Ground rent “not necessary” says CMA – will it be abolished for all leases?

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has recently published its response to a government consultation examining ground rent reforms for existing leasehold properties. The CMA has concluded that ground rent is neither “legally nor commercially necessary”. They also stated that they do not see any “persuasive evidence that consumers received anything in return”.   In […]

Marks and Spencer defeats government in High Court battle over controversial redevelopment of its flagship store

The iconic British retailer, Marks and Spencer, has won a High Court legal battle against the government over their decision to reject the retailer’s planning application. The High Court ruled that the decision of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Secretary, Michael Gove, to reject the development of the M&S flagship store was unlawful. The […]

Changes to restrict short-term lets announced

The Department for Levelling Up has recently announced changes to housing rules for short-term lets. This action follows growing concern about local residents being forced out of their community by people turning their properties into Airbnb holiday rentals in tourist areas of the country. This was seen by many as a good way of making […]

How can you protect commercial property against severe weather events?

While the UK has a reputation for its relatively mild, albeit rainy weather, at times it can become more serious. Some time ago, the UK experienced severe weather, leading to us receiving many enquiries from customers regarding commercial properties that suffered from flooding which caused water leakage, repairs and other losses.   With the prediction […]

Government considers 99% mortgages – but are they a good idea?

“Getting on the housing ladder”. It’s a phrase which for generations has been an aspirational one for many young people living in the UK. However, with wages struggling to keep up with inflation, a lack of housebuilding, and rapidly escalating property prices, it is widely acknowledged to be increasingly difficult to buy your first property. […]

Successful Claim of Damages against Developer on Defect and Disrepair

  Recently, we successfully assisted an individual leaseholder client in claiming damages, including loss of income, for her newly built flat in a prestigious area of London.   Background   Prior to the Covid pandemic, the client complained about occasional leaking in the bathroom of the flat. The problem became more serious after the client […]

Harmonious Resolution: Neighbour Dispute Over Party Wall Overcome Through Mediation Mastery

We have recently been involved in a case that was put before the Bristol County Court. The case featured neighbours embroiled in a dispute over a proposed extension by neighbouring building owners. Due to the disagreement between the neighbouring parties it, eventually led to a legal challenge against an Award made by surveyors. Both parties […]

Captain Tom Foundation ordered to demolish spa complex built using charity’s name

Captain Tom Moore could be described as the totemic figure of the Covid lockdown period in the UK. Raising millions of pounds for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden, one of the defining images of the first lockdown was the uniform-adorned 99-year-old and his walking frame. Captain Tom became a global news story […]

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill – is this the end of leasehold as we know it?

A new law on leasehold reform was announced in the King’s Speech with the potential to affect millions in the UK. Leaseholds have come under intense scrutiny in recent times, with leasehold properties often subject to punishing fees related to extending their leases, service charges, ground rent or purchasing a freehold.   Leaseholds differ from […]

Royal Borough of Greenwich orders demolition of apartment buildings following 26 deviations from original plans

A local council has ordered developers to demolish two apartment buildings in Woolwich, south-east London.  This follows a breach of planning conditions by the developers in the construction of the Mast Quay Phase II development. According to Greenwich council, there were at least 26 deviations to the plans which were originally approved in 2012.   […]

How to rent guide – what do tenants and landlords need to know?

The government has updated its ‘How to Rent’ guide for October 2023. It provides important information for those who are renting a home privately under an assured shorthold tenancy. You can access the latest version of the How to rent guide here.   The How to Rent guide should be given to the tenant at […]

Council at fault for ignoring woman’s nuisance complaints against restaurant

Nuisance complaints are a surprisingly common occurrence. While there are no statistics for general nuisance complaints, there were a total of 356,367 noise complaints recorded by local authorities in 2020/2021, giving an idea of just how many complaints councils receive in general.   The case we will be discussing today doesn’t exclusively focus on a […]

New EPC targets scrapped following Sunak’s Net Zero reversals

In an announcement to the British public this week, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak revealed that he has decided to scrap EPC targets requiring landlords to bring private rental properties up to a minimum level of C by 2025. We discussed these targets in depth in a previous article from February here.   While EPC ratings […]

If a couple who own UK properties got married in a foreign country, is it better to divorce there or in the UK?

