PropertyLaw.guru Blog

EG 16-05-20

Lots more virus debates - how to redesign workspaces, who will pay for it, will the future of work change? 
LandSec saying rent receipts from its retail and specialist tenants could fall by 75% over the next 12 months and 20% reduction from office tenants. CBRE halving their flexible office space (Hana) plans for 2020. IWG (Regus/Spaces) trying to help their occupiers get CV funding from Govt

Retail parks are taking advantage of their spacing, parking and click and collect arrangements, like ‘drive throughs’.

Legal
p.26 Are you ready for the plan tech revolution? CV has stopped the planning system in its tracks, inquiries are called off, committee meetings at councils have almost halted. Proposes solutions to the problem. Virtual reality tools to analyse the effect of buildings, using Blockchain (Ed - sorry I don’t buy into that), using AI to search through planning applications, virtual committee meetings, more public engagement, etc.

p.29 Responding to requests for Code rights - telecoms masts. What can a landowner do if a telecoms operator asks them to enter into a new 10 year Code agreement in replacement for their holding over under a 54 Act tenancy (A - you don’t have to) ? Or wants access to the roof for a survey? (A - they will probably get the right to do this)

p.30 Landowners’s responsibilities in Nuisance re, flood defences. A land owner is entitled to build flood defences to prevent flooding, but this is balanced by an obligation not to cause nuisance to his neighbour by doing so - the remedies for which being damages/injunction Excellent summary of the basics of the law of nuisance in this context. Flood defences (or raising the banks of a river) that are created in anticipation of possible future folds can lawfully impact on a neighbour in a way that would not be lawful if the flood was imminent or present, which might seem counter-intuitive. Also the EA will need to be involved to approve certain works. Local and highways authorities also have responsibilities and oversight powers, but generally no duty to do anything. Worth reading!

p.21 The problem of unoverreached beneficial interests. P wants to buy a house owned by V who lives there with his partner G, who has contributed to improvements and thereby has an equitable interest. How does P make sure her interests are overreached? Either a - appoint a second trustee on the title, or a second trustee for receiving the money, or get G to sign a waiver following independent advice. The Law Commission in 1989 suggested three possible reforms to protect third parties such as G. None of them were taken forward by Govt. The article asks whether the current law is fine as it is or needs reform, and whether the growth of co-habiting means Govt should take action. Of course, we all know that nothing will happen..

p.34 Community Infrastructure Levy  -  is it in crisis Discusses the lackflexibility of payment of CIL payments under the current system. Once a chargeable development is commenced the default period for payment is 60 days from commencement, but there can be instalment policies agreed (usually only in the case of very large payments). There is no ability within the legislation to permit any extension of time to deadlines. You could agree a phasing at the outset to allow to commence the development by doing infrastructure or enabling works (thereby preventing the permission running out at the end of three years) but which works would not create floorspace and thereby trigger a payment!  Or the LA could agree to amend or extend payment plans or making ‘exceptional circumstances relief’ available. An increasing number of LAs are offering deferral or delaying enforcement but this is all outside the regulations. 

p.35 Right to rent and racial discrimination revisited. Looks at the landmark case of R (Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) v SS Home Dept [2020] EWCA Civ 542. JCWI argued that the requirement for landlords to check the immigration status or tenants (with draconian penalties) unlawfully discriminated against those who had the right to rent but didn’t have a British passport. CA held there was no breach of Article 8 of ECHR as there ws no 'right to a home’ under that article, and didn’t agree that the evidence showed any such discrimination happening. SS succeeded in their argument - see law report for more details

p. 36 The long awaited Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent SC judgement ! [2020] UKSC 18.
This held the landlord  was not entitled to grant a licence to allow certain structural works that would be in breach of an absolute covenant not to cut into walls, as it would be in breach of another covenant that it would enforce the covenants in the leases at the request of the other tenants. Those tenants would have assumed that such ‘absolute’ covenants would not be changed, as they were important to the structure of the building. 
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