Blog: The beginning of the end of leasehold 

Leasehold property owners are set for important changes in the coming months. The Government is planning to grant new rights on lease extensions and ending ground rent, which signals the beginning of the end of leasehold and this form of ownership. The government has indicated there will be a shift to ‘commonhold’ on the horizon, but the benefits to householders are likely to take time to filter through. Nearly all flats and some houses in England and Wales are owned on a leasehold basis, giving the owner the right to…

Cohabiting property ownership disputes

What happens when a failed relationship gives rise to cohabiting property ownership disputes? Separation is never easy, but if you and your former partner own property together, the situation can be even more complicated. If you have been living with a partner, but you are not married, the legal term is ‘cohabitation’. When cohabitees separate, they are not afforded the same protections in law as married couples who are getting divorced. This can be difficult, as, for many cohabiting couples, there is little difference in practical terms. In this article,…

Have a pet and need to rent?

If you have a pet and need to rent, you will no longer struggle to find properties Under the new Model Tenancy Agreement, announced by Housing Minister Rt Hon Christopher Pincher MP, on the 28th January 2021, landlords will no longer be able to issue blanket bans on tenants with pets. Instead, consent for pets will be the default position, and landlords will have to object in writing within 28 days of a written pet request from a tenant and provide a good reason. The pandemic has led to an…

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…

Stamp Duty Land Tax: 2% surcharge for non-UK residents

In the Spring 2020 Budget the government confirmed that non-UK resident who bought residential property in England and Northern Ireland will be subject to an increased rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). A surcharge of 2 percent will be imposed on transactions with an effective date on or after 1 April 2021. A non-resident residential purchase (for more than £40,000) of a major interest in land, where the buyer is (or, if there is more than one buyer, includes) a person who is non-resident. On 26 October 2020, HMRC…

COVID-19: notice periods for seeking possession

The Coronavirus Act 2020 (CVA 2020), which came into force on 26 March 2020, extended the notice periods in relation to possession proceedings for certain residential tenancies. The provisions contained in Schedule 29 were originally due to end on 30 September 2020. COVID-19 notice periods for seeking possession have now been extended until 31 March 2021. The notice period that must be given in most types of notice seeking possession of residential properties in England or Wales between 29 August 2020 and 31 March 2021 is increased from three to…

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…

COVID-19 update: Protections from forfeiture for non-payment of rent

In October, our blog explained how commercial tenants should act without delay when applying for relief from forfeiture from non-payment of rent. A further update to this is that business tenants affected by COVID-19 will continue to benefit, until 31 March 2021, from: Protection from forfeiture for non-payment of rent. This will bring the length of time business tenants have been given support from the threat of eviction to one year. Restrictions on landlords recovering unpaid rent by the exercise of commercial rent arrears recovery. If you would like any…

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