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How enforced sales can help the empty homes crisis

Enforced sales could be an important tactic to help local authorities in their efforts to tackle empty homes, freeing up thousands of empty homes for families in housing need, writes Lyndon Campbell. Read more
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  NEWS

Mar 04, 2021

Judge rejects appeal in 'snails in crates' business rates dispute

The High Court has rejected an appeal over a business rates avoidance scheme which purportedly involved a snail farm in an office building.
Mar 03, 2021

Budget 2021: reaction from the sector

Local Government Lawyer looks at the reaction of the sector to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget.
Mar 03, 2021

Budget 2021: key measures

Local Government Lawyer identifies some of the key measures from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Budget affecting the local government and housing sectors.
Feb 25, 2021

Court of Appeal upholds rejection of CAAD appeal but rules Upper Tribunal did not have power to make costs order

The Upper Tribunal did not have the power to make a costs order in a dispute over a certificate of appropriate alternative development (CAAD), the Court of Appeal has found.
Feb 16, 2021

Supreme Court to hear appeal by council this week in £1m dispute over land gifted to school

The Supreme Court will this week hear a council’s appeal in a dispute over whether the ownership of land, which was gifted to a school under the School Sites Act 1841, reverted to the donor’s estate when the school ceased to operate from the gifted land.
Feb 12, 2021

Supreme Court upholds registration of land in working port as town and village green

An area of concrete in a working commercial port was validly registered by a county council as a town and village green, the Supreme Court has ruled.
Feb 05, 2021

Supreme Court to hand down key ruling next week on village greens and activities of landowner

The Supreme Court will next week (12 February) hand down an important ruling on town and village green registration.
Feb 04, 2021

Cladding crisis victims “should not be left out of pocket”: Law Society

The Law Society has called on the Government to protect leaseholders from the costs of making their homes safe from potentially deadly cladding.
Feb 04, 2021

Court of Appeal hands down ruling on policy for development in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and presumption in favour of sustainable development

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) allows a council to reject a planning application because of an adverse impact on an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Feb 04, 2021

Borough and county councils in row over restrictive covenant and proposed student housing scheme

The threat of a legal dispute between Colchester Borough Council and Essex County Council has emerged over a proposed development for the site of the town’s former bus station.
Feb 02, 2021

Council secures possession order evicting environmental protesters at development site

A High Court judge has granted the London Borough of Islington a possession order for a development site where protesters are occupying a copse scheduled for destruction.
Jan 25, 2021

Government consults on new 'Right to Regenerate' where councils and public bodies required to sell unused land

The Government has this month launced a consultation on a new ‘Right to Regenerate’ which would enable the public to require councils and the public sector in England to sell unused land and assets.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

February 12, 2021

Landlords and waiver of the right to forfeiture

Lina Mattsson examines a Court of Appeal case involving a council that concerned the waiver rules and the right to forfeiture.
February 12, 2021

Business rates and property guardians

The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision by the Upper Tribunal and confirmed that a property guardianship scheme did not mitigate liability for business rates. Richard Symonds and Lucy Shepherd analyse the ruling.
February 05, 2021

Rooftop rows: What does an imposed Code agreement mean for site providers and operators?

Lillee Reid-Hunt and Christos Paphiti consider a recent Upper Tribunal decision that provides useful guidance on what site providers and telecoms operators can expect from the terms of an imposed Code agreement, especially in relation to upgrading and sharing of equipment and ballpark consideration and compensation figures.
February 02, 2021

Fire safety, cladding and compartmentalisation

John Murray and Stephen Radcliffe consider key fire safety issues for social landlords including in relation to cladding and compartmentalisation.
January 29, 2021

Public open spaces and development

The conflict between the need for open spaces for recreation and the availability of land for residential development has resulted in another interesting Court of Appeal decision, writes Christopher Cant.
January 15, 2021

Occupiers and a failure to warn

Emma Woods examines a High Court ruling on whether a council was under a duty to warn that a cricket match was taking place.
January 08, 2021

Insolvency influx – the upsurge of CVAs

James Nelson examines the rise in Company Voluntary Arrangements, analyses their impact on commercial leases and explains how landlords, including public bodies and local authorities, can respond.
December 04, 2020

Listing ACVs and compensation

Ruth Stockley analyses the first Upper Tribunal decision on compensation provisions relating to assets of community value.
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 MORE NEWS

Jan 22, 2021

London borough fined £330,000 after death of five-year-old girl in playground

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets has been fined £330,000 after a five-year-old girl died when playground equipment collapsed on top of her at Mile End Park.
Jan 21, 2021

North West council to apply to vacate High Court hearing in police HQ dispute to allow for further negotiations

Salford City Council will seek to delay a High Court case for six months to try to allow for settlement of a lengthy dispute with a developer.
Jan 07, 2021

Council wins Court of Appeal battle over fate of land subject to statutory trust for recreational purposes

