Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Letters of intent can lead to uncertainty and costly disputes. John Starr discusses recent cases

Letters of intent are widely used in the construction industry as a means of allowing work to start on site (or at least for the procurement of long-lead items) before the formal construction contract has been negotiated. They will usually allow the contractor to get on with certain tasks up to a certain stage or maximum fee cap.

James Brown and Mark Pawlowski consider the possibility of disclosing beneficial interests on the land register

Property lawyers will be familiar with the so-called ‘curtain principle’ under which beneficial interests are kept off the face of the land register and hidden behind the veil or curtain of registration. The principle has been enshrined in statute since the Land Transfer Act 1875, which provided (in s83(1)) that:

Tim Rayner assesses good practice when claiming costs in dilapidations claims

The case of Car Giant Ltd v London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham [2017] concerned a claim for damages for terminal dilapidations. In particular the claim by the landlords (Car Giant and Acredart) was for damages for dilapidations following expiry of the lease.

Sandra Clarke examines the factors that determine a contract for the disposition of an interest in land

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Rollerteam Ltd v Riley [2016] adds to the decided cases surrounding s2(1), Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (LP(MP)A 1989), a provision that has required considerable judicial interpretation. This article considers the main aspects of the section that have required consideration.

Lucy McDonnell outlines the current status of neighbourhood planning

The government has demonstrated its continuing commitment to neighbourhood planning by naming a Bill after it, including it in a written ministerial statement and in the housing white paper, and continuing to emphasise its importance in recent appeal decisions. This article considers recent developments and the direction of travel.

Jonathan Karas QC finds Assets of Community Value: Law and Practice a useful tool in interpreting the legislation

In the past property rights have been regarded as important. When Parliament reformed them it was believed that it did so with precision and care. These days, things are different. Legislation is now sometimes loosely drafted. The promoters of legislation know this and intend (or hope) that regulators and courts will work things out in practice.

John Starr considers the amount of detail required in an interim payment application

There has been a considerable amount of case law recently concerning the degree of openness and transparency required in a payment application or default interim payment notice under the payment regime in the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended) (the Act). Only last month, I wrote about the case of Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust v Logan Construction (South East) Ltd [2017], where a distinction was drawn between the amount of transparency required in an interim payment notice (which must be unambiguous) and that required in a pay less notice (where some degree of ambiguity appears to be permitted).

Knowledge of environmental, social and governance (ESG) is in increasing demand from clients. Barbara Webb gives the lowdown

In a world of acronyms, measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment is no different and ‘environmental, social and governance’ (ESG) has become the ‘go-to’ phrase in the context of property investments. This is not a new concept, with property investors having reported on such matters for some years now.