Paragon Asra Housing Ltd (formerly Paragon Community Housing Ltd) v Neville

Housing – Assured tenancy – Possession – Appellant landlord applying for possession order against disabled respondent tenant – County court finding possession order proportionate and making suspended order – Appellant issuing warrant for possession – Respondent applying to suspend warrant – Whether court being required to carry out proportionality exercise a second time – Appeal allowed

Villarosa v Ryan

Landlord and tenant – Lease extension – Qualifying tenant – Executors – Appellant tenant appealing against county court order that notice under section 42 of Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 was invalid – Whether recorder properly interpreting meaning and effect of section 42(4A) of 1993 Act – Whether section 43 of 1993 Act applicable – Appeal allowed

When can the court rectify a lease?

If a written contract does not reflect the actual agreement reached by the parties, the court can rectify the wording to put the parties in the position in which they would have been, had a mistake not been made. In CDS (Superstores International) Ltd v Place Road Properties Ltd [06/07/2018] Bristol County Court was asked to rectify a mistake in a lease to a tenant, which trades as The Range. It had taken over six years for the scheme on the Isle of Wight to come to fruition, during which time the landlord had dropped the idea of a new build and had refurbished an existing building instead.

Robertson v Webb

Landlord and tenant – First-tier tribunal – Procedure – Respondent landlord notifying applicant tenant of increased rent for dwelling under section 13(2) of Housing Act 1988 – Applicant referring notice to First-tier Tribunal (FTT) out of time – FTT deciding lack of jurisdiction – Tenant applying for permission to appeal – Whether FTT having jurisdiction to deal with referral of notice out of time – Application dismissed

Elmfield Road Ltd v Trillium (Prime) Property GP Ltd

Landlord and tenant – Commercial lease – Rent review clause – Construction – Parties seeking determination of proper interpretation of rent review clause providing for review by reference to retail prices index rather than market rents – Court giving judgment for respondent landlord – Tenant appealing – Whether lease containing error in formula for rent review – Appeal dismissed

City of York Council v Trinity One (Leeds) Ltd

Town and country planning – Affordable housing – Section 106 agreement – Appeals arising out of claim by appellant council to recover money from respondent in lieu of affordable housing within residential development – Sum falling due under section 106 agreement – Whether judge wrongly interpreting agreement – Whether judge erring in finding that sections 106BA and 106BC of Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Act applied to accrued rights to recover commuted sums – Appeals dismissed

Was a right to light claim really only about money?

Rights to light often pose problems for developers, who may have to pay significant sums for their release. The litigation in Beaumont Business Centres Ltd vFlorala Properties Ltd [2018] EWHC 2112 (Ch) focused on the effect of a rights to light deed entered into by the owners and occupiers of an office building in London.

R (on the application of Historic England) v Milton Keynes Council

Town and country planning – Planning permission – Historic buildings – Claimant applying for judicial review of decision of defendant local authority to grant conditional planning permission for mixed use development in conservation area – Whether defendant unlawfully failing to produce statement containing main reasons for decision – Whether planning officers’ conclusion that use of site for railway purposes of greater importance than preservation of non-listed buildings irrational – Application dismissed

First Tower Trustees Ltd and another v CDS (Superstores International) Ltd

Contract – Misrepresentation – Exclusion clause – Lease of commercial premises – Asbestos – Damages – Appellant landlords granting lease of warehouse premises to respondent – Appellants’ claim for unpaid rent abandoned – Respondent awarded damages for losses suffered due to asbestos damage – Respondent denying prior knowledge of asbestos – Whether section 3(1) of Misrepresentation Act 1967 applying to “non-reliance clause” in lease – Whether “non-reliance clause” reasonable – Whether appellants’ liability limited to extent of trust assets – Appeal dismissed

Diary: Start ‘em young

A career in retail property might not be the most obvious path for the country’s brightest young up-and-coming minds, given the sector’s recent woes. So why not give them some early encouragement to come give it a try?

Wigmore Homes (UK) Ltd v Spembly Works Residents Association Ltd

Landlord and tenant – Service charges – Certificate of annual expenditure – Landlord applying for interim service charges – Amount demanded approximately twice actual expenditure – Tenants in arrears of service charges – Landlord failing to supply certificates of annual expenditure – First-tier tribunal upholding demands in full – Whether certificate condition precedent to liability for interim service charges – Whether landlord establishing demands reasonable proportion of anticipated expenditure – Whether demands reasonable within section 19(2) of Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 – Appeal allowed in part.

All change in the lending market

Person building house with building bricks beside stack of coins © REX/Shutterstock

Adam Miller and Thomas White reflect on a shift in the profile of lenders in the commercial real estate market and flag the pros and cons for those looking to make the leap.

Catesby Estates v Steer; Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government v Steer

Listed building – Heritage asset – Setting – Appellant applying for planning permission for housing development on farmland near Grade I listed building – Local authority refusing permission – Inspector appointed by secretary of state allowing appeal – High Court overturning decision – Whether inspector misunderstanding concept of “setting” of listed building – Appeal allowed

Non-derogation from grant: how and when is the rule applied?

The rule that grantors must not derogate from their grant requires those who agree to confer benefits on others not to grant them with one hand and take them away with the other. It is often associated with leases. But the litigation in Carnegie v Nolan [19 March 2018] reminds us that the rule can be applied in other cases too.