Shropshire Council has won a case in the Court of Appeal over what happens when a local authority disposes of land subject to a statutory trust for public recreational purposes without complying with the relevant statutory requirements.
Dec 10, 2020

Housing association and phone masts businesses ordered to pay own way in dispute where legal costs reached £450k

Social landlord London & Quadrant Housing Trust and phone masts firm Cornerstone Telecommunications Infrastructure have each been ordered to pay their own costs after a lengthy dispute that ran up a total bill of £450,000.
Dec 10, 2020

Council wins Court of Appeal battle over business rates and property guardians

A building is not split into individual hereditaments for rating purposes just because it has property guardians resident, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Dec 09, 2020

Communities Secretary unveils “final” three-month extension to business evictions ban, launches review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation

The ban on business evictions has been extended until the end of March 2021, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced.
Dec 03, 2020

Court of Appeal finds for housing association over grounds maintenance service charge

A social landlord was entitled to impose an extra charge on residents for grounds maintenance in a case affecting some 3,400 tenancy agreements, the Court Of Appeal has ruled.
Nov 26, 2020

Company cannot bring £8m claim over 2006 compulsory purchase, Upper Tribunal rules

A company has lost an attempt to reopen a 14-year-old case involving compulsory purchase by Lancaster City Council.
Nov 11, 2020

Welsh Government settles legal action against property consultancies over land sale

The Welsh Government has settled legal action against Amber Fund Management and Lambert Smith Hampton in relation to the portfolio sale of 15 properties in 2012.
Nov 09, 2020

Property company loses bid to keep affordable housing after Supreme Court rejects application to modify restrictive covenants

The Supreme Court has rejected a property company’s bid to modify restrictive covenants so that 13 affordable houses built in breach can remain in place.
Nov 05, 2020

Judge rules challenge to business rates liability orders “totally without merit”

The Administrative Court has thrown out a challenge to business rates liability orders as being “totally without merit”, and has imposed an extended civil restraint order to limit future litigation by the complainant.
Oct 29, 2020

Couple win Upper Tribunal appeal over whether their property was blighted by road building plans

Warwickshire County Council was wrong to deny that a couple’s property was blighted by long term road building plans, the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has ruled.
Oct 21, 2020

HS2 protester given suspended sentence for contempt of court

A protester against the High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project has been handed a suspended prison sentence for contempt of court after breaching an earlier order in the first such case concerning HS2.
Oct 19, 2020

Supreme Court rejects application for permission to appeal ruling on allotments appropriation and ministerial consent

The Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling that land used for allotments for more than 80 years had not been subject of an appropriation for that use and so a council could dispose of the land without the consent of the Secretary of State, it has emerged.
Oct 15, 2020

Borough council dismisses claim its commercial property purchases were unlawful

Spelthorne Borough Council has moved to defend its controversial commercial property purchases after a website published leaked material that purported to show auditor KPMG thought the council had acted unlawfully.
Oct 06, 2020

London borough wins High Court battle over community centre ownership

Brent Council has won a High Court dispute over the ownership of a community centre site and secured an injunction restraining the defendants from making any applications to register a restriction against the property.
Oct 06, 2020

Company which ran art events fails in appeal over £500k liability orders obtained by councils for business rates

A company that ran art events at a variety of properties for two or three days at a time has lost a legal challenge over liability orders worth nearly £500,000 obtained by two councils for payment of business rates and whether it should have been entitled to charitable relief.
Sep 25, 2020

Court of Appeal upholds level of fines imposed for listed building and planning notice breaches

The Court of Appeal has upheld the £25,000 fines imposed on a company and its director in respect of breaches of a listed building enforcement notice (LBEN) and a planning enforcement notice (PEN).
Sep 16, 2020

Government extends period of protection for commercial tenants from eviction

The government has extended protection for commercial tenants from eviction until the end of the year, the Communities Secretary has announced.
Sep 03, 2020

Mayor intervenes to prevent zip wire in Liverpool city centre after legal threats

Liverpool’s elected mayor has stepped in to prevent a zip wire attraction being built in the city centre after conservation group the Victorian Society threatened legal action.
Aug 19, 2020

Borough council cites medieval charter to close down new market

Charnwood Borough Council has invoked a medieval charter to protect an 800-year-old market from a new local rival.
Aug 18, 2020

Council secures interim High Court injunction over 100+ acres of Green Belt land

Thurrock Council has this month obtained an interim High Court injunction preventing any further unauthorised development on more than 100 acres of Green Belt land.
Aug 13, 2020

Welsh council defeats challenge to compulsory purchase of house empty since 1994

City and County of Cardiff Council did not breach the Equality Act 2010, when it issued a compulsory purchase order for a house owned by a former council building surveyor.
Aug 05, 2020

Judge gives reasons for granting interim injunction prohibiting anti-HS2 protesters from overnight sleeping and other acts on council land next to construction site

