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Property Law Journal: 10 October 2011

Kathleen Fitzgerald and Victoria Leam assess who ultimately pays for damage caused by civil unrest

Many commercial property owners and occupiers whose businesses have been destroyed or impacted during the summer riots are just beginning to come to terms with the true cost of the damage caused. A number of individuals whose homes have been affected are also facing the severity of the impact. Following the riots, businesses and individuals not directly affected may now also be aware that their properties could be at risk in the future and seek to know the types of compensation and support available in times of civil unrest.

Bryan Johnston analyses a judgment with implications for valuers, investors and funders

The High Court has handed down judgment in Capita Alternative Fund (1) and Matrix-Securities Limited (2) v Drivers Jonas (a firm).

Shanna Smith reviews two Court of Appeal decisions which appear to have put another nail in the coffin of such schemes

Picture the scenario: you’re flat-hunting; you find the perfect flat to rent and the landlord presents you with a tenancy agreement for 12 months, which you take home and read thoroughly before signing your name at the bottom. You pay the landlord an amount equivalent to one month’s rent by way of a deposit and you get the keys to move into your dream pad. The tenancy provides that the deposit will be held by the landlord to protect him from any damage that you cause to the flat, or to offset any arrears in rent. If neither arises during the course of the tenancy, the landlord will return the deposit to you when you move out.

Amanda Gourlay discusses a case that brings some clarity to an opaque issue

Section 81 of the Housing Act 1996 prevents a landlord from exercising a right to forfeit on the grounds of non-payment of service charges, without it having first been ‘finally determined’ that the amount claimed is due.


Michael Higgin considers the implications of a case that has found plasterwork applied to walls and ceilings to be structural

The recent case of Grand v Gill [2011] concerned a dispute over the state of repair of a flat, but the case’s implications extend to commercial as well as residential property. The court held that plasterwork on walls, that many people will previously have considered to be non-structural, was, in fact, part of the structure, making it part of the landlord’s responsibilities rather than the tenant’s. The effect of this is that, in some leases, plasterwork may no longer be part of the demise and, even if it is, a tenant’s right to do works to non-structural parts may not stretch far.

Heath Marshall provides an update of the extent to which the Regulations are relevant to land agreements

In my previous article in PLJ222, January 2009 p11, I addressed the issue of whether the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 applied to contracts for the sale of land and agreements regarding interests in land.