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Category Archives: Real Estate News

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Why did commonhold fail? The Law Commission issues call for evidence asking for the industry’s views

The Law Commission has issued a call for evidence on commonhold law to understand why commonhold as a form of ownership has proved to be so unattractive to the property market. This aligns with the government’s announcement in December 2017 to look at whether and how it can reinvigorate commonhold law, following the widely publicised

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BHS Company Voluntary Arrangement – Landlords Win on Penalties

Collapsed retailer British Home Stores cannot challenge its own company voluntary arrangement as an unenforceable contractual penalty and must repay rental discounts to its landlords, the High Court in England and Wales decided yesterday. The case, in which Hogan Lovells represented the successful landlord, provides important guidance on the operation of company voluntary arrangements (CVAs),

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Flexible Permissions: Change can do you good

Do you have an asset that’s proving difficult to let?  Would you just like to maximise marketability?  A “flexible” or “dual-use” planning permission might be able to help. A flexible planning permission allows occupiers to switch between specified planning uses without the need for multiple planning permissions. The right to switch lasts for ten years

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Law Commission gears up for driverless cars

Just before Christmas, the Law Commission announced plans to develop laws to support the safe development and use of driverless cars in the UK.  The aim is to develop legislation which may be ready as early as 2021. The Law Commission is an independent law reform watchdog for England and Wales and this review is

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When will register of beneficial ownership by overseas companies be introduced?

The government has confirmed to parliament its timetable for the introduction of a public register of beneficial ownership of UK property by overseas entities. This follows on from the government’s consultation in April 2017 on establishing such a register which we blogged on last year (see here). In December 2017, the government confirmed that it

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New Year, New CIL Regs to save £millions

The New Year has started off with a bang as changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010 were laid before Parliament.  The draft 2018 Regulations correct an unintended defect in the current legislation.  The error had resulted in millions of pounds of extra CIL being charged, even where no extra floorspace or change

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No blues for the Blues on rights to light

There was much fanfare when Chelsea Football Club secured planning permission for redevelopment of Stamford Bridge last year.  However, one family’s fight against the new stadium’s impact on its right to light had the potential to bring the redevelopment to a standstill.  Hogan Lovells’ Planning and Development specialists, Hannah Quarterman and Paul Tonkin consider the

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Government consults on abolition of the “staircase tax”

Business occupiers (and particularly small business owners) welcomed the announcement in the Autumn 2017 Budget that the government is putting an end to the so-called “staircase tax”. The “staircase tax” acquired its name from the 2015 Supreme Court decision on assessment of business rates in Woolway (VO) v Mazars, which held that a tenant who

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Government to ban leasehold houses and set ground rents at zero

Following the consultation in summer 2017 on ground rents and leasehold houses (read our blog here) the government has published its response (read it in full here) with the following headline proposals: A ban on granting new residential long leases of houses, other than in exceptional circumstances This currently only affects new leases, but the government will consult on

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That’s what we were doing at Property Week’s Retirement Living Conference. As one of the most untapped sectors in real estate we were amazed to hear about the potential for a retirement living explosion. There were approximately 11.8 million people over the age of 65 in the UK in 2016, and this is set to

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Technology in the Property Industry

Hogan Lovells hosted the Reading Real Estate Foundation Breakfast Forum (RREF*) on 17 November 2017.  This year’s topic was: Technology in the Property Industry and provided digital food for thought from three key areas. David Sleath (CEO of SEGRO) described the ways in which technology has changed the warehousing sector.  This includes how warehouse design

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Unopposed Lease Renewals – a need for speed?

From 1 December 2017, there will be a year-long pilot scheme for unopposed lease renewals that are issued in the County Court at Central London (CCLC).  All claims will be transferred to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (the FTT) in London. The main aim of this is to “ensure that all cases proceed to

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Government issues draft Tenant Fees Bill banning residential letting fees

Earlier this year, we blogged on the government’s proposals to ban residential letting fees.  On 1 November, the government took the next step towards realising those proposals by publishing the draft Tenant Fees Bill. The Draft Bill The draft legislation bans landlords and agents in England from charging residential tenants and licensees fees or other charges

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Flexible terms in flexible space: is London’s office market changing for good?

The London office market is not what it was 10 years ago.  A combination of “place-making”, changes to employee working patterns and the development of efficient and robust IT infrastructure has enabled London’s work force to become a much more mobile community which has prompted a change in attitudes to leasing. Businesses, particularly small to

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The Clean Growth Strategy – Government releases its strategy for a low carbon future

On 12 October the Government released its latest strategy to promote “clean growth” in the UK. It sees clean growth as growing the UK’s national income, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. In her ministerial statement, Claire Perry, the Minister for Climate Change and Industry, outlined the strategy as an important

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Thanks to the popularity of short term lettings, we are benefiting from a wealth of choice and flexibility in holiday accommodation. Wherever the destination, there will certainly be unique properties available at reasonable prices through short term lettings of private homes.  This has proved to be a highly successful formula which has produced great results

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Setting the boundaries: a new protocol for resolving disputes

When you hear the term “boundary dispute”, you probably imagine the following familiar set of circumstances: Two parties at loggerheads over a small strip of land. Entrenched positions holding sway over the legal and surveying considerations actually needed to resolve the dispute. A complex, chaotic and protracted dispute, even though there should be a well-worn

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Time for a Reminder

Timing is everything, they say, and nowhere is that more true than in the law of contract, where a failure to meet a deadline can have serious commercial and practical ramifications for the parties. In this blog Tim Reid has pulled together a reminder of some of the most common rules affecting commercial contracts connected

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What is the “Staircase Tax”?

There has been a lot of comment in recent weeks about the so-called “staircase tax” and its impact on small businesses, especially focussing on its retroactive effect and the fact that business occupiers are having to pay tax for previous years that wasn’t demanded from them.  At first blush, this all sounds very unlike the

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Smart Solutions for Smart Cities

  Smart cities will fundamentally change the way we live in, move around and use the space within our urban environment.  They will also change the way in which real estate deals are transacted with creative solutions being required for the changing face of building design and demand. On a macro level, new real estate

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Government proposes to abolish residential ground rents

Following a number of recent reports of scandals involving leasehold properties, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, yesterday issued a consultation paper entitled “Tackling unfair practices in the leasehold market” with the aim of addressing particular issues.  You can read the full paper here. We highlighted some of