PropertyLaw.guru Blog

EG 01-06-19

P 49 Leasehold reform.  A critical review of the proposed reforms - removal of s.21 notices, commonhold, community stewardship, Enfranchisement reforms - if you have been living under a stone for the last two years or not dealing with leasehold issues this will bring you up to date with where we are

P. 51 Business rates - reports on the Supreme Court decision in Hewitt (V)) v Telereal Trillium [2019] UKSC 23.  The RV was assessed at £490,000, but on appeal the LVT revised it to just £1 on the basis that there was no evidence that anyone (in the real world)  wanted to rent such a huge 1970’s office building in Blackpool! The rating hypothesis requires a ‘hypothetical tenant’ and the SC by a narrow majority decided that it had to be assumed that there is hypothetical tenant willing to enter into negotiations for a tenancy, and if there is no evidence to the contrary then the rent agreed for that tenancy had to be assessed by ‘general demand’ and so restored the valuation to £370k as assessed by the upper tribunal.

P.52 Whats new in the Modern Commercial Lease. If you haven’t looked at this excellent and fair (AND FREE!!) with sets of precedent leases for offices, retail, logistics, and better than the PLC offerings IMHO but without the extensive drafting notes. Get them at www.modelcommerciallease.co.uk. They have been updated to reflect the new commercial lease code - this sets out the changes in relation to service charges, reinstatement, bayleaves, CRC, Avonridge clauses, and interpretation. Landsec has been the power behind this initiative and they are generally well received on both sides of the table 

P.54 Court agrees to modify a disclosure letter in a corporate transaction regarding some missing land critical to an acquisition in the sale of shares in a housebuilding company. The disclosure letter said that the seller didn’t own all the critical land, which was true, and would prevent a breach of warranty claim. The buyer successfully persuaded the CA to delete this as they had always assumed the land was included, meaning that there could be a breach of warranty claim. Having seen (and been one of) the mentally exhausted state of many lawyers negotiating warranties and the like on corporate transactions at 3am in the morning at a weekend I am not remotely surprised that things like this happen.

P.55 Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation orders by local authorities . Many authorities confiscate land and property under POCA to enforce breach of planning (e.g.HMOs) and may be motivated by the fact that they get to keep a third of the money recovered, to help balance their case-strapped books. In April Southwark got a £1.1M order against such a landlord. This looks at two ‘abuse of process’ actions where the CA held the decision to prosecute was motivated by the POCA share of the cash, which is a warning to avaricious councils.

P.56 Avoiding a £1 dilapidations value in CVAs. Really enlightening article about what happens to landlord’s claims for rent and dilaps on large retail CVAs (- will we see this next with Arcadia in the next few days?). Basically if you are a landlord who is worried that one of their tenants is likely to enter a CVA, if you have an interim schedule of dliaps prepared you will avoid the dilaps claim being assessed as simply £1 for voting purposes in the CVA, and protect your interests better in the CVA

P. 57 Serving a s.21 notice in Wales - a landlord has to be both registered and licensed in order to serve a s.21 notice, a recent decision held
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