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Real estate and built environment

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Payment and Payless Notices – the Basis of Calculation – Judicial Guidance at last

13 November 2017

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Whilst the Scottish case of Muir Construction Limited v Kapital Residential Limited is not binding on the English courts, the judgment is not only perfectly sensible but also provides useful guidance on the requirements for a payless notice under the amended Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act (the Act) - an area which has not had much judicial attention since the change from the withholding notice regime. In a bumper month for payment notice disputes, we also had guidance from the Court of Appeal on the need for payment notices following termination – both decisions coming just as the Government announced its consultation on the 2011 amendments to the Act.

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Blog

Sinking and Reserve Funds – how best to save for a rainy day

08 November 2017

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Most managing agents will know that it is best practice to keep funds aside for a rainy day but how many are aware of the formalities necessary to properly account for such funds?

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Blog

Construction Act and Retention consultations published by the Government

02 November 2017

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The Government has recently published two consultations to review (i) the implementation of the 2011 changes to the Construction Act; and (ii) the practice of cash retention under construction contracts.

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Blog

From light industrial to residential – the new permitted development right

01 November 2017

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At a time when headlines and inboxes are filled with new comment, consultation and discussion on how to tackle England's housing crisis, a new permitted development right allowing a change of use from light industrial to residential has come into effect with very little fanfare. So what's new, and why have we not heard more about it?

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Blog

Adjudication – mind the recovery gap

23 October 2017

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O'Farrell J recently severed an adjudicator's decision as she considered that the adjudicator did not have jurisdiction to award costs under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (Late Payment Act) in Enviroflow Management Ltd v Redhill Works (Nottingham) Ltd (2017) (unreported, 16 August 2017).

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Blog

North Midland Building Limited v Cyden Homes Limited [2017] EWHC 2414 (TCC): Choose your extension of time provisions carefully

11 October 2017

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North Midland Building Limited v Cyden Homes confirms the primacy of the parties' contract in determining an extension of time. Specifically, in North Midland the High Court held that an amendment made to the construction contract meant that, in a situation of concurrent delay, North Midland Building Ltd (the Contractor) was not entitled to an extension of time from Cyden Homes Ltd (the Employer) and that the prevention principle, had it arisen, would not take precedence over the expressly agreed terms of the contract.

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Blog

Serial referrals and abandoned adjudications: will the court grant an injunction prohibiting adjudication proceedings?

09 October 2017

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In Jacobs v Skanska, the TCC has recently held that starting a second adjudication on the same or similar issues is unreasonable but not oppressive and an injunction should not be granted. In the recent case of Jacobs UK Limited v Skanska Construction UK Ltd [2017] EWHC 2395 (TCC), Justice O'Farrell DBE clarified the courts will not restrain a party who opens and closes numerous adjudications for a tactical benefit but, the responding party may be granted a wasted costs order.

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Blog

The Mayor of London's Affordable Housing SPG: 10 things you need to know (part 2)

30 August 2017

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This supplementary planning guidance, issued this month, builds on the Mayor's long-term aim for half of all new homes in London to be affordable (as defined in the London Plan). More will no doubt be heard in the revised London Plan when that emerges, but in the meantime here are some headlines which we hope help you cut through the SPG.

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Blog

The Mayor of London's Affordable Housing SPG: 10 things you need to know (part 1)

24 August 2017

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This supplementary planning guidance, issued this month, builds on the Mayor's long-term aim for half of all new homes in London to be affordable (as defined in the London Plan). More will no doubt be heard in the revised London Plan when that emerges, but in the meantime here are some headlines which we hope help you cut through the SPG.

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Blog

Contractors and Insurers beware - Contractor found to bear the risk of an incorrect standard as fitness for purpose prevails in the Supreme Court

03 August 2017

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This morning the Supreme Court handed down its much anticipated judgment in MT Højgaard A/S v E.ON Climate & Renewables UK Robin Rigg East Limited and another [2017] UKSC 59. The Judgment should be of concern to both contractors and their insurers.

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Blog

Who has to sign a s106 agreement?

02 August 2017

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The question of who needs to sign a s106 agreement can be a bone of contention between applicants and local planning authorities. Opposing views can risk planning consents being held up, or third parties challenging consents for failure to properly secure essential mitigation. So who, then, should sign planning agreements?

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Blog

Is it game over for ground rent?

