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Category Archives: Real Estate News

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Client money protection schemes for property agents: What’s the latest?

Are you a landlord or a tenant? Think you’ve heard something about new laws to protect your money when held by an agent? If you want to know more, read on… New regulations mean that by 1 April 2019 all private rented residential property agents that handle client money in England will have to sign

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MIPIM at 30

MIPIM has celebrated its 30th Birthday.  There are a hardy few who will tell you that they have attended every one. I can’t claim that, but I did first attend in 1996 and have witnessed its teenage excesses and more recent sobering into maturity. Back in 1996 the Palais was about half its current size.

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Tenant’s Right to Manage – Time for Change?

The procedure for tenants to take control of the management of their buildings is on the radar for reform as the Law Commission launches a consultation which closes on 30 April. To find out more about that right to manage (the “RTM”) click here and to understand the areas under examination read on! Exercise of

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The end of the road for Right to Rent?

The High Court has held that right to rent checks cause discrimination on grounds of race and nationality and breach the Human Rights Act. In his judgment released today, Mr Justice Martin Spencer said that the scheme could not be justified as “the measures have a disproportionately discriminatory effect”.  He concluded that the “nail in

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Question: Is an invasion of privacy a legal nuisance?

Answer: Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones (or complain about prying neighbours) The recent case of Fearn & Others v The Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery [2019], concerned a dispute between the Tate Modern and its residential neighbours over the Tate’s public viewing platform. The case makes clear that

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Time’s up for residential letting fees

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 received royal assent on 12 February and comes into force on 1 June 2019. The Act aims to improve transparency and affordability in England’s residential lettings market. It bans various fees often charged to tenants – including fees for reference checks, key collection and inventories. It also caps permitted payments.

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Consumer disputes in the housing sector: a long-awaited reform

Consumer access to remedy has long been a neglected part of what many consider to be an already broken housing market. Housing disputes are heard in a number of different legal settings and the process is often convoluted and opaque. As a result, this vulnerable part of the real estate sector (private renters, social housing

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Non-resident SDLT surcharge: adding 1% and more complexity

When the government announced in 2018 that foreign investors into the UK property market were to be targeted with an additional SDLT levy, we said that the devil would be in the detail. The consultation document published this week gives that detail. But just how devilish is it? The government is going ahead with a

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The impact of drones on real estate

The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly known as drones, is increasing across the real estate sector, and for good reason. Drones have incredible safety and efficiency benefits for business. They are flexible and labour saving, and the ways in which drones are used across the real estate sector is increasing and seems likely

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ACM Cladding: Where are we now?

On 21 December 2018 the government’s promised ban on the use of aluminium composite (ACM) cladding on residential buildings came into force. Paul Tonkin answers some key questions. Does the ban apply to all buildings? No, the ban applies to new buildings over 18 metres tall containing flats, as well as new hospitals, residential care

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Service Charge – RICS code gets new teeth

As 2019 begins, the property sector is gearing up for the introduction of the new RICS professional statement, which will supersede the current code of practice from 1 April 2019. The statement cannot override the terms of a lease but, as long as it is read in conjunction with the lease, the statement will guide

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What’s ahead in 2019?

New real estate disputes partner Paul Tonkin shares some predictions for 2019. Crystal-ball gazing is always a dangerous business and this is more so than ever in the current global economic and political climate. However, there are a few areas where I can predict with some certainty (and for better or worse) that we will

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Proposed new access rights for Code operators

The government is currently consulting on proposed changes to the UK Electronic Communications Code (the “Code“), to make it easier for Code operators to access premises to install digital infrastructure enabling full fibre, gigabit-capable connections for the benefit of tenants. The consultation closes on 21 December 2018 and a link to the consultation can be

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Consultation launched on enfranchisement rights

What does enfranchisement actually mean and what’s wrong with the current regime? Enfranchisement is the process by which people who own property on a long lease may extend the lease, or buy the freehold.  The procedure for doing so is not, however, universally popular.  Leaseholders argue that it is complex and expensive, leading to unnecessary

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Commonhold: Dead duck or ugly duckling?

Tasked with reinvigorating commonhold, the Law Commission has published a consultation on its proposals to make commonhold a workable alternative to leasehold, for both existing and new homes. Dead duck? As previously blogged, commonhold was introduced in 2002 and was heralded as a new form of property ownership that would address the difficulties faced by

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What happens to ESOS after Brexit?

The short answer is nothing. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme implements an EU Energy Efficiency Directive and is all set to continue after Brexit on the same basis as before. Draft regulations were published on Thursday 22 November 2018 to make some changes to the current ESOS Regulations once Brexit happens, but this is to

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Japanese knotweed: have your say

Following the Court of Appeal decision in Network Rail Infrastructure Limited v Williams and Waistell, Parliament is digging deeper to untangle the effect of Japanese knotweed on the built environment.  The Science and Technology Commons Select Committee has been tasked with ensuring that Government decisions and policies are underpinned by good scientific foundations and is

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How electric vehicles are driving change

The demand for electric cars is rising. In 2011, only 1,000 electric vehicles were sold in the UK. In 2018, this number increased to 485,000, with a new electric vehicle being registered with the DVLA every 3.6 seconds, and whilst only 3-4% of all vehicles are now plug in, this figure is expected to be

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RIP CRC: What do I need to do when the CRC ends?

So the Carbon Reduction Commitment  Energy Efficiency Scheme (the “CRC”) is being scrapped.  Are there any practical steps I need to take now? The Environment Agency has just published guidance to participants in the CRC on what to do now it is being closed.  As we blogged previously, the current compliance year (ending 31 March