EG 6th April 2019

P.49 MEES one year on. Looks at the effect of the minimum energy efficiency standards affecting commercial buildings since last year. Not a single prosecution for non-compliance  by any local authority in the whole country! But many less ‘substandard’ F&G registrations. Looks ahead at the next phase of changes

P.51 Expert Witnesses under the spotlight - their need to be indépendant and the recent sentence of suspended imprisonment for contempt of court of one such. Surveyors giving expert evidence need to realise it is a heavy burden and must remain independent 

P.52. The Homes (Fitness for habitation) Act 2018 came into force on 20th March 2019 and makes it considerably easier for residential tenants to force landlords to deal with damp dangerous and unhealthy housing conditions, implying a duty on landlords to make sure the property is fit for human habitation during the tenancy. Explains what it does, where it applies and it covers heating, mould, hygiene, pests, refuse, fire safety, cold, etc.

P.54 What banking and  finance issues do housing associations need to consider if courting international investors

P.55 Time to smarten up your lease covenants? Looks at what you need to do to update your repairing and reinstatement covenants in the era of smart buildings, with short leases, and tenants wanting services that allow regular changes, given that landlords are less likely to make capital contributions to fit outs, plus tenants being obligated to take landlord’s WIFI and utilities 

P.56 The Zaguro v Zurich Insurance case concerned flat owners claiming against the building warranty for a catalogue of mess ups in the block in Manchester costing £10M to fix, but rejected claims for alternative accommodation or loss of rent, plus claims by the ground rent reversion owner (not allowed) and against the company issuing the building regulation certificate (failed)

P.56 Takhar v Gracefield Developments concerned alleged fraud and whether it can and should be alleged early in any dispute to be a successful argument for setting aside

P.57 Why you can’t sue a building inspector in tort. - Murphy v Brentwood 1991 explained why there is no duty of care to subsequent occupiers or owners for pure economic loss, Worth reading if you don’t remember this, and the failed efforts by some claimants to get round this axiom. This decision led to the birth of collateral warranties, for example.
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