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Residential Property Updates

Don’t Make Life-Changing Decisions Without Legal Advice!

Published on: 11 October 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Don’t Make Life-Changing Decisions Without Legal Advice!

In a case which underlined the need for independent legal advice before entering into potentially life-changing transactions, a widow has failed to convince the High Court that she gave her £1.25 million home to her son and daughter-in-law by mistake.

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Property Managers Pay for Failure to Properly Consult Tenants

Published on: 10 June 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Property Managers Pay for Failure to Properly Consult Tenants

Property managers who fail to fairly consult residential tenants before embarking on major renovation projects can be blocked from recovering the cost of such works through service charges and can end up carrying the financial can themselves.

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Nuisance Social Housing Tenants Face Sanctions

Published on: 26 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Social housing tenants suffering at the hands of nuisance neighbours can take some comfort from stern punishments meted out to two antisocial residents who brought misery to the housing estate where they lived.

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Gypsy Caravans Are ‘A Species of Housing’ Court Rules

Published on: 18 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Councils which fail to make sufficient provision for future residential development will find themselves in a weak position when opposing gypsy encampments in their areas after the High Court ruled that caravans and mobile homes are to be treated as ‘a species of housing’ for planning purposes.

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Green Belt Gives Way to Housing Demand

Published on: 10 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The ever increasing pressure for construction of more new homes in the Green Belt was evident as the High Court gave its blessing to strategic plans for the expansion of residential development into the rural surroundings of Nottingham.

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Council Must Pay £75,000 for Defects in ‘Right to Buy’ Home

Published on: 04 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Council Must Pay £75,000 for Defects in ‘Right to Buy’ Home

A woman who exercised her right to buy her council home, only to later discover that it was structurally unsound and in danger of partial collapse, has won almost £75,000 in compensation from the local authority which sold it to her.

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High Court Boosts Plans for 114 New Homes

Published on: 22 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

High Court Boosts Plans for 114 New Homes

In a case which involved a very modern clash between the pressing need for more new homes and the right of existing residents to enjoy reasonable peace and quiet, the High Court has boosted plans for a substantial residential development.

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Development Stymied by Century-Old Covenant

Published on: 12 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Development Stymied by Century-Old Covenant

Title deeds obviously need careful perusal before investing in property; however, one property developer came expensively unstuck due to a 100-year-old indenture which was invoked by objectors and stymied its house building plans.

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Court Opens the Way for 200 New Homes in Green Belt

Published on: 31 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The pressing need for more housing in the south-east of England was the deciding factor as the High Court approved plans for a large mixed-use development in the Surrey Green Belt. The Court gave the green light for the project despite having identified a significant flaw in the planning process.

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Local Democracy Trumps Housing Development

Published on: 10 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In an important victory for local democracy, one of the first 'neighbourhood plans' adopted under the Localism Act 2011 proved instrumental in blocking plans for more than 100 new homes on the outskirts of a Leicestershire village.

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Commercial to Residential Conversion Causes Controversy

Published on: 02 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The vexed issues raised by widespread conversion of commercial premises into residential accommodation loomed large as the High Court struck down planning permission for a Central London furniture store to be turned into a swish new home.

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Squadron Leader’s Ex-Wife Ordered Out of Tied Home

Published on: 22 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a ruling of interest to tenants of tied properties, an RAF squadron leader's ex-wife, who was ordered out of her government-owned home after her husband left her, has failed to convince judges that her eviction would violate her human rights.

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Warring Neighbours Urged to Avoid ‘Replicating Jarndyce v Jarndyce’

Published on: 16 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Housing estate neighbours, who fell out bitterly after some of them extended their gardens onto amenity land which had for years been used for communal recreation, have been urged not to let their dispute escalate into a Dickensian saga.

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Edwardian Indenture Put Home in Jeopardy

Published on: 01 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Edwardian Indenture Put Home in Jeopardy

A householder ended up in a nightmarish cycle of litigation and under threat of losing his home after falling behind on the ‘trivial’ ground rent – just £2.75 a year – he was obliged to pay under the terms of a dusty Edwardian document.

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Warring Neighbours Waste £500,000 on ‘Toxic’ Boundary Dispute

Published on: 25 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Three Court of Appeal judges have expressed dismay after two wealthy couples blew £500,000 on a ‘toxic’ dispute over little more than a few feet of muddy ditch. Neither couple achieved an outright victory in the ‘Dickensian’ neighbours’ dispute which the Court described as an absurd waste of effort, time and money.

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Buying Land? Watch Out for Traps in the Title Deeds!

