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Property Law Journal: 19 March 2012

Meeta Kaur provides a timely reminder of the CIL and the basics of how it is intended to operate

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is fast becoming a reality as an increasing number of local authorities across the country start to gear up in earnest to introduce it for upcoming development in their areas. In addition, the Mayor of London’s CIL is set to come in to effect across London on 1 April 2012.

Jamie Kidd reviews Coventry v Lawrence and its implications for those affected by noise nuisance

Every person is entitled to the comfortable enjoyment of their premises free from nuisance. The recent Court of Appeal decision of Coventry & anor v Lawrence & ors [2012] illustrates that whether or not something is a nuisance will depend on the locality in which the complainant is living.

Kathleen Fitzgerald looks at two cases where the courts stuck to a rigorous application of the provisions of s2

It is perhaps unsurprising in the current economic climate that there have been numerous cases before the courts concerning the interpretation of contracts relating to land. As parties seek to interpret the contractual terms to their commercial advantage, the legal principles that apply to contracts for the sale or other disposition of interests in land have become the focus of judicial debate and commentary. Two recent cases reveal the difficulties that can be faced when a dispute arises and the contract does not meet the criteria required by the legislation.

John Starr

John Starr highlights some recent instances where natural justice was found to have been breached, as well as cases where it wasn’t

In ‘Justifiable doubts and the fair-minded observer’, PLJ278, 24 October 2011, p19 I looked at the issue of bias in arbitration proceedings. Similar issues arise in adjudication and can determine whether an adjudicator’s decision is enforceable.

Recent cases have questioned the longheld view that an unreasonable deposit is a penalty that can be repaid in full, as Laurie Heller finds out

In a contract for the sale of land, a deposit is an earnest for performance. It is a ‘pledge’ (OED definition of ‘earnest’) of completion of the purchase on the terms of the contract. In the event of failure of the purchaser to complete the purchase, the deposit is forfeit and equity has no power to relieve against the forfeiture. The court has power under statute (see s49(2) Law of Property Act 1925) to order the repayment of a deposit, but, as recently explained in Midill (97PL) Ltd v Park Lane Estates Ltd & anor [2009], that discretion is to be exercised from a starting position that an order for return of a deposit requires the presence of exceptional circumstances.

Neil Ham considers the decision in Avocet and its broader consequences for landlords and tenants

The exercise of a break right by a tenant results in the premature termination of what is often a long-term contract with its landlord. In a weak property market, this can sometimes mean the loss of several years’ rent and a liability for business rates, as well as a service charge void until the landlord finds a new tenant.