EG 08-02-20

News section
Numerous stories about the repurposing of retail parks for residential use, pension funds planning to invest in build-to-rent, ‘explosion’ of live-work or co-living schemes outside the capital, an analysis of the London office market and where it is going, the turnaround of WeWork who will be looking to surrender leases, office development has significantly dropped in many regional cities, the threat to cities of AirBnB lets and the lack of any enforcement of the consequent planning breaches by local planning authorities (renting out on airbnb for more than 90 days a year requires planning permission but no-one bothers)

Legal section

p.49 Must read article. The new registration scheme for overseas buyers who own UK real property is coming in 2021 ( The article outlines what it is expected to entail, the consequences of non-compliance for existing owners ('you will not be able to register a disposal of the property’ Ed. - but of course it will be the buyer not the seller that is affected!), and an overseas buyer will not be able to register the disposition, plus it will be an offence committed by the officers. The scary thing is this might affect contracts entered into already (it gives the example of an existing option say) and if you are drafting anything now you need to deal with the future imposition of the regime. Plus it comments that we will be expected to deal with what might be a rigorous and complex investigation and registration system. IMHO Clients need to realise this is going to cost them more fees rather than just ‘rolled in’ as part of the admin like the profession stupidly dealt with SDLT stupidly in 2003..

p.51 Solving Enfranchisement conundrums - good explanation of two common issues where flats are amalgamated and where the landlord wants to prevent the loss of airspace or basements to the tenants - they can’t!

p.52 Cladding on flats. - reviews the currently regulatory and costs landscape in relation to the cladding of high-rise buildings. Its not just council flats but many private flats are stuck in limbo at the moment - either unsaleable as they are, or faced with bankrupting service charges demands to replace it, plus analysis paralysis as it takes months or years for testing to work out what needs doing.

p.54 Is liability to top up a rent-deposit deed and expense of administration - ReviewsRe  London Entertainment Partners, and flags important decisions that need to be made in the way the administration is handled, and potential negligence claims against solicitors for bad advice on this point!

p.54 Unincorporated associations normally have no legal standing, but Aireborough Neighbourhood Development Forum was allowed to mount a judicial review, as long as they have a ‘legitimate interest and not a mere busybody”!

p.55 Local plans are sometimes in conflict with national priorities. There is currently a war being waged it seems between PINS, MHCLG and local authorities. Usually to do with housing provision and greenbelt loss, CIL and the costs/effects of the demands on the local infrastructure that the govts proposals will have. Busy times for planning counsel perhaps..

p.56 AirBnB & short term lets regulation will hit Scotland soon, with a licensing scheme. Edinburgh is suffering from over-tourism with 10,000 properties listed on AirBnB. What will be the effect and of course, once the govt try things out on the Scots first they then usually apply it to England & Wales!

p.57 Liability caps in new home warranties. Looks at the Zagora v Zurich case around the Zurich 10 year warranty, in relation to a block of 104 flats, the construction of which was so bad residents had to move out! Could the tenants sue the building inspector (A- no) and could they claim off Zurich (A- Yes, but Zurich tried to argue (but lost) that  there was a liability cap meaning in effect they wouldn’t cover the whole cost so the works would never in reality be done !
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