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Property Law Journal: 16 May 2011

Jackie Newstead assesses the new Code, which is due to come into effect in October 2011

On 4 May the RICS launched the second edition of its Service Charges in Commercial Property Code of Practice. The revised Code will come into effect on 1 October and replaces the first edition of the Code originally published in 2007. Like the original Code, the new version seeks to set out a framework of best practice for owners and management surveyors and states that its core principles remain as ‘communication, transparency and timeliness’.

Boyes Turner

John Starr reviews two recent cases providing some clarity to the wording of s1 of the Defective Premises Act

If a builder builds a house that is not up to scratch, or an engineer designs foundations that are not up to the job, then they will usually be in breach of contract and liable to pay damages to the person who instructed them to carry out the work. However, what if the shoddy workmanship is only discovered when the property has been sold? The purchaser of the house is unlikely to have any contractual relationship with the builder or engineer. However, statute intervenes and may come to the rescue providing a remedy in the form of the Defective Premises Act 1972. The Act imposes stringent requirements on those engaged in providing properties for residential occupation.

Laurie Heller provides a reminder of the equitable doctrine and its application in practice

The doctrine of subrogation, so useful in its application, appears in a variety of contexts where it answers the need for justice in a situation and permits:

Dechert LLP

Jon Bola considers when a contractual condition may be waived in light of recent case law

A party to a conditional contract may waive a condition that is solely for that party’s benefit provided it is severable from the remainder of the contract. However, as a recent case shows, the waiver of the condition cannot revive the contract if notice has already been given to terminate it.

Ian Trehearne comments on the Bill and what it means for the future of planning

The Localism Bill, which is now going through Parliament, has been highlighted by the government as a driver of housing supply improvement and sorely needed growth in the regions independent of financial wizardry. There has been much comment recently about whether localism will take us to the right place and really generate growth.

Richard Bartle and Keith Shaw discuss how developers are restrained by the restrictive covenants that burden their land, with reference to recent case law and possible future developments

Legal obstacles, such as restrictive covenants, often arise at some point during the construction of commercial developments. Developers have traditionally ‘costed’ these obstacles by putting aside a pot of money that they can use to essentially buy off those with the benefit of the restrictions post-completion, and therefore proceed with construction in spite of them. The recent decision of the Lands Tribunal in George Wimpey Bristol Ltd v Gloucestershire Housing Association Ltd [2011] takes a robust stance against developers who take this approach in respect of the restrictive covenants that burden development land.