The future of leasehold and commonhold: The Law Commission’s proposed reforms

On 21 July 2020 the Law Commission published three final reports on residential leasehold and commonhold. Here, Professor Nick Hopkins, Simon Marciniak and Emily Fitzpatrick provide an overview of their recommendations as well as the thinking behind them There are shortcomings in the current law governing commonhold. In particular, it is too inflexible to accommodate …
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Residential leases: Case study: Clarifying a landlord’s obligations

George Mallet considers the practical implications of the recent Supreme Court judgment in Duval In affirming the distinction between the absolute and permissive clauses, the Supreme Court implicitly re-affirmed the established principles on the construction of contractual terms as set out (inter alia) in Arnold. In Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent Ltd [2020], the Supreme …
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Easement claims: A procedural roadmap

David Nuttall explains the procedural steps of a common easement claim, and the matters to consider where a claim needs to be issued urgently Easement disputes are a staple of real property practice. Some can be of very high value, particularly where the existence of an easement has an impact on a development. Many, however, …
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Law of Property (Misc. Provisions) Act 1989: Proprietary estoppel wins again

Sukhninder Panesar considers the case law relating to proprietary estoppel when seeking to acquire an interest in land without complying with the formalities of the 1989 Act Etherton J held that the proprietary estoppel was sufficient grounds for the enforcement of the terms of the oral contract. The question whether proprietary estoppel can be pleaded …
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Changes to permitted development rights: Up, up and away

Gary Sector explains the new permitted development rights introduced over the summer in detail and considers their value to developers and asset holders Some local authorities have already voiced concern around exercise of the new permitted development right, and what it means for the quality and tenure of new residential development and the mix of …
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Planning for the future: Evolution comes with centralisation

Nicola Gooch assesses the government’s recent white paper aimed at streamlining the planning system Sites that are allocated within growth areas would be given an ‘outline planning permission’ by the allocation itself, subject to restrictions on height, massing or density set out in the allocation itself. On 6 August 2020, the government launched its ‘Planning …
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Residential possession claims: Lifting the stay on proceedings: more questions than answers

The stay on possession proceedings, which came into effect at the start of lockdown, is due to end on 20 September. Annabel Heath considers the steps for both existing and new claims, together with the defences tenants are likely to raise There is likely to be a flurry of litigation putting even further strains on …
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Covid-19 and construction: Six months on

Emily Holdstock assesses the implications of the pandemic so far and gives her thoughts on what lies ahead Force majeure is not defined within the JCT, but is understood by most lawyers to mean circumstances which are unforeseeable and beyond either party’s control. While many construction lawyers began to advise their clients on the implications …
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