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Property Law Journal: February 2017

Ed Socha and Matthew Prendergast set out valuable lessons from key cases in 2016

With one eye on the future, the property litigation team at Osborne Clarke summarise some of the key property decisions and lessons from 2016.

PwC LLP

Can a contract for the sale of land be enforced when one party has signed for another without consent? Rebecca Field and Amit Unadkat explain

An important judgment handed down by the Court of Appeal considered whether a contract for the sale of land was valid and enforceable where one party had purportedly signed on behalf of themselves and another, but without obtaining the requisite consent to do so and without the second party ratifying the contract.

Jeremy Stephen considers why s20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 is overdue for amendment

Consultations under s20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 (the Act) and its regulations have become a fact of life for landlords in the residential sector. However, the regulations which operate without too much difficultly in the more straightforward residential scenarios have become stretched in recent years.

Eversheds

Will Densham and Kanchan Adik look at new energy efficiency rules and their impact on rent reviews

Rent review surveyors have been having a busy time over the past few years with rents continuing to rise. Rents are expected to continue to be higher than they were five years ago at lease grant or at the previous review for a few more years, depending on the impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU and other global macro-economic influences from near and afar.

Farrer & Co

Andrew Wade reviews the current position on signage and establishing prescriptive rights

In the 2016 case of Winterburn v Bennett, Richards LJ commented that:

Dentons

Rachael Herbert examines recent decisions concerning the role that strategic environmental assessments play in the plan-making process, and the consideration of reasonable alternatives

There has been a spate of recent cases concerning the requirement for plan makers to consider ‘any reasonable alternatives’ as part of the plan-making process and the role Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) plays in how that should be approached.

John Starr

John Starr discusses the lessons to be learned from forming oral contracts

I wrote recently about a case where the need for a properly documented construction contract was compelling (‘A minor matter?’, PLJ346, November 2016, p21). It was the case of Goldsworthy v Harrison [2016], where the parties’ failure properly to agree the terms of the contract between them meant that it was not clear what those terms were and, specifically, whether they included an adjudication clause. Without an adjudication clause, the contract fell within the residential occupier exception in s106 of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 and adjudication was not available. As such, Goldsworthy’s attempt to enforce an adjudicator’s decision in its favour failed.