Crown Estate Commissioners v Whitehall Court London Ltd

Leasehold enfranchisement – Lease extension – “No-Act rights” assumption – Appellant headlessee appealing against decision of Upper Tribunal concerning valuation provisions in Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 – Whether “no-Act rights” assumption in para 3(2)(b) of Schedule 13 applying to whole of building comprising flat – Appeal dismissed

CEG Land Promotions II Ltd v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government

Town and country planning – Planning permission – Valued landscape – Claimant appealing against non-determination of planning application for housing development – Inspector dismissing appeal and refusing planning permission on basis of harm to character of landscape – Claimant applying to quash decision – Whether inspector misinterpreting national planning policy on protection of landscape – Application dismissed

Project Blue Ltd v Commissioners for HM Revenue and Customs

Sale of land – Stamp duty land tax – Alternative financing – Respondent purchasing freehold of land with assistance of bank under arrangement compliant with Sharia law – Financing arrangement involving onward sale of land to bank with leaseback and right to call for re-transfer at future date – Upper Tribunal rejecting respondent’s argument that sub-sale to bank not exempt under section 71A of Finance Act 2003 – Court of Appeal allowing respondent’s appeal – Appellants appealing – Whether respondent liable for stamp duty land tax on purchase of freehold – Whether respondent entitled to exemption under section 71A – Whether anti-avoidance provisions of section 75A of 2003 Act applying – Appeal allowed

Can land be listed if it has been used unlawfully?

Banner Homes Ltd v St Albans City and District Council [2018] EWCA Civ 1187; [2018] PLSCS 96 concerned a 12-acre field in Hertforshire, which the local community used for recreation, and is the first case in which the Court of Appeal has had to consider the “community right to bid”.

Morris-Garner and another v One Step (Support) Ltd

Breach of covenant – Negotiating damages – Appellant selling shares in company subject to restrictive covenants preventing competition with respondent or soliciting clients – Respondent claiming damages for breach of covenants – High Court holding respondent entitled to damages in amount notionally agreed between parties for release of obligations (negotiating damages) – Court of Appeal upholding decision – Appellant appealing – Whether respondent entitled to negotiating damages – Appeal allowed

Court of Appeal relieves a licensee from forfeiture

The litigation in Vauxhall Motors Ltd (formerly General Motors UK Ltd) v Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 1100; [2018] PLSCS 93 concerned a licence granting Vauxhall rights to construct and use a spillway to enable it to discharge surface water and treated trade effluent from its manufacturing plant into the adjoining canal. The rights were granted in perpetuity. But the licence was terminable for non-payment of the annual licence fee in the sum of £50.

Vauxhall Motors Ltd (formerly General Motors UK Ltd) v Manchester Ship Canal Co Ltd

Licence – Relief from forfeiture – Discretion – Appellant purporting to terminate respondent’s right to discharge surface water into canal – Respondent seeking relief from forfeiture – Whether court having power to grant relief – Whether negotiations for new right preventing respondent from claiming relief from forfeiture – Whether court should exercise discretion to refuse relief – Appeal dismissed

Zinc Cobham 1 Ltd (in administration) and others v Adda Hotels (an unlimited company) and others

Landlord and tenant – Breach of covenant – Specific performance – Strike out – Appellants issuing proceedings for order for specific performance and/or damages for breach of covenant – Deputy master striking out parts of claim seeking specific performance – Appellants appealing – Whether master erring in concluding no real prospect of obtaining specific performance at trial and claim disclosing no reasonable grounds for such relief – Appeal dismissed

Rotrust Nominees Ltd v Hautford Ltd (a company registered in the British Virgin Islands)

Landlord and tenant – Planning permission – Consent – Appellant landlord refusing consent for respondent tenant to apply for planning permission for residential use of premises – Judge concluding that consent unreasonably withheld – Whether landlord’s refusal of consent pursuant to tenant’s covenant not to apply for planning permission without consent was reasonable – Appeal dismissed

Flowers v Chief Land Registrar and another

Land registration – Set aside – Standing – Section 108(2) of the Land Registration Act 2002 – Appellant applying to First-tier Tribunal (FTT) to set aside deeds purporting to cancel restrictive covenants and impose fresh covenants – Appellant not being party to deeds – FTT holding applicant had no standing to apply to set aside deed – Appellant appealing – Whether appellant having standing to make application – Whether appellant liable for costs of two respondents – Appeal dismissed

Recipients seeking to avoid the effect of notices will search for any errors that might invalidate them

Ropemaker Properties Ltd v Bella Italia Restaurants Ltd [2018] EWHC 1002 (Ch) concerned a conditional agreement for lease between a developer/landlord on the one hand and an incoming tenant and its guarantor on the other. The agreement was expressed to be subject to conditions and was terminable if the conditions were not satisfied in time. In that case, either the landlord or the tenant were to “give written notice to the other and the guarantor to determine this agreement”.

R (on the application of Crematoria Management Ltd) v Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council

Town and country planning – Environmental impact assessment– Screening opinion – Defendant local planning authority granting planning permission for development on site of crematorium within green belt– Claimant applying for judicial review – Whether decision unlawful for failure to adopt screening opinion on requirement for environmental impact assessment – Whether proposed development constituting “urban development project” – Whether defendant erring in assessment of need – Application granted