01 August 2017

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Considering the recent Government proposals to change the rules on ground rent and how those proposals may affect developers.

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Blog

Advertisement consent – five rules for retailers

26 July 2017

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A summary of advertisement control for retailers in England, including deemed consent provisions, applications, standard conditions and discontinuance orders.

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Blog

Stay in your lane! How expert witnesses can stray away from their duty to the Court

24 July 2017

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The judgement in 125 OBS Nominees (1) and anr v Lend Lease Construction (Europe) and anr [2017] provided useful judicial clarification as to when expert evidence from certain disciplines will and will not be appropriate and how experts can walk a fine line between advocating their client's case and providing independent evidence.

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Blog

What is "reasonable" when making a recovery?

18 July 2017

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Recovering sums paid out in settlement through court proceedings is an area of law where the Court's ability to resolve a dispute according to what is fair, proportionate and commercially sensible is alive and well.

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Blog

Complex contracts and intricate inconsistencies – a reminder of the court's approach to contractual interpretation

18 July 2017

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In a year in which the Supreme Court will have produced two Judgments on the topic of contractual interpretation, the TCC's judgment in 125 OBS v Lend Lease is a useful reminder of the courts' approach to resolving these disputes and their attempt to find a balance between the so-called literal and commercial approaches to interpretation.

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Blog

Cherry picking in an adjudication is fine – as long as you're the Referring Party

03 July 2017

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It has been established for some time that Referring Parties have the right to 'cherry pick' its claim for the purpose of adjudication - essentially selecting part or parts of a wider application or dispute and referring those to an adjudicator to make an award on rather than the full dispute or an entire account.

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Blog

Even More Challenging Times – 5 More Risks Following The Grant of Planning Permission

14 June 2017

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This post is the second in a two-part series in which we highlight ten areas where the risk of a third party challenge against the grant of planning permission might arise. The list we have given is not exhaustive, but all issues fall within the broad parameters for judicial review grounds, being decisions which have been taken irrationality, ultra vires (outside the scope of the authority's powers), or with procedural irregularity.

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Blog

Challenging Times - 5 Risks Following The Grant of Planning Permission

06 June 2017

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Developers and local authorities will be only too aware that third parties can challenge a grant of planning permission through the courts by way of a judicial review. An application for such a challenge is costly, and must be made quickly. Further, it can only be brought on limited grounds. Whilst this may offer a developer or local authority some comfort, it is worth being aware of some of the more common grounds of challenge so that steps can be taken to minimise the risk of these arising.

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Blog

Pre-loading the pre-app?

24 May 2017

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Discussion on the planning pre-app process considering cost and time considerations and the benefits and concerns of going through this initial advice process.

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Blog

You can't park there!

17 May 2017

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A summary of the May 2017 Court of Appeal decision in Khodari relating to whether parking permit restrictions can be secured in agreements made under s106 Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

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Blog

Restrictive Covenants: Public Policy v Legal Obligations

12 May 2017

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A commentary on the recent case of Millgate Developments v Smith concerning the breach of a restrictive covenant.

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Blog

EIA – a new role for the planning system in considering the health impacts of development?

10 May 2017

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A summary of the EIA Regulations 2017 and the consideration as part of the planning application process of a proposed development's likely impacts on human health.

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Blog

Reining back from last orders - The Protection of Pubs: an update

02 May 2017

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Provisions in the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 for the protection of pubs, including restrictions on changes of use and demolition, updated from the draft Bill.

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Blog

Top Tips for Commercial Tenants – Lease Expiry

27 April 2017

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Commercial advice for business tenants approaching lease expiry

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Blog

Let there be light

19 April 2017

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The importance of light in WELL Building Standards and how it sits within the context of planning law and rights of light

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Blog

Cinema Wars: The Courts Awaken

10 April 2017

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A review of two recent planning law cases relating to cinema schemes, looking at s73 applications and the role of development plan policies in managing competition.

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Blog

Permissions in Principle: a brave new planning world?

06 April 2017

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An overview of regulations relating to brownfield land registers and permission in principle including criteria for including land in a register and allocating it for housing development

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Blog

MIPIM: 10 things we learnt about you

31 March 2017

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A round up of things we learnt during our first experience of MIPIM week, from what to wear to how to plan your diary and make the most of your new connections

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Blog

Engaging with Development – do we always know what we need?