Published on: 23 September 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Title deeds to land can often contain traps that only a professional conveyancer is trained to spot. In one case which proved the point, development restrictions which dated back more than 50 years almost defeated a woman’s plans to build a new house in the garden of her £1.7 million home.

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Squatters Moved Into Your Property? The Law Can Help You

Published on: 28 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Almost nothing is more distressing than squatters making free with your property – however, the law is no longer as weighted in favour of trespassers as it once was. One squatter who moved into a seaside flat and caused £20,000 worth of damage found that out when he was handed a stiff prison sentence.

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‘People Power’ Protects Much-Loved Flower Meadow

Published on: 21 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In an example of the kind of ‘people power’ encouraged by the Localism Act 2011, campaigners who are desperate to save an 'enchanting' flower meadow from the prospect of large-scale housing development have scored an important victory.

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Developer Ordered to Demolish 10 Newly-Built Town Houses

Published on: 14 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Planning laws can be draconian in their effect – as one development company found out when it was ordered to tear down 10 three-storey town houses it had proceeded to construct although it only had official permission to build nine.

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Empty Homes Are Undesirable – But Compulsory Purchase Can Be Costly

Published on: 07 May 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Empty Homes Are Undesirable – But Compulsory Purchase Can Be Costly

Amidst rampant demand for scarce housing, empty homes are frowned upon by local authorities – however, compulsory purchase of such properties in the public interest can be exceedingly expensive. In one such case, a council was ordered to pay more than £877,000 in compensation to the former owner of a listed townhouse.

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Do You Allow Public Access to Your Land? Beware!

Published on: 28 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Do You Allow Public Access to Your Land? Beware!

Many people might think it neighbourly for landowners to allow members of the public to take short cuts across their land. However, such kindness can have unforeseen consequences, as one High Court case vividly revealed.

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Need for New Homes Important – But Not Always Decisive

Published on: 21 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Need for New Homes Important – But Not Always Decisive

The ever increasing need for more homes in and around London is a vital factor in hundreds of planning decisions – but it is not necessarily decisive. This point was made by the High Court’s decision to block plans for 250 new homes on a Kent airfield.

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Is Your Home Really Your Castle? Tribunal Ponders

Published on: 08 April 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Is Your Home Really Your Castle? Tribunal Ponders

Those who are lucky enough to own the freehold of their homes are considered lords of their own castles. However, that is not true in every case, as one bungalow owner found out when he was banned from living under his own roof for two winter months every year.

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London South Bank Redevelopment Gets Green Light

Published on: 16 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The appearance of the London skyline has always been controversial. However, in a major victory for developers, the High Court has given the green light for a project which will transform a 3.5 hectare site on the south bank of the Thames.

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Disused Church Fails ‘Asset of Community Value’ Test

Published on: 05 March 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Disused Church Fails ‘Asset of Community Value’ Test

In an important decision for developers, a tribunal has ruled that registration of land and buildings as ‘assets of community value’ under the Localism Act 2011 requires more than speculative evidence that they can be put to good use in the future.

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New Town Plans Survive Bird Habitat Objections

Published on: 25 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Controversial plans for a ‘new town’ in rural Suffolk have survived a legal attack by environmental campaigners who fear the impact that 2,000 new homes may have on one of the most carefully protected bird habitats in Britain.

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Planning Blow for Residents of Historic Garden Squares

Published on: 19 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case which revealed a wrinkle in the law which is bound to cause consternation amongst well-heeled residents of London’s historic garden squares, the High Court has ruled that an extension which was built in strict accordance with planning permission was nevertheless unlawful and should be removed.

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Squatters’ Rights Survive Criminalisation of Trespass

Published on: 04 February 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Squatters’ Rights Survive Criminalisation of Trespass

In a landmark decision with important implications for all landowners, the Court of Appeal has ruled that the criminalisation of trespass in 2012 had no impact on the law of adverse possession – more commonly known as ‘squatters’ rights’.

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Trout Farmer ‘Deliberately Concealed’ Planning Breach

Published on: 27 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case which raised planning issues of general importance, the owner of a trout farm – who for years concealed from his local council that he had converted the first floor of a barn to provide a home for his son – has failed to overturn an enforcement notice which required him to return the building to solely agricultural use.

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Prestige Apartment Block Tenants Battle Service Charges

Published on: 22 January 2015 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Residential tenants of listed former newspaper offices, engaged in an epic struggle with their landlords over the heavy cost of maintaining the historic building, have been urged to seek a reasonable compromise by the Upper Tribunal (UT).

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