EG 02-11-19

Overseas Investment in UK comm prop drops by 18%, London super-prime resi sales drop by 13%, Treasury committee calls for the overhaul of the ‘broken’ business rates system (asking for a consultation prior to Spring), Co-living (such as The Collective (which I stayed in at Canary Wharf last week and was impressed) set to triple in size, WeWork still in danger of going bust despite rescue, and of course Brexit! Analysis of the London office market, with lots of serviced offices taking the place of commercial lease arrangements - 30% of all activity!\

p.30 BoClock (pronounced Boo clock) is planning to roll out IKEA style fully fitted show homes across the UK - preassembled in a day and delivered to site - business parks! 25 years of experience and 12,000 homes in the Nordics. They are looking for sites from Bristol to Brighton. In contrast to the UK 85% of the Swedish housing market is pre-fabricated homes, compared to 5% in the UK.

p.49 Must read explanation of the basic differences between the Scottish and English land law and conveyancing process. Many interesting points such as leases for more that 175 years and less than £100 rent pa are converted to the Scottish equivalent of freehold! Plan based registration was only introduced in 1981 (only 30% registered )with most land is registered in the Register of Sasine’s by name or address instead. In Scotland CPSEs don’t apply, the conditions of sale are different, risk passes on completion in general, and positive covenants are enforceable against successors! There are no Notices or Restrictions, and so on..

p.51 Court of Appeal has ruled on experts’ jurisdiction in matters of law - Great Dunmow v Crest Nicholson [2019] EWCA 1683.  It was held that the independent expert valuer was not bound by an an agreed statement of facts, which contained an error.

p.52 S.21 HA 88 Notices. Sets out the views of the Property Litigation Association on the Government’s proposal to repeal s.21, which is that the repeal will be worse for both L & T. We will await the result with interest

p.54 Qualifying Long Term Agreements & service charges. Ghosh v Hanover Gate Mansions [2019] UKUT 290. Was an oral agreement between Mgt Coy & 3rd Pty service coy a QLTA? Held, on the facts of that case it was held it was and therefore as there had been no consultation the liability for charges was only £100. Care needed when putting these in place!

p.54 More on the Great Dunmow case above

p. 55 Reviews the Govt proposals for the future trajectory of MEES. Two options - raise the minimum EPC to B by 2030 (!!!!) which would bring 85% of buildings into stop and cost £5bn! Raise it to C by 2030, bringing only 42% into scope, with a reduced cost of £1.5bn.  Also should there be incremental milestones. Further consultation next year. Lease service charge and tenants covenants need to start taking account of this proposal.

p.56 Climate  change and planning. Urges a catch up in planning policy ti be more proactive is dealing with the issue. Highlights 3 recent examples of difficulties of older policies - Drax Power   Station approval, Heathrow’s 3rd runway etc.

p.57 First instance County Court decision that s. LP(MP)A 89 does NOT require a ‘wet-ink’ signature! Neocleous v Rees [2019] EWHC 2462. An email from a client’s solicitor was held to accept a binding compromise as it contained the solicitor’s footer and name. Subject to Contract in the heading would have saved the day…, of course. Also creating new messages rather than replying to old ones containing all the terms.. [ Ed. Email chains can be dangerous as I have seen ones that contain emails between the other solicitor and their own client giving away their position and advice!]

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