A High Court judge has issued his reasons for last month granting Hillingdon Council a limited interim injunction preventing a number of named defendants and persons unknown from doing certain acts on land at Harefield Moor owned by the council and adjoining the site of construction works for part of the HS2 railway line.
Aug 04, 2020

High Court rejects challenge to award by arbitrator favouring council in property lease dispute

A High Court judge has dismissed a bid by a landlord to have set aside an arbitrator’s award that favoured a council as tenant of a city centre property.
Jul 30, 2020

Upper Tribunal dismisses bid to claim adverse possession over land owned by city council

Two applicants have been told they cannot claim adverse possession of council-owned land which is not adjacent to their own.
Jul 27, 2020

District appoints City law firm to £700k contract for legal advice on commercial property acquisitions

Uttlesford District Council has appointed international law firm Hogan Lovells to act as its legal representative on the acquisition of a number of commercial properties.
Jul 21, 2020

Planning shake-up begins with laws allowing demolition of unused buildings for new homes, and homeowners to build two additional storeys

The Government has laid laws in Parliament today (21 July 2020) that will mean full planning applications will not be required to demolish and rebuild unused buildings as homes.

  FEATURES AND ANALYSIS

December 04, 2020

Land-use conflict

The Supreme Court has given an important ruling on the discharge of restrictive covenants. David Sawtell analyses the judgment.
December 03, 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – implications for property

The following Property practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the implications for commercial and residential property of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
November 26, 2020

Empty home strategies and homelessness

Lyndon Campbell examines why local authorities are using enforced sales to tackle homelessness.
November 17, 2020

Company Voluntary Arrangements: The Impact of CVAs on Landlords and Sureties

With the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic placing greater strain on retailers and ever more CVAs in the pipeline, David Nicholls (Chair), Camilla Lamont and Evie Barden address the impact of CVAs on Landlords and Sureties
November 06, 2020

Enfield London Borough Council v Persons Unknown: Applications for retrospective permission

Justine Soutter looks at the important implications a recent case involving a London borough may have for other local authorities dealing with fly tipping and unauthorised encampments.
October 16, 2020

Building Safety Charges – five things you need to know

Douglas Rhodes sets out some key points for local authority landlords ahead of major reforms to the law of service charges.
August 28, 2020

Freehold enfranchisement and local authorities

If the recent Law Commission proposals for the reform of freehold enfranchisement become law, it will be the first significant change in residential leasehold law for nearly 20 years. V. Charles Ward analyses the potential impact on councils.
August 21, 2020

Code for Leasing Business Premises 2020: a Code with more bite?

The new Code for Leasing Business Premises (2020 Code) comes into force on 1 September 2020. Rob Harrison and James Atkins analyse the changes.
August 07, 2020

Public sector rent deferrals and State aid

Jonathan Branton and Lee Pickett look into some of the ways State aid issues can arise in public sector property transactions, the ramifications and ways to proceed within the rules.
August 07, 2020

A new lease of life for public space injunctions?

What can councils do to obtain an injunction after the Bromley judgment? Jack Smyth looks at the lessons from the first hearing after the Court of Appeal ruling.
August 07, 2020

Landlord’s knowledge of breach: waiver of forfeiture

The High Court has considered the interrelationship between a landlord’s knowledge and the date of accrual of a tenant’s liability and their effect on waiver of forfeiture. Lachlan Stewart examines the ruling.
July 29, 2020

Wholesale reform for residential leaseholders

Following the Law Commission's report on the valuation aspects of enfranchisement rights in January, the Commission has now published its recommendations as to what enfranchisement rights should be. William Bethune looks at what the law reform body has to say.
July 24, 2020

Coronavirus – accentuating the differences

V. Charles Ward looks at the issues thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to exchange of contracts, transfer of funds, and due diligence identification.
July 17, 2020

Lockdown and local authority commercial development income

Rob Hann sets out the background to local authorities' investment in commercial property and examines why it has proved so controversial.
July 03, 2020

Neighbourhood planning ... where to now in this brave new world?

Two recent court decisions should be welcomed by neighbourhood planners and local planning authorities, writes Peter Edwards.
July 03, 2020

COVID-19 - Code of principles on commercial leases

The Government has issued a new Code of Practice for commercial property relationships: What does it mean for landlords and tenants? Sara Bailey, Yvette Bryan and Nick Levy explain.
July 02, 2020

Unincorporated bodies and assets of community value

Christopher Cant considers the issues around whether groups making nominations of property as Assets of Community Value are unincorporated bodies or not.
June 29, 2020

Disrepair during COVID-19

Victoria Curran looks at how to take a pragmatic and common sense approach to housing disrepair during the coronavirus pandemic.
June 26, 2020

How to (lawfully) rename streets and remove statues

Ruchi Parekh highlights the relevant legal framework and some of the issues that councils will need to consider before amending their street names or removing statues.
June 19, 2020

The First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) - practice and procedure

This Property Disputes guidance note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the jurisdiction, practice and procedure of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).
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