Header graphic for print
Keeping It Real Estate News and Trends in UK Real Estate, Disputes and Planning Law

Category Archives: Real Estate News

Subscribe to Real Estate News RSS Feed
Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Planning, Real Estate News

Ten Takeaways from The Student Accommodation Conference 2018

It was great to see lots of familiar faces at Property Week’s 2018 Student Accommodation Conference. There was a packed agenda with four different “streams” to choose from – and smart tech talks in the coffee breaks. So what did I learn? Here are my top ten nuggets of information: The success of the Student

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

Tenant’s Right to Manage – A damp squib?

As the number of people in privately rented accommodation increases, the ability of tenants to manage their homes in a way that works for them is becoming increasingly important.  The Right to Manage (“RTM”), which landlords cannot contract out of, was introduced to give tenants of flats more control if they are dissatisfied with the

Posted in Real Estate News

Structures and Buildings Allowance: What a relief for construction costs

Whilst capital allowances have been available for plant and machinery that forms an integral part of buildings, there has been no relief available for the capital investment to construct most structures or buildings themselves. Until now… The Chancellor announced in the 2018 Budget that the government will introduce a new Structures and Buildings Allowance (“SBA“)

Posted in Real Estate News

SDLT: same tax; different filing window

From 1 March 2019 the window to file a Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”) return, and pay any SDLT due, will reduce from 30 days to 14 days from the effective date of the transaction. As a reminder, generally the “effective date” is the date of completion. However, where a contract for the sale of

Posted in Real Estate News

New Guidance paves the way for more Build to Rent

What’s happened? The Government has issued new guidance to help councils grant planning permission for Build to Rent schemes. This is great news for Build to Rent developers as it should mean that permissions are granted more quickly. Councils are encouraged to plan for Build to Rent in their areas where a need is identified,

Posted in Real Estate News

Enforcement action for arrears – a useful reminder for landlords

Although company voluntary arrangements have stolen the headlines this year, there are many other tenants, particularly those in the retail sector that are not seeking to reduce their rents but simply falling into arrears.  This presents a significant headache for landlords trying to manage their property portfolios. There are a number of remedies available to

Posted in Real Estate News

No quick fix for a broken housing market – government consults on leasehold reform

We blogged previously about the government’s proposed reforms banning the granting of new residential long leases of houses and setting ground rents at a notional figure. The government has now published its consultation on how to implement these proposals and also proposals to make charges paid by freeholders for maintenance of communal parts fairer and more

Posted in Real Estate News

Holy HMOly

Properties that qualify as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have long presented a potential headache for unwary landlords, but from the start of this month the headache got bigger. Originally, the requirement for an HMO licence only applied to properties that comprised at least three storeys but under new rules, introduced on 1 October 2018,

Posted in Real Estate News

Dancing to the wrong tune? Theresa May’s additional SDLT levy on foreign buyers

Theresa May’s announcement at the Conservative Party conference that foreign investors into the UK property market were going to be targeted with an additional SDLT levy has caused further consternation within the industry. Asserting a determination to “level the playing field” for those who live and pay taxes in the UK, the Prime Minister paved

Posted in Real Estate News

Law against revenge evictions extended to all Assured Shorthold Tenancies

From 1 October 2018, the government’s clampdown on so called “revenge evictions” has been extended to all existing assured shorthold tenancies, including those which pre-date the commencement of the Deregulation Act 2015. The regime introduced by section 33 of the Deregulation Act 2015 is intended to prevent landlords from serving section 21 notices to recover

Posted in Real Estate News

Urban exploration: a trend that’s going through the roof

From abandoned tube stations and former WW2 bunkers to cranes and skyscrapers, it seems barely a week goes by without a news story (or Instagram post) appearing showing an urban explorer in an area once thought of as off-limits. A quick YouTube search brings up over 36,000 results for “urban exploration skyscraper” and “urbex” (as

Posted in Real Estate News

PropTech Decoded: Smart Buildings

As our daily lives become more and more integrated with technology we take a look at two ways in which advances in tech can be used to improve the existing buildings in which we live, work and play.  Renewable Energy New buildings have the luxury of the latest energy efficient technology either through design or

Posted in Real Estate News

Radical proposals on enfranchisement rights

The sale of houses on a leasehold basis has been criticised in some quarters because of its apparent unfairness to leaseholders. Leaseholders, in contrast to freeholders, lease a property for only a number of years. The question then being, what happens at the end of the term? Enfranchisement rights provide leaseholders who hold a lease