Real Estate Bulletin: Spring 2015

Welcome to the Spring edition of the Real Estate Bulletin. This quarter we have a number of cases that will be of interest to both commercial and residential developers

Case Law Update

Development - trespass - injunction: Charlie Properties Ltd v Risetall Ltd & Anr

A recent Supreme Court decision has changed the way the courts approach claims for injunctions in property cases

Where the defendant is trespassing on land rather than interfering with its use and enjoyment in other ways, there may be more justification for granting an injunction rather than damages

Development - Section 38 Agreements: R (on the application of Redrow Homes Ltd) v Knowsley MBC

Once they've been built to a specified standard, highways authorities usually adopt new roads by entering into agreements with developers under Section38 of the Highways Act 1980

On adoption, a road becomes maintainable at the public expense

But this doesn't necessarily mean the developer is off the hook in terms of contributing towards future maintenance costs

Development - Section 106 Agreements: R (on the application of Robert Hitchins Ltd) v Worcestershire County Council

Key points

A developer can choose which planning permission to implement if there is more than one relating to a site

This could result in less onerous planning obligations

Development - Assets of Community Value: R (on the application of East Meon Forge & Cricket Ground Protection Association) v East Hampshire District Council

The fact that abuilding is listed as an Asset of Community Value must be taken into account if a planning application is submitted

The weight accorded to the listing will vary from property to property

Other factors maybe more relevant if seeking to challenge the grant of a planning permission

Development - Local plan - assessing housing need: Solihull MBC v Gallagher Estates Ltd & Lion court Homes Ltd

The requirements for assessing housing need under the National Planning Policy Framework are different to those set out in the former Planning Policy Statement 3

Developers may be able to challenge local plans which provide for housing supply based on research commissioned under PPS3

Landlord & Tenant - landlord's intention to demolish: Saturn Leisure Ltd v London Borough of Havering Business tenants are in certain circumstances statutorily entitled to be granted a renewal lease at the expiry of the contractual term

Landlords can oppose renewal on certain grounds

Tenants can claim compensation if a court refuses to order the renewal of a tenancy, or if a tenant is induced to withdraw its application to renew, because of a misrepresentation or concealment of fact by the landlord during the renewal process

Even though the Council was successful in this case, which admittedly has slightly unusual facts, it is a useful reminder that landlords need to be cautious in what they say when opposing lease renewal proceedings if only to avoid having the argument. As the market picks up and sites can be put forward for sale and redevelopment, landlords need to make sure there are no hurdles to giving a buyer VP.Landlord & Tenant - Assured Shorthold Tenancy deposits: Charalambous v Ng

The courts have now filled in the final gap in the much-criticised legislation governing the protection of tenant deposits paid under assured shorthold tenancy arrangements It has resulted in another hurdle for landlords seeking possession of residential properties let on an AST basis

Landlord & Tenant - landlord's release on transfer of reversion: Reeves & Downing v Sandhu Landlords are not automatically released from their obligations in a lease when they transfer the reversion and will remain liable jointly and severally with the transferee Landlords can either ask for a release from the tenant, follow the statutory procedure for release or draft for an automatic release in the lease itself

Remember that releases can cause issues in multi-let buildings

The content of this page is a summary of the law in force at the date of publication and is not exhaustive, nor does it contain definitive advice. Specialist legal advice should be sought in relation to any queries that may arise.