SLLP July 21 Composite 600 edit

Implementing a compulsory purchase order

Simon Bell considers the lessons for local authorities and claimants from a recent High Court challenge to a council's decision to execute a general vesting declaration. Read more
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Jul 22, 2021

High Court quashes decision to transfer land to community council in skate park dispute

Plans to build a new skatepark in Swansea have been delayed after the High Court quashed Swansea Council's (CCSC's) decision to transfer land earmarked for the £360,000 development to Mumbles Community Council.
Jul 13, 2021

Mayor of London to offer boroughs ‘Right to Buy-back’ funding to boost supply of council homes

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, is to offer boroughs funding to purchase homes previously sold through the Right to Buy.
Jul 13, 2021

London borough secures possession order against groups camping on Clapham Common

The London Borough of Lambeth has secured an order for possession against occupiers camping on Clapham Common.
Jul 07, 2021

Experienced social housing and property practitioner joins Five Paper

Simon Strelitz, a housing and property practitioner with 20 years’ experience in the work undertaken by the Property Division, has joined Five Paper.
Jul 01, 2021

Government consults on more frequent business rate reviews

Business premises could be revalued for rating every three years instead of every five under Government proposals.
Jun 25, 2021

Strengthened local government Prudential Code to be published by end 2021: CIPFA

A strengthened Prudential Code, which aims to ensure local authorities’ financial plans are affordable, prudent and sustainable, will be published by the end of 2021, CIPFA has announced.
Jun 23, 2021

Owner persuades High Court to quash general vesting declaration made by city council over empty property

The High Court has quashed a general vesting declaration (GVD) made by Birmingham City Council because of what Mr Justice Holgate called “the unusual circumstances of this case.”
Jun 23, 2021

Upper Tribunal rules in favour of telecoms firms in dispute with council over terms of indemnity for site provider

An agreement between telecoms firms and the London Borough of Hackney should limit the former’s liability to third party claims in respect of surveying whether a residential tower block is suitable for a mast, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has said.
Jun 08, 2021

Cabinet at London borough to consider proposals for £7.88m in repayments to tenants to address water overcharging

The Mayor and Cabinet at Lewisham Council will be asked this week to approval proposals to make refunds to current and former tenants it unknowingly overcharged in respect of water rates due.
Jun 07, 2021

Community group secures permission for legal challenge over refusal by local authority to list playing field as asset of community value

A community group in Leeds has been given permission to challenge the refusal of the city council to register a playing field as an asset of community value, it has been reported.


July 08, 2021

Introduction of the Building Safety Bill

Lorna Kenyon offers some initial thoughts on the scope of the Building Safety Bill.
July 08, 2021

The New Model for Shared Ownership Lease: a decade of repair costs for landlords

Mark Foxcroft looks at the impact on registered providers of the 10-year repair-free period under the Shared Ownership model.
July 07, 2021

Electronic execution: how to save time and money sealing your property documents

A new era of paperless property deals is upon us following the Land Registry’s landmark decision in July 2020 to accept e-signed documents for registration, writes Sandy Munroe.
July 01, 2021

Tree safety management

Nicholas Thorne examines a recent case that considered the landowner's duty of care when it comes to tree safety management.
June 24, 2021

Business rates – is the tide turning?

Business rates are an important source of funding but assessment and enforcement of liability require local authorities to address a complex range of issues. Paul Hilsdon and Clare Hardy examine two recent cases have shown that courts are prepared to look closely at the arrangements under which premises are occupied.
June 17, 2021

An education in selling school land

It isn’t often that the senior courts pronounce on the School Sites Acts, so a recent Supreme Court judgment is welcome, writes David Peachey.
June 07, 2021

The Charities Bill – A simplified approach for registered providers

Chimi Shakohoxha and Spencer Vella Sultana examine how proposed changes in the Charities Bill will impact small and large scale land disposals for registered providers.
June 03, 2021

Referee or goalkeeper? The Court of Appeal decides

The Court of Appeal recently considered the correct approach to be taken by a Court to the issue of reasonableness when the defence to a claim for service charges has been struck out. Ryan Kohli explains the outcome.