The UK is a country which is home to many immigrants from across the world. Like a lot of immigrants to the UK today, the individuals in this case decided to settle after coming here to study, meeting at work and eventually getting married. However, the situation is complicated by the fact that the couple […]

No fault evictions to be banned – what will be the effect on tenants and landlords?

The Renters’ (Reform) Bill 2023 was introduced to parliament last year, promising comprehensive reform of the private rented sector. It will provide welcome news for renters in particular and will see England completely ban no fault evictions as part of a long-awaited package of reform of the private rental industry. The scheme will affect approximately […]

Landmark case: ‘Superior landlords’ not liable for Rent Repayment Order (RRO)

By Evveline Loh   A landmark case has just been handed down on 1st March 2023 by the Supreme Court in the case of Rakusen (Respondent) v Jepsen and others (Appellants). This has been a long awaited decision as it has now been ruled that for rent-to-rent arrangements, tenants are not allowed to seek redress […]

Local authorities may be forced to pay out millions of pounds after homeowner wins £300k Japanese knotweed case

“Japanese knotweed”. The mere mention of this plant is enough to strike fear in the hearts of homeowners, property developers and landlords up and down the country. However, the High Court made a recent key judgment which marks a new milestone in the “Japanese knotweed debate” and may turn the tide on who bears responsibility […]

MEES regulations make it illegal to let ‘F’ and ‘G’ Commercial Properties from April – how to prepare for EPC changes

Commercial property landlords should be aware of an important deadline coming up in the very near future. On 1st April, the application of minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) for commercial properties come into effect. This will mean that landlords who own properties which are rated either ‘F’ or ‘G’ on the energy performance certificate (EPC) […]

Luxury flat residents win Supreme Court private nuisance battle against Tate Modern

In a high-profile case, the Supreme Court has ruled that the Tate Modern’s viewing platform violates the privacy of luxury flats located opposite the art gallery. Located in the heart of Central London, in 2020 the Tate Modern was listed as the 3rd most visited art gallery in the world, with around 5 ½ million […]

Does a solicitor owe a duty of care to a person who is not a client?

Duty of care is a relatively broad concept which refers to the obligations placed on people to act towards others in a certain way. While solicitors are used to having a duty of care towards their client, it is far more unusual for a solicitor to have to hold a duty of care to someone […]

What are the rights of a business when it comes to noise complaints? And what to do if your business receives an abatement notice?

A Manchester music venue has recently found itself the subject of a noise abatement notice by Manchester City Council, threatening its future as a result. The venue, called “Night and Day” has been responsible for hosting many well-known music artists over the years, including Arctic Monkeys, Elbow, and Ed Sheeran. However, its future is now […]

Chancellor reverses mini budget fiscal policies in attempt to shore up flagging UK economy

The arrival of a new government usually precipitates a “honeymoon period”, a time when the government enjoys steady waters, a bounce in the polls, and is given greater leeway over legislation. Needless to say for anyone who has been following the news, this has not been the case for Liz Truss’ government.   As the […]

Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng announces ‘mini budget’ as UK battles the cost-of-living crisis

With the new Conservative government still in its infancy, New Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng was expected to put forward a ‘mini budget’ today. However, the set of measures announced turned out to be anything but mini. This budget saw the announcement of the biggest set of tax-cutting measures since 1972 in an attempt to deal with […]

Company administrators cleared of breach of duty despite deficiency during sale of properties

By Yitong Guo     Today’s article comes from one of our solicitors, Yitong Guo, who specialises in property law. The article is about a dismissal application in the Chancery Division of the High Court concerning allegations of breach of duty by company administrators in relation to two companies (“the Companies”) whose business involved the […]

Plans to shake up private rented sector announced

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced a spate of planned reforms to private renting in its new White Paper, dubbed ‘a fairer private rented sector’. It claims that this will offer a “fairer deal” for the 13 million renters in the United Kingdom, as well as ‘fundamentally reforming the private rented […]

Nearly 5 years after the Grenfell Tragedy, does the Building Safety Act do enough to make residential property safer?

