EG 19-09-20

P.5 “This week’s leader is dedicated to the growing number of occupiers that are, quite frankly and quite bluntly, taking the piss. For their benefit, I thought it might be useful here to remind them of the definition of a lease…” Proper rant from the Editor about tenants not paying their rent, CVAs, etc.

P.16 High Court decision, much reported which decided that in most of the disease clauses in Business Interruption Insurance *should* meant the insurer has to pay out. Each case will need wording specific analysis of the clause and the comments in the judgement to see if your clients can claim.

P.60 What has the Covid-19 Code of Practice Achieved? It was launched in June, and supposed to support businesses come together to negotiate affordable rental agreements. Sets out the key terms, but comments that it came out too late as Ls & Ts were negotiating this in March till May. Overwhelmingly the feedback is that the code made little or no difference to negotiations. Some parties have maintained radio silence since CV hit, knowing they could not be evicted. It has no teeth but non-compliance may be relevant as to costs in litigation. It is expected to remain in place until 24/6/21, it is difficult how it could be made compulsory. Ls & Ts are lobbying HMG for Property Bounceback Grants in the meantime..

P.63 A new draft Building Safety Bill was published in July 20 and proposes total regulatory reform of the fire and structural safety regimen for all buildings, with higher risk builds (resi >18m high or >6 storeys) subject to an enhanced regime. It is unlikely to come into force before Autumn 2021. Also - the EWS1 form which records what assessment has been carried out of the external wall construction. Many lenders require this but there are many problems with these certificates, as outlined. The new regime proposed requires an identified ‘duty holder’ to be comply with all statutory obligations on an ongoing basis, and the appointment of a competent ‘building safety manager’. Individuals can be prosecuted for breach. On sale, a new person needs to be approved by the new proposed Building Safety Regulator, failing which the property cannot be occupied. All of this will have a significant impact on property transactions.

p.64 Sustainable development in the green belt. There are ways of developing such areas (!) NPPF para 136 allows the green belt boundaries to be altered only ‘in exceptional circumstances’, which have been explored in case law, and are outlined in the article. Also explained is the govt’s objectives for sustainable development

P.66 How to avoid inadvertently dedicating a public highway through a development. Explains how land could be subject to a presumption of dedication, despite there being no formal dedication, the 20 year rule, how to use signs and notices to prevent this, also  interruption of use, and depositing a statement with the local council under s.31(6) HA80

P.68 Telecoms case - intention to redevelop couldn’t be proved by a University to prevent a new telecoms lease to an operator, so the landlord succesfully invoked parts of the code justifying refusal where L would suffer loss that cannot be compensated in money or the effects suffered outweighed public benefit of the telecoms mast.

P.69 Resident Management Companies. How to set them up, the benefit for tenants, the responsibilities passed on to tenant directors, and other tips

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