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Jun 03, 2021

Council fails in appeal over rates liability of charity that runs 200+ fitness centres

The London Borough of Merton has lost a Court of Appeal case over a charity’s liability for rates when two justices disagreed with the third, who had given the main judgment.
May 19, 2021

Rare pottery including jug depicting barrister returned to council after theft over a decade ago

Two valuable pieces of Ealing Council's Martinware collection, including a two-sided 'barrister jug', have been returned to the London borough after having been stolen more than a decade ago.
May 18, 2021

Housing Ombudsman urges social landlords to address individual circumstances of residents when dealing with cladding complaints

The Housing Ombudsman has called on social landlords to do more to address residents’ individual circumstances in cladding complaints.
May 17, 2021

Councils could be owed “hundreds of millions of pounds" in business rates following Supreme Court ruling

Local authorities could be in line for hundreds of millions of pounds in business rates following last week's landmark Supreme Court ruling, the solicitor who acted for the appellant councils has claimed.
May 14, 2021

Local authorities win £10m+ Supreme Court battle over business rates

Two North West councils have won a Supreme Court test case over whether they had reasonable grounds for claiming non-domestic (NDR) rates on certain empty properties from the respondent companies.
May 14, 2021

Welsh council facing judicial review challenge over skatepark development

Judicial review proceedings have been filed against City & County of Swansea Council (CCSC) over the way in which it transferred ownership of a site to Mumbles Community Council (MCC) as part of a plan to build a skatepark on the land.
May 13, 2021

Social landlord fails in Court of Appeal battle over dispensation of service charge consultation requirements

Social landlord Aster Communities has lost a Court of Appeal case brought over the dispensation of leaseholder consultation requirements in relation to service charges.
May 13, 2021

North West council fails in appeals over decision by inspector to grant permission for Gypsy pitches on Green Belt site

Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council has lost appeals over a planning inspector’s decision to give permission for a change of use to allow six Gypsy pitches on a Green Belt site.
May 12, 2021

High Court issues key ruling on "Traveller Injunctions" and "persons unknown", criticises suspected procedural breaches and abuse of court procedures in applications for interim orders

There are grounds to suspect that, in a significant number of applications by local authorities for interim injunctions against “Persons Unknown” targeting unauthorised encampments on land, there were material and serious breaches of the procedural requirements and the procedures of the Court – and the Interim Applications Court of the Queen’s Bench Division (Court 37) in particular – have been…
May 12, 2021

DVLA appoints law firm to £830k contract advising on exit from property PFI deal

The DVLA has handed law firm Gowling WLG a two-year contract worth more than £830,000 to advise on the expiry of a major PFI agreement.
May 10, 2021

Treasury to create £26m fund for councils migrating local land charges service to HM Land Registry

The Treasury is to set up a £26m fund for councils as part of its drive to establish a national Local Land Charges Register.
May 06, 2021

Council to pay housing association £117k after errors lead to cancelled land sale

Lichfield District Council is to pay a housing association compensation of almost £117,000 after errors in a land sale.
Apr 30, 2021

Government consults on residential developer tax aimed at contributing £2bn to cost of cladding remediation

The Government has launched a consultation on the proposed design of a new tax on the largest residential property developers to help contribute to the cost of cladding remediation work.
Apr 29, 2021

Council wins High Court challenge over decision by planning inspector not to include conditions restricting commercial uses

A planning inspector’s decision over conversion of a building in Manchester contained a legal error and must be quashed, the High Court has found.
Apr 29, 2021

Developer loses legal challenge after drawing error invalidated planning permission

A planning inspector was right to reject an appeal over a building where a drawing error showed it lower than its intended height, the High Court has ruled.
Apr 26, 2021

Real estate solicitor rejoins Devonshires as a partner after eight years away

A solicitor who previously worked at law firm Devonshires has returned to the firm as a partner to strengthen its growing Real Estate and Projects practice.
Apr 23, 2021

Council wins Supreme Court appeal over claim of £1.2m from heirs of school benefactor

The Supreme Court has allowed Oxfordshire County Council's appeal in a case in which a family said the sale of school land worth £1.2m, which was gifted to the council by their late family member, was unlawful.
Apr 19, 2021

Council to carry out internal review of potential land sale to financier in eye of lobbying storm

Cheshire West and Chester Council has said it will not progress the sale of farmland to Lex Greensill, the financier caught up in a central government lobbying row, “unless and until appropriate assurances are in place”.
Apr 07, 2021

20-6 or 4-1: Council wins High Court battle over lease of stately home

A High Court judge has likened the result of a trial of a lease dispute involving Wigan Borough Council to the outcome of rugby league and soccer matches.
Mar 31, 2021

Leaseholders win battle with City of London over service charges

Leaseholders have won a Court of Appeal case against the City of London Corporation over whether certain repairs to their homes are chargeable to them.
Mar 30, 2021

NHS trusts give up £2 billion business rates dispute with councils 

Eleven NHS trusts have abandoned plans to petition the Court of Appeal as part of a dispute with councils over the business rates they have to pay on hospitals.
Mar 25, 2021

Council wins High Court appeal over grant by inspector of permission for large digital advert

Calderdale Borough Council has won a High Court challenge to a decision by a planning inspector appointed by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to allow a large illuminated digital advertisement on a site in Elland.
Mar 22, 2021

Housing association selects seven firms for £2.2m property and development legal panel

A leading social landlord in the Midlands has appointed seven law firms to a £2.2m panel for property and development legal advice.
Mar 18, 2021

Court of Appeal upholds length of sentences for planning breaches

Eight people who committed repeated breaches of planning permission and court orders while trying to establish a site in Basildon have had their sentences confirmed after failing to convince the Court of Appeal that their punishments were too severe.
Mar 15, 2021

Land Registry launches Digital Identity Standard for conveyancing process

HM Land Registry has launched its first Digital Identity Standard, which provides a step-by-step list of requirements for conveyancers’ use of digital services to verify their client’s identity securely and conveniently online.


