EG 27-03-21

P.46 Holiday Lets part 2 What if you let your flat on airbnb for holiday lets - Lease has a user covenant ‘single private residential unit’ = breach. Not to use for business? No subletting? No nuisance?  = read the article!

p.49 Drafting for the next pandemic - Ts are seeking Covid clauses - suspending rent, and desperate Ls are agreeing to this. Will ’54 Act renewals get them too? Three arguments against - Ts may still be able to trade in a different form, Ts can furlough staff but Ls still need to pay mortgages. Thirdly Ts can get BI insurance for the risk. Will Ls suffer a rent discount if a lease doesn’t have one though? Also, Ts are arguing for repairing obligations to be similarly suspended ?

P.50 Dilaps and tax - New HMRC guidance says dilaps payments to be treated as consideration for a taxable supply for VAT purposes, the opposite of past practice. Some Ts may not be able to recover the VAT. Damages payments are still not subject to VAT but the new guidance says that payments on a break option or forfeiture are. HMRC Guidance is not law and is sometimes wrong. The Dilapidations Association believes that payments where the lease expires by effuxion of time are not subject to VAT and HMRC has been pressed for further guidance. There is a useful flowchart in the article.

P.52 Deathbed gifts. Donatio mortis causa enables gifts without needing to be in a will. The item must be handed over physically. Giving keys of deed box which contained the keys to a house has been held to be within this! The curious case of Davey v Bailey [2021] EWHC 445 (Ch) held that the deceased handing over a box file with pre-reg deeds and OCEs  was not a DMC as there was no evidence to show he was contemplating his own death. It is arguable that he been so contemplating, handing over deeds to unregistered land could possibly be a DMC , so we will not yet know whether handing over pre-reg one and OCEs might have this effect!

P.52 City & Country Bramshill Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and others [2021] EWCA Civ 320; [2021] PLSCS 49, the Court of Appeal confirmed the limited ability of the courts to intervene in matters of planning judgment.

P.53 Protection against terrorist threats. The govt has proposed a new “protect duty”, which could affect a significant proportion of commercial property owners, operators and occupiers. The government’s aspiration is that the implementation  of these proposals will create a legal framework to enhance the protection of “publicly accessible locations” in the UK from terrorist attack and ensure organisational preparedness. 

Any party that falls within the ambit of the new duty could soon be required by law to consider the adequacy of security measures, systems and processes adopted at their sites and take steps to mitigate any perceived risks. The article explores these proposals, which are out for consultation at present.

P.54 Climate change article - comments on the increasing pressure on companies to acknowledge the issue and take action. 

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