The Practical Lawyer


Trespass – damages

The traditional approach to assessing any claim for damages is to look at the loss that the claimant has incurred. Thus, damages will normally be ‘compensatory’, with the aim being to compensate the claimant for his loss so as to put him back in the position he was beforehand.

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SDLT – barcode

If you file SDLT returns using a CD-rom or 2D barcode, then remember that such returns will no longer be accepted after 1 November.


SDLT – £175,000

A few points to note about the temporary exemption (until 3 September 2009) for a residential property costing not more than £175,000:

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Restrictive covenant – ‘the vendor’

If a restrictive covenant benefits the ‘vendor’, then is that personal to the ‘vendor’ (only), or does it extend to his successors in title?

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Foreign company – charge over land

If you have a charge over land owned by an overseas company, then you must register that charge at Companies House within 21 days.

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Competition – OFT

Very few property transactions are likely to give rise to OFT-related competition issues, simply because the markets for commercial office space, residential property, retail premises, etc are highly competitive in most parts of the country.

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Company – undervalue transaction

As the recession bites, there will be more cases in which it is subsequently alleged that a company sale or transfer of land was at an undervalue (and so should be set aside). A reminder of the basic rules:

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Insurance – rebuilding

A lender will often want to ensure that insurance moneys are used to reinstate a building, rather than be handed to the insured (ie the borrower). In this respect, the Fires Prevention (Metropolis) Act 1774 may be relevant.

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Contaminated land – remediation

Land remediation tax relief gives a corporation tax deduction of 150% on qualifying expenditure incurred in decontaminating land (eg £1m expenditure gives rise to £420,000 worth of tax relief for a company paying 28% tax). Key points to note:

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Remediation relief – derelict land

Land remediation relief is to be extended to derelict land as from 1 April 2009. This could be an important issue for many property companies. Whilst the details are still being finalised, the outline points are clear:

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