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Land registry: Digital transformation

Richard Oliphant explains how e-signing platforms like Adobe Sign and DocuSign are integral to HM Land Registry’s plans to digitalise conveyancing and land registration in England and Wales From my discussions with HMLR, it is evident that the uptake of witnessed electronic signatures has been modest and conveyancers have favoured virtual signing. HM Land Registry …
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Planning mistakes and enforcement: Dealing with planning control breaches

Alexandra Jones summarises the planning enforcement regime and what to do where a planning enforcement notice is issued in light of a recent decision The effect of appealing the enforcement notice is that the terms of the notice are suspended until the appeal is decided. The system of planning control exists to regulate development so …
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Student lettings: Frustration and the pandemic

David Schmitz considers instances in which it could be argued that Covid-19 has caused the frustration of some leases and other contracts for student lettings With leases or licences, frustration is likely to require that the premises be rendered useless for a substantial part of the term of the agreement. In National Carriers Ltd. v …
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Business interruption insurance: What now for landlords and tenants?

What does the Supreme Court’s ruling on business interruption insurance mean for landlords and tenants? Stephanie Reeves investigates Given the current level of confirmed cases, it is thought that most policyholders with relevant disease clauses should be able to show that Covid-19 has occurred within the required distance and, as a result, they should be …
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Construction focus: VAT reverse charge on construction services

Heather Corben considers recently introduced changes to VAT payments HMRC believes that, in a significant proportion of cases, VAT which is paid over to builders is not properly accounted for and is being lost in the system Significant changes are being made to the way VAT has to be accounted for in the construction industry. …
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Drones: A boon or bane to property?

Sophie Henwood and Navpreet Atwal consider the increasing use of drones by surveyors and estate agents Drones raise a number of liability issues such as mid-air collisions, along with damage to property and people on the ground. Estate agents and surveyors will need to work alongside their insurers to safeguard against these liability concerns. ‘Real …
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Supporting housing delivery: From Use Class E to residential

Matthew White and Fiona Sawyer consider the implications of the proposed new residential permitted development right for change of use from Use Class E, and the impact of proposed changes to Article 4 directions The new PD right will be available to a large percentage of properties in commercial, business and service use in town …
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Urban regeneration: Calm before the storm – the post-pandemic urban renaissance

With the pandemic forcing communities to rethink their need for public spaces and repurposed buildings, Peter Kershaw considers the competing theories underpinning urban regeneration and the role of planning committees and public engagement The left and radical proponents clearly see one key aim of contemporary regeneration as being the need to reduce the old and …
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Hospitality and Covid-19: New planning considerations

The hospitality sector is having to adapt to an ever-evolving regulatory regime in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Jennifer Ayris and Claire Petricca-Riding highlight some of the issues that arise It is hoped that the increased use of the High Street Futures Fund may see more local authorities being flexible in the use of public …
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Development round-up 2020: Key decisions despite Covid chaos

As business goes on (albeit not necessarily ‘as usual’), Claire Acklam reports on key cases from 2020 which are likely to be of interest or assistance to developers Parties and practitioners must note that execution of a deed will only be valid if the finalised version is circulated before signature. If any late amendments are …
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