The Practical Lawyer


Right of light – abandonment?

Can the dominant owner of a right of light abandon that right, so that the servient landowner can carry out a development that would otherwise be a breach of the right of light?
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Deeds – backdate

 A note from DAC Beachcroft says that deeds (including leases) should never be backdated.

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SDLT – 3% surcharge

The rules on the 3% surcharge for additional residential properties can be confusing:

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SDLT – non-residential

 A reminder of the important changes to the SDLT rules on non-residential properties introduced in the budget (from 17 March 2016):

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LR – alteration

There is a distinction between an ‘alteration’ of the register and ‘rectification’ of the register.

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Water abstraction – strict liability

 A landowner excavated fishing lakes. The result was a reduction in the water level on its neighbour’s fishing ponds (and that affected the viability of the neighbour’s fishery business). The end result was that the neighbour brought a claim for damages relying on negligence, nuisance and also s48A Water Resources Act 1991.

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CDM – one year on

The Construction Design and Management Regs 2015 were introduced a year ago. The big change was the abolition of the role of CDM co-ordinator, and its replacement with the new principal designer position. The idea was that the principal designer would be the central figure, appointed early and with control over the design process, and thus be able to implement health and safety throughout (in contrast to a CDM co-ordinator who tended to be appointed late, and would often be on the fringes of the construction team). What lessons have been learned one year later?

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Flooding – preventative action

A property owner who takes steps to protect their land from flooding (eg installing barriers) could be held liable if those works cause flooding to other land. The liability will be for nuisance if the damage was foreseeable.
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Flooding – failure to maintain

A landowner may be liable for a lack of maintenance which results in the flooding of other land.
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SDLT – 3% extra

The 3% extra SDLT rate on purchases of additional residential properties came into force on 1 April 2016. The rules were summarised in our February 2016 issue (p7).

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