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Property litigation Blog articles

Can an email create a legally binding contract?

Can an email create a legally binding contract?

(Co-written by Sophie Dipper, Trainee Solicitor and Emily Sadler, Associate) Exchanges of emails can create a legally binding contract Emails offer a quick and easy way to communicate and are used almost universally by all types of businesses. Yet care does need to be taken to prevent an informal exchange of emails amounting to the… Read more »

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Exiting a purchase agreement

Exiting a purchase agreement

In the recent case of Bella Italia Restaurants v Stane Park, an obligation assumed by Bella to take a lease of a property in 2014 subject to the satisfaction of a number of conditions was considered. The reports of the case indicate that by 2017 Bella had decided it wished to extricate itself from the… Read more »

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Modifying leasehold covenants

Modifying leasehold covenants

Grounds that must be satisfied for an application modifying leasehold covenants to be successful It is well known that restrictive covenants affecting land can be varied by an application to the Lands Tribunal (see our previous blog “Modification of Restrictive Covenants” for more information.) It is less widely known that Section 84 of the Law… Read more »

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Enforcement of positive covenants

Enforcement of positive covenants

Positive covenants i.e. a covenant to do something as opposed to a restrictive covenant (which requires a party not to do something) don’t run with the burdened land. An original contracting party will be burdened but its successors will not. As reported in our previous blog on positive covenants, the High Court held in the… Read more »

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How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

How do you settle commercial disputes without going to court?

Mediation can hold the key What is mediation and how does it apply to commercial disputes? Mediation is a forum for settlement of disputes in which an entirely independent specially trained third party (the mediator) meets the parties who are in dispute to help them negotiate a settlement of their dispute. Other common forums for… Read more »

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Overage agreement triggers

Overage agreement triggers

Overage agreements, option agreements and conditional planning agreements often provide that obligations are conditional on the grant of planning. The trigger to the relevant step or payment will often be the grant of planning free of onerous planning conditions (i.e. focusing solely on the planning permission and related planning agreements). The recent Court of Appeal… Read more »

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ASBO weeds: Japanese Knotweed is more than just a nuisance for property owners!

ASBO weeds: Japanese Knotweed is more than just a nuisance for property owners!

We have lots to thank the Victorians for, but not the introduction of a perennial weed that can cause structural damage, cost a significant amount of money to rectify, and blight the sale of a house. Property lawyers have been aware of the issues of Japanese Knotweed for many years. Indeed, I have noticed recently… Read more »

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SDLT: Helpful guidance for developers buying dilapidated property

SDLT: Helpful guidance for developers buying dilapidated property

Further to my blog last year relating to prospective clarification of what constitutes a dwelling, the recent case (P N Bewley Ltd v HMRC) has provided some assistance. Here, the development company argued that a bungalow which it had bought should not be classed as residential land because, following the acquisition, it would have to… Read more »

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Is it the end of the road for the 1954 Act protected tenancies?

Is it the end of the road for the 1954 Act protected tenancies?

What impact will the decision in S Franses v Cavendish Hotel (London) Ltd have on landlords’ willingness to grant commercial leases protected by the 1954 Act? Here the tenant, a retailer on Jermyn Street, argued that the landlord’s opposition on development ground (f) should be dismissed because the proposed scheme had been dreamt up by… Read more »

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Signing a Statement of Truth – What does it mean?

Signing a Statement of Truth – What does it mean?

(This blog was co-written with Shaun Piesley, Paralegal) If you are involved in litigation proceedings, it is very likely that you will be asked at some stage to sign a document that includes a statement stating that the facts contained within the document are true; this is referred to as a Statement of Truth. This… Read more »

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The danger of not taking restrictive covenants seriously

The danger of not taking restrictive covenants seriously

In our blog posted in January 2017 we reported on the decision of the Upper Tribunal regarding an application to modify restrictive covenants which prohibited land being used for any purpose other than the parking of vehicles. The Upper Tribunal concluded public interest outweighed all other factors and it wouldn’t be sensible to allow the… Read more »

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More ways to get a s21 notice wrong

More ways to get a s21 notice wrong

(co-written with Shaun Piesley, Paralegal) A s.21 notice is a form of notice that a landlord must use in order to start the process of ending an assured shorthold tenancy. The s.21 notice will be served on a tenant specifying a 2 month notice for them to vacate the property. From the 1st October 2018… Read more »

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The importance of dating documents

The importance of dating documents

The recent Court of Appeal case of Generator Developments Limited v Lidl concerned a joint venture agreement which was never concluded by the completion of a formal document. Negotiations took place between the parties as to the basis upon which planning permission would be sought and a site acquired and developed by Lidl. All of… Read more »

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“Endeavours” in the news again

“Endeavours” in the news again

An obligation to use endeavours within a contractual relationship has once again been in the legal press, this time in the case of Gaia Ventures Limited v Abbeygate Helical (Leisure Plaza) Limited. The case concerned a development site where the developer assumed an obligation to use reasonable endeavours to take steps as soon as reasonably… Read more »

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Positive covenants

Positive covenants

It has always been a fundamental principle of property law in this country that whilst individual parties can agree to accept obligations to do things in the future, they cannot bind their successors in title unless their successors also sign a document accepting that burden. It is for this reason that leasehold arrangements are sometimes… Read more »

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New electronic communications code

New electronic communications code

A new Code for telecommunications apparatus came into force at the end of 2017. The code will apply to mobile phone masts but also any wire, cable, tube, pipe or similar thing, used in connection with the provision of electronic communications. The new Code is a Government attempt to make the roll out of mobile… Read more »

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