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Residential Property Updates

Homeowner Disturbed by Model Aircraft Wins

Published on: 02 December 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A homeowner who is tired of the noise of model aircraft flying over neighbouring farmland has persuaded the High Court that local planners erred in law when they granted a certificate of lawful use in respect of the activity.

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Negligent Architect Faces £48,000 Damages Bill

Published on: 26 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Negligent Architect Faces £48,000 Damages Bill

An architect who failed to address serious structural defects in a seaside home when drawing up plans for its refurbishment has failed to convince the Court of Appeal that his negligence caused no loss and that he was wrongly hit with a £48,000 damages bill.

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Pensioner Pays Price of Neighbours’ Boundary War

Published on: 21 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Pensioner Pays Price of Neighbours’ Boundary War

In a stern warning to homeowners that it pays to get along with the neighbours, a pensioner is facing up to crushing legal bills after losing out in a marathon struggle with the couple next door over a four-inch-wide strip of land.

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Row over ‘Community Value’ of East End Pub

Published on: 18 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Row over ‘Community Value’ of East End Pub

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind, the First-Tier Tribunal has ruled that a local authority was entitled to use its power under the Localism Act 2011 to impose a moratorium on the sale of a historic east end pub, the owner of which planned to develop it into flats.

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Pizza Chain Ordered Out of Notting Hill

Published on: 13 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A pizza chain faces having to close its branch in London’s trendy Notting Hill after the High Court backed a planning inspector’s decision that it detracts from the vitality and viability of an area which is home to many small retailers and a street market.

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Access Route Across Common Approved

Published on: 11 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case which involved an interesting stand-off between planning objectives and the sacrosanctity of public access to common land, a local authority has scored a significant High Court victory in its fight to re-develop the site of a derelict hospital in the midst of West London’s Putney Common.

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Court Guidance on Damages in Trespass Cases

Published on: 10 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a protracted landlord and tenant dispute in respect of air conditioner units placed on the roof of a smart residential block without permission, the Court of Appeal has cleared up an anomaly in the law by ruling that aggravated damages for trespass cannot be recovered by a limited company.

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Court Tackles Vexed Issue of ‘Squatters’ Rights’

Published on: 06 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In giving important guidance on the vexed issue of so-called ‘squatters’ rights’, the Court of Appeal has ruled that residents who made their homes in a London street after it was scheduled for demolition had remained there with the consent of the local authority freeholder and had thus not developed adverse possession rights.

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Mixing Business and Personal Relationships Can Have Bitter Results

Published on: 24 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Mixing Business and Personal Relationships Can Have Bitter Results

In a resounding warning to entrepreneurs that personal relationships are not always a solid foundation for business success, the High Court has tackled a bitter dispute between a former couple whose foray into property development yielded little profit and ended in intractable conflict.

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When is an RTM Company not an RTM Company?

Published on: 22 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

When is an RTM Company not an RTM Company?

In a clear illustration of the grave consequences that can arise from apparently trivial legal mistakes, flat dwellers’ hopes of taking over management of their block were almost stymied by their failure to include the letters ‘RTM’ as part of the name of the corporate vehicle that they set up for the purpose.

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Flat Dwellers Entitled to Prefer Owner/Occupier Neighbours

Published on: 17 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Flat Dwellers Entitled to Prefer Owner/Occupier Neighbours

In emphasising that it is reasonable for flat dwellers to prefer that their neighbours be owner/occupiers, rather than short-term tenants, the Upper Tribunal has refused to amend a provision in a lease which restricted the use of residential premises to the long leaseholder and his family.

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Gypsy Mum with ‘Aversion to Bricks and Mortar’ Triumphs

Published on: 15 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a case which gives valuable guidance on the correct balance to be struck between the protection of rural England and the rights of the individual, a gypsy mother who has an ‘aversion to bricks and mortar’ has succeeded in staving off eviction from a Green Belt site.

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Road Building Plans Trump Otter Habitat Concerns

Published on: 05 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Road Building Plans Trump Otter Habitat Concerns

In a case which gives guidance on the correct planning approach to infrastructure projects of national significance, concerns over the welfare of otters were not enough to convince the High Court to block construction of a controversial road linking the M6 motorway with the Lancashire port of Heysham.

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Taxman Issues Final Warning for Second Property Owners

Published on: 30 July 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Taxman Issues Final Warning for Second Property Owners

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have issued a reminder that people who have sold properties, either in the UK or abroad, that were not their main residence have one week (until 9 August) to disclose any capital gains on which Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is due.

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No Compensation for Lack of Access

Published on: 28 July 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

No Compensation for Lack of Access

If a local council needs to erect a barrier to protect pedestrians and the barrier prevents a property owner from accessing his land by vehicle or parking a vehicle on it, is the landowner entitled to compensation from the council?

A recent case addressing this point was decided by the Supreme Court.

