A party entering into a legally binding agreement should check the other party named in the agreement actually exists, a recent ruling makes clear.
Construction & Real Estate Community legal alert
Legal alerts on the construction and real estate industry.
Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.
Case law: Court of Appeal clarifies landlords’ duties to inspect, identify and remedy defects at let properties
Landlords will welcome clarification of their duties to inspect let properties, the scope of such inspections and the extent of remedial action which may be required, following a recent ruling.
Case law: Demolition contractor fined after debris falling into neighbouring property injured visitor
Contractors working on building sites should ensure they are aware of and comply with their duties to carry out their work in a way that prevents danger, particularly where there is a risk of debris falling into neighbouring properties, otherwise they risk prosecution.
Case law: Property may be given a rateable value that assumes a willing tenant can be found, even if it is unlettable
Landlords with little prospect of finding a tenant for a property may find this will be ignored for rating purposes; and the rateable value for the property could be set by reference to rents being paid for other, similar properties in the area.
New law: Government proposes to take away landlords’ rights to end shorthold tenancies simply by giving notice
Landlords of residential property let on shorthold tenancies should start to plan for changes removing their right to terminate such tenancies simply by serving notice on the tenants, without having to give a reason.
Case law: Landlords must give tenants gas safety certificate before they move in, even if gas installations are outside
Residential landlords must give new assured shorthold tenants a copy of the gas safety certificate before they move in, even if none of the gas equipment is actually in the flat. If they don’t, they will lose their entitlement to terminate the tenancy without giving a reason, a recent decision makes clear.
Landlords with unlet, unoccupied commercial properties will welcome a Court of Appeal ruling that a scheme allowing them to avoid paying business rates on them is valid and lawful.
Case law: Court finds ‘licences’ were in fact leases, entitling the tenant to compensation from the landlord
Owners and occupiers of property should ensure they are clear whether their arrangements with each other amount to a lease or a licence, irrespective of the label, as their rights and obligations under each are very different, as a recent ruling makes clear.
Case law: Landlord convicted after turning a blind eye to tenant’s criminal activity on its premises
Landlords should monitor activities on their premises and if they suspect or know illegal activity is taking place, take steps to stop it – particularly if notified of it by their local authority – otherwise they could face a criminal conviction.
Case law: Head landlord cannot directly terminate assured shorthold tenancies granted by intermediate tenant
A landlord granting a head lease to a tenant who can then create assured shorthold sub-tenancies over the premises’ residential units, should ensure the lease requires the head tenant to serve a s21 notice to quit on the sub-tenants, if it is itself served with notice to quit by the landlord, a recent ruling makes clear.