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Construction focus: ‘Agree first and start work later’ – the perils of letters of intent

Emily Holdstock and Joe May examine the recent decision of Waksman J in Balfour Beatty Regional Construction Limited v Van Elle Limited This judgment illustrates the very real tension between agreeing terms and conditions before works on site and the pressure often placed on parties to ‘get going’ Recent case law in the TCC has …
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A guide to environmental permits: A valuable tool?

Felicity Wimbush considers the consequences of a breach of the Environmental Permitting Regulations and whether these are in fact a sufficient deterrent The EP Regulations are stringent and have severe effect; fines on prosecution are staggering and in the order of millions for large companies. However, this is clearly no longer a deterrent On 26 …
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Landlord and tenant: Government consults on lifting commercial rent restrictions

Megan Davies reviews the government’s proposals for lifting the protective measures introduced for commercial tenants during the pandemic What started out as temporary relief measures for commercial tenants has now been in place for over a year, and the government recognises that these cannot continue indefinitely Following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the …
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Planning – CIL: My, what big teeth you have!

Nicola Gooch investigates a High Court decision which invalidated a CIL liability notice issued two years and six months after the grant of planning permission The council could not rely on later provisions in the CIL Regulations to amend or replace the liability notice, as these all required a valid liability notice to have been …
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Covid-19 – liability for rent arrears: A tale of two cases

Nitej Davda and Elena Chrysostomou consider two recent High Court cases concerning commercial tenants’ liability to pay rent during the government-mandated lockdowns and their implications Master Marsh determined the ‘loophole’ argument did not stand up to scrutiny. First, what is clear is that the legislation made clear what was restricted and what was not restricted. …
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Informal agreements and estoppel: Formality no bar to estoppel

Mark Pawlowski examines a recent case on the inter-relationship between proprietary estoppel and statute On appeal, Snowden J, agreeing with the trial judge, concluded that s2(1) was aimed at problems in the formation of contracts for sale of land, whereas an estoppel remedied unconscionability in the assertion of strict legal rights The recent High Court …
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Cladding: A way forward

Jeremy Raj, Mark Clinton and Claire Petricca Riding of Irwin Mitchell provide an insight into how the industry can move forward from the ‘cladding crisis’ Some responsible developers came forward early in the process volunteering to remediate buildings they had constructed. Others have been less forthcoming, and positions have hardened as the extent of the …
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Budget 2021: What’s in it for real estate?

Stuart Tym, Claire Petricca-Riding and Paul Henson consider the Chancellor’s Budget delivered on 3 March The risk of prices being pushed up by increased lending power provides a real danger that generation rent will become generation buy, only to end up as generation debt. The March Budget included initiatives designed to support the economy in …
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Landlord and tenant: Electrical safety standards

The Electrical Safety Standards in the Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 will apply to existing specified tenancies from 1 April 2021. Hayley Lalsing and Laura Sheftel consider their implications In dangerous situations where the EICR indicates that urgent remedial action is required, the LHA has the power, pursuant to Regulation 10, to arrange for …
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Company voluntary arrangements: Landlord and tenant perspectives

CVAs can provide a lifeline for tenants in financial difficulties but can severely diminish the value of a landlord’s investment. Lewis Couth considers CVAs from both parties’ perspectives and investigates a potential saving grace for landlords It is likely that landlords will have to face the risk of their leasehold investments diminishing in value in …
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