The Practical Lawyer


Restrictive covenant – estate

Section 84(1) LPA 1925 allows application to the UT for the modification of restrictive covenants. A recent case is of interest because it is a relatively unusual example of a development managing to preserve and protect its character over a relatively long period of time.

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Conditional contract – ‘all’ conditions

  If you are drafting a conditional contract then be sure to make it clear which conditions have to be complied with. Clarity in drafting is essential – as is illustrated by a recent case involving the sloppy use of the word ‘all’.

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Estate agent – contract ‘trigger’

  A property developer had eight flats to sell in Hackney. He was put in touch with an estate agent who agreed to try and find a buyer at 2% commission, but no mention was made of what event would trigger that liability to pay. But, within six days the agent had negotiated the ‘subject to contract’ sale of the lot to a housing association. The next day he sent the developer his terms of business. But, was the developer liable to pay the commission?

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Non-domiciled – residential property

Source: Dechert.


Development – public procurement?

The question of whether the public procurement rules apply to land development agreements has long been the subject of controversy. Much of this dates back to the high-water decision of Roanne [2007] which created many problems for LAs and other public bodies who wanted to enter into agreements with developers, but found themselves constrained by the public procurement rules.

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Development – agricultural land

Gaining vacant possession of agricultural land can be difficult. The first task is to identify the agricultural occupier’s legal interest: is it a lease or merely a licence; is it for agricultural use, or is it for business use?

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CLLS – certificate of title

The City of London Law Society has updated the seventh edition of its certificate of title.

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Village green – right of way?

Can a landowner oppose an application for registration as a village green on the basis that the public are merely using an existing public right of way? The answer in principle is ‘yes’, in that the court will discount the usage arising from use of the public way, and merely take into account other usages.

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Occupier’s liability – duty

Occupier’s liability duties towards visitors are set out in OLA 1957; duties to trespassers are in OLA 1984. Both Acts apply to ‘any danger’ due to the state of the premises or to things done or omitted to be done on them. But, there is different wording as to the extent of those duties. Under the 1957 Act (‘visitors’) the duty is to ‘see that the visitor will be reasonably safe’, whereas under the 1984 Act (‘trespassers’), the duty is to ‘see that he does not suffer injury… by reason of the danger’.

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UK tax – enveloped

Companies holding UK residential properties are subject to an annual tax, the annual tax on enveloped dwellings (ATED). However, ATED does not apply to a company if its UK residential properties are let on a commercial basis to unconnected persons.

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