Property Dispute Resolution

Service Charge Demands – Clarification at Long Last?

Thursday, 21 September 2017
In the recent case of Skelton v DBS Homes (Kings Hill) Ltd (2017) the Court of Appeal overturned the decision made in the Upper Tribunal and attempted to clarify the position regarding service charge demands and the 18 month rule for residential service charges in accordance with s20B of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985. So what does s20B say? Essentially it provides that if service charges were incurred more than 18 months before a…

Can a Boundary Agreement be temporary?

Tuesday, 20 June 2017
The relatively recent case of Harrison v Brading [2016] serves as a good reminder that when it comes to Boundary Disputes it is not always necessary to focus on “the principle of the thing”, to still achieve the desired outcome.   This case involved neighbouring properties, a farmhouse, purchased by the Defendants in 1999 and the adjoining property purchased by the Claimants in 2009. A conveyance of the Farmhouse dated 1989 had a plan attached…

Easements - what is "necessary" to obtain access to a property?

Monday, 24 April 2017
The Court of Appeal has recently, in the case of Shaw v Grouby and another [2017] EWCA Civ 233 (06 April 2017 had to consider the extent of a right of way that was granted so far as it was "necessary" to gain access to the property. The property (Property) was one of three houses that had been built in the grounds of a manor house, and there was a long driveway between the public…

Civil penalties under the Housing and Planning Act 2016

Thursday, 20 April 2017
On 6 April 2017, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) published statutory guidance on civil penalties under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA), which applies only in England. Section 126 of the HPA, which came into force last month on 10 March 2017, amends the Housing Act 2004 (HA) to allow Local Housing Authorities to impose financial penalties up to £30,000 on landlords as an alternative to prosecution for certain offences. These…

Can the right to use sporting facilities take effect as easements?

Wednesday, 12 April 2017
Remarkably, the case of Regency Villa Title Ltd v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd and another [2017] was the first time that the Court of Appeal has been asked to consider the validity of various kinds of recreational easements, although in Re Ellenborough Park [1956] similar questions were raised. The land in question in this case was Elham House and the adjoining estate. The owners of Elham House (“the timeshare land”) argued their right to use…

Airbnb in London - New Regulations

Wednesday, 22 February 2017
Airbnb is an online platform that allows people to list their properties as holiday lettings to people in over 190 countries. It is a particularly popular way of booking accommodation in the heart of most major European cities, allowing patrons more freedom and flexibility than is afforded in traditional accommodation options, such as expensive hotels. This has made city centre apartments an even greater commodity, with many owners / occupiers rushing to list their property…

Property Defects: Distress and Anxiety

Wednesday, 01 February 2017
Property is one of the most valuable assets many of us will ever own in our life time, consequently we invest a lot of time, money and effort into the acquisition and upkeep of it. It therefore stands to reason that when things go wrong, such as defective building works, in addition to the direct financial concerns that such issues bring, a great deal of distress and anxiety ensues.   The traditional approach for breach…

Legal Update -Making it easier for Landlords to evict illegal immigrants

Wednesday, 11 January 2017
On 1 December 2016 the Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1118) came into force. An effect of these regulations is to add a new Ground to prescribed forms of notice for seeking possession under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1988. This Ground is known as Ground 7B and was introduced by the Immigration Act 2016 to make it easier for landlords to evict illegal immigrant tenants…

Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) Impact for Landlords and property agents

Wednesday, 27 July 2016
Landlords and property agents should take note that the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) introduces two specific provisions that will have a particular impact on the letting of residential premises.   Banning Orders:The HPA 2016 allows the Local Housing Authorities (LHAs) in England to apply to the First- Tier Tribunal for Banning Orders against residential landlords or property agents who are convicted of a “banning offence”. The range of banning offences is yet…

Rent Repayment Orders

Monday, 25 July 2016
The Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduces a new regime whereby landlords can be ordered by the First Tier Tribunal to make rent repayment where they have committed an offence under the Act. An Order would require a landlord to repay an amount of rent paid by a tenant or pay a local housing authority an amount in respect of a relevant award of universal credit that has been paid in respect of rent under…

Indemnities for costs- how much can landlords recover?

