recouped by their businesses. Apprenticeships are […]
New rules to protect pubs from demolition or their conversion to shops and other retail uses recently come into effect…
For those of you amenable to a drink or two at your local pub from time to time, this will come as good news! As from 23 May 2017, permitted development rights to demolish pubs have ceased and there are no longer rights to demolish drinking establishments with expanded food provision, either. Recent Amendments to […]
It is relatively widely known that landlords of residential blocks must consult their tenants before they can recover (in full) certain items through the service charge regime. For example, if they wish to carry out a substantial redecoration of the exterior of the block. But that’s once the leases are in place, right? Unfortunately it’s […]
Viewed as an attractive ornamental garden plant when initially introduced to the UK in Victorian times, Japanese knotweed is now regarded as something much more sinister. Unusually aggressive, highly invasive, capable of regenerating from the smallest piece of rhizome, difficult and expensive to eradicate … It’s destructive nature (being capable of penetrating tarmac, building foundations […]
In the case of Sheffield City Council v Oliver the Court of Appeal looked at the impact of third party contributions – in this instance Government funding – on service charge recovery. Both landlords and tenants should take note, as the principles go beyond the specific facts of the case. Most of the flats within the […]
Leases of residential property, flats particularly, commonly contain obligations on the part of the landlord to maintain and keep in repair the structure of the building and common parts and to recover the expenditure through service charge contributions from the individual tenants. Often the lease will contain a list of other services to be provided […]
Proprietary estoppel is an equitable doctrine which allows the court to prevent a legal owner of property (usually land) from asserting their strict legal rights, when it would be unfair to allow them to do so. This doctrine often arises in cases of family feuds, where informal and undocumented arrangements relating to property rights go […]
Given the recent high profile cases involving Uber, CitySprint and the like, the true employment status of purportedly “self-employed” individuals has come under the spotlight. So what is genuine self-employment and what is a worker or an employee? And why does it matter? What are the categories of employment status? There are three categories of […]
The serving of notices sometimes feels more akin to bomb disposal, than posting a letter. The slightest wrong turn can potentially prove fatal! Unfortunately that has only been compounded by a recent Scottish case. Courts have generally taken a strict approach to the contractual or statutory requirements governing the form and service of notices. The safety nets they […]
To quote from the Nazi dentist played by Laurence Olivier in the movie Marathon Man; “Is it safe?”; well for a buyer’s solicitor it may not be if there is a fake seller. The judgment in Dreamvar (UK) Limited v. Mishcon de Reya is controversial, and will almost certainly be appealed, but it tells us […]
Major developments in employment law are expected to take place in 2017, Katee Dias outlines the main changes. Employment Tribunal Fees Fees were introduced in 2013 for all Employment Tribunal claims. However, the lawfulness of this was questioned and the latest hearing in the long running legal challenge by UNISON is expected to be heard […]
Question: what is the extent of solicitors’ duty of disclosure, and in particular is there a duty to disclose information gained from acting for one client to another? The decision in Harlequin Property (SVG) Limited v Wilkins Kennedy (a Firm)  EWHC 3188 (TCC) held that accountants do not owe such a duty and in […]
The high profile closure of Fabric, and recent resolution to enable it to re-open, may seem a far cry from the average retail food offering. Much of it was! However, there are some important points to take on board, which are applicable more widely. First of all, know your permitted hours and conditions. All those […]
The estate of an individual who dies on or after 6 April 2017 may qualify for an increased tax-free amount, the residence nil-rate band (RNRB), if their estate includes an interest in a home which is being left to their direct descendants. This is in addition to the existing nil rate band (NRB) of £325,000 […]
The hidden, devastating, effects of compound interest have been considered in a previous GD Online article (Extreme Service Charge; June 2015) concerning service charge payments in residential leases of holiday chalets on the Gower peninsula. Some of the leases, granted in the early 1970s for terms of 99 years, reserved a fixed annual service charge, […]
This article follows on from our earlier update in January of this year on the ‘right to rent’ checks introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 (see here for a recap of these). From 1 December 2016, a number of the provisions of the Immigration Act 2016 (the “2016 Act”) come into force. Perhaps the most […]
It is not uncommon in the commercial property world for arrangements to be made to re-schedule or change the pattern of rent payments. When it comes to short leases and the like, a recent Court of Appeal case has highlighted the need for care when making those arrangements orally. In MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited […]
Recent developments in the construction insurance market: additional protections for consultants, contractors and third parties?