May 27, 2021

Local authority injunctions against “Persons Unknown” - the civil law runs out

Ranjit Bhose QC analyses the recent High Court ruling on "Traveller Injunctions" and "persons unknown".
May 27, 2021

Local authority break rights in long development leases

The High Court has recently declared that a local authority landlord’s break right in a long lease – expressed as being exercisable ‘at any time’ following a tenant default – had been validly exercised, even though the default in question had occurred 16 months prior to the break notice being served. Ayesha Khalique explains why.
May 27, 2021

Public Procurement: Lease or Public Works Contract. Where’s the dividing line?

Matthew Mo and Kyle Duggan look at the implications of a recent European Court procurement ruling on development agreements entered into by public bodies.
May 20, 2021

Dispensation from service charge consultation requirements

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the circumstances in which the First-tier Tribunal may grant a landlord dispensation from the service charge consultation requirements prescribed by s. 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. Philip Rainey QC and Robyn Cunningham examine the ruling.
May 20, 2021

Important changes following the introduction of the Fire Safety Act

The Fire Safety Act received Royal Assent on 29 April 2021 and will shortly be on the statute books. Mark London and Michael Wharfe look at what is in store.
May 13, 2021

Tax on Development Purchases

V. Charles Ward addresses prospective tax liabilities in relation to a local authority development or investment purchase and how transactions can be structured in ways which minimises those liabilities.
May 06, 2021

Public houses and the ACV regime: the latest rulings

Christopher Cant analyses the latest appeal decisions in relation to the listing of pubs as assets of community value, covering issues including the recent past, financial viability and compensation.
May 06, 2021

Change of use and appropriate conditions

The High Court recently quashed an inspector’s decision allowing change of use without appropriate conditions. Horatio Waller explains why a city council’s appeal was successful.
May 05, 2021

Notices and statutory nuisances

A recent High Court ruling shows the need to avoid an overly technical approach to s.82(6) notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, writes Sarah Salmon.
May 05, 2021

Housing case law update - April 2021

Christopher Skinner, Rebecca Asady and Filip Bodnar round up the latest judgments of interest to housing associations and local authorities.
April 29, 2021

The High Court on empty rates mitigation and Makro type schemes

In a win for ratepayers, the High Court has clarified the law on empty rates mitigation. Jenny Wigley QC analyses the ruling.
April 22, 2021

Tower blocks, re-cladding and service charges

Timothy Straker QC, Jonathan Manning and Christopher Baker analyse a Court of Appeal case on service charge liability for re-cladding a tower block.
April 22, 2021

How to tackle urbexing

Lyn Crawford looks at what property owners, developers and contractors can do about "urbexing".
April 22, 2021

Fighting fire with fines

Even before the tragedy of what happened at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 there could be no doubt that no limit can be put on the personal costs of a fire. The Government has now stated that the same can be said for the financial costs, writes Natalie Puce.
April 15, 2021

When the wind(fall) blows

Roy Pinnock examines the sweeping Commercial to Residential permitted development right that was trailed in Autumn 2020 and which will come into effect from 1 August 2021.
March 26, 2021

Diverting a footpath under section 119 of the Highways Act 1980

The Court of Appeal has recently considered the criteria for the diversion of a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway. Trevor Ward examines the ruling.
March 26, 2021

The impact of registration of land as a TVG on the pre-existing commercial activities of a landowner

A recent Supreme Court ruling on town and village greens leaves one question answered, another left hanging, writes Richard Wald QC.
February 17, 2021

How enforced sales can help the empty homes crisis

Enforced sales could be an important tactic to help local authorities in their efforts to tackle empty homes, freeing up thousands of empty homes for families in housing need, writes Lyndon Campbell.
February 12, 2021

Landlords and waiver of the right to forfeiture

Lina Mattsson examines a Court of Appeal case involving a council that concerned the waiver rules and the right to forfeiture.
February 12, 2021

Business rates and property guardians

The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision by the Upper Tribunal and confirmed that a property guardianship scheme did not mitigate liability for business rates. Richard Symonds and Lucy Shepherd analyse the ruling.