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Flat Tenants Victorious in Service Charges Challenge

Service charges are a burden on residential tenants and the onus is on landlords to prove that expenses have been reasonably incurred. In one case, a tribunal found that insurance premiums passed on to residents of a block of flats over a three-year period were more than £27,000 higher than they should have been. The case concerned a landlord who had negotiated...

Loft Insulation and Energy Efficiency – High Court Ruling

Energy suppliers are required by law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and ensure that their customers’ homes are energy efficient. The extent of those duties came under the spotlight in a High Court case in which a manufacturer argued that existing loft insulation methods do not meet environmental protection targets. The case concerned a product used to...

Restrictive Covenants Stymie Care Home Plans

Restrictions on the use of land are to be found in title deeds dating back many years – but their antiquity does not necessarily mean they are any less effective. In one High Court case, restrictive covenants that were more than a century old stymied a developer’s hopes of building a residential care home. The relevant site had once been part of a larger...

High Court Boosts Plans to Build 180 Homes on Farmland

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is entitled to go his own way and disagree with the recommendations of his own planning inspectors – but only if that does not involve unfairness. In one case that proved the point, the High Court breathed new life into plans to build 180 new homes on farmland. The local authority had refused planning...

Housing Shortages – Public Policy Demands Derelict Land Be Put to Use

Amidst acute housing shortages, public policy demands that use be made of derelict land. In one case that illustrated the point, a tribunal modified a restrictive covenant to enable residential development of a former sports club. The club had been closed for almost 20 years. Its pavilion had been demolished and its grounds were overgrown and empty. A developer...

Important Property Transaction? Have It Witnessed By A Lawyer!

For most people, their homes are their single biggest asset and that is one reason why it is always wise to have an independent solicitor present to witness signatures on property transactions. In one case in which that did not happen, a middle aged man’s sudden death triggered a bitter property dispute between his son and the ex-wife that he had not set eyes...