There is a new dawn for construction insurance following introduction of two Acts of Parliament in August 2016. With the introduction of the Insurance Act 2015 (“IA 2015”) and Third Parties (Rights against Insurers) Act 2010 (“TPRAIA 2010”), English insurance law has undergone the most significant development since the inaugural Marine Insurance Act 1906 (“MIA […]
In a recent article, we highlighted the potential pitfalls of using popular vehicles such as Airbnb to sublet your property and the problems which you may face unwittingly should you choose to rent out your property on a short term basis (see http://gdknowledge.co.uk/airbnb-first-timer-consider-the-legal-implications-first/). In recent times, the Airbnb phenomenon has seen a marked increased in […]
Commercial leases often reserve to the Landlord the right to carry out repairs to adjoining premises. At times, this right may conflict with the Tenant’s right to enjoy the demised premises under the Landlord’s covenant for quiet enjoyment. There is also an implied covenant by the Landlord not to derogate from grant – put another way, a […]
In last year’s Autumn statement, the government unveiled its plans to increase the rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) charged on purchases of “additional residential properties” e.g. second homes or buy to let properties. These changes came into effect on 1 April 2016, and apply to completions taking place on or after this date. […]
Overall housing supply and economic performance is key to understanding the post-Brexit property market
We already reported a marked cooling in the volume of residential property transactions prior to the referendum. In the immediate aftermath of the shock result whilst the dust attempts to settle, many commentators appear to agree that it is still too early to say what the effect of Brexit will have on the property sector, […]
Airbnb is a modern phenomenon. Its cultural impact has been to create an industry out of renting your own home to strangers on a short-term basis. Many people now view it as a complete alternative to hotels. But what are the legal implications? Over the summer months, increasing numbers of people will be taking holidays […]
On 12 May 2016, ahead of the anti-corruption summit in London, David Cameron announced proposals for legislative reforms which will introduce a new public register revealing the “true owners” of UK property bought by foreign companies. This new register constitutes just one of a number of measures aimed at tackling money laundering, as London tries […]
We have not been surprised to witness a significant slowdown in the housing market following the buy-to-let rush to complete on transactions before the 31 March deadline on stamp duty rises for second homes. The UK’s largest lender, Halifax, reported that house prices had dropped by 0.8% during April as buy-to let purchasers practically vanished […]
The implementation of new legislation has imposed important obligations on landlords of residential property. Failure to comply with these requirements could have serious consequences. This checklist is designed to provide a summary of the main steps which landlords need to ensure they consider before letting out their property under an AST: Check whether the property is […]
All disputes can get messy and landlord and tenant disputes are no different. Where the right to occupy a property is critical, either for business or residential purposes, the stakes are high for both sides. Whatever the strengths and weaknesses of a case, litigation can be stressful and costly and sometimes settling a dispute is […]
In the Autumn Statement the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that higher rates of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) would be introduced for purchases of “additional residential properties”. The measure is intended to re-focus the housing sector towards low-cost home ownership for first-time buyers. For purchases after 1 April 2016 an additional rate of 3% […]
The Immigration Act 2014 (Commencement No. 6) Order 2016 From 1 February 2016, all private residential landlords in England must carry out checks on prospective tenants to ensure their immigration status affords them the right to rent a property in England. The checks must be carried out within 28 days before the start of the […]
A flooded home is a horrible experience. But you have been paying your insurer to cover you against just such a possibility. So you should receive financial and other assistance in putting your property back in order. At least that’s the theory. In the majority of cases, it will also be the outcome. However, a […]
In September, the High Court handed down summary judgment in Creative Foundation v Dreamland Leisure Ltd. The case concerned the ownership of a mural. Mr Justice Arnold’s judgment has implications for future landlord and tenant disputes. Background On 28 September 2014 during the Folkestone Triennial, the famous graffiti artist Banksy spray-painted “Art Buff”, a graffiti […]
Conceptually forfeiture is perhaps the landlord’s ultimate sanction against tenants who do not comply fully with the terms of their lease. And from the tenants’ side, a serious motivator to comply! However, a recent Court of Appeal case has highlighted how tricky it can in fact be to deploy. The case concerned a tenant that had […]
Most commercial leases reserve an annual rent and express it to be payable in advance by equal quarterly payments on the usual quarter days. The quarter days are 25th March (Lady Day), 24th June (Midsummer’s Day), 29th September (Michaelmas Day) and 25th December (no prizes). It is also a common condition of a break clause […]
Introduction Residential tenants who wish to challenge a service charge when it is demanded are faced with an awkward decision. They can either withhold payment of a service charge from the landlord whilst they try to resolve the matter, or choose to make the payment anyway and then challenge it afterwards. As unpalatable as it may […]
