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

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.

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

Posted in Real Estate News

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

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 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