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Persistent Under-Supply of Housing Land Punished

Published on: 28 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

hLocal authorities that fail to make adequate supplies of land available for housing development will have to take the consequences after the High Court opened the way for the construction of almost 300 new homes in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

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Sustainability ‘Not a Trump Card’ in Planning Terms

Published on: 25 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a unique decision which underlined that sustainability is ‘not a trump card’ that can outweigh all other planning considerations, the High Court has dashed a self-styled eco-technologist’s hopes of building three 'experimental' homes in rural Kent.

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‘Dream Home’ Builder Hit with Capital Gains Tax Bill

Published on: 20 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

‘Dream Home’ Builder Hit with Capital Gains Tax Bill

In a case which raised novel issues of potentially wide importance to homeowners and property developers, a man who decided that total demolition and re-building of his home would be a cheaper option than refurbishment must face up to a swingeing capital gains tax (CGT) liability.

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Anti-Fracking Campaigners Ordered to Move On

Published on: 13 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Anti-Fracking Campaigners Ordered to Move On

Demonstrators who camped out on the verge of a busy West Sussex road for three months in protest against a nearby ‘fracking’ operation have been ordered to leave by the High Court on the basis that human rights considerations could not justify their indefinite occupation of public land.

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Allotments Must Make Way for Social Housing

Published on: 12 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

A Court of Appeal ruling has shed much-needed light on the confusing reaches of the law relating to allotments but has also dealt a devastating blow to plot holders who bitterly objected to their beloved vegetable patches being sold off to make way for a social housing development.

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Never Go Into Business with Family or Friends!

Published on: 10 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Never Go Into Business with Family or Friends!

In what a judge acknowledged to be a classic illustration of the maxim ‘never go into business with either family or friends’, former close associates who fell out bitterly over the profits from a property development ended up fighting out their 'sorry saga' in court.

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Persistent Church Council Wins Planning Dispute

Published on: 07 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Persistence, it seems, can bring worthwhile results for would-be developers after a Parochial Church Council that won planning permission for a controversial housing scheme - at the fourth attempt - finally saw off a High Court bid to strip it of the consent.

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Climate Change and Coastal Developments

Published on: 04 November 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Climate Change and Coastal Developments

In a case which foreshadowed the impact that climate change may one day have on sea levels, plans for a substantial mixed-use development – including 230 homes – on the coastal plain at Burry Port, in South Wales, have been scotched by the High Court.

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Planning Inspectorate Blunder Triggers Test Case

Published on: 23 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Planning Inspectorate Blunder Triggers Test Case

In a bitter illustration of the vagaries of the planning system, a developer whose hopes of being allowed to build up to 180 new homes in a Wiltshire village were first raised - but then dashed due to an administrative error by the planning inspectorate - has failed in a unique compensation bid.

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Court Pleads for an End to South Bank Saga

Published on: 21 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Court Pleads for an End to South Bank Saga

An artist who for decades has exhibited his work on an assortment of historic barges on the south bank of the Thames is facing eviction after the High Court pleaded for an end to a legal saga that has seen land owners and the Port of London Authority (PLA) spend millions in an epic struggle to clear the river bank.

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High Court Approves Market Re-Development

Published on: 16 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

In a telling example of the devastating impact major planning decisions can have on private property rights, a group of shop-owners - outraged at the prospect of their stores being demolished to make way for a major redevelopment of the Shepherd's Bush Market area in West London - have suffered defeat in a High Court challenge to the plans.

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Feudal Past Raises its Head in Bitter Neighbours Dispute

Published on: 14 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Feudal Past Raises its Head in Bitter Neighbours Dispute

In a case which vividly revealed how events in the distant feudal past can still be relevant to issues arising today, the Court of Appeal has delved back to the age of chivalry in resolving a bitter neighbours’ dispute.

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Tough Scottish Bankruptcy Law Prevails

Published on: 02 October 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

Tough Scottish Bankruptcy Law Prevails

In a case which highlighted a crucial difference between bankruptcy rules north and south of the Scottish border, a debtor has been ordered to give up possession of a house he inherited from his mother under Scottish law – even though the property lies just inside England.

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'Bedroom Tax' Upheld by High Court

Published on: 29 July 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

'Bedroom Tax' Upheld by High Court

The legal challenge to the ‘bedroom tax’, under which benefit claimants are faced with cuts to housing benefits if their properties are ‘too big’, has failed in the High Court today.

The challenge was brought on behalf of ten families who all face housing benefit cuts for ‘under occupancy’ or require additional space because needs of a disabled family member.

Their argument, brought by judicial review, was that the policy discriminates unlawfully against people with a disability.

An appeal is likely

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Lap Dancing Club Objections Win the Day

Published on: 01 July 2013 | in categories: Legal Updates | Residential Property Updates | News and Updates

The owner of lap dancing club has failed in a judicial review challenge to Oxford City Council’s refusal to renew its sexual entertainment venue licence despite evidence that it had flourished without incident for a year and provided local employment, income and entertainment.

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