Freehold enfranchisement and local authorities

If the recent Law Commission proposals for the reform of freehold enfranchisement become law, it will be the first significant change in residential leasehold law for nearly 20 years. V. Charles Ward analyses the potential impact on councils. Read more
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Sep 16, 2020

Government extends period of protection for commercial tenants from eviction

The government has extended protection for commercial tenants from eviction until the end of the year, the Communities Secretary has announced.
Sep 03, 2020

Mayor intervenes to prevent zip wire in Liverpool city centre after legal threats

Liverpool’s elected mayor has stepped in to prevent a zip wire attraction being built in the city centre after conservation group the Victorian Society threatened legal action.
Aug 19, 2020

Borough council cites medieval charter to close down new market

Charnwood Borough Council has invoked a medieval charter to protect an 800-year-old market from a new local rival.
Aug 18, 2020

Council secures interim High Court injunction over 100+ acres of Green Belt land

Thurrock Council has this month obtained an interim High Court injunction preventing any further unauthorised development on more than 100 acres of Green Belt land.
Aug 13, 2020

Welsh council defeats challenge to compulsory purchase of house empty since 1994

City and County of Cardiff Council did not breach the Equality Act 2010, when it issued a compulsory purchase order for a house owned by a former council building surveyor.
Aug 05, 2020

Judge gives reasons for granting interim injunction prohibiting anti-HS2 protesters from overnight sleeping and other acts on council land next to construction site

A High Court judge has issued his reasons for last month granting Hillingdon Council a limited interim injunction preventing a number of named defendants and persons unknown from doing certain acts on land at Harefield Moor owned by the council and adjoining the site of construction works for part of the HS2 railway line.
Aug 04, 2020

High Court rejects challenge to award by arbitrator favouring council in property lease dispute

A High Court judge has dismissed a bid by a landlord to have set aside an arbitrator’s award that favoured a council as tenant of a city centre property.
Jul 29, 2020

Upper Tribunal dismisses bid to claim adverse possession over land owned by city council

Two applicants have been told they cannot claim adverse possession of council-owned land which is not adjacent to their own.
Jul 27, 2020

District appoints City law firm to £700k contract for legal advice on commercial property acquisitions

Uttlesford District Council has appointed international law firm Hogan Lovells to act as its legal representative on the acquisition of a number of commercial properties.
Jul 21, 2020

Planning shake-up begins with laws allowing demolition of unused buildings for new homes, and homeowners to build two additional storeys

The Government has laid laws in Parliament today (21 July 2020) that will mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes.


August 20, 2020

Code for Leasing Business Premises 2020: a Code with more bite?

The new Code for Leasing Business Premises (2020 Code) comes into force on 1 September 2020. Rob Harrison and James Atkins analyse the changes.
August 06, 2020

Public sector rent deferrals and State aid

Jonathan Branton and Lee Pickett look into some of the ways State aid issues can arise in public sector property transactions, the ramifications and ways to proceed within the rules.
August 06, 2020

A new lease of life for public space injunctions?

What can councils do to obtain an injunction after the Bromley judgment? Jack Smyth looks at the lessons from the first hearing after the Court of Appeal ruling.
August 06, 2020

Landlord’s knowledge of breach: waiver of forfeiture

The High Court has considered the interrelationship between a landlord’s knowledge and the date of accrual of a tenant’s liability and their effect on waiver of forfeiture. Lachlan Stewart examines the ruling.
July 28, 2020

Wholesale reform for residential leaseholders

Following the Law Commission's report on the valuation aspects of enfranchisement rights in January, the Commission has now published its recommendations as to what enfranchisement rights should be. William Bethune looks at what the law reform body has to say.
July 23, 2020

Coronavirus – accentuating the differences

V. Charles Ward looks at the issues thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to exchange of contracts, transfer of funds, and due diligence identification.
July 16, 2020

Lockdown and local authority commercial development income

Rob Hann sets out the background to local authorities' investment in commercial property and examines why it has proved so controversial.
July 03, 2020

Neighbourhood planning ... where to now in this brave new world?

Two recent court decisions should be welcomed by neighbourhood planners and local planning authorities, writes Peter Edwards.

