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Fletcher Day Property Market Update - February 2019

Fletcher Day Property Market Update - February 2019

Published: 19 February 2019

With our new property market update we are pleased to provide our clients with a helpful insight on the UK property markets.

Blockchain in property transactions – Could Lawyers and Estate Agents soon be redundant in property transactions?

Blockchain in property transactions – Could Lawyers and Estate Agents soon be redundant in property transactions?

Published: 1 May 2018

“Millions of UK workers at risk of being replaced by robots within 15 years”, claimed a report by consultancy firm pwc in 2017. As a property lawyer, technology plays an important part in my working day, but surely artificial intelligence will not drastically change the nature of a property solicitor’s work?

Effective Reform of Conveyancing in the Pipeline?

Effective Reform of Conveyancing in the Pipeline?

Published: 8 January 2018

Those considering purchasing property in England and Wales will be interested to know that the UK Government recently launched a consultation - a Call for Evidence - to seek views on how the conveyancing process can be made “cheaper, faster and less stressful”. 

Tenants beware. Is a lease called a lease actually a lease?

Tenants beware. Is a lease called a lease actually a lease?

Published: 6 September 2017

Imagine this scenario. You, as a tenant, enter into an agreement with a landlord and you think that you have gained all the rights and privileges that are afforded to tenants under the law. The problem is that when you try and enforce those rights, you discover that you are not, in fact, a tenant at all and the “lease” is actually not a lease!!

Is your ground rent spiralling out of control?

Is your ground rent spiralling out of control?

Published: 3 August 2017

GROUND RENT SCANDAL

Background

During the past few months there has been somewhat of an explosion of the ground rent scandal in relation to leasehold houses. This has resulted in the Government recently launching a consultation into banning unfair leasehold practices, including the sale of new build houses which contain punitive ground rent clauses. 

An eight week consultation was launched on 24 July 2017 which will consider the various unfair practices.  This is clearly justified, bearing in mind that there are four million leasehold homes in the UK.

As a result of this scandal Taylor Wimpey have set aside £130m to compensate buyers of new built leasehold houses. 

Offshore clients with UK property – Should you ‘De-envelope’ to save tax?

Offshore clients with UK property – Should you ‘De-envelope’ to save tax?

Published: 27 June 2017

Background

Over the past 10 years it has been popular for non-domiciled clients to purchase residential and commercial properties in the UK through an offshore corporate entity.

This has been particularly popular with clients domiciled in Africa, Asia and the Middle East who have chosen to set up these corporate entities in the BVI, Seychelles or Jersey as single purpose vehicles through which to own and manage their properties.   Those properties either form part of their investment portfolio or a main residence to serve as a family home, especially if their children attend school in the UK. 

Property transactions – ‘it’s not fair they have taken my deposit. Is there any way I can get it back?’

Property transactions – ‘it’s not fair they have taken my deposit. Is there any way I can get it back?’

Published: 27 January 2017

A recent case reminds us all of the vulnerability of deposits paid in property transactions.  Whilst statute might exceptionally come to the aid of those who cannot complete a contract and lose their deposit – ordinarily loss of a deposit is no more than what you bargained for.

Solid Rock Investments UK Ltd –v- Reddy [2016] EWHC 3043 (Ch)

Are you a Property Seller or an Estate Agent?

Are you a Property Seller or an Estate Agent?

Published: 27 January 2017

If so be careful to ensure that your terms of engagement are clear from the start.

It has long been established in English law that in order for a binding Contract to arise you need one person to make another person an offer, for that offer to then be accepted and for something of value to change hands between them. Also the people concerned must intend that this should give rise to a legally binding relationship.  The final key element is that the terms between them must be clear and certain.

The Autumn Statement 2016 and the Impact on Property

The Autumn Statement 2016 and the Impact on Property

Published: 12 December 2016

The Autumn Statement was delivered by Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer on the 23 November 2016.  The Statement very much focused on infrastructure and housing and there are a number of measures which will have a particular impact upon the area of property.  A few of the important points are considered below.

Land Registry - To privatise or not to privatise - that is the question: The potential effect on every hamlet

Land Registry - To privatise or not to privatise - that is the question: The potential effect on every hamlet

Published: 30 September 2016

The Government has for some time been looking at privatisation of the Land Registry. Currently, both the Land Register and the Land Charges Register are Crown property however,  a number of private equity firms have expressed interest in purchasing the Land Registry. One reportedly has been planning a £1 billion takeover.

Commercial leases, vacant possession and failing to break – even when you have vacated

Commercial leases, vacant possession and failing to break – even when you have vacated

Published: 30 September 2016

A tenant’s recent failure to break its lease, even though it had physically vacated, provides (another) salutary lesson to tenant’s when seeking to implement break ‘right’s’ – Riverside Park Ltd –v- NHS Property Services Ltd [2016]. 

Brexit and the Property Market – Is it Time to Panic?

Brexit and the Property Market – Is it Time to Panic?

Published: 9 June 2016

The date has been set, the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns have drawn up the battle lines and on 23 June Britain will decide if it will stay in the EU.

SDLT and the Sting in the Tail of Buy to Lets

SDLT and the Sting in the Tail of Buy to Lets

Published: 21 December 2015

George Osborne’s Autumn Statement announced on 25 November 2015 revealed some major changes which, ultimately, will reduce the attraction of a “Buy to Let” (BTL) investment from 1 April 2016.

Pulling the Rug Out From Underneath

Pulling the Rug Out From Underneath

Published: 29 October 2015

In a property sale, can a party who has both failed to complete a sale on the contractual completion date and failed to comply with a notice to complete, subsequently turn the tables and rescind a contract itself, thereby pulling the rug out from under the ‘innocent’ party’s feet?  In the recent case of Hakimzay Ltd v Swailes the answer, as many would expect, was no. 

New Rules for Private Landlords

New Rules for Private Landlords

Published: 1 October 2015

New rules affecting every landlord of residential property are now in force. They affect the Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) which is the tenancy agreement used most frequently in the private rented sector. From 1 October 2015 new rules apply concerning the grant and termination of ASTs. 

Get Ready for EPC Changes

Get Ready for EPC Changes

Published: 30 July 2015

On 1 April 2018 the Government’s minimum energy standards will come into force in a bid to cut energy bills and carbon emissions.

Dying Matters

Dying Matters

Published: 29 May 2015

Some people may not know but last week was "Dying Matters Awareness Week".  This was intended to bring to people’s attention the emotionally difficult raft of issues raised where a person who may not have long to live, might want to put his or her affairs in order.

Property Fraud: Coming to a Home Near You

Property Fraud: Coming to a Home Near You

Published: 28 April 2015

We all think that being a victim of fraud is something that happens to other people: a remote tragedy that affects only a minority, yet with the Land Registry paying out over £26million in claims for fraud last year the risk of being a victim of property fraud is greater than ever.

The Best Result Yet for Squatters

The Best Result Yet for Squatters

Published: 26 February 2015

With a big fanfare, legislation was introduced in 2012 to make squatting in residential premises a criminal offence.  From that time on, it has been punishable by a fine of up to £5,000 or imprisonment of up to 6 months. 

Where there is a Will

Where there is a Will

Published: 26 February 2015

On 1 October 2014, the Government’s Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Act (“the Act”) came into force. The aim of the Act is to reform, The Intestacy Rule, The rules for individuals who want to claim against a deceased person’s estate and Trustees’ statutory power to advance assets to a beneficiary from a trust.

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