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Construction Law Update – Fighting back against “Smash and Grab” Adjudications21 May 2018
The case of Grove Developments Ltd v S&T (UK) Ltd (February 2018) is worthy of note, not least because it potentially provides employers with a quick means of reclaiming the loss suffered, following a “smash and grab” adjudication by starting its own adjudication on the true value.
Smart Cities and Renewable Energy14 May 2018
In the time before smart cities, electricity by and large was generated by burning fossil fuels in relatively remote locations before being transmitted via high-voltage power lines to population centres.
From the pub to the court room19 December 2017
It is not uncommon for commercial deals to be agreed with a handshake in an informal setting (often a bar, restaurant or other social venue). If agreed, parties usually then move the matter on to their lawyers to document the terms. But what if terms are never documented? How much reliance can be placed on commercial terms that are agreed orally?
New Welsh Land Transaction Tax02 November 2017
From April 2018, Wales will have a new tax known as Land Transaction Tax (LTT), its own version of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). LTT mirrors much of the SDLT regime and many of the SDLT rules have been incorporated into the Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Act 2017 (businesses and tax practitioners have emphasised the need for consistency between SDLT and LTT), but there are differences which the Welsh Government say make the tax simpler and fairer, and improve its efficiency and effectiveness.
Unsafe property causes death, but still no claim allowed02 November 2017
A man visits a friend at his flat, falls down the stairs of the building (which are unsafe) and is killed. You would expect his widow would be able to sue the owner of the building in respect of her loss wouldn’t you?
Smart Cities – what does this mean for the Property world?26 October 2017
One of the trending topics in property circles at the moment is the rather confusing term ‘Smart Cities’. Whilst there is a great deal of buzz around the topic the main question is what exactly is a ‘Smart City’?
Autonomous Vehicles and the Built Environment25 September 2017
Self-driving cars are on their way. The trailblazers (Tesla, Google, Uber) are conducting increasingly sophisticated tests in real-world conditions. The traditional car makers (General Motors, BMW) are acquiring start-ups or partnering with established tech companies to boost their capabilities. Ford recently promoted the head of its smart mobility unit to chief executive and aims to have a mass market fully autonomous car by 2021.
CDM 2015: Who is the Principal Designer?01 August 2017
By now, everyone is familiar with The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (“Regulations”). However, there still seems to be confusion as to who should fulfil the role of the Principal Designer (“PD”).
Rates debate - Re-development or disrepair?07 July 2017
Business rates have been big news recently following the Government’s controversial revaluation which took effect from 1 April 2017. Against the backdrop of all this negativity, the Supreme Court decision of Newbigin (Valuation Officer) v S J & J Monk  at least provided some positive news for those carrying out developments or refurbishments of property.
Tenants still can’t assign to their guarantors07 July 2017
There are often very good reasons why a lease would be assigned to a guarantor (e.g. corporate restructuring or the tenant’s insolvency). However, a case in 2016 - EMI Group Ltd v O & H Q1 Ltd - decided that such an assignment would be void at law, even if all parties agreed to it.
Seller/Landlord beware! You need to take care with replies to preliminary enquiries07 July 2017
As part of any commercial property transaction a seller/landlord will usually be required to provide to the prospective buyer/tenant replies to a set of pre-contract enquiries (known as “preliminary enquiries”) – typically using the standard form Commercial Property Standard Enquiries (CPSEs) .
Ignore Japanese knotweed at your peril!07 July 2017
Japanese knotweed is an invasive non-native species and is problematic because it can cause physical damage to land and buildings, particularly through spreading roots. During the summer months, it can grow up to 10 centimetres a day and roots can extend to a depth of three metres and up to seven metres laterally. The presence of knotweed can have a significant and detrimental effect on the marketability and insurability of property and may also adversely affect value.
Proposed disclosure rules for non-UK entities owning property or bidding for Government contracts12 April 2017
The UK Government proposes new rules requiring non-UK entities that already own, or intend to acquire, UK real estate, or that wish to bid for UK central Government contracts, to be required to disclose information about the beneficial owners of the entity.
Beware of copyright when considering existing planning permission02 March 2017
The recent judgment in Signature Realty Ltd v Fortis Developments Ltd & Anor is an excellent example of the application of copyright in a planning and building context.
Estate agent unable to claim his fee on successful property sale17 February 2017
The Court of Appeal has decided that it cannot imply contractual terms where there is no contract in the first place. In this case, it would not imply a term to enable an estate agent to recover his commission on a sale.
New Court form for Warrant Requests following suspended possession orders21 December 2016
The Court Service has released a new Request to Issue a Warrant for Possession form which is to be used where a possession order has been suspended on terms requiring the payment of rent and arrears.
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 201411 November 2016
The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 are designed to implement the metering and billing requirements of the 2012 EU Energy Efficiency Directive. This article looks at the detail surrounding the implementation.
Flowers fails to reign over Cardiff City Council but solidifies the importance of CPR 83.2- Landlords beware!25 October 2016
Lady Justice Arden and Lord Justice Briggs in the matter of Cardiff County Council v Lee (Flowers)  EWCA Civ 1034 (“Flowers”).
The London Olympic legacy dream was real – but four years on, is it still alive?18 August 2016
As we find ourselves enjoying both the carnival-style spectacle of Rio 2016 and the success of the British athletes at the Games, the build-up felt somewhat tainted by the media frenzy surrounding the clear health risks faced by the athletes and visitors (and the wider global community), the Russian doping scandal and the ongoing protesting on the streets of Rio.
What’s obvious to some is not obvious to all: Supreme Court espouses a conservative approach to implied terms18 January 2016
“Rent” is what a tenant pays to occupy premises – agreed? So you might think it was “obvious” that a tenant shouldn’t pay rent for any period after the tenancy terminates – e.g. in circumstances where a tenant validly terminates the lease early. If you think that, you were in good company and indeed many landlords would voluntarily reimburse rent paid for the period after the termination date even where the lease did not expressly require this. Why? – because it was it was the right thing to do, obviously!