Property disputes

Landlord’s Motivation on Redevelopment Lease Renewals is Irrelevant

Authored on August 21st, 2017

A recent case decided by the High Court will (if not overturned on appeal) have potential implications for some commercial tenants seeking renewals of their tenancies.

It involved a dealer in textiles that occupies areas in the ground and basement floors of London’s Cavendish Hotel and which wishes to renew its tenancy relying on the security given by the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954, which gives such tenants the right to renew their tenancies except in certain circumstances.

Disputes about property ownership? Look at what the documents say.

Authored on June 26th, 2017

Family partnerships can be highly effective vehicles for running businesses, but that depends on good relations being maintained. In one High Court case in which ties of blood were sadly not enough to prevent discord, a father and son engaged in a bitter dispute over ownership of a hotel and campsite.

The father ran the business in partnership with his son and daughter-in-law. After a breakdown in relations, they agreed that the partnership had been dissolved, that its affairs should be wound up by a receiver and that its assets and liabilities should be divided between them.

Aircraft Noise Immunity Prevails in Court of Appeal Nuisance Case

Authored on May 26th, 2017

A couple who said that shattering helicopter noise from a nearby aerodrome made their lives a misery and stymied their hopes of selling their £4 million home will just have to live with the racket following a Court of Appeal ruling.

After the couple launched proceedings alleging noise nuisance, a judge described the sound of helicopters making training flights from sloping ground near their home as excruciating. The aerodrome’s operators were issued with an injunction that restricted training exercises on the slope to two 15-minute sessions per week.

Property Vendors – Information Requests Must Be Accurately Answered!

Authored on January 26th, 2017

Requests for information prior to completion of property transactions must always be fully and accurately answered. However, in one case where that did not happen, a flat purchaser won £15,000 in damages after the vendor failed to inform her of an ongoing dispute concerning a defective heating system.

Couple’s Wall-Building Plans Scotched by Restrictive Covenant

Authored on November 25th, 2016

The idea that an Englishman’s home is his castle implies almost limitless freedom to do with your property as you wish. However, the reality is that restrictions often lurk in title deeds and, without legal advice, there is a real risk that you may not realise that they are there.

One case that illustrated the point concerned a private housing estate which was subject to a restrictive covenant, dating back to 1967, which forbade residents from erecting walls or fences, except as replacements for pre-existing structures.

Trouble with the Neighbours? A Good Lawyer Can Help!

Authored on November 25th, 2016

Some neighbours are friendlier than others and, if you feel that your rights are being trampled upon, a good lawyer can help you. In one case, an equestrian couple who were harassed by a farmer, who flouted their right of way across his land, won an injunction and thousands of pounds in damages.

Not Every Noise is a Nuisance

Authored on August 23rd, 2016

Homeowners have every right to take legal action if their lives are blighted by noise nuisance. However, one case has underlined that the modern world is not always as free from disturbance as one might wish and that the courts will only take action to prevent noises which are objectively unreasonable.

Oral Agreements are an Invitation to a Dispute

Authored on August 23rd, 2016

Oral contracts are notoriously fraught with legal difficulty and it is always wise to get a solicitor to accurately record in writing the agreements that you reach. One property company found that out to its cost in a telling High Court case.

The company specialised in promoting its client’s land for development. It claimed to have reached an agreement with a farming family that it would perform that role in respect of their land and that it was thus entitled to 20 per cent of the proceeds if that land were sold with the benefit of a strategic development allocation.

Tree Root Subsidence Couple in Landmark Win

Authored on August 23rd, 2016

In a ground-breaking decision of interest to property professionals and homeowners, a couple whose conservatory was catastrophically undermined by the roots of a protected oak tree have won £25,000 in compensation from their local council.

Tenant Entitled to Relief from Forfeiture

Authored on August 23rd, 2016

If a landlord forfeits a lease on the grounds of rent arrears it is generally accepted that the tenant can apply for relief from forfeiture within six months of the date of forfeiture. Providing the tenant pays all the arrears and the landlord’s costs and the application is made within six months, the tenant usually obtains relief from forfeiture and the lease is reinstated. This six month period can however cause problems for landlords as it creates a period of uncertainty before the property can be re-let without fear of the tenant applying for relief.

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