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Property Law Journal: 11 June 2012
Nabarro LLP

When does a development agreement between a local authority and a developer fall within the definition of a ‘public works contract’ under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006? Janet Lewis analyses a recent High Court case

A decision by the High Court has provided further confirmation on the test that determines when a development agreement will be subject to the public procurement rules and when it will be a land transfer outside of the rules.

John Starr

John Starr reviews some recent cases where the court was asked to consider the consequences of failing to comply with the Pre-action Protocol for Construction Disputes

Everyone likes a bit of certainty in life, not least the lawyers and clients involved in construction disputes. Like every game, litigation needs rules. Parliament makes the rules and, so the theory goes, the judges interpret them. One judge’s decision is binding on the next (at least until it gets appealed) and we all know where we stand.

Gowling WLG

Sarah Dawe explains why changes in the tenancy deposit scheme rules are not all bad news for landlords, but watch out for the transitional provisions

Since 6 April 2007, a landlord who receives a deposit in relation to an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) must ‘protect’ that deposit in one of three government authorised schemes. The regime, contained in the Housing Act 2004, is clearly aimed at the domestic private rental market. However, it appears to apply not only when a deposit is initially taken on the grant of an AST, but also where an investment property is sold subject to an AST, and the deposit transferred from the seller to the buyer. That is the case whether the investment in question is purely residential or mixed use. Commercial property lawyers, as well as their residential counterparts, therefore need to be familiar with the provisions of the legislation. If the landlord does not comply with the scheme, a fine may be imposed. The landlord may also find itself unable to recover possession of the property.

Meeta Kaur and Matthew Mainstone assess some developments in relation to planning application requirements following recent legislation

Many would complain that the planning system already places a heavy burden on developers and landowners in terms of costs of the planning application process and delays to the sale of sites or the start of development. Even when planning permission is granted, uncertainty may be caused by the risk of a challenge. The requirements imposed by recent legislation will add to those costs and introduce additional potential grounds for challenge that those intending to apply for planning permission should be aware of.

Nicholas Levy considers the evolution of the law on administrations and where we are now

The controversy surrounding administrations (and particularly pre-pack administrations) continues. The British Property Federation and Association of British Insurers weighed into the debate on 20 April, with calls for reform of the rules under which insolvency practitioners operate and greater transparency regarding their dealings with buyers of distressed companies. However, with current government policy favouring less, rather than more regulation, the watchwords for landlords are ‘self-help’ and vigilance. Two recent cases have brought all of this into sharp focus: Goldacre (Offices) v Nortel Networks UK Ltd [2009] and Leisure (Norwich) II Ltd v Luminar Lava Ignite Ltd [2012].

Emma Humphreys and Rachel Fletcher review the decision in Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd v Associated British Ports [2012]

In the latest in a series of judgments in the litigation between Humber Oil Terminals Trustee Ltd (HOTT) and Associated British Ports (APB), the High Court decided the interim rent payable under the lease of property described as an oil jetty, which stretches about 1 km into the Humber Estuary and comprises seven berths for ships (the Oil Jetty Lease).