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Property Law Journal: 8 April 2013

Lindsay Millar discusses the implications of the Budget for the property industry

Most commentators have welcomed the measures announced to support home buyers in obtaining greater access to mortgage finance and to encourage the emerging ‘build-to-rent’ sector. However, there has been some concern that the new mortgage guarantee scheme in particular will be more likely to drive up house prices than to deal with the fundamental problem of the shortfall in the housing supply.

Eluned Watson considers the correct response to the impending ban on ozone-depleting refrigerants

From 2015, there will be a total ban on the use of hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs), which are still in use in many buildings as refrigerants (including R22 (chlorodifluoromethane)) in air-conditioning units, refrigeration systems, heat pumps or fire protection systems (RAC systems). HCFCs are ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) that contribute to global warming when released into the atmosphere. The ban means that RAC systems will either need to be converted, so that an alternative permitted refrigerant can be used in the system, or replaced in their entirety. This means the prospect of high compliance costs for businesses where HCFCs are currently used in their operations. In addition, on 7 November 2012 the European Commission published a draft regulation that aims to reduce emissions of climate-warming fluorinated gases (F-gases) by two-thirds of 2012 levels by 2030. F-gases are commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning units in place of HCFCs.

Nabarro LLP

Joshua Risso-Gill and Tim Stansfeld explain how to avoid ‘stopping up’ delaying development plans

Of the government’s new measures to help bring developments forward, perhaps one of the most useful is the proposal to speed up the stopping-up order application process. This article examines:

Matthew Bonye and Julia Morgan weigh up the implications for the real estate sector of the decision in R (on the application of Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax.

The Supreme Court handed down judgment in late January, in a long-running tax dispute confirming that legal advice privilege (LAP) is restricted to confidential communications between a client and a qualified solicitor (including in-house lawyers), barrister or foreign lawyer in R (on the application of Prudential plc) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax [2013].

John Starr

Westfields Construction Ltd v Lewis clarifies when and how statutory exemptions should be used. John Starr examines the case.

The answer to the question posed in the headline is that a residential occupier is not a residential occupier when they have moved out of their house to allow refurbishment works to be undertaken with a view to letting it out. That was the finding of the Hon Mr Justice Coulson in the recent case of Westfields Construction Ltd v Lewis [2013].

Nitej Davda looks at the enforceability of informal agreements relating to land

The Pallant v Morgan equity is a species of constructive trust that has developed in the specific field of joint venture agreements to develop land. As with all constructive trusts, it is an exception to the general rule contained in s2(1) of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 that a contract for the sale or other disposition of an interest in land can only be made in writing.