Property buyers, particular if intending to develop, will often rely on the results of a Local Search, an essential component of the due diligence process on acquisition. In particular planning history and constraints and highways aspects are important. The Local Search is relied on as to the information it provides completely as unlike replies to enquiries or […]
As of 1 October 2015, it is compulsory for all private residential landlords to ensure that their rented properties are fitted with smoke alarms and, where appropriate, carbon monoxide detectors. If landlords fail to comply, they risk facing a fine of up to £5,000. The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into […]
There are a range of remedies available to landlords of commercial properties where the tenant has stopped paying rent. Below is a brief summary of options that may be appropriate in the circumstances. Rent Deposit Drawdown If a deposit has been received from the tenant at the start of the lease, a landlord may be […]
In a previous article we reported on the changes to the regime for ending an assured shorthold tenancy as introduced by the Deregulation Bill, which received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015 and so is now the Deregulation Act 2015. http://gdknowledge.co.uk/deregulation/ As reported at the time, certain provisions of the Deregulation Act 2015 relate specifically […]
In a recent decision of the Supreme Court, Arnold v Britton  UKSC36, the occupiers of some of the holiday chalets at the Oxwich Leisure Park, on the Gower peninsula, lost their appeal to have their leases read in such a way so as to avoid payment of exorbitant service charge. Some of the leases, […]
The government’s aim in introducing the Act is to enable small businesses to innovate, grow and compete. The hope is also that internationally it will endorse the UK as a trusted and fair place to do business. The Act received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015 and is set to have a significant impact on […]
In the recent case of Cockell v Holton (No 2)  EWHC 1117 (TCC), which was a claim arising out of works to a listed building following a fire, the Judge refused to grant the Defendant permission to pursue a significant Counterclaim, but allowed him to amend his Defence to include the allegations contained in […]
You are a private residential landlord renting out a property in a “selective licensing” area – did you know that you could face a fine of £20,000 and be ordered to pay back rent to your tenants if you don’t have a licence? Under the Housing Act 2004, local authorities have powers to introduce “selective […]
Most commercial leases contain a requirement for the tenant to pay the annual rent by equal quarterly payments in advance. The Quarter Days being 25th March (Lady Day), 24th June (Midsummer’s Day), 29th September (Michaelmas Day) and 25th December (no prizes). During the term of the lease the payments fall due on the quarter day […]
***** Stop Press: Katee Dias was recognised as a “Star Legal Writer” by the The Lawyer for this article. ***** Katee Dias Employment Lawyer Goodman Derrick Top Five HR Resolutions As January is often seen as the time for instigating change, we thought it would be helpful to consider some possible New Year resolutions for those of […]
Residential Property and Capital Gains Tax: Changes Afoot for Non-UK Residents and Multiple Home Owners
Capital Gains Tax has found itself in the spotlight in recent weeks, owing to two significant changes to the CGT and residential property landscape. Firstly, the government has moved to limit the final period exemption that allowed those owning more than one residential property to reduce CGT on second homes. Secondly, looking forward, plans to extend the CGT regime to non-UK residents selling UK residential property appear to be going ahead, and are set to be in force from April 2015. We take a look at these reforms in more detail.
The Court of Appeal has overturned the decision of the High Court relating to the refund of rents for a period after a break option has been exercised.
Goodman Derrick’s Construction Partners Attend the Inaugural Conference of The Peruvian Society of Construction Law
The Peruvian Society of Construction Law (“SCL”) held its inaugural conference at the Universidad Del Pacifico in Lima on 9th and 10th April 2014. The SCL has not been long constituted in Peru and so it was gratifying that some 300 delegates attended the Conference. Goodman Derrick partners John Wright and Richard Bailey attended; Richard is the current Chairman of SCL UK and Vice President of the European Society of Construction Law.
Adjudication is a well established method of resolving disputes in the construction field in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Malaysia have followed this lead by passing the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (“CIPAA”). CIPAA is now in force and John Wright’s briefing is available by clicking here. John is a Construction Partner at Goodman Derrick with specialist knowledge and experience of international construction arbitration.
Background As of 6 April 2014 and as part of wider reforms introduced by the Government the ancient common law right of distress for rent has now been abolished and replaced by a new statutory procedure known as Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery or CRAR. The common law regime of distress was a self-help remedy previously […]
The Chancellor’s 2014 Budget, announced on 19 March 2014, set out a number of changes and extensions to the post-2012 stamp duty land tax (“SDLT”) regime. Background The 15% SDLT rate was initially introduced in April 2012 and applied where a company bought a ‘single dwelling’ property for over £2 million. The Chancellor was clear […]
The Government has issued draft anti-avoidance legislation to be included within the Finance Bill 2014, which overrides the current presumption that a member of an LLP is self-employed for tax purposes and is not an employee. This is in response to HMRC concerns that individual members of LLP’s are benefiting from being treated as self-employed for tax purposes, in circumstances where those members are effectively in the position of an employee.
