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Residential Property Updates

Housing Development Objectors Point to ‘Anthrax Threat’

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

The High Court has opened the way for a controversial housing development on a former industrial site – despite objectors' fears that the soil may be contaminated with anthrax spores and other toxic materials which pose a serious risk to public health.

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Judge Scotches Rural Housing Development Plans

Published on: 29 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Judge Scotches Rural Housing Development Plans

In a clear indication that housing developers are not having it all their own way, preservation of open countryside prevailed as the High Court scotched plans for a residential development in rural Nottinghamshire – despite the acknowledged inadequacy of the area’s supply of housing land.

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Residents to Have Their Say in Neighbourhood Referendum

Published on: 23 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In an important test of local democracy in the planning context, the High Court has struggled through Byzantine legislation and opened the way for a neighbourhood referendum in which residents of a county town will be given the chance to have their say in shaping residential development in the area over a 13-year period.

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Buying a newly built property? Heard about The National House Building Council insurance cover?

Written by: Lisa Wilcock

Lisa Wilcock explains The National House Building Council Cover

Lisa Wilcock discusses The National House Building Council (NHBC) insurance for newly built properties which if the builder is registered with NHBC will cover for certain defects for the first 10 years after the property was built.

Stamp Duty Land Tax: Breaking News

In a surprise announcement for the property industry and home buyers the "slab" rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax has been abolished with effect from midnight 3 December 2014. 

Car Parking Triggers ‘Squatters' Rights’ Dispute

Published on: 01 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Car Parking Triggers ‘Squatters' Rights’ Dispute

The advent of the motor car created fertile ground for land disputes, as one couple found to their cost after their neighbour succeeded in establishing his ‘squatter’s right’ to park his cars on a country lane at the end of their garden.

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Pressure for New Homes Trumps Countryside Policy

Published on: 25 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The intense pressure for more new homes – particularly affordable ones – in the South-East of England trumped countryside protection policies as the High Court opened the way for construction of 400 new dwellings in Surrey’s leafy commuter belt.

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Domestic Building Dispute Descends Into Legal Tangle

Published on: 03 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Domestic Building Dispute Descends Into Legal Tangle

In an illustration of the legal tangle that building disputes can so easily become, the owner of a flat, who was fully entitled to sack a contractor who let him down, has nevertheless failed to win more than £27,000 in compensation for his financial losses.

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Developers’ Ferocious Rivalry to Build New Homes

Published on: 07 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case of ferocious rivalry between developers, the High Court has rejected claims that a full environmental impact assessment was necessary before plans for 150 new homes on the outskirts of Leicester could be approved by the local authority.

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Plans for 1,400 New Homes Under Legal Spotlight

Published on: 11 September 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Plans for 1,400 New Homes Under Legal Spotlight

Amidst ever growing pressure for more housing in the South East, campaigners who are bitterly opposed to plans for construction of 1,400 new homes in the Hampshire countryside have been granted permission to mount a full judicial review challenge.

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Extension Built without Planning Consent Must be Demolished

Published on: 28 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Extension Built without Planning Consent Must be Demolished

In a case which underlined the need to take professional advice when dealing with planning authorities, a property owner has been ordered to demolish a two-storey extension which he built without authority.

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Social Landlord’s Decade-Long Fight to Evict Rent Arrears Tenant

Published on: 12 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Social Landlord’s Decade-Long Fight to Evict Rent Arrears Tenant

In an extreme case which illustrates how very difficult it can be for landlords to regain possession of residential property, a tenant remained in situ more than a decade after a possession order was issued against her in respect of rent arrears.

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Review of Law of Manorial Rights in Progress

Published on: 10 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Review of Law of Manorial Rights in Progress

When the Manorial system was abolished in 1926, the legislation enacted specifically did not abolish the manorial rights which attached to land when it became a freehold.

Accordingly, ancient rights including hunting rights, the extraction of some minerals and even the right to hold markets have been preserved over the years.

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Noise-Blighted Homeowners Fail to Block Waste Transfer Station

Published on: 03 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A couple whose home was so blighted by passing traffic that they had to keep their doors and windows shut have failed to block plans for a waste transfer station next door – on the basis that the development would make little difference to the noise and fumes that they already had to endure.

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Unmarried Couples – Take Legal Advice before Moving in Together!

Published on: 28 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Unmarried Couples – Take Legal Advice before Moving in Together!

In a decision which illustrates the wisdom of unmarried couples seeking legal advice before their finances become entangled, a man who claimed a stake in his ex-girlfriend’s home after they lived together for five years has failed to convince the First-tier Tribunal (FTT) that he is entitled to a penny.

