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Landlord and Tenant Updates

Huge Solar Energy Farm Proposals Back on Track

Published on: 01 July 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Huge Solar Energy Farm Proposals Back on Track

A company which wants to build an enormous solar energy farm on a site in Suffolk, equivalent in size to almost 65 football pitches, has had its hopes of winning planning permission for the scheme boosted by a High Court ruling.

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Desperate Mother Refused Housing Assistance

Published on: 26 June 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

A desperate mother who was refused housing assistance after she took a tenancy of a cramped bedsit, where she lived with her five-year-old daughter, has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that she should have been viewed as homeless.

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State-of-the-Art Dairy Farm Receives High Court Blessing

Published on: 16 June 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In the context of modern planning, even very powerful environmental objections can be outweighed by the economic benefits of development, as was demonstrated when the High Court opened the way for construction of a state-of-the-art dairy farm on a sensitive site in the Welsh borders.

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Wind Turbines to Power Mineral Water Plant

Published on: 21 May 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Wind Turbines to Power Mineral Water Plant

In a case which balanced the pressing need for more sources of renewable energy against potential impacts on scheduled ancient monuments, a mineral water firm has fought off a High Court challenge to its planning permission for the erection of two wind turbines to power its bottling plant.

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Court Rules on Beaverbrook Mansion Planning Row

Published on: 06 May 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Court Rules on Beaverbrook Mansion Planning Row

The Court of Appeal has dramatically revived plans to turn Lord Beaverbrook's former country home –considered a ‘jewel in the crown’ of the Surrey countryside – into an ‘elite’ golf course, hotel, health club and spa.

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Council Escapes £600,000 Compulsory Purchase Bill

Published on: 15 April 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Council Escapes £600,000 Compulsory Purchase Bill

The former owners of a strip of land who claimed almost £600,000 in compensation after it was compulsorily acquired to make way for a road improvement scheme will receive only a small fraction of that sum following an Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling.

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No Insurance Payout for £700,000 Warehouse Fire

Published on: 06 April 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a warning to all that the fine print of insurance policies is well worth reading, a furniture company that suffered losses in excess of £700,000 in an arson attack on its warehouse will go uncompensated – after falling behind on payments to the firm that monitored its burglar alarm system.

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Leases Are Not ‘Pick and Mix’ Documents but Binding Contracts

Published on: 25 March 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Leases Are Not ‘Pick and Mix’ Documents but Binding Contracts

In a case which underlined that leases are not ‘pick and mix’ documents, but binding contracts in their entirety, a landlord came within an ace of missing out on four years’ worth of service charges after demands for payment were served on the tenant of a flat by ordinary post, rather than by registered or recorded delivery.

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‘Nuisance’ Introductory Tenant Escapes Eviction

Published on: 12 March 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

‘Nuisance’ Introductory Tenant Escapes Eviction

In a stern reminder to local authorities that even introductory tenants have rights, a council has suffered costly defeat in its legal campaign to evict an alleged nuisance tenant who had mental health problems and whose ability to read and write was in doubt.

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Ruling Underlines Impact of Recession on Commercial Rents

Published on: 25 February 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Ruling Underlines Impact of Recession on Commercial Rents

In a case which illustrated the impact of years of recession on commercial rents in some parts of the country, the High Court has rejected tenants’ arguments that they should have their rent on shop premises reduced to levels that were first agreed in the 1960s.

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Supreme Court Defines Aggravated Trespass

Published on: 06 February 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Supreme Court Defines Aggravated Trespass

Shops and other commercial premises targeted by campaign groups will be afforded greater protection in future after the Supreme Court upheld the aggravated trespass convictions of two men who invaded a cosmetics store that they believed took its supplies from Palestinian territory occupied by Israel.

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‘Heap of Rubble’ Triggered Commercial Tenancy Dispute

Published on: 30 January 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

‘Heap of Rubble’ Triggered Commercial Tenancy Dispute

In a case which gives guidance on the duties of commercial landlords to maintain the appearance of demised premises, a self-storage company which complained that its customers were being put off by the presence of an unsightly heap of rubble has failed in a bid for damages of more than £30,000.

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Guidance on Sureties in Commercial Leases

Published on: 20 January 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a case which gives important guidance on the correct approach to sureties given in commercial leases, the freeholder of a DIY store whose tenant became insolvent, leaving rent arrears of more than £280,000, has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that it is entitled to collect the debt from the tenant’s parent company.

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Nuclear Power Station Receives High Court Blessing

Published on: 19 December 2013 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

The Irish equivalent of the National Trust has failed in a High Court bid to quash development permission granted for a new nuclear power station on the west coast of England. An Taisce had challenged the decision of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to open the way for the controversial project at Hinkley Point in Somerset – around 150 miles from Ireland.

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Judge Over-Stepped Mark in Consulting Medical Dictionary

Published on: 09 December 2013 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Judge Over-Stepped Mark in Consulting Medical Dictionary

A nuisance neighbour who was found to be disabled after a district judge consulted his medical dictionary and declared himself ‘quite satisfied’ that he had Asperger’s Syndrome – despite a near-complete absence of evidence to that effect – has been hit with an anti-social behaviour injunction (ASBI) by the Court of Appeal.

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Epic Battle over New Scotland Yard Rates Bills

Published on: 29 June 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Thirteen years of heated debate over the rateable value of New Scotland Yard, the iconic headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, has resulted in a tribunal ruling which is unlikely to satisfy the force and will only result in a modest reduction in its bills.

