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Property Law Journal: December 2016/January 2017

The current vogue for sub-letting has hit a hurdle in the courts. Henry Webb explains

Following the Upper Tribunal’s recent decision in Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Ltd [2016] there has been much commentary on the circumstances in which a lessee of a flat held on a long lease might be held to be in breach as a result of entering into an Airbnb sub-letting. In Nemcova, the particular covenant of which the lessee was held to be in breach prohibited use ‘other than as a private residence’.

Dentons

Mark Bassett examines a case concerning the interaction between real estate transactions and the public procurement rules

In August 2016 the High Court gave its most recent judgment that is relevant to the application of the public procurement rules to real estate transactions. R (Faraday Development Ltd) v West Berkshire Council [2016] (Faraday) is the latest in a line that can be said to have begun with the well-known European Court of Justice case, Auroux v Commune de Roanne [2007] (Roanne). Roanne highlighted the relevance of public procurement to public authorities entering into development agreements (mostly local authorities) and resulted in an upsurge in development agreements being awarded in accordance with the public contracts regime.

Karl Anders reviews recent case law concerning residential service charges, highlighting key lessons for landlords and tenants

Service charges are a common source of friction between landlords and tenants. Residential service charge disputes in particular can be very contentious, especially when hefty charges are levied on unsuspecting tenants, and not least where tenants cannot easily see or understand where sums charged are being spent, what charges relate to and whether they are reasonable.

Rebecca Cattermole highlights the current position on the doctrine of estoppel in the context of recent case law

The case of Moore v Moore [2016] is the most recent illustration of the treatment of proprietary estoppel by the courts and, once again, shines a spotlight on farming businesses and the perils of informal arrangements. It is a somewhat typical case: a father has promised his share in the family farm to a son who, in turn, has devoted his whole life to it but, following a souring of relations, the father has sought to resile from that promise. The court found that the son was entitled to an equitable interest in the father’s share of the farm and assets by way of proprietary estoppel.

Dentons

Sonia Ferreira, Karen Jacobs and Tim Constable consider who is to blame if the seller is an imposter

An important judgment handed down by the High Court considered the liability of both solicitors and estate agents in circumstances where the seller of a property turned out to be an imposter.

John Starr

The co-ordination of adjudications on multi-tier projects can lead to conflicts. John Starr reports

The universal availability of adjudication as a means of dispute resolution in the construction industry can have potentially serious implications on multi-tier projects. For example, inconsistent decisions in adjudications between employer and contractor and between contractor and sub-contractor can leave the contractor with a loss which it cannot pass down the supply chain without recourse to the courts.

Nabarro LLP

Laura Cole and Edward Gamble discuss the best way to deal with squatters

Although we are all familiar with the concept of squatters, a person can only claim a legal right to be registered as the title owner to land if it can prove to the Land Registrar’s satisfaction that it has been in actual, physical possession of that land for the required length of time, without the permission of the legal owner. Conversely, this means that for land owners, diligence is required to ensure that if a third party is accessing and/or using land without a right to do so, action is taken by the land owner as soon as possible to either prevent possession, or to make it clear that the possession is unauthorised.