The Building Safety Bill has officially received Royal Assent and become law. The legislation has been a long time in the making, with the national outrage which followed the Grenfell Tower tragedy in June 2017 leading to the resurgence of a national debate about the safety of properties in the UK.   Of particular concern […]

Ground Rent charges set to be scrapped for new leaseholders. What does this mean?

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 will come into force on 30th June 2022. The news comes following an initial 2018 consultation by the government, meaning that the arrival of this legislation has been in progress for a long time. The government have […]

Buying an ‘off-plan’ property can be a slippery slope! What can we learn from a recent case in which multiple people lost large deposits?

The reality of purchasing property is plenty of hard-work, time, energy and money. There is a lot at stake, and many hurdles to overcome. There are various avenues that can lead one to being a homeowner, and some people choose alternative routes to others. One such alternative route is to buy a property ‘off-plan’. Like […]

Solicitors on the Lenders Panel: What does it mean, why is it important and whose panels are we on?

We have said it before, and we will likely say it again: purchasing a property is one of the most financially demanding ventures that you can undertake. However, it does not only require money and time but also trust, and that trust must flow in all directions within the proceedings in order to make the […]

Rent Repayment Order not applicable to directors of corporate landlords! What can we learn from a recent case?

There are various reasons that a tenant or a group of tenants may want to pursue a rent repayment order (RRO). One of the more common complaints leading to an RRO is where a landlord is renting out an unlicensed House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), but claims can also be made for the following offences: […]

New guidance released to combat Property-Title-Fraud! What does it mean, and what can you do to stop it?

Purchasing a property is many peoples main lifetime goal, and often takes a lot of hard work, time and dedication to achieve. Not to mention the ever increasing costs of property in the UK. It is no surprise then that fraudsters will try to target those who are so close to completing the purchase of […]

Commercial Rent Debt accrued over the Pandemic to be handled under new Code of Practice – What does this mean for landlords and tenants?

It has been announced this week that new laws and a new code of practice will dictate the handling of debts accrued by those renting commercial property during the pandemic, who have been unable to pay rent and other costs because of lockdowns and a lack of business. This will be of interest to both […]

What happens in a Fraudulent Property Transfer?

Written by Evveline Loh.     The case Victus Estates (2) Ltd and others v Munroe; Benjamin v Victus Estates (1) Ltd and another [2021] EWHC 2411 (Ch) is concerned with two appeals involving two separate property transfers where fraud was involved.   The two- property transferred raised same issues:   Where property is owned […]

Eviction notice periods to return to pre-pandemic timescale – what do landlords and tenants need to know?

The COVID-19 pandemic threw everyone into a world of uncertainty and anxiety, with people unable to work, many confined to their homes and entire industries grinding to a halt. It was a time for compassion, and one element of compassion that the government took, and one that was entirely necessary, was the ban on residential […]

Multiple Dwellings Relief denied in recent case! When is it an option for buyers?

Anyone who has been fortunate enough to purchase a second property of their own, or even those who know someone else who has done so, are likely to have heard of Stamp Duty Land Tax. Usually, this tax will have been spoken about in negative terms, as an additional cost that is sometimes left unbudgeted […]

How to move homes under the current Unlocking 3.0?

Moving home has been possible during lockdown, but the moves have happened within rules that have been changing as we gradually take steps towards normality. As we move forward into Step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown, where more social contact is permitted in certain situations, the government have once again updated the guidance […]

Protection for renters remains, but notice period is cut to 4 months

Over the course of the pandemic, the government has brought in many polices and guidelines in order to protect UK residents. One such measure was a ban on evictions, whereby renters could rest assured that they would not be made homeless during the COVID-19 outbreak. This was a very positive policy which benefitted many people. […]

May 16th: Cut-Off Date for Right to Rent Check Concession!