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Multiple Sclerosis Sufferer Escapes £145,000 Tax Bill

Published on: 22 June 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Multiple Sclerosis Sufferer Escapes £145,000 Tax Bill

A multiple sclerosis sufferer who was hit with a crushing capital gains tax (CGT) bill after the sale of land from which her husband’s business traded will be more than £145,000 better off following a First-tier Tribunal (FTT) ruling.

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Amateur Landlord Pays for Dangerous Boiler Death

Published on: 08 June 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

An ‘amateur’ private landlord who was hit with a suspended jail term and swingeing financial penalties after she failed to maintain the gas boiler in a house where a man died of carbon monoxide poisoning has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that she was too harshly punished.

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Council Faces Stinging Bill for Pier Closure

Published on: 11 May 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Council Faces Stinging Bill for Pier Closure

In a unique case which weighed the private interests of commercial tenants against the public safety duties owed by local authorities, Hastings Borough Council was left facing a substantial compensation bill over its 2006 decision to close down the town's historic pier due to the potentially dangerous decay of its structure.

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Home-Made Joint Venture Agreement Leads to Disaster

Published on: 23 April 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Home-Made Joint Venture Agreement Leads to Disaster

Budding property developers tempted to dispense with legal assistance in drawing up contracts should take note of a High Court case in which a businessman paid a crushing price for signing his name on a 'home-made' joint venture agreement.

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Commercial Tenants Beware! – Formalities Do Matter

Published on: 13 April 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Commercial Tenants Beware! – Formalities Do Matter

All landlords and tenants would be wise to take note of a Court of Appeal case in which a commercial tenant lost a valuable opportunity to exercise a break clause due to its failure to follow to the letter the formalities prescribed by the lease.

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Landlords of Premises in Multiple Occupation Take Note!

Published on: 27 March 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Landlords of Premises in Multiple Occupation Take Note!

Every landlord of premises in multiple occupation who wishes to escape potential criminal prosecution would be wise to take note of an unusual High Court ruling which once and for all defines what is, and is not, a ‘storey’ in a building.

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What Happens When a Tenant Stays On After Lease Expires?

Published on: 24 March 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

What Happens When a Tenant Stays On After Lease Expires?

In tackling the often thorny problem of distinguishing between tenancies at will and protected periodic tenancies, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a tenant who stayed on after the expiry of his lease was not obliged to give six months’ notice before ceasing to pay rent on office premises.

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Court Considers Leasehold Interests in Empty Air Space

Published on: 11 March 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Court Considers Leasehold Interests in Empty Air Space

In a case which involved an interesting analysis of leasehold interests in empty air space, the High Court has stymied a developer’s controversial plans to build flats above two garage blocks, many of the tenants of which objected to the proposals.

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Guidance on Licensing of Lap Dancing Clubs

Published on: 11 February 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

In a case which gives important guidance on the correct approach to the licensing of sex establishments, the Court of Appeal has ruled that a businessman who spent more than £100,000 setting up a lap dancing club in Oxford was justifiably refused a licence renewal after the venue had been open for just one year.

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Higher Education Institutions Face VAT Hike on Residences

Published on: 04 February 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Higher Education Institutions Face VAT Hike on Residences

HM Revenue and Customs have issued a notice withdrawing the extra-statutory concession relating to new student residences from 1 April 2015.

The concession allows universities and other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to ignore vacation use of residences when determining whether or not the residence is intended to be used solely for a 'relevant residential purpose' and thus zero-rated for VAT purposes.

From 1 April 2015, the actual proposed use of the residences will need to be considered and if the 95 per cent test for relevant residential use is not met, zero-rating will not apply.

This will particularly affect HEIs in London and other tourist areas that let student accommodation as B&B and similar accommodation outside term time.

Revised guidance can be found here.

HMRC announcement

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New Public Procurement Rules Announced

Published on: 23 January 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

New Public Procurement Rules Announced

New procurement rules for public bodies will affect businesses, especially those that have a chequered past.

Under the new EU Public Procurement Directive, authorities placing contracts will be able to consider social criteria in making their decisions.

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Out-of-Town Retailers Win Business Rates Debate

Published on: 05 January 2014 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Tenants of England’s most valuable out-of-town retail park have achieved a 10 per cent reduction in their business rates after convincing a tribunal that their trade was significantly hit by the £350 million extension of a town centre shopping centre.

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Tenant Pays £1.3 Million Price of Breaching Repair Obligations

Published on: 16 December 2013 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Tenant Pays £1.3 Million Price of Breaching Repair Obligations

In a striking cautionary tale for occupiers of commercial property, the tenants of a Central London office block who left it in a very poor state of repair when they moved out have been landed with a £1.3 million bill for the repairs and renovations needed to put the premises back into a condition suitable for re-letting.

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Surveyors Not Liable for Shop Front Accident

Published on: 04 December 2013 | in categories: Landlord and Tenant Updates | Legal Updates | News and Updates

Surveyors Not Liable for Shop Front Accident

In giving important guidance on the vexed issue of duties owed by professionals to those who are not their clients and to the public in general, the Court of Appeal has cleared surveyors of all responsibility for a freak accident in which a shop fascia detached and fell onto the pavement, causing serious injury to passing pedestrians.

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