Construction projects sadly do not always run smoothly and, in one case, developers and a contractor fell out so badly that no less than five adjudications and two High Court hearings were required to achieve a final resolution.
In a case which raised important issues in relation to public procurement, the High Court has refused to strike down a development agreement entered into by a local authority with the objective of comprehensively regenerating a run-down industrial estate.
Those who hold long leases over their homes often think that their position is almost exactly the same as a freeholder. However, one case in which a tenant with a 999-year lease was accused of making unauthorised alterations to his property showed how very wrong that assumption can be.
In a ruling which is bound to cause consternation amongst social housing providers, the Court of Appeal has refused to order the eviction of a single mother who told a pack of lies after 300 cannabis plants were found in her spare bedroom.
Fire safety rules are there to protect the public and property owners who are subject to them should take careful note of a case in which a holiday homes landlord was hit hard in the pocket for a catalogue of breaches.
In a case which served as a salutary warning to property developers, a company’s plans for a prime plot of urban land were hamstrung by restrictions on the use of the site which had been in place for almost 60 years.
What is a house? Most people would think there is a simple answer to that question but it is an issue that has taxed lawyers ever since the introduction of leaseholder rights to acquire the freehold of the properties which they occupy.
In a surprising reversal of a 2013 Court of Appeal decision, the Supreme Court has today ruled that a landlord who received rent in advance for an entire quarter when the break notice was effective half way through the quarter does not have to repay the overpayment.
Suspicions are rife that certain banks may have deliberately engineered clients into defaulting on loans so that they can step in to pick up the pieces and make a profit from turning around viable businesses.
The distinction between assured and regulated residential tenancies is crucial when it comes to rent obligations and security of tenure; however, the dividing line is not always easy to draw as a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) revealed.
Almost nobody would want a waste plant near their home but the weight of rubbish created by the modern world means that they have to be built somewhere. In a case which illustrated the point, the High Court has approved plans for a residual waste facility in the Somerset green belt.
Plans for a state-of-the-art energy-from-waste plant and recycling facility – which are considered to be of ‘national significance’ – have received the green light after the Court of Appeal rejected a challenge to the scheme.
Most commercial tenants will know that they have a right to apply for new tenancies at the end their leases. However, many will be ignorant of the fact that their security of tenure can be undermined if their landlord plans to demolish and reconstruct the buildings they occupy.
In a guideline case on the valuation of property rights perceived as holding ‘ransom’ value, a landowner whose shooting rights were compulsorily acquired by a local authority has had his hopes of a £5.6 million compensation payout dashed.
Those who work in the social housing field know that dealing with angry tenants is all part of the job. However, they are entitled to go about their lives free from fear and one case showed that the courts will come down hard on those who intimidate them.
Land Registry searches are a vital part of conveyancing and are usually an effective means of ensuring that property buyers understand exactly what it is that they are purchasing. However, one tribunal case underlined that they are not foolproof because not every right in respect of land has to be registered.
As any property professional will know, negotiations can be tense and it is common for various draft agreements to fly between parties without any final deal in fact having been reached. Exactly that happened in one case involving the proposed lease of a luxury central London home at a rent of £6,500 a week.
The tax regime is playing a central role in the government’s drive to create more new homes. In a case which proved the point, a tribunal favoured a broad interpretation of VAT legislation and found that a house in multiple occupancy can properly be viewed as a zero-rated dwelling.
Conversations with solicitors that are designed to achieve a compromise of legal proceedings are generally ‘without prejudice’ and admissions made cannot be relied upon in court. In an important decision, the Court of Appeal has analysed the extent of that rule in the context of a landlord and tenant dispute.
Commercial mortgages very often specify that the lender’s consent must be obtained before the premises can be let to tenants and, in one guideline case on the point, the High Court has ruled that a scrawled endorsement consisting of the letters ‘OK’ on a letter did not amount to such consent.
Contract adjudicators do valuable work in promoting the swift resolution of disputes at relatively low cost – however, they do not always reach the right conclusions and the courts are there to put right any injustice caused.
The courts are generally keen to support contract adjudicators whose task it is to resolve disputes speedily and at much lower cost than litigation. In one case which proved the point, a company was criticised for ‘scrabbling around’ in search of technical reasons why it should not have to abide by an adjudicator’s awards.
In considering a £2 million claim in respect of allegedly dangerous defects in the cladding of a landmark commercial building, the High Court has given important guidance on the effect of contractual terms which seek to place time limits on potential liability.
Wind turbines marching across the countryside are not to everyone’s taste and are a constant source of controversy. However, it was concerns about aircraft safety, not the visual impact on the landscape, which resulted in planning permission being refused for two 100 metre high turbines in rural Norfolk.
Long-standing plans to redevelop part of the historic heart of Winchester have been thrown into the air after the High Court ruled the City Council in ‘serious breach’ of public procurement rules and expressed doubts as to whether the project was ‘the best scheme on the best terms available’.
In a warning to property investors that the advent of the Localism Act 2011 means that broad issues of community welfare may stand in the way of their plans, a tribunal has stepped in to protect a rural pub from the prospect of development.
In an important ruling – which extends the potential liabilities of residential landlords to tenants who are injured due to defects in the premises – a flat tenant has won compensation after tripping over an uneven paving stone whilst taking out his bins.
Commercial competition in the funeral business spilled over into the planning field as rival companies, which each hoped to develop crematoria in an area where there was only a market for one, fought out their differences at the High Court.