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Archive for the: Property category

Does Possession Still Amount to 9/10 of the Law?

Posted by on May 24th 2017 in Litigation, Property

A series of high profile squatter claims involving expensive West London properties led to significant reform of the right for squatters to claim ownership of occupied land.  

To make a successful claim for adverse possession one must prove uninterrupted factual possession for a certain period of time. To be in factual possession a squatter must exert exclusive control over the land while treating the land as if they were the owner occupier.  There must also be intention to possess the land during the relevant period. Where the intention is equivocal, corroborative evidence will be required.

Being successful with an adverse possession...

Online Database of Criminal Landlords

Posted by on May 16th 2017 in Blog Posts, Commercial Property , Contentious Probate, Property

Online Database of Criminal Landlords

Mayor of London to introduce a new online database of criminal landlords and letting agents

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced on 26 April 2017 that a new online database will be launched in the autumn to “name and shame” criminal landlords and letting agencies who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences.

There is an estimated 2 million private renters in London and therefore by introducing the online database the Mayor believes that it will give renters greater confidence in renting in London by giving them the opportunity to check prospective landlord or letting agents before entering into a...

The Bank of Mum & Dad Now in the Top 10 of Lenders

Posted by on May 10th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

The Bank of Mum & Dad Now in the Top 10 of Lenders

With the average first-time buyer requiring a deposit of £26,000 and the average annual salary being £27,600, it is no surprise that first-time buyers are getting older (the average age has increased from 30 to 33) and the number of people buying a property on their own is decreasing (from 29% in 1994/95 to 14% in 2014/15). More people are also now buying in couples – this has increased from 63% to 80% in the same time period. Parents are predicted to lend £6.5bn to their children this year, making them one of the top ten biggest mortgage lenders in...

What Makes a House a House?

Posted by on April 17th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

What Makes a House a House?

In Grosvenor (Mayfair) Estate v Merix International Ventures Ltd & Another [2017] EWCA Civ 190 the Court of Appeal had to consider what makes a property a house.  If a property is a “house” under the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 (the ’67 Act), then a tenant may be entitled to purchase the freehold or extend their lease. The Court had to apply the law to the facts to determine the entitlement of the tenant.

Certain criteria must be fulfilled to entitle a tenant to enfranchise or extend. The tenant must hold a long leasehold of the property (more than 21 years)...

Can you Enjoy an Easement to use a Golf Course, Swimming Pool and Tennis Court ?

Posted by on April 15th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

In the case of Regency Villas Title Ltd v others v Diamond Resorts (Europe) Ltd and another [2017] EWCA Civ 238 (“Regency”), the Court of Appeal considered whether the right granted to use a golf course, swimming pool and tennis court was capable of forming a legal easement.   Regency explored the test established in Re Ellenborough Park  [1955] EWCA Civ 4 where the Court of Appeal had to consider the validity of easements, of various kinds, to enjoy recreational facilities.

Regency Villas Title Ltd was the freehold owner of Elham House which lies in the middle...

The 5 Day Conveyance

Posted by on April 6th 2016 in Blog Posts, Property

The 5 Day Conveyance

Due to the rise in stamp duty for second home and buy to let properties on 1st April, Kitsons saw a huge rise in conveyances going through by 31st March.  One particular transaction took just 5 days to process. 

The property in question was a holiday let in Cornwall and was being sold to an investor.  As a previous client of Kitsons, we used our facility of scanned history documents from the database to collect the searches and relevant information to complete in the record time of 5 days.

If you are looking to buy or sell a property, please do not...

Important Changes to Section 21 Notices

Posted by on September 21st 2015 in Blog Posts, Litigation, Property

Residential Landlord and Tenant

The Deregulation Act 2015 (“DA”)  received its Royal Assent on 27th March and has changed the law regarding how landlords can use a section 21 notice.

The main changes come in on 1st October 2015.

One of the aims of the DA was to prevent landlords using Section 21 notices to evict tenants in retaliation for complaining about the condition of the property.

The new laws now state that from 1st October, if the landlord serves a section 21 notice on a tenant in response to complaining about the condition of the property, the tenant can report the matter...

SDLT Changes: How Will It Affect You?

Posted by on December 3rd 2014 in Blog Posts, Property

SDLT Changes: How Will It Affect You?

From 4 December 2014 (effective from midnight tonight) Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rates for residential properties will only apply to the part of the property price that falls within each band.

It was announced in today’s Autumn Statement that the old ‘slab’ system will be replaced so home buyers pay the tax at gradually increasing rates on tranches of the total value of the property – similar to income tax – rather than a single rate on the whole transaction, eliminating the steep jump in tax paid when properties cross, for example, the £250,000 threshold.

Buyers will pay no stamp duty on...

Lease Permitted Use Restrictions Can Breach The Competition Act 1998

Posted by on September 1st 2014 in Blog Posts, Property

The Central London County Court has ruled that a user restriction in a lease breaches the Chapter I prohibition in the Competition Act 1998.

The Chapter I prohibition prohibits certain agreements that are deemed to be anti-competitive. These include agreements that have an effect on trade and restrict competition. Since 6 April 2011, the Chapter I prohibition has applied uniformly to all land agreements without exception, in just the same way as it applies to any other type of agreement.

Article 9(1) of the Competition Act contains criteria for agreements to be exempt from the Chapter I prohibitions.

It is relatively common for...

Tenants Beware - Break Clause Date and Rent Refunds

Posted by on August 29th 2014 in Blog Posts, Property

In the recent case of Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Services Trust Company (Jersey) Limited and another [2014] EWHC 1279 (Ch) the Court of Appeal considered whether a tenant who has exercised a break right should be refunded rent and other payments relating to the period after the break date.

Generally for a break notice to be effective, a tenant will have to ensure that the rent and other payments (eg. insurance rent, service charge, interest etc) are paid up-to-date in accordance with the terms of the lease. This may well include paying the rent and...

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