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Real Estate - Legal Updates

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Apr
30
2014

What happens when a business tenant remains in occupation after the expiry of its lease?
#Real Estate

Difficulties can arise when a business tenant remains in occupation of a property when its right to do so has come to an end. This may be because the tenant has a lease that does not carry protection under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 ("the Act") and the lease has expired. Alternatively the lease may be protected by the Act, and, following service by the landlord of a Section 25 notice terminating the tenancy, the tenant has not taken any steps to issue a claim for a new lease or extend time for doing so. Often when a tenant remains in occupation it is because negotiations for a new lease are ongoing, but there is a risk that, if the situation is not resolved promptly, the parties can find themselves with an implied periodic tenancy. The legal status of the tenant will always depend on the specific circumstances of each case, but the key factors the courts will look at are whether rent is being paid and accepted, and whether the parties are actively engaged in negotiations for a new lease...

Mar
31
2014

Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery for Leases (CRAR)
#Real Estate

Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) is a method of enforcement to recover rent arrears relating to commercial property, which comes into force on 6 April 2014. From that date, it may only be used for commercial property and the common law right of distress is abolished. Prior to 6 April 2014 the remedy of distress is the correct procedure to use....

Feb
25
2014

Flooding and Property Insurance
#Real Estate

The ongoing floods, following the wettest winter on record, have affected almost everyone in some way and have dominated the headlines over the past few weeks. This crisis has come against the backdrop of an already challenging situation with regard to insurance for properties in areas liable to flood....

Feb
04
2014

Mortgagees Consent to the Grant of a Lease - Factors to Consider
#Real Estate

The purpose of a condition against letting a property without the consent of the mortgagee is to protect the mortgagee`s security, and to ensure that it is not burdened with an unsatisfactory lease....

Jan
06
2014

Rights of the Landlord where a Tenant has remained in occupation following expiry of a Lease
#Real Estate

The situation that arises where a tenant remain in occupation after the term of the lease has expired can be complicated, particularly where the lease is not a protected lease and is excluded from the renewal provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Where leases are protected, the statutory framework makes the position very clear....

Dec
06
2013

Chancel Repair Liability and its implications for land ownership Now
#Real Estate

Since 13 October 2013, changes to the status of chancel repair liability as an "overriding interest" means that there are certain implications for those owning and/or purchasing property:...

Nov
06
2013

Community Infrastructure Levy - Government publishes its response to the consultation
#Real Estate

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced on 6 April 2010 and enables local authorities within England and Wales to raise funds from developers undertaking building projects within its area. The funds are used to implement infrastructure to support development within the area. The CIL is a set tariff, subject to public consultation and examination....

Oct
07
2013

Update: Charities, commercial property and business rates relief
#Real Estate

The recent economic climate has seen a growth in empty commercial premises; some of which remain empty for quite some time. The changes to the business rates regime introduced in 2008 mean that property owners must now pay business rates even on empty properties. It is hardly surprisingly that landlords have been seeking to find ways to minimise the impact of this harsh reality. Charities (who qualify for business rates relief) have been able to enjoy the opportunity to utilise some of these empty property thus relieving the landlord of the burden of empty property business rates. Some initiatives have however caused problems and some recent case law shows how local authorities are aggressively challenging some schemes, potentially saddling the charities involved with a substantial business rates bill....

Sep
04
2013

Trap for Landlords - VAT on Storage Facilities
#Real Estate

It is well known that there is a blanket exemption from VAT for land and property. Landlords and landowners will be all too familiar with the requirement to opt to tax land and property, in order to bring income and outgoings related to property within the VAT provisions....

Aug
19
2013

Good news for landowners - deposit statement introduced to protect against town & village green registration
#Real Estate

For many years it has been possible under Section 31(6) of the Highways Act 1980 to deposit a statement and map with the local highway authority setting out any public rights of way which are registered as crossing a piece of land. Such a statement has the effect of preventing any new rights of way arising across land for a period of 10 years from the date of deposit....

Jul
09
2013

Guarantor released from obligations under the terms of a lease as it had not been made party to a Licence for Alterations
#Real Estate

In the recent case of Topland Portfolio No. 1 Ltd v Smiths News Trading Ltd [2013] EWHC 1445 (Ch), the High Court held that a guarantor was automatically released from its obligations under the terms of a lease as a result of the landlord and tenant entering into a licence for alterations to undertake works to a property without its consent....

Jul
04
2013

Furnished Holiday Lets will not qualify for Inheritance Tax Relief
#Real Estate

The Upper Tier Tax Tribunal has disallowed a claim for Business Property Relief in respect of a holiday letting...

May
28
2013

Recent caselaw on break clauses - a (rare) decision in the tenant`s favour
#Real Estate

One of the many pitfalls which can arise when negotiating and exercising break clauses in leases is the condition for the rents to be paid up to date at the break date....

Apr
26
2013

Lease Renewal: Who Decides the Terms when Landlord and Tenant Cannot Agree?
#Real Estate

The landlord and the tenant will generally negotiate the terms of a lease on renewal, but if the parties cannot reach agreement, the court will decide on the terms....

Apr
09
2013

Disposing of Charity Property
#Real Estate

Where charity land is conveyed, transferred, leased of otherwise disposed of, the trustees of the charity must consider whether compliance with procedures in the Charities Act 2011 (‘The Charities Act`) is required. The Charities Act consolidates earlier legislation including the Charities Act 1993 and prescribes procedures for disposal of land owned by a charity and statements that must be included in the disposal documentation....

Mar
12
2013

Inheritance Tax Nil Rate Band to be frozen until 2019
#Real Estate

The government has announced that the inheritance tax nil rate band will remain frozen at £325,000 until at least April 2019...

Mar
12
2013

Law Commission opens consultation on rights to light
#Real Estate

On the 18th February 2013 the Law Commission opened a consultation considering the current law relating to ‘rights to light`. The aim of the consultation was to strike a balance between the rights of landowners and the rights of those wishing to develop neighbouring land....

Mar
11
2013

Break clauses - case law update
#Real Estate

Compliance with conditions in break clauses continues to be a difficult area which provides much work for litigators and in which there are frequent new Court decisions....

Jan
18
2013

Introduction to the Green Deal and how it works for commercial property
#Real Estate

The Green Deal was introduced under powers in the Energy Act 2011 and is a funding mechanism for energy efficiency improvements to property. The regulations come into force on 28 January 2013, the Green Deal being designed to help the government meet its carbon reduction targets without the need for consumers to pay up-front for energy efficiency measures. Instead, the works required to improve the energy efficiency of a property will be carried out by a Green Deal Provider and the occupier will pay for the measures under a Green Deal Plan, over time, as part of their energy bill....

Dec
24
2012

What is the meaning of "Good Estate Management"?
#Real Estate

It is not unusual for leases to contain an obligation on the landlord to manage the property "in accordance with the principles of good estate management" which seems to mean little more than "well". It may indicate that the company managing the property should have regard to issues of more than just its own profit but the phrase does not include or refer to any objective standards and there are certainly no "principles" published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors or any other body....

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