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Property Law Journal: November 2017

Recent cases have emphasised the need for consistency in planning decisions, and to be aware of relevant earlier decisions, as Amy Truman finds out

Two recent High Court decisions emphasised the importance of consistency in planning decisions and the need for clear reasons to be provided where inconsistencies arise.

The protection afforded to pubs by being listed as ACVs and restrictive covenants limiting user can be circumvented in some circumstances, as Christopher Cant reports

A recent decision by the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) has interestingly given a reminder that when attempting to convert a public house to another use it is not just a question of considering two regimes – assets of community value (ACVs) and planning.


A landlord should look at reasonableness when deciding whether to replace or repair windows in a block. Vipul Kapoor outlines a recent case

In De Havilland Studios Ltd v Peries [2017], the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) (UT) considered whether it was reasonable for a landlord to recover the cost of repairing windows rather than replacing them through service charge. In this case, the UT allowed an appeal by the landlord, who was the freehold owner of a block of flats, against the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Property Chamber) (FTT), ruling that the landlord could not seek a service charge from two leaseholders for repairing the windows within their flat on the basis that replacing the windows was a more reasonable option than repairing them. In reaching its decision, the UT concluded that the FTT had applied the wrong test when deciding that replacement was the best option and, in doing so, disallowing the costs of repair.

Farrer & Co

Barbara Webb considers the increasing inclusion of non-standard provisions in institutional leases, reflecting corporate policies. How should the parties to the lease respond?

The institutional full repairing and insuring (FRI) lease is comprised of a more or less standard set of clauses. A feature of the FRI lease, and the investment market that it underpins, is a reluctance on the part of landlords to accept substantive alterations from the norm. Deviations from this rule generally arise only where there is a need to reflect either a particular position on the ground, eg a right is required to use a shared car park, or a commercial term agreed between the parties, eg a right of first refusal prior to assignment.

Established 20 years ago, Professional Arbitration on Court Terms, or PACT, has only recently gained momentum, as Mark Shelton discusses

PACT – Professional Arbitration on Court Terms, to give it its full title – provides an alternative procedure for the determination of lease renewals under Part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. It was established in 1997 jointly by the Law Society and the RICS, and the aim was to be able to lift lease renewals out of the court system.

John Starr

Statutory demands requiring payment of a debt cannot be used where there is a genuinely disputed debt, as John Starr explains

It can be extremely frustrating for a sub-contractor, or anyone else for that matter, not to get paid on time. Cash flow has long been recognised as the lifeblood of the construction industry. Indeed, it was cash flow (or the lack of it) that was the catalyst for the coming into force of the payment and adjudication provisions of the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996 (as amended). The idea is that interim payments fall due regularly and have to be paid on time unless prior notice is given that the amount claimed is disputed. There is then a quick, 28-day adjudication procedure to enforce payment.


Georgina Reeves reviews the key consultation proposals published in September, which are aimed at increasing the supply of new homes

The much-anticipated (and much delayed) housing white paper, Fixing our broken housing market (published in February 2017), was ultimately something of a damp squib. The Planning for the right homes in the right places: consultation proposals (the consultation), which was published on 14 September 2017, seeks to put some flesh on the bones and set out wide-ranging proposals aimed at increasing the supply of new homes. The proposals will be delivered via amendments to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), a revised version of which will be published in Spring 2018, and Planning Practice Guidance (PPG).