On March 30th 2020, landlords were given the green light to conduct right to rent checks on their tenants using digital means to make life easier during the COVID-19 pandemic. This meant that the checks could be conducted over video calls, tenants could scan over documents or take photos of relevant paper work rather than […]

When does the Bank of Mum and Dad finally close? A look into ‘adult child’ maintenance.

Young adults living with their parents is not as unusual as it was a couple of decades ago. The prices of houses has gone up, especially for those living in major cities, and more and more people decide to carry on studying before taking up real jobs to earn enough money to afford rent and […]

Stamp Duty Land Tax – What are the higher rates and who has to pay them?

This blog will outline the latest guidance related to the higher bracket of Stamp Duty Land Tax, who it applies to, and in what scenarios it does or does not have to be paid. SDLT is a topic containing many avenues, which we will explore in upcoming articles, but for this one we will mainly […]

Buying a Property at Auction – Risks and Rewards from a Legal Perspective

Buying a property can be a daunting process and is likely to be the most expensive purchase a person will make in their lifetime. The most common way to buy a property is through an estate agent, but some people choose to go through auctions instead. In this article we will examine the differences between […]

Things to know in an application for a rent repayment order – a view from the prism of Martin Joseph Rakusen v Mikkel Kepsen and others

Written by Felix Otouke.   The case is about an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) by Mr Rakusen against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (FTT). It was issued on 18th December 2019.   Case breakdown   In 2006 the freeholder of the building granted a lease of Flat 9, Mandeville […]

Possession Action in Lockdown 3.0 – What you need to know.

With a new lockdown comes a wave of repercussions in terms of law, society and lifestyle. Procedures are updated, rules are created or waived and people must once again readjust to keep up with the times.   One important issue that we have spoken about in weeks previously is evictions and possession actions which are […]

Rental guidance updated! What do you need to know?

New guidance has been released for people renting property from a landlord, which attempts to give clarity to such tenants. This guidance must be provided to tenants who are in a shorthold tenancy which started any time after 1 October 2015.   The information is helpful to both the renter and the landlord, so it […]

Working from home renders many commercial buildings empty, but how can they be used otherwise? Consultations on development rights have begun!

Working from home has become a normal part of life due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some will have taken to it better than others, appreciating the lack of commute or the morning rush. However, for many it is a significant challenge, having much less social interactions, being unable to meet with clients and feeling cooped […]

Get your property back! What does the new guidance for private landlords say about the possession action process?

Property is a massive part of life. It is where families make homes, people raise children, or it can be simply a sanctuary to come back to after a difficult day. However, another huge aspect of the property world revolves around business, whereby landlords look to make money by allowing tenants to rent out their […]

Right to Rent Checks – What Landlords and Tenants Need to Know

This article is written in line with the new guidance published by the Home Office for landlords to guide them through the right to rent checking process. The full publication is available here.   First things first, what does right to rent mean?   It is not a difficult phrase to read; however, it can […]

House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) – Another Minefield of Rent Repayment Claims for Landlords after the Rent Deposit Scheme!

First things first, what does HMO mean?   The concept of HMO was introduced by the Housing Act 2004. To put it simply, under section 254 of the Act, it refers to a building or part of a building or such building consisting of self-contained flats where:   its living accommodation is occupied by persons […]

Mortgage Application Guide – Avoiding Money Laundering Allegations

Getting the approval for a mortgage on a property is a very tough thing to do for most people, especially in the current climate we find ourselves in. Often, a long time has been spent filling out forms and going over options with lenders and other professionals, not to  mention saving up the money needed […]

Long-term renters! You may have to pay SDLT on your tenancy!

