Latest Legal News

Reasonable Endeavours Clauses Can Have Teeth

Unreasonable delay in fulfilling the terms of a contract is an unwise policy, as a recent dispute that ended up in the Court of Appeal shows. When a developer wished to build an ice-skating rink, its first priority was to secure a clear title to the...

Contract Adjudications are an Alternative to Litigation, Not an Addition

Contract adjudications can provide a swift and cost-effective alternative to litigation. Adjudication decisions are not immune from error but, as a High Court case showed , they are meant to be final and those who challenge them face an uphill struggle. ...

High Court Scotches Plans for £1.8 Million Holiday Park Expansion

Planning decisions would be unpredictable and merely arbitrary if they were not based on carefully considered policies that have been subjected to public scrutiny. The High Court made that point in scotching £1.8 million plans for the expansion of a...

No-Fault Eviction to End: Landlord and Tenant Law Revisions Likely

Talk to a tenant and the lack of security of tenure is often brought up as a significant issue. For landlords, the inability easily to obtain possession of a tenanted property can often cause angst. There is little dispute that a good-quality, settled...

Missed Deadlines Mean Missed Opportunities

Gerry Rafferty famously claimed that 'if you get it wrong, you'll get it right next time', but a recent construction dispute shows that this is often far from true in legal disputes: often, if you get it wrong, there is no 'next time'. The facts were...

Possession Granted When Tenant Claims Argument is Over Same Facts

It is very common for tenants who run up rent arrears to effectively be given a second chance by the courts when facing an application by the landlord to repossess the premises. Often, such applications are stayed subject to compliance with a revised payment...

What Exactly Is the 'Curtilage' of a Building?

Whether land is or is not within the curtilage of a building can be a decisive factor in many planning cases. The High Court considered the meaning of the word in ruling that a large hardstanding used for storing fencing materials did not fall within the...

Defective Premises and Landlords' Duties - Guideline Court of Appeal Ruling

Landlords have a legal duty to keep the premises they let to tenants in a safe condition and if they fail to do so can be held liable for any injury or loss that results. Recently, a local authority was ordered to pay compensation to a council tenant who...

Adjudication Payments Must Be Made First

Payments under building contracts can be a touchy issue and have led to numerous disputes. Adjudication proceedings are intended to make the process of resolving building disputes simpler, but they themselves are replete with legal challenges on a whole...

Air Quality Targets and the Planning Regime - Court of Appeal Test Case

The Government is duty-bound by European law to ensure that specified air quality standards are met as quickly as possible. However, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an important test case that that duty does not extend to a general obligation to refuse...

Balancing Noise Nuisance Against the Needs of Industry - High Court Ruling

Industrial processes can be noisy and those responsible for them frequently worry that complaints from neighbouring residents will affect their businesses. However, as a High Court case showed , such concerns and the needs of commerce in general do carry...

Trading in the Winter Period - A Cautionary Note for Landlords

Weak economic growth and increasing competition is still wreaking havoc in the High Street and the quarter that starts in January is often make or break for retailers as it is traditionally the worst trading quarter of their year. Many commercial properties...

Landlord's Redevelopment Plans Must Not Be Conditional

A recent case in which a landlord sought repossession of a property from its tenant on the ground that it intended to redevelop the property has gained a great deal of attention, but may not be as important as it first seems. The facts of the case were that...

Court of Appeal Guidance on Use of Pay Less Notices

When a construction dispute arises and a pay less notice is issued, the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 requires that the notice should specify the sum considered to be due and the basis on which that sum is calculated. In a recent...

What is a 'New Building' in Planning Terms? Court of Appeal Guidance

Can a building which incorporates parts of structures previously on the same site be described as 'new'? In upholding an enforcement notice that required total demolition of three residential buildings, constructed in breach of planning control, the Court...

Tenancy or Licence? Security Company Wins Possession Order

The distinction between tenancies and licences to occupy premises is crucial but not always easy to draw. A High Court case where this proved central concerned an agreement by which a security company allowed a man to occupy a vacant office block in order...

Late Appeal is Void Appeal for Property Owner

When the owner of a property that had been designated as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) by his local council in 2001 chose to challenge that ruling some 15 years later, the council refused to review the decision. The property owner claimed to have had...

Forfeiture for Rent Arrears - Commercial Landlords Take Note!

In a decision that will be essential reading for property professionals, the High Court has ruled that landlords who invoke the statutory commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) regime may thereby waive any right they have to forfeit leases. Landlords who...

Landlord Succeeds in Challenge to HMO Licence Fee

An increasing number of local authorities run licensing regimes to ensure the quality of accommodation provided in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). An important High Court ruling has, however, established that licence fees levied on landlords must not...

Restrictive Covenants Are Not Necessarily Insurmountable

Property title deeds often contain restrictions on future use of the land and one of the most common is a requirement that only one house can be built on a single plot. It may be thought that such a restriction must be adhered to forever, but if the...

Changes to the Definition of HMO - Landlords Take Note

With burgeoning numbers of students and a continuing housing shortage, residential property for letting has been a popular investment for several years. Many such investments are in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and landlords of large HMOs (which are...

Registration of Property Owned by Foreign Entities

Under draft legislation now in Parliament (the Registration of Overseas Entities Bill), the Government is intending to establish a register of the beneficial ownership of properties in the UK where the property is owned by an overseas entity. The general...

Unilateral Mistake - High Court Rectifies Terms of Commercial Lease

Signing leases is a serious business and both landlords and tenants are expected to live with their terms, however onerous they may be. However, as a High Court case illustrated, judges have the power to rectify terms if an obvious mistake has been made. A...

Court Refuses to Act as Referee to Determine Appropriate Repair Scheme

Anyone who has bought a new build property will be familiar with a 'snag list' of items that should be rectified. Normally these don't present too many issues, but when the snags are significant, and the new build is one in which there is a landlord who is...

When is a Year More Than a Year?

When a landlord appointed agents to manage properties in London, it did so under an agreement for 12 months, which was specified to continue on a yearly basis until terminated by either party giving the required notice. The landlord failed, however, to give...
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