Housing

Forfeiting a lease on a commercial property

Forfeiture is a way for a landlord to bring a lease to an end, where the tenant is behind with the rent or not complying with other obligations. It is particularly useful in relation to commercial property, where landlords rely on their tenants to pay the rent and maintain the property. According to Simon Marciniak,…

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Commercial landlords – have you put minimum energy efficiency standards in place?

Landlords of privately rented residential and commercial properties should by now have taken action to comply with the government’s minimum energy efficiency standards, known as ‘MEES’.  The new standards became law on 1 April 2018 and were introduced by the governments as part of its carbon reduction strategy. It has since been illegal to grant…

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Houses in multiple occupation – new rules from October 2018

The regulations governing houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) changed on 1 October 2018. They will now extend to smaller properties, affecting more landlords. The rules on exactly what constitutes as an HMO are complex and failure to comply is an offence, so landlords must get specialist legal advice to make sure they stay within the…

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Service charges in shopping centres

The decision by entertainment retailer HMV to call in administrators follows the collapse of a number of high street firms in 2018, including Toys R Us and Maplins. Earlier in the year, asset management firm APAM estimated that roughly 200 shopping centres were in danger of falling into administration as a result of the domino effect…

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Southwark council can no longer avoid HMO rules when housing families in shared accommodation

Destitute families placed in shared houses and flats by social services should see their living conditions improved following a judicial review in the High Court. The case described below will mainly affect families who, because of their immigration status, cannot claim benefits or access mainstream housing, but whose applications to remain in the UK are…

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Are ‘no oral modification’ clauses effective in the event of a dispute?

As a general rule the courts try not to interfere in commercial contracts when a dispute arises as they rightly believe that businesses are best placed to negotiate the terms on which they will deal with each other and, save in very limited circumstances, that they should be bound by the deal they have struck….

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