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is usually something people associate with purchasing a property or land rather than with renting tenants, but it may surprise you to know that certain long term renters have had to pay 1% SDLT since 2003.   Who is effected?   People who have been renting for a substantial amount […]

Restraint of trade – out with the old, in with the new

Written by Salina Lim.     In the recent case, Peninsula Securities Ltd v Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd [2020] UKSC 36, the Supreme Court has shed light on the law and questions posed in respect of contractual restraints which restrain the use of the land.   On 19 August 2020, in the case of Peninsula […]

Can you discharge or modify the Restrictive covenant, easement / right that is affecting your land?

Written by Jessie Cheow.     Creebray Ltd v Deninson and another [2020] UKUT 262 (LC) – Unsuccessful application to modify or discharge covenant.   Background   The applicant company, the registered proprietor of a vacant plot of land (Oldways) applied to discharge or modify a restrictive covenant pursuant to section 84 of the Law […]

Do Not Ignore Restrictive Covenants!

Written by Felix Otouke.     The word covenant derives its root from Latin word ‘convenire’. Meaning “come together”, agree, unite or be suitable.   A restrictive covenant is a promise that prohibits us from doing something. Therefore, in the context of an owner or occupier of a piece of land, it is a promise […]

Competition and Markets Authority has 4 major property developers in its crosshairs!

Four of the UK’s largest housing developers could face legal action after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed it has initiated action over the way leasehold homes were sold.   The developers in question are:   Barratt Developments   Countryside Properties   Persimmon Homes   Taylor Wimpey   The CMA claims that it has […]

September Brings Wave of HUGE Property Law Changes

Some really interesting and important changes to property law are being introduced from September 2020, with a focus on both environmentalism and industrialism being demonstrated. Chancellor Rishi Sunak is bringing in extra funding to promote greener UK homes, while applications for property extensions and rebuilds are also becoming more streamlined in a bid to revitalise […]

The Law of the Land: Use Classes See Significant Changes!

Planning use classes are the legal framework which determines what a particular property may be used for by its occupants. In England, these are contained within the provision of Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.   On the 21st July 2020, the government published The Town and Country Planning Regulations 2020 which will […]

When Is Consent Unreasonably Withheld?

Written by Evveline Loh.   In many contracts, in particular, those dealing with landlord and tenant relationship, if some sort of consent is required from one party to enable the other party to do (or not to do) something, there is normally provision that such consent should not be unreasonably withheld. However, the issue whether […]

Possessions Proceedings, Evictions and More – Landlords vs Tenants in the Coronavirus Pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has had a massive effect on the livelihoods of most of the world’s population. One of the most important things in life is the place you choose to live, and what to do with property that you own. It must be appreciated that renting property during this strange year can bring new […]

Jarvis v Evans – Unlicensed Landlords and Possession Notice in Wales

Written by Evveline Loh.   The Court of Appeal gave an important judgement on the 7 July 2020. It was held that a notice served under s8 of the Housing Act 1988 by a landlord is a ‘notice to terminate a tenancy’ falls within the scope of s7 (2) (f) of the Housing (Wales) Act […]

Family Law Focus – The Importance of Consent Orders

When a family finds itself going through tough times, one of the best remedies can be a plan for the future which can help bring clarity to an otherwise murky situation. Even when a family is breaking apart, being certain about how assets are being divided can bring some much needed stability, and provide a […]

Splitting assets in a divorce – How does it work?

Divorce is always going to be a difficult thing to deal with, and there is no definitive guidebook that everyone can turn to when figuring it out. Each divorce, like each marriage, is unique. A couple will spend so much time building a life together, it is only natural that they will also accumulate wealth, […]

Finally some light at the end of the tunnel? – Property transactions in May see a slight rise

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) presents monthly estimates of residential and non -residential property transactions in the UK and its constituent countries, and as you’d expect that last couple of reports have shown a downward trend due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   You can check out our report on the April report here: Lowest rate […]

Lockdown divorce rates are sky high…and their affect on the property market is HUGE

Being in lockdown has been hard on all of us, but it has been even worse for couples who were already questioning the lifespan of their marriage. With the current rules keeping everyone cooped up at home, it can intensify an already volatile relationship.   Divorce rates since lockdown have seen a significant rise, and […]

Lowest rate of property transactions for over a decade! But how can you benefit?

