The Housing Secretary has announced:

  • new funding for the replacement of unsafe cladding for all leaseholders in residential buildings 18 metres (6 storeys) and over in England;
  • a new scheme for buildings between 11 and 18 metres for cladding removal, where needed, through a long-term, low interest, Government-backed financing arrangement;
  • plans for a ‘Gateway 2’ developer levy, to apply when developers seek permission to develop certain high-rise buildings in England;
  • a new tax for the UK residential property development sector;
  • the Government will bring forward legislation this year to tighten the regulation of building safety and to review the construction products regime to prevent malpractice arising again.

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The Government has confirmed that it will be renewing the measures it introduced to protect tenants in the commercial property sector unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, commercial tenants benefit from a prohibition on landlords forfeiting commercial leases for non-payment of rent. This measure was due to expire on 31 March 2021, and despite the Government confirming in December 2020 that this would be the final extension to protections from the threat of eviction, the Government has announced that the restriction on forfeiture will in fact be extended until 30 June 2021.

The Government has also renewed the restriction on landlords using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (CRAR) to recover unpaid rent, which was due to expire on 31 March 2021, but has now been extended until 30 June 2021. This measure will increase the total number of days’ outstanding rent required for CRAR to be used to 457 days if CRAR is to be used between 25 March and 23 June, increasing to 554 days’ if CRAR is to be used between 24 and 30 June.  It is not yet clear whether the Government will extend the measures introduced by the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 restricting the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions which is due to expire on 31 March 2021.

Continue Reading Commercial property evictions ban extended until 30 June 2021

SDLT break extended

The temporary increase of the nil rate SDLT band to £500,000 will continue until the end of June 2021. From 1 July to 30 September 2021 the nil rate band will sit at £250,000. Above £500,000, the standard SDLT rates and thresholds remain in force.

The holiday will not just benefit individual buyers, but companies can benefit from these changes as well, where they are not subject to the flat 15% rate. However, taxpayers should be aware that the holiday applies only to residential property and the rules concerning higher rates for additional dwellings will continue to apply (but with the 3% rate available to £500,000).

Corporation tax on the profits of big business to rise from 19% to 25% in April 2023

The UK corporation tax rate is set to rise to 25% in April 2023 for profits above £250,000.  Smaller businesses with profits of £50,000 or less will be protected from the hike and will continue paying corporation tax at the current level of 19%.

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For those involved with development projects and public sector procurement you will be interested to read our update, including a Quick Guide, on Post-Brexit procurement. The first of a two-part series examines the immediate legal and practical challenges arising from Brexit from 1 January 2021, and the impact on UK suppliers of the EU-UK Trade & Cooperation Agreement and the WTO Government Procurement Agreement. Please view the UK public-procurement post-Brexit Quick Guide.

Part II, available soon, will look at what the future holds for the UK regime under proposed reforms. The Government has published a Green Paper setting out its proposals to comprehensively streamline and simplify the current public procurement regulations. The consultation closes on 10 March 2021.

 

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This timeline sets out the key legal and market developments expected in the commercial real estate sector during 2021.

View the full timeline.

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The Government has confirmed that it will be renewing the measures it introduced to protect tenants in the commercial property sector unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, commercial tenants benefit from a prohibition on landlords forfeiting commercial leases for non-payment of rent. This measure was due to end on 31 December 2020, however the Government has announced that the restriction on forfeiture will be extended until 31 March 2021.

Continue reading at MayerBrown.com

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For any other legal questions related to UK real estate, please get in touch with your usual Mayer Brown contact or one of the blog editors.

The Government has confirmed that it will be extending the temporary ban on commercial landlords issuing statutory demands and winding up petitions against commercial tenants who have not paid their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic. A statutory demand can be issued where a corporate debtor owes £750 to a creditor. If the debt is not paid within 21 days of the issue of the statutory demand, the landlord creditor can then issue a winding up petition against their tenant. Although in most cases a landlord does not ultimately want their tenant to be wound up (as that could lead to them having to take back the premises), the procedure is sometimes used to put pressure on tenants to pay their rent. Currently, any statutory demand served from 1 March 2020 and any winding up petition presented from 27 April that claims that the company is unable to pay its debts must first be reviewed by the court to determine why. The law will not permit petitions to be presented or winding up orders made, where the company’s inability to pay is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures were due to end on 30 September 2020, however the Government has announced that they will be extended until the end of the year (i.e. 31 December 2020).

Continue reading at MayerBrown.com

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Overview
The Government is introducing sweeping changes to the planning system in England, with a view to cutting down on bureaucracy and letting the market decide what we use our buildings for, as well as facilitating much needed housing development. The changes are both medium term and immediate. In this Alert, we focus on the immediate changes the Government has introduced to the Use Classes Order and Permitted Development Rights which are aimed at re-vitalising the high street and making it easier to build new homes.

Background
As most people are aware, if you want to build something or change its use, you usually need to obtain  planning permission from a local authority. This can be a long and expensive process. Over the years, the Government has tried to add some flexibility to this process by allowing certain types of development to take place or certain changes of use without the need for planning permission. It has done this by creating various Permitted Development Rights (which grant permission for development automatically) and also creating Use Classes within which changes of use can be made which are deemed not to amount to development (which would require planning permission). The rules on Permitted Development Rights are set out in the General Permitted Development Order and the rules on permitted changes of use are set out in the Use Classes Order.

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The Government has confirmed that it will be renewing the measures it introduced protecting tenants in the commercial property sector unable to pay their rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, commercial tenants benefit from a prohibition on landlords forfeiting commercial leases for non-payment of rent and restrictions on landlords using commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) unless 189 days of unpaid rent is owed. These measures were due to end on 30 September 2020, however the Government has announced that both the restrictions on forfeiture and CRAR will be extended until the end of the year.

Continue reading at MayerBrown.com

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Much has been written about the sweeping changes the Government is introducing to extend permitted development rights and limit the need to obtain planning permission for changes of use.

But on 2 September 2020 Mr Justice Holgate ordered that an application for leave for judicial review challenging these new laws would be heard on 8 October 2020.

The application has been brought by a group called “Rights : Community Acts” whose stated aim is to tackle the climate emergency.

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