Monday, 21 September 2015
Many landlords are put off from pursuing tenants for small amounts of money. This is primarily due to the fact that the courts will only allow claimants to recover fixed costs in small claims cases. However, a recent Court of Appeal decision suggests that landlords may be able to recover the vast majority of their legal costs, even where they are pursuing a tenant for a relatively small sum through a Small Claim.   In…

When is a Building not a Building?

Thursday, 17 September 2015
Entitlements and obligations in relation to residential property first rely upon a property being considered to be a dwelling. In cases where structures are of a temporary nature, the Tribunal may first have to consider whether the structure is a building capable of be considered to be a building used as a dwelling. Two 2015 decisions, one in the Upper Lands Tribunal and the other in the Court of Appeal, have considered when a building…

Landlord's Recovery of Costs

Tuesday, 15 September 2015
Many landlords are put off from pursuing tenants for small amounts of money. This is primarily due to the fact that the courts will only allow claimants to recover fixed costs in small claims cases. However, a recent Court of Appeal decision has confirmed that landlords may be able to recover the vast majority of their legal costs, even where they are pursuing a tenant for a relatively small sum and have an indemnity included…

Changes being introduced in October may put the brakes on the Accelerated Possession Procedure

Tuesday, 01 September 2015
Residential landlords seeking to recover possession of their properties, often wish to do so in the quickest possible manner. This makes the Accelerated Possession Procedure particularly attractive to residential landlords that can meet the strict criteria. However, changes to Section 21 Notices introduced earlier this year, which come into force from October, have altered the criteria and may mean that the accelerated process could take longer than the traditional one.   The Accelerated Possession Procedure…

Landlords Contractual Rights to Re-enter and Repair

Thursday, 27 August 2015
Most modern leases provide landlords with an express right to serve notice specifying breaches of covenants relating to the date of repair of the property and requiring them to be remedied. If the breaches are not remedied within a specified period, the landlord can re-enter the property, carry out the works and then re-charge the cost of these works to the tenant. These are commonly referred to as Jervis v Harris clauses.   Jervis v…

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms - Draft regulations for residential landlords

Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Draft Regulations Published   The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 have been published in draft and, subject to Parliamentary approval, are likely to come into force on 1st October 2015. Residential landlords in the private rent sector in England must ensure that: A smoke alarm is installed on each storey of premises that are wholly or partly used as living accommodation; A carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room that is…

Applying the Hedge and Ditch Rule

Monday, 17 August 2015
A recent Court of Appeal case has given a good example of how the hedge and ditch rule is to be applied. It also shows that the hedge and ditch rule continues to serve a valuable purpose as a means of enabling neighbouring owners of rural land to avoid the invariably disproportionate costs and stress of having to litigate a boundary dispute.   What is the hedge and ditch rule? Where two properties are divided…

More Changes to Section 21 Notices in the Autumn

Friday, 14 August 2015
From October 2015, a new form of Section 21 Notice will become compulsory under the Deregulation Act 2015. The Government has been making available, to selected stakeholders, a draft of the standardised form of Section 21 that it is proposing to use. The Notice will probably be changed again before being finalised but there are some interesting points worth noting in the current draft.   The new draft is proposed for use in relation to…

Renting properties to illegal immigrants

Wednesday, 12 August 2015
The Government have recently announced that in future landlords will be able to evict illegal immigrants without recourse to the courts and that those landlords and agents who persistently let to illegal immigrants will face prosecution with penalties up to 5 years in prison.   To some extent, the ability to be able to evict illegal immigrants without recourse to the courts is useful. However, there is a lot of concern about how this will…

Consultation on devolving Sunday Trading Rules Published

Monday, 10 August 2015
On 5 August 2015, the Government published a consultation on proposals to devolve to local areas the power to set their own Sunday trading rules. This follows the announcement in the July 2015 Budget. The rules on Sunday trading currently cover the whole of England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have already had these powers devolved to them. The government proposes to devolve Sunday trading rules to local areas in England and Wales by…

Page 1 of 4
Go To Top