Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Michele Vas explores current approaches to assessing compensation in the context of CPOs

The promotion of nationally significant infrastructure projects such as HS2, Crossrail and garden cities, together with the recent (and continued) support in the housing white paper for the use of compulsory purchase to assist in delivering housing, confirms that the use of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) will play an increasingly prominent role in the delivery of development. The inevitable requirement of exercising CPO powers is that those dispossessed of their land are entitled to appropriate and fair compensation.

In a question of construction the court will give precedence to the strict meaning of the contract. Ed Socha and Sarah Mitchell explain

The recent case of Dooba Developments Ltd v McLagan Investments Ltd [2016] has highlighted that, provided the meaning of words in a contract are clear and unambiguous, common sense and the intention of the parties are essentially irrelevant. The use of inconsistent terms and the incorrect use of words may result in the court interpreting a contract differently to how the parties intended.

Anna Ralston takes a closer look at termination traps in rent concession letters

Finding a concession letter nestled in the deeds packet is very common. Commercial landlords and tenants often document the ‘main deal’ in the lease and then agree a ‘different deal’ in a side letter. Those side letters can either be entered into at the same time as the lease is granted or subsequently. They can cover a huge range of different subject matters such as an agreement that rents are payable on a monthly rather than quarterly basis; a concession that the tenant does not have to comply with a ‘keep open’ covenant or obligation to insure the plate-glass so long as it is the tenant; or an agreement that a tenant can share occupation. Indeed, there is no specific limit on what the parties can or cannot agree in the ‘side deal’.

Bryan Johnston discusses the impact of the controversial business rates revaluation

On 1 April 2017, the controversial business rates revaluation takes effect. Normally, revaluation does not generate front-page headlines, even in the property press. However, the 2017 revaluation is different. The path to revaluation has been anything but smooth. Even without revaluation, the rating industry has been up in arms about key judicial determinations and legislative proposals. This year, revaluation is the rating equivalent of throwing a stone at an angry wasps’ nest. This article explores these issues in greater detail.

Suzanne Benson and Tom Barton assess the impact of the long-awaited housing white paper

The housing white paper issued on 7 February 2017 led with the challenging title of Fixing our broken housing market. The supporting paper identifies a broad range of challenges and objectives to drive forward additional development, attract more institutional investment into the market and assist individuals with accessing both owner-occupier and rented housing. Many parts of the white paper are designed to start the process of further discussion, and a series of questions and further consultation papers are to follow. Below we have focused on two specific policy areas the white paper seeks to address: the wide-ranging subject of reform of the planning system and the often controversial policy of promoting starter homes.

Trevor Ivory and Rebecca Buttle give an update on the use of CPOs

Compulsory purchase powers, the means by which the state can seize the land of private citizens, albeit in return for compensation, are by their very nature draconian. They have existed for centuries in one form or another, with the legislation that we have today originating in the railway building boom of the 19th century. The private companies that built the UK’s railway network were able to do so because they were empowered by private acts of Parliament to acquire compulsorily the land they needed. Since then, the prominence of compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) has waxed and waned in response to political and economic changes.

John Starr examines the form and content of notices

It is well known that construction contracts in this country are required by the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended by the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009) to contain an adequate mechanism for interim payments to the contractor. The JCT standard form building contracts all contain payment provisions that comply with the Act and, broadly speaking, have the following effects:

Martin Edwards assesses the ramifications of the new Electronic Communications Code for landowners

If you represent a landowner with plans to redevelop their land or buildings but part of their site has been let to a telecommunications operator for telecommunications apparatus, now is a good time for them to review their position as the law is about to change.