29 March 2017

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Comment on the need for public engagement in the planning and development process, following a ULI presentation on The Well-Tempered City (author Jonathan Rose)

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Blog

Rent reductions in Side Letters: do they work?

Published on 29 March 2017. By Catherine Young, Associate

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Rent Reductions, rent reviews, side letters and retail.

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Blog

What chance is there for developers railing against Stamp Duty Land Tax

28 March 2017

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After nearly three years of the increased residential Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates and almost a year of the SDLT surcharge for additional properties, developers are mounting a call for reform. How successful can this be opposite a government under economic pressure?

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Blog

Planning to Protect Pubs

09 March 2017

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A review of recent article 4 directions removing permitted development rights from pubs and proposed legislation to protect them from development and demolition.

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Blog

Finally, a victory in the on-going battle against business rates

03 March 2017

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The Supreme Court ruling in Newbigin v Monks represents a welcome and important victory for UK property developers.

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Blog

The new statutory obligation to report on payment practices

28 February 2017

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Key points (and links) for businesses to note about the draft Reporting Payment Practices and Performance Regulations 2017 which comes into effect in April 2017.

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Publication

Guide to Real Estate Funds

22 February 2017

Welcome to the BVCA Guide to Real Estate Funds, the latest in our series of guides into business sectors, investment strategies and international markets.

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Blog

CIL review: A note of caution to charities

20 February 2017

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An overview of the CIL review team's recommendations for reform of CIL and consideration of the effect the loss of charitable exemptions could have on charities

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Blog

The Housing White Paper: 5 ways to boost delivery

15 February 2017

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A round-up of five key themes in the Housing White Paper which aim to increase land available for housing and boost build-out rates.

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Blog

Green belt development - don't forget the law!

13 February 2017

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A review of the housing white paper in relation to green belt development noting that the Green Belt (London and Home Counties) Act 1938 is a further hurdle.

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Blog

Electronic Signatures – the future of executing documents?

03 February 2017

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You could be forgiven for failing to spot the release of The EU Regulation on Electronic Identification and Trust Services in the Internal Market (910/2014/EU) (the Regulation), released post EU referendum. We consider the impact of this and the Law Society's Guidance Note on electronic signatures (the Guidance Note).

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Blog

Garden Villages - are they necessary?

09 January 2017

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A recent Government announcement has proposed 14 sites across England to be the first garden villages, with 3 further sites to be new garden towns. But with a country full of deserted and derelict buildings, are garden villages and towns the only way forward?

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Blog

The ins and outs of tall buildings

18 November 2016

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Whilst iconic design can be fabulous, RPC asks if we will see developers and architects put more thought into the needs of their occupiers and surrounding landowners, and less of a focus on headline-grabbing exterior designs.

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Blog

Building on Brexit

10 November 2016

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The Impact of Brexit on the Construction Industry and the House of Commons Briefing Paper

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Blog

Refusing to pay up? You'll need a good case

16 September 2016

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TCC enforces adjudicator's decision, finding no breach of natural justice or jurisdiction.

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Blog

Office to Residential Permitted Development Rights – an update

08 August 2016

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The rights to convert a building from office use to residential without needing to submit a planning application are not new, although a recent decision from the Planning Court have brought them back to the headlines and suggest that they may be more flexible than anticipated.

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Blog

5 Partners = 1 Invalid Break Notice

05 August 2016

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Landlords beware – if you hold property in the name of a partnership which consists of more than four individuals, and you serve a break notice on your tenants in the partnership name, it may not be valid.

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Blog

Brexit and the housing crisis – where are we now?

01 August 2016

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It is only a couple of months since the Government restated its 'one million homes by 2020' pledge. How does Brexit impact on this

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Blog

Brexit and the housing crisis – where are we now?

01 August 2016

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It is only a couple of months since the Government restated its 'one million homes by 2020' pledge. It was always going to be a big ask, with talk of land banking, constructions skills shortages and delays in the planning system being bandied about on a regular basis

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Blog

Planning: the sequential test

26 July 2016

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For those involved in retail development, a recent Planning Court case serves as a helpful summary and update on the interpretation of the sequential test set out in para 24 of the NPPF.

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Blog

Break Notice – All 4 one?

27 May 2016

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The recent Chancery Division case of Levett-Dunn & ors v NHS Property Services Ltd [2016] EWHC 943 (Ch) considers the validity of a break notice served on four landlords, all "care of" the same address.

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