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Jul 13, 2020

Local governance arrangements “not robust enough”, MPs claim in critical report into commercial property spending sprees

Local governance arrangements are not robust enough with some authorities’ commercial property investments not being properly transparent or subject to adequate scrutiny and challenge, an influential committee of MPs has warned.
Jul 06, 2020

Shopping centre site handed back to council unfinished following liquidation of redevelopment partnership

Nottingham City Council has been handed back control of the half-finished Broadmarsh shopping centre site after the collapse of retail landlord Intu into administration prompted the council’s joint venture with the company to be liquidated.
Jun 22, 2020

Ministry issues code of practice for commercial property relationships during COVID-19

The Government has published a code of practice “to encourage commercial tenants and landlords to work together to protect viable businesses” during the coronavirus pandemic.
Jun 18, 2020

Court of Appeal refuses Valuation Office Agency permission to appeal ruling on rateable valuation of council-run museum

The Court of Appeal has refused to grant the Valuation Office Agency permission to appeal a ruling in favour of Exeter City Council over the rateable valuation of the city’s Grade II-listed Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM).
Jun 18, 2020

Social landlord fails in Upper Tribunal appeal over conditions for dispensing with normal consultation of tenants

Social landlord Aster Communities has lost an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) over consulting lessees about works whose cost could be recovered through the service charge.
May 27, 2020

Treasury consults on lending terms for Public Works Loan Board as crackdown looms on commercial property investment by councils

The Treasury has this month launched a consultation on future lending terms for the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) and signalled its intention to crack down on 'debt-for-yield' commercial property investment by councils.
May 21, 2020

Supreme Court hands down key ruling on listed buildings

Planning inspectors should reconsider whether two lead urns that were placed on top of limestone piers at a historic house were ‘buildings’ or not, the Supreme Court has ruled.
May 21, 2020

Cash machines in supermarkets not separate hereditaments for rating purposes: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has upheld a Court of Appeal ruling that ATM machines are not rateably occupied separately from the host stores.
May 14, 2020

Ministry issues guidance on compulsory purchase matters during pandemic

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for acquiring authorities on compulsory purchase matters during COVID-19.
May 14, 2020

Developer fails in claim that 135-home residential scheme was appropriate alternative development for compulsorily purchased site

A judge has rejected a developer's claim that 135 homes would have been appropriate alternative development for a site compulsorily purchased for a bypass.
May 07, 2020

Upper Tribunal allows appeal by owner over order to demolish damaged house

The Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has overturned an order by the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) that a damaged house must be demolished.
May 07, 2020

High Court judge orders involvement of Attorney-General in dispute between council and community trust over sale of old bus depot

A High Court judge has intervened in a property dispute involving the London Borough of Brent after concluding “something has gone wrong in these proceedings” involving the Attorney General.
May 05, 2020

HM Land Registry makes temporary changes on identity verification, allows ‘Mercury signing approach’ for deeds

HM Land Registry has introduced temporary changes when verifying a person’s identity and for signing deeds, effective from 4 May.
Apr 30, 2020

Judge dismisses bid to restrain presentation by councils of winding-up petitions over unpaid business rates

The High Court has thrown out a case against two councils brought by the director of a company already subject to a general civil restraint order and who made a “bizarre” suggestion to a judge.
Apr 23, 2020

County council wins High Court appeal over deregistration of common land

Hampshire County Council has won an appeal over an inspector’s decision to deregister as common land an area where an airport is located.
Apr 22, 2020

COVID-19 leads to rise in tensions over public rights of way, research finds

A survey of rights of way officers at local authorities has found an increase in instances of tension between walkers and footpath users, farmers and landowners as a result of COVID-19.
Apr 20, 2020

MPs launch inquiry into local authority commercial property investment

The Public Accounts Committee is to hold an inquiry into councils’ investment in commercial property, following what it described as a “recent step-change in the scale of activity”.
Apr 09, 2020

Group wins permission for challenge to plans for site next to football club training ground, saying it has become precious urban meadow

Activists involved in a lengthy planning dispute have won permission to take the London Borough of Ealing to judicial review.
Apr 06, 2020

Councils want to keep parks open, but people need to follow social distancing, says Local Government Association

The government has called on councils not to close parks unless it is impossible to maintain social distancing in them.
Mar 24, 2020

Government to protect commercial tenants from eviction if they miss rent payments over coronavirus outbreak

Commercial tenants who miss a payment in the next three months because of the coronavirus outbreak will be protected from eviction, the government has announced.
Mar 23, 2020

Landowner loses Upper Tribunal appeal over certificate of appropriate alternative development for site acquired for link road

The owner of a field that was compulsorily acquired to provide land for the construction of a link road has lost his appeal over the certificate of appropriate alternative development he was given.
Mar 17, 2020

Government consults on how to stop councils using Public Works Loan Board loans for commercial property investment

The government has launched a consultation this month on the development of a targeted intervention designed to stop ‘debt for yield’ activity where local authorities use low-cost loans from the Public Loans Works Board (PWLB) to buy investment property primarily for rental income.
Mar 12, 2020

