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Case study: A salutary lesson

The recent case of Fishbourne v Stephens demonstrates that conditional option agreements, while a useful development tool, can cause a whole raft of issues if poorly drafted. Julian Greenhill QC, Danny Revitt and George Cohen consider its implications The Court of Appeal concluded that an interpretation that enabled the option-holder to trigger the option with …
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Construction focus: Amendments to standard forms

Emily Holdstock explains why standard forms are so often amended, through the lens of a developer client It is vital that property lawyers and construction lawyers work closely together to ensure that the developer’s position is protected in so far as possible. Building contracts come in many forms. From the JCT to the NEC to …
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Frustration: The extent of its applicability

Mark Pawlowski considers the extent to which the doctrine of frustration may operate to terminate rights in land In summary, it can be said that the English courts are prepared to admit that the doctrine of frustration applies to the sale of land. However, the actual circumstances in which the doctrine will actually be held …
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Covid-19 – residential possession proceedings: An ever-evolving picture

The ban on evictions is currently due to be lifted on 21 February 2021. Josephine Morton reviews the legislative changes that having taken place to date and their implications It is advisable for landlords to ask for a recording on any possession order yet to be obtained that the case falls within one of the …
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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards: Where are we now?

Naomi Heathcote considers MEES in the context of lease drafting and examines the government’s latest consultation relating to domestic properties From a landlord’s point of view, if such an exercise has not already been carried out, it would be advisable to undertake a review of all domestic properties to which MEES apply. Minimum Energy Efficiency …
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Case law update: What’s coming up in 2021?

Joanne Wicks QC and Zoë Barton QC give a preview of cases moving through the higher courts Although the cases themselves are not concerned with property law issues, they have the potential to impact on landlords and tenants who hold policies containing the relevant wording. The year 2020 has proved to be eventful in more …
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Construction focus: A significant stay on ‘smash and grab’ adjudication

Jamil Sanaullah explores the established case law, as well as a recent decision, which provides helpful guidance on the circumstances in which the court will grant a stay of enforcement of an adjudication award The strict application of the statutory provisions has led many contractors to take advantage of a procedural error by the developers …
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Index-linked rent review: The court’s commercial approach to interpretation

Emma Pinkerton and Marcus Barclay look at Fancourt J’s recent decision on the unusual case of Monsolar IQ Ltd v Woden Park Ltd The tenant’s case was that there was a clear mistake in the indexation formula so that the lease should be read in its intended sense rather than literally. The claim in Monsolar …
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The Planning White Paper: Localism 2.0?

Lucy McDonnell considers the successes and limitations of the Localism Act changes, and the ways the system may change again With many neighbourhood plans taking years to be drafted, consulted upon, examined, voted on at a referendum and made by the local planning authority, it seems that neighbourhood planning is more likely to be successful …
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Commercial landlord and tenant round-up: Key decisions despite Covid chaos

David Manda and Lewis Couth highlight some of the key cases to note It is likely to be prudent for any tenant considering an early departure from leasehold premises to take specialist legal and surveying advice as part of its overall exit strategy. Much of the specialist property litigator’s recent practice will have been dominated …
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