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Category Archives: Real Estate News

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Higher MEES on the horizon?

On 15 October, the government published a consultation on tightening minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for commercial properties. Click here for a copy of the consultation.  Responses must be submitted by 7 January 2020 and we strongly encourage all interested parties to respond. The consultation focuses on two key questions: What should the minimum standard of

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Reacting to a CPO – what do you need to do?

In the second of our series on compulsory purchase, we turn to what you should do if your property is at risk of compulsory acquisition. The first thing to do is brace yourself – the process is long, often slow and can frequently feel stacked against you. There are, though, key steps which can, and

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Electric Vehicle charging – regulation that sparks a charge towards a better network

The UK government has published its Road to Zero strategy last year, paving the way for a significant expansion of both on and off-street electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities in the UK. The EV revolution is happening and the revenue streams and technologies available are driving the emergence of different business models and opportunities for

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Back to basics: what to do when you receive a break notice

In the current climate, all types of occupiers including occupiers of retail, office and warehouse space, will be considering their leasing requirements and looking to rationalise their property portfolios.  As a result, landlords may find that they are seeing an increase in the number of tenants seeking to operate break rights in leases. For obvious

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Section 21 is dead. Long live section 8!

The future of the UK rental market is emerging. The government wants views on its plans for removing the assured shorthold tenancy (AST) regime and bolstering the court process for gaining possession of a property. Will it be enough to fill the vacuum left by the AST regime? Background In April, we blogged about the government’s plans to

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Game, set and match for leasehold housing and ground rents: Government responds to its consultation on leasehold reform

Last week saw a volley of government announcements for the private rented sector and investors in leasehold residential property.  At the Chartered Institute of Housing Conference on 27 June, Prime Minister Theresa May and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire  announced “bold action”, as soon as parliamentary time allows, to empower tenants and tackle perceived inequality in

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Has your lease been validly contracted out of the 1954 Act? Landlords can breathe a sigh of relief

Earlier this month the High Court handed down its judgment in the case of TFS Stores Limited v The Designer Retail Outlet Centres (Mansfield) General Partner Limited and others which considered whether a number of leases had been validly contracted out of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. Background to the case TFS Stores Limited

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Rateable value: The Supreme Court departs from reality

The Supreme Court has decided that a rateable value of £370,000 should be entered into the ratings list for an office block in Blackpool despite there being “no actual tenant willing to pay a positive price for the building itself“. Ascertaining rateable value In order to work out what the rateable value of a property

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Open for Business – ESOS Phase 2

Regular readers may recall that we have previously blogged a fair bit on the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (“ESOS”).  Phase 1 finished at the end of 2015 and we are now getting close to the end of Phase 2, as the final date for compliance is 5 December this year. See links to previous blogs

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Three Words that mean so much

What is the easiest way to locate a specific point on a map? It’s a question that is increasingly vital to many sectors of the economy, from your Amazon delivery driver (or drone operator) to the tourism industry. At its most extreme, the speed and ease of finding a location can be the difference between

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What is Net Zero Carbon?

The issue of climate change couldn’t be more topical. But what is “net zero carbon”? Is it just another buzzword and what does it really mean? The UK Green Building Council has this week published its Framework Definition on Net Zero Carbon Buildings. To see a copy of the new Framework Definition click here and

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Raising living standards in rented homes

Did you know that prior to 20 March 2019 there wasn’t an automatic legal right for tenants to live in a home fit for human habitation? That is no longer the case following the advent of the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. Now, residential rented accommodation must be provided and maintained in a

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Health and safety in buildings: the health and safety file

With health and safety in buildings under increasing scrutiny, we look at the legal requirements for health and safety files and provide some top tips for commercial property transactions.  Introduced in 1994 and retained under current regulations, the health and safety file is a key document in providing owners and occupiers with information about past

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Second time around for RICS consultation on Lease Code

In our blog on 4 April 2018, we encouraged interested parties to input into the RICS consultation on its professional statement, Code for leasing business premises, 1st edition.  With the status of a professional statement, the new Code has sufficient weight to deliver a professional punch whereas the current regime is voluntary. Following last year’s

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RIP the fixed term residential tenancy?

Landlords will have to provide a good reason to evict residential tenants from now on, the government announced on 15 April, in a proposed major reform of the private rental market. It says it will abolish so called “section 21 evictions”, which currently allow landlords to bring to an end residential tenancies without an underlying

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Can a landlord forfeit a long lease?

Hogan Lovells recently represented the landlords in SHB Realisations Limited and GB Europe Management Services Limited v Cribbs Mall Nominee (1) Limited and Cribbs Mall Nominee (2) Limited, a case confirming that it is possible in certain circumstances to forfeit a long lease granted for a substantial premium. Forfeiture Leases invariably include a right for

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What happens when a building is built to the wrong size? Confirmation from the Court of Appeal

Earlier this year, we blogged on the High Court decision of Mears Limited v Costplan Services. This case concerned whether an agreement for lease for the development of two blocks of student accommodation could be terminated by the intended tenant, Mears, because a number of rooms had been built outside the agreed size tolerances. The

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Netting off – Development and the Environment

There has recently been a great deal of public concern over the putting up of nets in trees and hedgerows on development sites. Some developers do this to prevent birds nesting in trees and hedges they plan to cut down as part of the development. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an

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Event fees in retirement homes: the next step

More people each year are turning to specialist retirement homes. Typically, a resident will purchase a long lease for a capital sum but these long leases can also require the owner to pay “event fees” when certain events occur.  These events will typically include sales, lettings and changes in occupancy of the home and are

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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