Government to set Local Plans deadline for December 2023, review calculation of Local Housing Need

A requirement for all local authorities to have up-to-date Local Plans in place by December 2023, a review of the formula for calculating Local Housing Need, a raised threshold in the Housing Delivery Test and reform of planning fees are among the proposals contained in a policy paper issued by the government today.
Mar 12, 2020

Supreme Court hears £500m case on cash machines and business rates

The Supreme Court is this week (11-12 March) hearing an appeal from valuation officers over the rating of ATM machines and similar facilities.
Mar 09, 2020

Supreme Court to hear case over whether 18th century lead urns were ‘buildings’ for purposes of listed building consent

The Supreme Court will this week hear a dispute over whether a pair of 18th century lead urns resting on limestone piers were ‘buildings’ on an application for listed building consent.


July 03, 2020

COVID-19 - Code of principles on commercial leases

The Government has issued a new Code of Practice for commercial property relationships: What does it mean for landlords and tenants? Sara Bailey, Yvette Bryan and Nick Levy explain.
July 02, 2020

Unincorporated bodies and assets of community value

Christopher Cant considers the issues around whether groups making nominations of property as Assets of Community Value are unincorporated bodies or not.
June 29, 2020

Disrepair during COVID-19

Victoria Curran looks at how to take a pragmatic and common sense approach to housing disrepair during the coronavirus pandemic.
June 26, 2020

How to (lawfully) rename streets and remove statues

Ruchi Parekh highlights the relevant legal framework and some of the issues that councils will need to consider before amending their street names or removing statues.
June 19, 2020

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) - practice and procedure

This Property Disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the jurisdiction, practice and procedure of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
June 19, 2020

Varying s106 obligations Part 2: S106B appeals

In the second in a series of articles from Landmark Chambers on the subject of the variation and enforcement of s106 obligations, James Maurici QC considers s106B appeals in relation to variations and discharge.
June 12, 2020

Quick guide to landlord’s remedies for breach of lease

The following property disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information for commercial landlords.
June 04, 2020

COVID-19 related checks and proposals: pitfalls, tips and an update

As part of their mini webinar series on rating law, Luke Wilcox and Stephen Morgan discuss COVID-19 related checks and proposals.
June 01, 2020

Compulsory purchase in the time of coronavirus

Simon Randle, Vivienne Sedgley and Katharine Elliott analyse recent government guidance on compulsory purchase orders during the pandemic.
May 29, 2020

The meaning of 'listed building'

The Supreme Court has ruled whether a Planning Inspector is able to determine whether an item which has been designated as a listed building is in fact a building, write Richard Harwood QC and Catherine Dobson.
May 28, 2020

Social landlords and relaxation of the lockdown

What does the easing of the lockdown mean for providers of social housing? John Murray explains.
May 22, 2020

The power to make a Public Path Diversion Order

Richard Humphreys QC sets out points for councils, vendors, purchasers and owners of adjacent land when it comes to the diversion of public paths.
May 12, 2020

PD51Z, case law update and proposals for space furlough and insolvency protection

Michael Walsh, Daniel Dovar, Jonathan Upton and Piers Harrison discuss PD51Z and Arkin v Marshall, the Supreme Court’s decision in Duval and proposals for space furlough and insolvency protection.
May 12, 2020

From surviving to thriving in the new normal

Acuity Law and Cooke & Arkwright review the latest developments and continually evolving legislative environment in the commercial property market and the issues relevant to real estate professionals in the current climate.
May 07, 2020

All Over For The Shop?

In this podcast, Kings Chambers' Philip Robson talks to Jeremy Hinds, National Head of Retail Planning at Savills, about the future of the high street, including what retailers and local authorities can do to deliver vibrant town centres.
May 01, 2020

"I [still] want to break free”

Cynyr Rhys examines the potential headache of compliance with break conditions during COVID-19.
April 24, 2020

Covid-19 and claimed rights of way

Stephen Whale and Evie Barden discuss the lessons learnt from a recent right of way case and consider whether landowners may be able to defeat claims for public or private rights of way where social distancing policies interrupt the use of ways.
April 24, 2020

Public sector property after the virus

Chris Plumley examines some of the early trends we are seeing in relation to public sector property during the coronavirus outbreak.
April 23, 2020

Amendments to PD51Z

In the first in a series of podcasts addressing topical property related legal issues, Jonathan Upton, Michael Walsh, Piers Harrison and Daniel Dovar of Tanfield Chambers discuss the amendment to PD51Z.
April 17, 2020

Dealing with easement claims

A rigorous and confident strategy from the outset is key to providing certainty with easement claims. David Nuttall presents a procedural roadmap for these cases.