PropertyLaw.guru Blog

EG 29-02-20

P.49 AML for Estate agents, article about the AML  obligations on estate agents focussing on particular problems such as where the purchaser’s identity is withheld, where the rent is notified of the purchaser after the sale is agreed, what if the corporate seller does not match the details at Companies House.

p.51 CORONAVIRUS!! What duties do landlords have? Pure Ls are unlikely to have sufficient ‘control’ to have duties under COSHH. However, if they provide services, they would have responsibilities for their staff who visit affected properties to provide services or run common parts. In that case the guidance from Public Health England should be followed, such as co-operating with local authorities over restricting access, giving details of occupiers, permitting decontamination, and perhaps suspending services, providing handouts or information perhaps and of course duties to their employees

p.53 Obstacles to comprehensive land registration. Many buyers insist that sellers register unregistered land as sadly few conveyancers are competent to deal with it [Ed.- Don’t think LR is comprehensive, accurate or definitive - pre-reg deeds are worth their weight in gold when dealing with issues on boundaries or giving advice on covenants and easements]. The arcticle looks at what LR is doing to encourage comprehensive land registration but this will still be years off. 13% of land is unregistered still. Interestingly the Ramblers Association is accelerating its focus on registering rights of way before the 2026 deadline for registered lost rights of way.

p.54, Retirement accommodation (aka granny farming), No-one could miss the number of such developments springing up everywhere - 3% of all new builds. A call for making it easier to get planning permission, for what is regarded as a class C3 development rather than C2 for care homes. Also suggesting waiving of SDLT, flexibility of tenure and support similar to Help to Buy [Ed. Perhaps call it ‘Help to Die’?] allowing more of a rental model so buyers/tenants can get their wealth and spend it or give it to their families rather than it be tied up in their house.

p.55 Planning permissions cannot be bought - looks at the SC  case of R (Wright) V Resilient Energy Severndale [2019] UKSC 53. This decided that what could seem like a generous gesture by the LPA to appease locals, taking a matter into account that it shouldn’t (such as a charity donation by the applicant) it could result in a. ‘Quashing’ meaning the process has to start all over again. So developers need to monitor why & how  an LPA deal with their applications. In that case the applicant proposing a wind turbine on a farm proposed that it was run by a local community benefit society and that an annual donation to local community fund would be made, following govt guidance that encourages community-led wind- turbine developments like that. The LPA took the proposed donation into account as a ‘material consideration’ and in addition conditioned the payment. An objector had it quashed as a result

p.56 English & Welsh Law. Very useful guide to what the property law difference are, which have been devolved to Wales, other than LTT (instead of SDLT). In short it is a complex and confusing issue that has resulted in lawyers giving advice or turning up at court arguing law that does’t apply in Wales. A warning to all of the need to check

p.57 The Tate Gallery overlooking case! Looks at the much awaited decision of Fearn V Tate Gallery [2020]EWCA Civ 104 that decided the law of nuisance did not extend to protection of a right of privacy, or protection from overlooking. The High Court had held that the flat owners could install curtains or blinds for privacy and it would be wrong for their self-induced exposure to the world to create a liability in nuisance.  But the judge held that the European Convention on Human Rights applied which confers a right to respect for private and family lives, and that the law of nuisance was in principle wide enough to protect domestic homes from overlooking in appropriate cases. The flat owners attacked the judges approach to their sensitivity and self- exposure in the CA and won on that point. But it was a Pyrrhic victory as the CA decided that the tort of nuisance does not extend to overlooking. It would be hard to draw the line over what was a nuisance, and the planning system offers a more appropriate system of controls. It is for government to formulate any additional controls not the courts.
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