As the rain streamed down, Rishi Sunak stood outside Downing Street and announced that Parliament will be dissolved on 30 May 2024 ahead of the General Election on 4 July.  However, no parliamentary business can be carried out after 24 May when Parliament is prorogued (suspended). Continue Reading Where now for the Renters’ (Reform) Bill and the Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill?

One of the key parts of the Building Safety Act 2022 is the new Gateway regime for ‘higher risk buildings’, which came into full force on 1 October 2023  This is a three step approval process that is intended to ensure that, in the post-Grenfell landscape, building safety risks are properly scrutinised by the new Building Safety Regulator (the “BSR”) at the planning, design and construction phases of a development of a ‘higher risk building’ (or when carrying out  works to an existing ‘higher risk building’). Continue Reading Getting to grips with the new Building Safety Act Gateway regime – how will this impact development in the living sector?

Background

The case of Messenex Limited v Lanark Square Limited[2024] presents both landlords and tenants with a few illustrations of how not to run an application for consent to alterations. 

Facts

The Tenant held a two hundred year lease of a mixed use building in Docklands, London, and made two separate applications for a licence to alter in respect of two sets of works for which it had already obtained planning permission.  The first was to add three stories to the four storey block, adding a total of nine flats to the building.  The second – a smaller project – was to reconfigure the ground floor of the building as four new residential units in place of the existing offices.   Continue Reading “Reasonable Reasons” and Collateral Advantage – not a numbers game

Introduction

Cabinet minister Michael Gove has not been shy in putting forward his intention of “destroying the outdated feudal system of leasehold“, at least as far as residential property is concerned.  The Leasehold and Freehold Bill (“LAFB”), announced in the King’s speech which opened the new parliamentary session, falls some way short of this intention.  However, it does show Mr Gove’s continuing intention to introduce measures which he claims are fairer for residential long leaseholders.  Landlords may have a different perspective. 

Nor are tenants left out:  the Renters (Reform) Bill is back centre stage.  Below, we take a closer look at the proposed legislation.Continue Reading The King’s Speech: no tidings of great joy for landlords

Mainstream media has been very excited about the “once in a generation” reform of the law for private renters to be introduced by the Renters (Reform) Bill 2023 (the “Bill”).  However, landlords do not need to panic – yet.  Legislatively, the Bill has only just had its first reading in the Commons, and even when – or if – it makes it to the statute books, there will be transitionary periods which will give landlords time to decide whether they wish to remain in the private rented sector. 

Below, we take a landlord’s perspective of what the new legislation might mean.Continue Reading Renters (Reform) Bill 2023: a long way to go

In the last of our blogs on developments in planning law in 2022, we consider the extent to which you can change the development for which planning permission has been given without the need to make a new application for a full planning permission.

The Reid Case – The facts

The issue was considered in the High Court case of Reid v Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities (2022) (“Reid“).Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways for 2022 – Part 6: How to get a new planning permission without applying for it

We often get asked, when clients are faced with obstinate and, frankly, slow local authorities dealing with planning applications or s106 agreements, whether we can threaten legal action (other than planning appeals).  Most of the time this is just letting off steam, but what is the answer?

A recent 140-page judgment in the case of Primavera v Hertsmere Borough Council (2022) considered if, and in what circumstances, a local planning authority might be liable for negligence for the way it dealt with a planning application.Continue Reading Our top 6 Planning Law takeaways in 2022 – Part 3: What to do when the planners delay

The widely anticipated judgement of the case of Fearn and Others v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery from the Supreme Court was delivered on 1 February 2023, opening up the potential for many new claims of nuisance by way visual intrusion.

The Facts of the Case

The Tate Modern contains a public viewing platform on its top floor (constructed in 2016), which provides views over the city of London to hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, but also a direct view into a number of residential flats (constructed some four years prior) which are located nearby, and which were built with floor to ceiling glass panels. The claimants are residents of four flats who originally brought a claim in nuisance and sought an injunction requiring the Tate Modern to prevent members of the public from being able to look into their homes, by cordoning off or screening the part of the viewing platform.Continue Reading A room with a view…. and a nuisance – The Tate Modern

Introduction

English property law has developed a sophisticated system of property rights in land, to enable joint ownership of land and to regulate successive interests in the same land over a period of time.  This was largely achieved by the recognition of an additional type of interest in land, separate from the legal title. An equitable interest could, in certain circumstances, be untethered from the legal title and become a separate right.  This is seen most often in situations where two or more parties own land together.  They are joint legal owners – both names will appear on the title register – but they also hold the entire beneficial interest on trust for each other.Continue Reading No going back: the transfer of beneficial interests in land

When acquiring a property for development, covenants that restrict the type or form of development always need to be carefully considered. There are a number of ways in which restrictive covenants can be addressed, and in two recent cases developers sought to have the relevant restrictive covenants discharged following the grant of planning permission.Continue Reading When are restrictive covenants not development constraints?