PropertyLaw.guru Blog

EG 18-07-20

News - a boom in demand for data centres, comm prop prices set to drop 10%, predicted demand for flexible space as offices re configure for the post-virus world. 

P.22 - the proposed radical Permitted development planning reform could see retail to resi conversions rocket. 
Councils who bought lots of comm prop are now unable to balance budgets and are cutting services

Legal
P.35 Covid clauses - looks at Force majeure clauses across European jurisdictions, where the concept is already built into some of their legal systems and civil codes, unlike the UK where there is no such implied statutory concept, and frustration is also virtually impossible to imply in property contracts in the UK. Covid rent suspension clause were used in many countries. ‘Risk sharing’ between Ls & Ts is becoming common across Europe, turnover rents and flexible leasing is being demanded.

p. 37 Land Registry will now accept ‘Mercury protocol’ signed deeds. Explains how to do it, how it differs from electronic signatures, what documents LR will accept and the importance of keeping the wet-ink original. Problems with large plans & their distortion on scanning and suggests the seller’s conveyancers signs the plan as agent for the seller. Problems also with companies where their M&A require more than one signatureb- best ensure the company can execute deeds by one director in the presence of a witness where two directors can’t be present in the same place and time to execute it.

P.38 The future of retail leases is considered. Inclusive rents, turnover rents, pandemic rent suspensions and deferrals, monthly rent, upwards/downwards rent reviews. Fewer guarantors and more deposits or bonds. Service charge provisions - additional virus provisions - covering cost of cleaning, stickers, barriers, sanitisers, contactless tech, etc. Cost savings to be passed on, service charge caps, exclusion of liability of L if unable to provide services. Waiver or keep open covenants, user widening, yielding up, and alterations will all be affected

P.40 - Future of office leases - same as before plus longer permitted hours and days, wider user, more freedoms for alterations needed for social distancing, break clause on pandemic etc

P.41 Valuation practice on Covid - how valuers are going to be able to deal with inspections and caveats to their reports. The RICS suggested report caveat wording

P.42 Telecomms - Arqiva Services v AP Wireless [2020] UKUT 195 - known as ‘Queens Oak case’ means that a significant number of sits across the UK with stalled negotiations for a new lease  (because the land owner won’t agree a massive reduction in rent under the new code’s provisions) are stuck on outdated terms unless the landowner actually seeks their removal in which case the operator can fall back on their statutory rights. The Supreme Court will rule on the appeal in due course

P.43 Enfranchisement - Freehold Properties Ltdv Field [2020] EWHC 792 (Ch) decided that only the tenant of substantially the whole of a leasehold house can fall with the enfranchisement regime of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967. In that case the structure of the houses (walls, roofs, foundation and service media) was not included i
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