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) presents monthly estimates of residential and non -residential property transactions in the UK and its constituent countries.   With the world so affected by the COVID-19 outbreak at the moment, we can tell by the recent reports that purchases are on a massive downward trend.   The Figures presented in […]

Renters Let off Unfeasible Fees!

A ban on letting agents and landlords charging their tenants extortionate fees was extended to all renters from 1st June 2020.   On 1st June 2019, many fees were banned for people taking on new tenancy agreements. This is known as the Tenant Fees Act 2019, and has now been extended to all renters in […]

Mortgage Lenders Introduce New Policies for More Flexible Routes for Buyers

The property market has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, but now mortgage lenders are beginning to introduce new measures to make things easier for people looking to buy or sell during this tough time. The aim is to reduce the amount of disruption caused to such transactions by COVID-19 in the coming months. […]

Moving house is possible once again – but how will it work with social distancing rules?

England’s property market will reopen from today with estate agents getting the green light from the government to start operating again.   Conveyancers and removals firms can also start operations again, and buyers and renters will be able to complete purchases and view properties in person. Surveyors are also allowed to enter homes to complete […]

Uncertain times call for extraordinary measures for Landlords and Tenants

The following article was written by Salina Lim of our Conveyancing team.    Commercial tenants and landlords have an ongoing relationship in relation to lease terms despite the impact of COVID-19 on the economy on a global scale. This article touches on the various battles that tenants may endure against landlords, and vice versa during […]

Coronavirus and the housing market – is it best to hold fire on moving home?

Whether it’s buying your first home, moving to a new location or selling a property that you’ve wanted to get rid of for years, navigating the property market can be a massively stressful and financially significant experience.   With the added complications of the coronavirus, this process is now even more challenging; many people have […]

Property dispute handled excellently at Lisa’s Law

We recently navigated our way to success in a particularly challenging litigation case, whereby the defending party used various tactics to confuse and delay legal proceedings from taking place. While, as legal practitioners, this can make for frustrating work, it is all the more satisfying when that work pays off and our client is left […]

Client receives HUGE unexpected bill leading to a true David vs Goliath success story!

Life can be full of unwelcome surprises.   Picture the scene:   A businessman rents out a premises from their local council, paying them rent and believing that the energy bills are included in that rent. They have never received a bill and have always assumed that the landlord takes care of it.   Once […]

Subletting Chaos – what could go wrong without a landlord’s permission?

Like all areas of business, things do not always go to plan in the world of conveyancing. It is always important to know exactly what you are getting into, and what type of people you are dealing with before even thinking about entering into a contractual agreement.   This isn’t always as easy as it […]

10 things that should be at the front of first time buyers minds

Here at Lisa’s Law we deal with tonnes of different property cases, be it commercial conveyancing, or a growing family looking for a bigger place to live as the kids get older. An important demographic that we enjoy working with are those looking to buy property for the first time.   We have compiled a […]

Right to buy schemes – it’s not always Easy Street!

First things first, what is a right to buy scheme?   A right to buy scheme helps eligible council and housing association residents in England buy their home with a discount of up to £110,500 (£82,000 outside of London). This is an option only open to certain people and there are certain criteria that must […]

Flipping Properties – is it flippin’ risky?!

The amount of people buying properties, fixing them up in a short amount of time before selling them for profit (otherwise known as flipping) has drastically reduced in recent years. In London just 1,240 houses or flats were sold on within 12 months of being purchased last year, a fall of 86 per cent since […]

Residential disputes – is your home fit for habitation?

Landlords and tenants enter into a contract together with hopes of a mutually beneficial and harmonious relationship. Each hope to get what they want and both envision disputes and confrontation to be at a minimum or ideally non-existent. The unfortunate thing about this is most of the time life is not so simple and care […]