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Property Law Journal: 22 October 2012

Marie-Louise Gobbi investigates recent judicial interpretation of lease break options

I started researching this article with the assumption that it would be a fairly standard round-up of recent cases concerning the tricky operation of lease break options. While real estate litigators are familiar with the pitfalls of validly effecting commercial lease breaks, non-specialist landlords and tenants, for whom property law is an unknown and often unwelcome consequence of their ownership or occupation of business premises, can often fall foul of crafty or careless break clause drafting, and can struggle to properly operate breaks. In the difficult economic climate of recent years, many tenants have sought to extricate themselves from lengthy lease terms.

Matthew Mainstone discusses the government’s measures to boost house building

In a year that has witnessed a complete overhaul of the planning system via the Localism Act 2011 and the consolidation of national policy in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the government is set to make yet further changes to the system. In a written ministerial statement on housing and planning that was laid before the House of Commons on 6 September, the government announced a package of measures designed to boost house building and employment, and to support economic growth.

Boyes Turner

John Starr reviews a case highlighting the dangers of failing to progress beyond letters of intent when proceeding with a project

It has long been known by the construction industry that letters of intent do not make up for the lack of a formal written contract. In fact, they should come with a health warning and parties should make sure they sign up to a proper written contract as soon as possible.

The requirements of flat management companies are evolving. Matt Ashley assesses their suitability for managing modern schemes

The traditional flat management company that manages a block of flats is becoming a rare beast. Once upon a time, a block of flats could be managed by a management company that was resident-controlled. Once a year the management company had to renew the buildings insurance, have the common parts inspected for fire safety purposes, and submit an annual return to Companies House.

Nabarro LLP

Paul Pinder examines a Court of Appeal decision on the interpretation of documents held by the Land Registry

In the recent case of Cherry Tree Investments Ltd v Landmain Ltd [2012], the Court of Appeal refused to amend a legal charge registered with the Land Registry even though it would have given effect to the parties’ common intention.

Forsters LLP

Amanda Bottaro explains the effect of forthcoming changes in legislation and why property lawyers need to keep a close eye on the approach taken by parish councils

Many practitioners will be aware that the law relating to chancel repair liability is due to change in October 2013 and may have optimistically assumed that it will no longer be relevant after this date. Perhaps regrettably, this is not entirely the position.

Jennifer Hotston and Sarah Chiappini consider the different ways of structuring a transaction when a charity is selling or developing land

If a charity is considering selling or developing land in order to raise funds, there are various ways of structuring the transaction to enable the charity to get the best deal possible in the circumstances.