Ask the expert

Experts from across property answer your queries about key professional issues and legal experts explain how legislation is affecting the property sector.

London houses

The time for change: what to expect from the property agent working group’s report

2019-07-12T12:04:00+01:00By Nigel Howell

Since the Regulation of Property Agents Working Group first convened last year, details of its deliberations have been scant. However, the group is now preparing to share its report – an important development in the government’s leasehold and sector reform agenda.

Planning

Is the planning use class system still fit for purpose?

2019-07-10T23:00:00+01:00By Nicola Gooch

The government’s reported plans to merge high street use classes raises questions about the use class system as a whole.

Empty office

When can landlords expect a zero rates bill during a refurbishment?

2019-06-27T23:00:00+01:00By Robert Hayton

The Upper Tribunal has reconfirmed that empty properties undergoing refurbishment or improvement should have a nil or reduced rates assessment, dismissing a Valuation Office Agency (VOA) appeal that attempted to limit the 2017 Supreme Court ruling in Newbigin v Monk.

Construction safety

Will Building Safety consultation transform construction sector?

2019-06-27T23:00:00+01:00By Rebecca Rees

The government’s 192-page consultation paper on the Building Safety Bill, while not a light read, should not be skipped through or ignored.

ATM

What will the fallout be from protracted ATM rates dispute?

2019-06-12T23:00:00+01:00By Jerry Schurder

I wasn’t surprised that the UK Supreme Court accepted the Valuation Office Agency’s (VOA’s) petition to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling that ATM floorspace should not be separately assessed for rates – just extremely disappointed, for various reasons.

Debenhams

What are tenants’ protections against unreasonable landlords?

2019-06-12T23:00:00+01:00By Helen Wheddon

The rocky relationship between Mike Ashley and Debenhams raises interesting questions around protection for commercial tenants. Where landlords’ actions exceed the usual battles over rent and renewal, what can be done if ulterior motives drive the landlord to force the tenant out – or potentially even drive them out of ...

Empty shop

Is the rent being paid on some units relevant to rateable value?

2019-05-29T10:54:00+01:00By Roger Cohen

A shopping centre is anchored by a department store. The department store closes; no other retailer is willing to take over. Alongside the anchor store, a row of shops is now economically obsolete, but they do not empty overnight; the leases have not expired. There is no demand for any ...

Climate change

How do we protect our island from the impact of climate change?

2019-05-29T10:36:00+01:00By Robin Shepherd

Earlier this month, the Environment Agency said that England’s flood planners must prepare for the worst when it came to climate change. This is the first time I’ve heard the government be open.

Contact @mitchell_labiak on Twitter to give us your questions

Advertise and apply for jobs at PW4Jobs