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Right to Rent Scheme Expected to Roll Out During Year

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

Right to Rent Scheme Expected to Roll Out During Year

Residential landlords are reminded that since 1 December 2014, the Government has been carrying out a pilot scheme (currently only in parts of the Midlands) requiring them to check the residency status of tenants and occupiers who have tenancy agreements lasting for less than seven years unless the tenancy contains a break option.

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Benefit Cheats Receive Judgment of Solomon

Published on: 28 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A former couple, who for over a decade successfully defrauded the benefits system by pretending that they were separated – and ended up battling it out in court over ownership of their family home after their relationship really did end in acrimony – have received a judgment of Solomon from the Court of Appeal.

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Fairness and Public Participation in the Planning Process

Published on: 15 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Fairness and Public Participation in the Planning Process

In a case which raised novel issues in respect of public participation in the planning process, the Court of Appeal has opened the way for a controversial housing development despite objectors’ arguments that they suffered unfairness.

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Tempted To Buy Property Without a Survey? Think Again!

Published on: 11 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Tempted To Buy Property Without a Survey? Think Again!

In a warning to house buyers that it is wise to obtain a full survey before committing yourself, a couple who contracted to pay £3.6 million for a country house – but later pulled out of the deal when evidence of damp and dry rot emerged – have forfeited their £150,000 deposit and been ordered to pay £235,000 in damages.

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Stamp Duty Changes

Published on: 03 December 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Stamp Duty Changes

The basis on which stamp duty is charged is being changed in a move that will benefit most purchasers of property.

The old system applied a single rate of stamp duty to the sale price, based on the value of the purchase.

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Party Politics and Planning – Judicial Guidance

Published on: 26 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Party politics and planning issues met head to head as a judge rejected arguments that the membership of a council committee had been massaged in order to push through plans for a major regeneration project.

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‘Grand Design’ Couple Let Down by Negligent Solicitor

Published on: 20 November 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A couple whose ‘grand design’ to convert an old granary into a dream home almost came unstuck due to a solicitor’s negligent failure to spot a planning glitch have won damages of just £250 – after a judge ruled that they had not suffered any substantial loss.

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Buy-to-Let Landlords Take Note!

Published on: 22 October 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Buy-to-Let Landlords Take Note!

In a salutary warning to buy-to-let landlords that they are exposed to the full ferocity of the marketplace, a depressed investor paid a heavy price for his persistent failure to keep up with his mortgage when a lender appointed receivers over his property within days of his discharge from a mental hospital.

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‘Noisy’ Games Area Focus of Appeal Court Test Case

Published on: 22 September 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

‘Noisy’ Games Area Focus of Appeal Court Test Case

A small multi-use games area in a sleepy Sussex town is the focus of an important test case in which the Court of Appeal will be asked to analyse the extent to which noise, and its impact on homeowners, should influence planning decisions.

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What is Green Deal?

Written by: Lisa Wilcock

Green Deal Finance is to assist homeowners pay for energy saving home improvements.  Lisa Wilcock explains the loan and any pitfalls.

Court Guidance on Town or Village Greens

Published on: 20 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Court Guidance on Town or Village Greens

In a case of interest to property professionals, a campaigner who sought to protect a triangle of grass against housing development proposals has failed to convince the High Court that it should be registered as a town or village green.

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Leaving It to the Last Minute Leads to Fine

Published on: 11 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Leaving It to the Last Minute Leads to Fine

The wisdom of dealing with things in a timely fashion was re-emphasised when a fine for the late filing of a Stamp Duty Development Tax return was confirmed by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).

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Chancel Repair Liability Abolition – Progress

Published on: 06 August 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Chancel Repair Liability Abolition – Progress

The Chancel Repairs Bill – the legislation to end chancel repair liability (CRL) – has now had its first reading as a Private Members' Bill in the House of Lords.

CRL is based on ancient law that makes the owners of properties to which it is attached responsible for the repair of some church premises, usually in the immediate vicinity.

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Amateur Landlord Pays Price for Ignorance of the Law

Published on: 29 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

An amateur landlord who ended up with a criminal conviction after illegally renting out his former home to multiple occupants has managed to escape the further sanction of having to repay a year’s worth of rent to his tenants.

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Tower Block Flood – Contractors Face £3 Million Bill

Published on: 24 July 2014 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Tower Block Flood – Contractors Face £3 Million Bill

Labour only contractors who bore the lion’s share of responsibility for catastrophic water damage to a recently completed luxury block of flats will have to pay more than £3 million in compensation following a Court of Appeal decision.

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