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Legal & Professional Features

Features about property professionals and the workplace, plus legal changes.
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Legal & Professional

Ginny Warr

Q&A: British Land realises benefits of opening up dialogue with suppliers and advisers

In what is believed to be an industry first, British Land recently organised a conference for its suppliers and advisers.

Finance

Industry secures key revisions to new tax legislation

The property industry has welcomed revisions in this week’s Finance Bill to legislation on tax relief for interest costs that help to address potentially damaging and unintended consequences for property developers and investors.

Courtyard of Chengdu China

Q&A: LFA report shows how valuable architecture is to London’s economy

The economic value of London’s architecture sector was revealed for the first time last week in new research published by the mayor of London’s economics team in partnership with the London Festival of Architecture (LFA).

Commercial buildings, London

Why ownership structures will change in the future

The traditional concept of property ownership is coming under increased and significant pressure. Socio-economic developments and market disruption are posing questions about the future of ownership as both an aspiration and investment.

Geeta Nanda

‘Mix up the panel’: industry must do more to ensure speaker diversity at property events

How can London’s property industry ensure that panels at events reflect a greater range of participants than just white men of a certain age?

Somerset House

Workspaces for smaller firms in the capital are increasingly under threat

Last week, independent policy network Future of London published a report calling on local government, developers and workspace operators to maximise the regeneration potential of sites capable of providing workspace for small businesses.

Housing

Mayor’s proposed changes to viability system will ‘increase transparency’

Late last year, mayor of London Sadiq Khan unveiled a consultation on proposals that would constitute the biggest changes to the capital’s housing and planning rules since he took office, including a revamped viability system to fast-track schemes with 35% affordable housing and two new tenure types.

Workplace drinking

Employers can be liable for misbehaviour of errant staff

While many employers are aware of the potential risks of the annual Christmas party and will prepare accordingly, they would do well to remember that while the party season may be over, there will inevitably be other external work-related alcohol-fuelled events during the course of the year. Indeed, for the property sector, Mipim is just around the corner.

Housing development

Planning inspectors keep housebuilders guessing on small-site exemptions

In theory, housebuilders developing smaller sites don’t have to make affordable housing contributions. There is, after all, a written ministerial statement (WMS) saying as much, and local plans are supposed to fall in line with national policy.

Gender pay gap reporting

How compulsory pay gap reporting could affect your firm

In a move resisted by many business groups, the government has announced plans to encourage equal pay by introducing compulsory gender pay gap reporting for companies operating in the UK that employ 250 or more people.

Property Case News

Legal consultation

Relying on section 49 LPA 1925 – can you be rock solid?

The payment of a deposit by a buyer to a seller under a contract for sale is a fundamental part of a transaction since it comprises the “consideration” that all first year law students learn is necessary – along with offer and acceptance – for the formation of a binding agreement between parties.

Legal consultation

Property tycoon facing £611m debts loses high court battle

A property tycoon facing debts of £611m has lost a High Court battle with creditors over an individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) that would have seen creditors receive seven pence for every pound owed.

Julian Bisson

Preparation will help landlords avoid service charge pitfalls

Service charges have the potential to become a fairly contentious issue between landlords and tenants. Indeed, an intermediate landlord recently faced litigation over the reasonableness of the amounts claimed.

Cotton production

Court of Appeal shakes up contract law

A recent Court of Appeal judgment, MSC v Cottonex (2016), has clarified the law around repudiatory breaches of contracts, specifically the ability (or inability) of an innocent party to affirm a contract where a repudiatory breach has occurred.

Kate Nyakecho

The ‘vacant possession’ pitfall of ending a commercial lease

Commercial tenants with a ‘vacant possession’ break clause in their lease run the risk of nullifying the termination of the lease by failing to properly remove all their belongings from the premises - even down to internal walls and floor coverings - a recent ruling by the High Court has found.

Georgina Squire dispute resolution at Rosling King

Landmark judgment for lenders on negligent valuation case (1 July 2016)

The Court of Appeal has issued a landmark judgment in a professional negligence case setting a new precedent by changing the legal principle of causation.

Legal consultation

Supreme Court rules in landmark human rights law possession case (16 June 2016)

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Human Rights Act does not apply in possession claims between private parties, preventing a major expansion of human rights into private contractual disputes.

Aldi shop front

Supermarkets at war - Iceland Foods Limited v Aldi Stores Limited (6 May 2016)

Aldi and Iceland have adjoining stores on the outskirts of Cambridge in unit 1 & 2 and also share an accessway and car park.

Legal consultation

Timothy Taylor Limited v Mayfair House Corporation & Anor (10 May 2016)

In this case, the claimant tenant sought an injunction and damages against the defendant landlord in relation to building works being carried out above the tenant at 14/15 Carlos Place, Mayfair, London W1.

Warren Gordon is head of real estate know-how at law firm Olswang.

Tenants: beware of assigning to your guarantor

The High Court in EMI Group Limited v O & H Q1 Limited [16 March 2016] has decided that a tenant cannot assign a “new tenancy” (under the Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995) to its guarantor.

More property case news

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