Real Estate, United Kingdom updates

Duration of planning permissions in principle – helpful simplification on its way?
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 06 November 2020

Over the past few years, there have been numerous queries arising out of uncertainty and lack of clarity in relation to the timescales for the commencement of development under a planning permission in principle and its associated approval of matters specified in conditions. The simplification that will be introduced by the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 is therefore likely to be welcomed by many, but there are important points to note about the provisions in the 2019 act.

Indemnity for cost of contaminated land
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 30 October 2020

A recent case concerning a landlord's counterclaim for the cost incurred by it in remediating its property prior to undertaking a major redevelopment project provides a useful reminder to tenants on the extent of their potential liability at the end of the term of their lease and sounds a cautionary note to any party undertaking works under licence. The landlord was entitled to recover the full cost of the remediation work to deal with asbestos contamination caused by the previous tenant and its parent company.

Terminating agreements under Electronic Communications Code
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 09 October 2020

EE Limited v Edelwind Limited is another in the increasing line of cases concerning the operation of the Electronic Communications Code, contained in Schedule 3A to the Communications Act 2003. This one, before the Upper Tribunal, concerned the code's provisions governing the service of a notice to terminate a code agreement in terms of when and on whom the notice should be served.

Power to the people: recent guidance on Section 104 of Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 25 September 2020

In a recent judicial review appeal, the Inner House considered the application of Section 104 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, which deals with consultation in respect of disposing and changing the use of common good property. The petition was for judicial review of the Angus Council's decision to demolish a leisure centre which had been erected on common good land.

Restrictive covenants: some clarity but still subject to competition law
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 18 September 2020

A recent Supreme Court case has clarified the law around challenges to covenants which seek to limit the use of land. The case involved an appeal by a retail anchor tenant against its landlord, which had sought to challenge a restrictive covenant in the lease which prevented it from letting space to businesses that competed with the tenant. The landlord sought to argue that the covenant was unenforceable as it fell within the doctrine of restraint of trade.

Government publishes landmark Building Safety Bill to overhaul fire safety regulation
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 11 September 2020

The government recently published a draft Building Safety Bill as part of its commitment to overhaul fire safety regulation in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017, which claimed 72 lives. The draft bill is the latest in a series of actions that the government has taken to improve fire safety in high-rise residential buildings, including the introduction of the Fire Safety Bill.

Government consults on proposals to require provision and publication of data on contractual controls of land
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 04 September 2020

The government considers that better data on land ownership and control is required to achieve its vision for the planning system, improve the development process and increase the public's understanding of who exercises control over land. The government's particular focus is on rights of pre-emption, options and conditional contracts, and it has published a consultation seeking views on how best to improve transparency around them and what additional data should be made public.

Welcome clarification from HMRC on landlord and tenant barter transactions
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 28 August 2020

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has released helpful guidance confirming that it does not consider that a number of commonly agreed lease concessions should be classed as barter transactions for value added tax (VAT) purposes. During the COVID-19 outbreak, there has been a marked increase in lease concessions being given in exchange for landlord-favourable lease variations. The classification of such arrangements as barter transactions has had VAT implications for landlords and tenants.

Impact of Use Classes Order changes on leases of commercial property
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 21 August 2020

The government has published legislation to bring sweeping changes to the Use Classes Order for England, which will take effect on 1 September 2020. References to uses and use classes in the General Permitted Development Order remain as currently defined until 1 August 2021. What will be the impact of these changes on existing and new leases of commercial property and their provisions governing what the premises can be used for?

What next for possession proceedings? New PD55C imposes additional requirements on landlords
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 14 August 2020

Civil Procedure Rule (CPR) 55.29 came into force on 25 June 2020 and extended the stay on possession proceedings and enforcement proceedings by way of a writ or a warrant for possession until 23 August 2020. Now, the draft Civil Procedure (Amendment 4) (Coronavirus) Rules 2020 provide for a further amendment to CPR Part 55 to introduce a new temporary practice direction which sets out how claims under that part (including appeals) are to proceed following the expiry of the stay.

Law Commission report on proposed changes to commonhold
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
  • United Kingdom
  • 07 August 2020

The Law Commission recently published its reports on leasehold enfranchisement, right to manage and commonhold. The common theme in all three reports is to make each process simpler, quicker and more flexible and to reduce costs for leaseholders. While commonhold was introduced more than 15 years ago, it has hardly been used and the Law Commission seeks to make it a preferred alternative to residential leasehold.

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