The Supreme Court's judgment in the Financial Conduct Authority's test case on non-damage business interruption cover for losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic has wide-ranging implications. In terms of the impact on property, this is a significant decision for both landlords and tenants, where premises were forced to shut under the government's instructions to businesses to close and stay at home and following the introduction of social distancing instructions in March 2020.
The judicial review of the government's changes to the use classes order and new permitted development rights was recently dismissed. The High Court ruled that the changes had been legally enacted, a judgment which Rights: Community: Action is seeking permission to appeal. Although this appeal is unlikely to be successful, until any appeal is resolved, there remains uncertainty around the ability to rely on these new permitted development rights and use classes.
A recent Court of Appeal case is the latest in a series of recent planning law cases to be decided against the developer. The courts seem to be moving towards a simpler but less flexible planning system. This is in contrast to the government's recent changes intended to promote flexibility in the planning system.
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.
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.