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Property Law Journal: 12 September 2011

Dellah Gilbert discusses where the decision in K/S Victoria Street v House of Fraser leaves tenants entering into AGAs and guarantors of such agreements

The Landlord and Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995 radically overhauled the law of privity of contract, limiting a tenant’s liability to the period in which the lease remained vested in it and, where the tenant entered into an authorised guarantee agreement (AGA), for the period that the lease remained vested in his immediate assignee. Guarantors’ liability could not be more extensive than that of the tenant. Section 25 of the Act is a comprehensive anti-avoidance provision.

Mundays LLP

With the coming into force of The Water Industry Regulations 2011 Gemma James examines whether this marks the end of our worries about drainage

The Water Industry (Schemes for Adoption of Private Sewers) Regulations 2011 came into force on 1 July 2011 and mean that private sewers and lateral drains in England and Wales will transfer into the ownership of the water companies from 1 October 2011.

Caroline May provides an overview of the proposed amendments designed to simplify the CRC

On 30 June 2011, proposed amendments to the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly the Carbon Reduction Commitment) were published by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), to make the CRC ‘simpler, easier and more straightforward’.

Forsters LLP

Both landlords and tenants should seek to protect themselves in anticipation of a possible change to the VAT treatment of service charges for common areas. Elizabeth Small and Alastair Robertson investigate

The First-tier Tribunal has requested a preliminary ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP v Revenue & Customs [2011] on whether service charges paid as a condition of a commercial property lease attract VAT, whether or not an option to tax is made, because it is a separate supply and not a composite supply (ie in effect subject to VAT as though it were part and parcel of the rent charge).

Euan Murray summarises the proposals for BRR and TIF, as well some of the key issues for developers and local authorities to consider in relation to TIF

The government has recently published a consultation document seeking views in relation to its proposals for business rate retention (BRR) in England and options for enabling local authorities to carry out Tax Increment Financing (TIF) within the business rates retention system.

Nabarro LLP

Julie Gattegno and Jane Turley assess expert immunity and expert determinations following two recent rulings

A person who is an expert in their field can assume the role of giving evidence to a court or other tribunal as a witness for one or other of the parties to a dispute (or in some cases both parties, ie as a single joint expert), or alternatively can be the person whose expertise is deployed to resolve a dispute (in the context of an expert determination). Recent cases have considered the roles and responsibilities of experts in both these areas.

Local authority failure to notify the valuation officer can be ‘an irrelevancy’ in respect of underlying liability. Martin Dawbney and Nusrat Zar review a recent case

In Secerno Ltd & ors v Oxford Magistrates Court & anor [2011] the Administrative Court held that a failure by a local authority to supply information to the valuation officer, in accordance with a requirement in particular regulations, was irrelevant when magistrates were considering the issue of a liability order in respect of unpaid business rates. The regime differed from that in North Somerset DC v Honda Motor Europe Ltd & ors [2010], and a different statutory intention was said to apply.