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Restrictive covenant – pub

The ongoing closure of pubs is seen as a social ill. Typically, the pub owner will face two challenges. Firstly, an application for planning permission will now probably be necessary. Secondly, local residents may be able to protest (and delay) by having the pub registered as an ACV (asset of community value).

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Pool Re – terrorist ‘organisation’

Many businesses purchase additional terrorism cover. That terrorism cover is provided by insurers through the Pool Re scheme (the logic being that insurers pay a premium which is then charged to the customer, but the insurance industry in general benefits from group coverage of the risks of terrorism damage through Pool Re).

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Prescription – evidential burden

For a prescription, it is necessary to show (i) that the right has been exercised for 20 years or more, and (ii) that the use was without force, secrecy or permission.

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Highway – what is a ‘spit’?

If legislation vests a highway in a highway authority, then the authority does not become the freehold owner of that land. Its ownership is limited (both in height and depth).

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IHT – Business Property Relief

Business property relief (BPR) gives a wide exemption to inheritance tax. Needless to say, there are various conditions that apply. In particular, BPR will not be available if the business ‘consists wholly or mainly’ of ‘dealing in securities, stocks or shares, land or building or making or holding investments’. From a practical point of view this is likely to exclude most businesses that involve the letting of property. In general, tribunals have held that letting property is a business that consists wholly or mainly in the making or holding of investments, no matter how extensive the services provided.

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Boundary disputes – protocol

An informal protocol for boundary disputes between neighbours has been developed by Falcon Chambers and Hogan Lovells (and has the support of the Property Litigation Association).

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Overage – ‘social/community purposes’

A housing site was sold by the landowner to a developer. Terms included an overage agreement, whereby the developer agreed to pay the seller 30% of the final sale proceeds (above a stated sum). To prevent the developer artificially reducing the sale proceeds there were restrictions on types of disposals he could make – although he was allowed to make a ‘transfer of land for roads, footpath… or other social/community purposes’.

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Easement – declaration?

A developer worried about a right to light (or any other easement that may be claimable by a neighbour) runs the risk of an injunction if the development proceeds without having first consulted the neighbour. As we have seen, insurance products are available to cover this situation (with modern policies allowing negotiations with the neighbour).

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Overage – non-compliance

A recent case involved an overage agreement whereby seller sold land (which had planning permission) to buyer. The sale agreement allowed seller ten months in which to get planning permission for an increased square footage (upon which the overage payment would become due).  

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