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Everyone Knows A House When They See One – Or Do They?

Houses are for living in and most people would say that they would know one if they saw one. However, the use of buildings frequently changes over time and a Court of Appeal decision in a leasehold enfranchisement case revealed just how tricky it can be to define exactly what is, and is not, a house. The case concerned a large Edwardian townhouse and mews annexe...

Legal Documents Are Worthless if Not Properly Served

Legal documents are not worth the paper they are written on unless they are formally served on those to whom they are addressed. In one case exactly on point, a bankruptcy petition was dismissed after a statutory demand was posted through the letterbox of a house in which a judgment debtor had never lived. A professional firm had obtained a default judgment...

High Court Overturns Unlawful Housing Zone Designation

In response to the extreme pressure on housing stocks in the London area, a system of housing zones has been introduced to deliver thousands of affordable new homes. However, in a decision of importance to property professionals, the High Court has overturned Bromley town centre’s designation as a housing zone. The scheme is designed to unlock and accelerate...

Teacher Assaulted by Pupil Unfairly Sacked After Long-Term Sick Leave

Long-term sick leave can be a headache for employers, but it is absolutely vital that workers are given every opportunity to get better and return to work. In one case that proved the point, a teacher who was off work for over a year after she was assaulted by a pupil has won the right to compensation following her dismissal. Although her physical injuries were...

Flats Development Founders on Planning Condition Rock

Conditions attached to planning permissions can be highly restrictive and can even prevent changes of use that would otherwise be automatically permitted. The Court of Appeal made that point in scotching a developer’s hopes of converting an office block into 127 studio flats. The block dated from the 1980s and, after over 30 percent of its offices fell vacant,...