Law Society calls for review of end of SDLT holiday to prevent sales collapsing

The Law Society has made a press release that calls for urgent action to prevent the end of the temporary increase in the residential SDLT nil-rate band. This is due to end on 31 March 2021, resulting in possibly, thousands of aborted sales. The Law Society is urging people to write to their MP to call for action. It has also suggested three possible options for the government to address the problem: Extend the temporary increase in the SDLT nil-rate band, thereby providing more time for buyers to complete transactions.…

The construction industry to adapt to be more energy efficient

Tony Chauhan, Property Partner at Bowling & Co Solicitors comments on the Government's response to the consultation on Future Homes Standard (FHS), and consults on Future Buildings Standard. He explains that "the changes are going to have a positive impact upon the environment and will require the construction industry to adapt to be more energy efficient in the way they build. This will mean more cost and careful planning for construction methods." Background: In October 2019, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) published a consultation on the…

Long leases for London’s tenants

Sadiq Khan leads the way with long leases for London's tenants looking to get on the shared ownership property ladder. Affordable Housing Programme The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has outlined plans to sell shared ownership homes delivered as part of his new Affordable Housing Programme with long leases for London's tenants on a standard 999-year lease term. Sadiq is determined that London leads by example and sets the benchmark for higher standards for leaseholders across the UK.  The new expectation, which was set out in a letter written by…

Upcoming leasehold reforms

Upcoming leasehold reforms are planned to make it easier and cheaper for people to buy their homes  In July 2020, the Law Commission (Commission) published Leasehold Home Ownership: buying your freehold or extending your lease, which set out recommendations to make it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy the freehold of their building or extend their lease. Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, announced on 7 January 2021 that, millions of leaseholders will be given the right to extend their lease by a maximum term of 990 years at zero ground rent…

Update to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm regulations for residential landlords

In late 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government published a consultation seeking views on proposed amendments to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/1693). Landlords of residential rented properties in England must comply with the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. The aim of the consultation was to require landlords to: Install a carbon monoxide alarm in any room used as living accommodation where a fixed combustion appliance that uses any fuel type is installed (excluding gas cookers). Repair or replace…

Review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation to be launched

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced in December 2020 a review of the outdated commercial landlord and tenant legislation will be launched in early 2021, to address concerns that the current framework does not reflect the current economic conditions. This review will consider how to enable better collaboration between commercial landlords and tenants and also how to improve the leasing process to ensure our high streets and town centres thrive as we recover from the pandemic and beyond. The review of commercial landlord and tenant legislation will be launched this year…

Retail tenants should check the small print

As a fresh wave of lockdown measures cut across the UK, retail tenants may be experiencing new concerns about how to pay the rent, but another ticking timebomb is the viability of their landlords. Even before the pandemic, the high street was undergoing radical change and the continuing restrictions have seen a dramatic shift in consumer habits towards online shopping. Faced with such a shift towards e-commerce, few were surprised to see the recent demise of Intu, a large retail landlord with shopping centres that include the Trafford Centre in…

Tenants’ guide to commercial leases during a pandemic

Whilst various lockdown restrictions have been eased, others have only recently been introduced. This has led to a plethora of concerns with some commercial tenants now seeking clarity in respect of their position. Accordingly, we have put together a guide below to clarify some points commonly raised. What to do once your lease term ends? If you have decided to move on upon the end of your contractual term, then all you would need to do is simply move out. However, if recent events have resulted in indecision with your…

High Court – implications of lease terms when giving up a lease

In a case at the High Court on the 23rd September 2020, the High Court examined how a clause in the lease about returning the property to the landlord at the end of the lease applied where asbestos was left buried across the site at the end of a lease. The tenant had appointed consultants to remove buildings from the site. The consultants' works in dismantling the buildings had disturbed asbestos-containing materials and spread them across the site. As with all such matters, the facts of the case were critical,…

CLC guidance on the use of face coverings in construction

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) has published its latest guidance, The Use of Face Coverings in Construction during Coronavirus (COVID-19). The key points to note: That while the use of face coverings is mandatory for a number of public places, the government's guidance on construction and other outdoor work does not require face coverings for COVID! Unless there are suspected cased of COVID. Normal PPE is to be used where required but this is not as an extra for COVID. In the guidance, there is an explanation of face coverings…

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