The Practical Lawyer


Prescription – boundaries

If a right over land is acquired by long use (prescription) then how do you determine the boundaries of the land affected?

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Airbnb – unlawful letting

There has been much publicity about the Upper Tribunal decision on whether a long-lease T can do short-term holiday lets (eg airbnb). The conclusion is that, in most instances, such lettings will be in breach of the covenants in the lease. In our November 2016 issue (p19) we looked at that case, in which the lease said that the premises were not to be used ‘for any purpose whatsoever other than as a private residence’, although there was no clause prohibiting sub-letting. T argued that an airbnb letting did not prevent the flat from retaining its characteristic as a ‘private residence’ and thus she was not in breach of the lease. In short, she argued that there was no difference between a short-term airbnb let, and an assured shorthold tenancy (which would have been permitted).

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Highway – ransom strips

Buyers need to be alert to the existence of highway ransom strips – which are strips of land in third-party ownership separating the site from the publicly adopted highway. In such a situation it will not be possible for the landowner to get directly onto the highway without crossing the strip, and thus an action (or injunction) for trespass may lie.

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Airbnb – Deregulation Act 2015

Deregulation Act 2015 allows the use of residential premises in Greater London for temporary sleeping accommodation for up to 90 days pa, without this being a material change of use (for planning purposes). At the same time, the Act allows LAs to apply to the Secretary of State for particular residential premises to be excluded from that provision.

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SDLT – 3% surcharge

At the end of 2016, HMRC published updated guidance on the 3% SDLT residential surcharge as it applies to: student accommodation, subsidiary dwellings, lease extensions, legal interests with no beneficial interest, and mixed-use property:

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SDLT – commercial property

  A reminder that in March 2016 SDLT on commercial premises changed from the ‘slab’ system to the ‘slice’ system (in the same way as is charged on residential property). The rates are:

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SDLT – 15% super-rate

  A flat rate of 15% (the super-rate) applies to purchases of single interests in dwellings worth £500,000 or more by companies.

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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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Page 9 of 63

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Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
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Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references:


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