Business rates: The year in review

Richard Hosmer summarises the key cases of 2019 in the business rates sphere ‘In order to determine “the rent at which it is estimated the hereditament might reasonably be expected to let from year to year”, the valuation officer must imagine a hypothetical negotiation between a willing landlord and a willing tenant.’ Liability for non-domestic …
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Mediation: How binding are ‘agreements’ signed at mediation?

With mediation now being commonplace the courts are starting to look at issues other than whether parties are unreasonable in refusing to mediate. Jacqui Joyce and Iain Travers examine some recent cases ‘If the document is not meant to be binding, then it can be formally recorded as being not binding and subject to contract.’ …
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International investment: Clampdown in Spain

León Fernando Del Canto explains the tax risks that UK residents are facing in Spain, as the tax authorities investigate the legality of commonly used structures ‘In most instances, these properties were bought via double or triple international corporate structures (a relatively expensive avenue to take), where individuals were advised to create a shell company …
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Construction focus: Construction focus

John Starr reports on two recent cases requiring a closer analysis of the payment provisions of the 1996 Act An adequate mechanism ‘Neither the application for payment submitted by CSL nor the payment notice issued by MW separated out the sums due in respect of construction operations from the sums due in respect of non-construction …
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Interpretation of leases: An erroneous construction

Tiffany Scott QC and Charlotte Black interpret the Supreme Court’s reversal of the unanimous Court of Appeal decision on the question of reasonableness in Sequent Nominees ‘The majority held that the courts below had treated the question whether consent had been unreasonably refused as effectively determined by an erroneous construction of the lease.’ In Sequent …
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Leasehold enfranchisement: A purposeful approach

Natasha Rees reviews a Court of Appeal judgment providing further clarification on the definition of a ‘flat’ ‘Although the premises on the sixth and seventh floors were intended to be used for residential purposes, at the relevant date they had not been used for that purpose and were not capable of such use.’ On 1 …
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Forfeiture: Leases, licences and certainty

The Supreme Court has made the landmark move of extending the doctrine of relief from forfeiture to certain property licences. Annabel Heath and Clive Chalkley consider the case ‘The courts have previously fallen short of granting relief in cases where there is a mere contractual possessory right of land ie contractual licences granting rights over …
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