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Keeping It Real Estate News and Trends in UK Real Estate, Disputes and Planning Law

Category Archives: Real Estate News

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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

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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“)

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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,

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Call for Evidence on EPCs

On Thursday 26 July 2018, the government published a Call for Evidence on Energy Performance Certificates.  The deadline for responding is 19 October 2018.  The government is particularly keen for responses from building owners and occupiers (both domestic and commercial), estate agents and others involved in the sale or letting of buildings, anyone involved at

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Whose property is it anyway? Government publishes plans for beneficial ownership register

Draft legislation to implement the government’s proposals for a “beneficial ownership register” has finally been published and the government is seeking views on the detail. The Registration of Overseas Entities Bill follows hot on the heels of last year’s consultation on the proposed register and provides some much needed flesh on the outline plans. The

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Time’s almost up for residential letting fees

Seven months on from its publication in November 2017, the draft Bill to ban residential letting fees has undergone the Committee Stage of pre-legislative scrutiny without amendment and now heads back to Parliament for its Report Stage. As the Bill looks increasingly likely to become law, we take stock of the Bill’s aims and review

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The Road to Zero – What does it mean for you?

What is it? On 9 July 2018 the Government published its Road to Zero strategy. This sets out how the Government plans to lead the world in zero vehicle emissions. It follows the Government’s Air Quality Plan which prohibits the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040. This means that electric vehicles are

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10 things you need to know about MEES and residential property

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 (“MEES Regulations“) introduced the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (“MEES“), which aim to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of buildings via a restriction on granting new tenancies and continuing existing tenancies where the property has a sub-standard EPC rating. Below are 10 key

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Assets of Community Value – a NIMBY lifeline?

Objectors are always looking for new, low cost ways to stop or delay the offending development. Lobbying for town and village green designations used to achieve this, but as the effectiveness of that route has been hampered by changes in the law NIMBYs have been offered a lifeline in the form of Assets of Community

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Overcoming the barriers to longer tenancies in the private rented sector

Since the introduction of assured shorthold tenancies under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1988, tenancies of 12 months have become the norm. The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has just launched a consultation on “Overcoming the Barriers to Longer Tenancies in the Private Rented Sector”, asking whether measures that would encourage or compel

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Right to rent legal challenge

A challenge to the government’s right to rent measures began yesterday (6 June) when permission was granted to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), a charity, to proceed with a judicial review challenge. A full hearing will follow. The basis of the challenge is that the checks cause discrimination on grounds of

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Whose shoes? What subrogation means and why it matters

Subrogation is a well-known principle of insurance law, which also affects real estate. It means that an insurer who has settled a claim may then “step into the shoes” of the insured and try to recover what it has paid from anyone who has contributed towards, or caused, the loss. In real estate, landlords’ insurers

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It’s just not cricket (but it is Blockchain)

Last week, the property press ran the tantalising story that parcels of Lord’s cricket ground were up for sale by New Commonwealth, an enterprise which describes itself as a “new property-owning democracy” that provides “access to prize assets for the man on the street, not just the landed elite”. Of course, part of Lord’s is

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Directors disqualified for breach of competition law

For only the second time in its history, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has secured the disqualification of directors whose companies have infringed competition law. In May 2017, the CMA concluded its investigation into the conduct of six residential estate agents operating in the Burnham-on-Sea area. The CMA found that the estate agents had