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Property litigation Blog articles

Telecommunications leases

Telecommunications leases

This blog looks at telecommunications leases, specifically the renewal of leases and how rent is calculated. How are telecommunications leases renewed and how is the rent calculated? The case of Vodafone Ltd v Hanover Capital Ltd (August 2020) considers these questions relating to telecommunications leases. Martin Rodger QC, sitting in the Upper Tribunal in Manchester,… Read more »

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and residential tenancies

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and residential tenancies

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (“the Act”) is now in force temporarily altering regulations of residential tenancies in England and Wales. Key points for landlords and tenants on residential tenancies We set out below the key points to note for landlords and tenants in relation to residential tenancies. For commercial leases please read our separate blog…. Read more »

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What to do when tenants refuse landlords entry into commercial premises

What to do when tenants refuse landlords entry into commercial premises

Commercial landlords often face the frustration of trying to arrange viewings of premises with unwilling tenants. This article sets out what steps you can do to gain access to commercial premises. Tenants right to quiet enjoyment When you rented out the property to the tenant you would have committed to abide by a covenant allowing… Read more »

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Gaining access to residential property when tenant denies entry

Gaining access to residential property when tenant denies entry

Gaining access to residential property by landlords for the purpose of, say, trying to arrange viewings of premises with unwilling tenants is often frustrating. We have prepared a handy guide for landlords on what steps can be taken to enter the property when the tenants refuses access. When can tenants refuse entry to landlords?  Before… Read more »

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Landlords face up to a £3000 fine for not carrying out immigration rent checks

Landlords face up to a £3000 fine for not carrying out immigration rent checks

Carrying out immigration rent checks on all individuals aged over 18, including sub tenants, lodgers and family members; essentially everyone who occupies the property as their main dwelling that is not a child or a guest before granting a tenancy or a licence, has been in place from the 1st February 2016. Landlords or their… Read more »

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Recovering rent arrears from residential tenants

Recovering rent arrears from residential tenants

Recovering rent arrears from residential tenants who have vacated the premises without leaving a forwarding address is one of the main concerns landlords face after obtaining a possession order. With court fees amounting to nearly £500, landlords can end up spending several thousand on legal fees plus months of rent arrears before a bailiff can… Read more »

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Renting to students: Tips for landlords

Renting to students: Tips for landlords

Many landlords renting to students will be getting their accommodation ready in preparation for the University students who are about to descend upon Southampton. Most likely the AST agreements will have been signed already and the deposits for this coming year paid. Tips for landlords renting to students What else aside from ensuring the property… Read more »

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Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Transitional Period

Tenant Fees Act 2019 and Transitional Period

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 included a 12-month transitional period for tenancy/letting agent agreements entered in to prior to 1 June 2019. However, the transitional period came to an end on 1 June 2020, meaning that all private sector assured shorthold tenancies, licenses to occupy houses and student accommodation tenancies fall under the scope of… Read more »

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Winding up petitions for unpaid rent – commercial leases

Winding up petitions for unpaid rent – commercial leases

The use of statutory demands and winding up petitions on commercial tenants has been severely restricted by insolvency legislation. This note considers the limitations placed on landlords faced with non-paying corporate tenants during the Coronavirus pandemic. Our earlier blog, Coronavirus (COVID-19) and commercial leases, set out the implications of the Coronavirus Act for commercial leases…. Read more »

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Coronavirus : What are the options for commercial tenants struggling to pay rent?

Coronavirus : What are the options for commercial tenants struggling to pay rent?

There are a number of options available to commercial tenants struggling to pay their rent but possibly the first step to take should be to secure such funding as is being made available by the government including the furlough scheme and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for small and medium-sized businesses. There are also… Read more »

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Landlords consent to tenants working or running a business from home

Landlords consent to tenants working or running a business from home

There has never been a time where so many people are working or running a business from home. But what if you are a tenant?  Working or running a business from home if you are a tenant This article looks at whether it is okay for landlords to allow their tenants to work or run… Read more »

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Illegal eviction – The landlord has changed the locks to my home. What can I do?

Illegal eviction – The landlord has changed the locks to my home. What can I do?

It is illegal for landlords to change the locks and evict tenants from rented accommodation without a court order which bailiffs usually enforce. The main exceptions to this rule are that an order is not required to evict occupiers: of emergency accommodation; who are lodgers who live with their landlord; of holiday accommodation; who do not… Read more »

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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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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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