Since 2012, the Government has been conducting an audit of EU powers (or “competences” to use the jargon) with a view to seeking whether their repatriation to the UK in appropriate cases. In a recent consultation, it has got round to asking interested parties on about the current division of regulatory responsibilities between Brussels and […]
Subterranean excavations may be an increasingly popular method of extending a property, but such developments also carry potential pitfalls. Planning controls do not usually apply to a development that does not affect the external appearance of a property, but means of redress still exist for neighbours who are adversely affected by basement excavation works, whether […]
As with 2013, there will be no rest for employment law advisers, employers and HR practitioners in 2014, with further legislative change on the agenda. Many of the changes hail from the government’s Red Tape Challenge following its publication of the report “Progress on Reform” on 14 March 2013, which detailed the intended timetable for […]
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published an Information Note entitled ‘High Streets – Beyond Retail’, which looks at the decline of retailing on the High Street and in town centres and proposes possible solutions to help reverse the negative trend. Article Summary The aim of the Information Note is to provide guidance […]
In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN, the professional body for domain name registration) launched the new generic top level domain (gTLD) programme to permit the introduction of new top level domains on the internet. The move, which has attracted much publicity, will allow web addresses to end in a whole range of new domains (such as .app, .sport, .accountant) beyond the likes of .com, .co.uk and .net.
James Daglish assesses the progress of green leases.
New rules on costs management are intended to benefit litigants by ensuring that the legal costs of fighting a case are proportionate to the issues in dispute. On the face of it this sounds like it must be a positive step, however the reality is that the changes may not be as beneficial as would initially appear to be the case.
Agency Workers – Tribunal Decides “Swedish Derogation” Lawful for Maintaining Pay Difference between Permanent and Agency Workers
An Employment Tribunal has decided that a temporary work agency which transferred a group of agency workers off zero hours contracts onto guaranteed hours contracts did in fact comply with the Agency Workers Regulations 2010 and that the Swedish Derogation could be relied upon [Bray and others v Monarch Personnel Refuelling (UK) Ltd ET/1801581/12 and others].
1st April sees the introduction of a new structure for the regulation of financial services in the UK. Is its rolling out on April Fools’ Day just a bit of quirky Britishness or a true indication that we would be fooling ourselves in thinking that a mere re-organisation could prevent a repeat of the banking and financial crisis?
A consultation paper has recently been published relating to rights to light. This article looks at the key recommendations made and considers the possible effects of any changes.
At the end of last month the Government announced a number of changes to permitted development rights, including allowing the change of use from offices (Class B1(a)) to residential (Class C3) without the need for planning permission. The intention of the new scheme is to make best use of existing developed sites and facilitate speedier conversion of redundant office space into desirable residential accommodation.
In a recent case, the Court considered the issue of whether covenants in a share purchase agreement amounted to penalties and whether restrictions were an unreasonable restraint of trade.
In Shakespeare’s time, lawyers adopted a “no fee, no breath” approach. In spite of the still widely held view that lawyers will do anything for money and nothing without it, “no win, no fee” arrangements have become commonplace in recent years in English litigation. However, a series of controversial changes are shortly to be introduced which, depending on one’s viewpoint, may reduce access to justice for some, whilst increasing it for others and place some losing parties in a fairer position, but some in a worse one. Jonathan Haydn-Williams explains the current position and the imminent changes.
There are a number of company law proposals expected to be implemented in 2013. These include reforms relating to executive remuneration and the introduction of the new employee-owner status
The Government has a wide variety of new legislation currently going through Parliament, which it intends to bring into force next year. This should make for a very interesting and challenging 2013 in the employment and discrimination arena
Court of Appeal overturns High Court Decision on Unfair Prejudice
The government wants to show that it is serious about stimulating the economy and spearheading the necessary growth to drag the country out of recession. It remains to be seen whether the liberalisation of planning laws will kickstart economic activity, but the climate certainly appears to be shifting in favour of allowing development. As a result, it is more important than ever that both developers and residents are aware of the forthcoming changes to the law, and how they will be affected
Many staff will want time off over Christmas, and it’s not always possible to accommodate every request. So its important to ensure you have a sensible system for deciding who get to take holiday.
Break clauses and their exercise continue to cause headaches.
Read here for a summary of the rules regarding rest breaks that should be given to workers.
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (“LASPO”) received royal assent on 1 May 2012. The primary purpose of the bill was to reform the civil litigation costs and funding framework, but a number of other changes were also included which may have wide reaching consequences for businesses in England & Wales and their directors and senior officers.
After much debate, the offence of squatting has entered the statute books.
What is the position as regards chancel repair liability after 12 October 2013?