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On the horizon – Summer 2022

Posted on 12 July 2022

What's coming up in the property world in summer 2022? Ros Monk, a Managing Associate in the Property Litigation Group, considers the key developments and decisions expected.

Residential

The long-awaited White Paper on the proposed reforms to the private residential sector has now been published. Laura Odlind summarises the key points in her article.

The Government has published its response to both its consultation "A new deal for renting" and its call for evidence on tenancy deposit reform. The Government is also proposing to introduce reforms to address the issues in the court process in housing cases.

The ground rent restrictions in the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Act 2022 came into force in relation to most new residential leases on 30 June 2022, limiting the ground rent chargeable to one peppercorn a year

We had hoped to report on the outcome of the Supreme Court appeal in Fearn and others v Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery but at the time of writing the decision is awaited. This case concerns residents of a neighbouring block to the Tate Gallery complaining that the Gallery is committing a nuisance by operating a viewing gallery harming the amenity of the flats belonging to those residents.

Commerical

Leave to appeal the decision in TFS Stores Ltd v The Designer Retail Outlet Centres (Mansfield) General Partner Ltd [2021] has been denied by the Supreme Court and so the decision by the Court of Appeal stands. Landlords and tenants alike should be relieved that there is clarity on the contracting out process of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954: using a formula or descriptive wording in a statutory declaration to identify the term commencement date does not invalidate the declaration.  

Landlords and tenants who have yet to resolve disputes about protected rent debts should be aware that the deadline for referring a dispute to the arbitration scheme under the Commercial Rent (Coronavirus) Act 2022 is 23 September 2022 but notice of intention to apply for arbitration must be given by 26 August 2022.

Continuing the theme of rent disputes and the fall out from COVID, the Supreme Court recently heard the appeals to the decisions in BNY Mellon v Cine UK and London Trocadero (2015) LLP v Picturehouse Cinemas Ltd. We expect the decision in the Autumn term.

Landlords of empty retail properties should be aware of the plan to compel landlords to rent out these units contained in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill. The Bill was introduced to Parliament on 11 May 2022 and is currently in the Committee stage.

Telecoms

The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in three appeals heard jointly, Compton Beauchamp, Ashloch and On Tower, and decided that an operator who already has equipment in place is not to be considered an occupier for the purposes of the Electronic Communications Code ("the Code"). 

Even more change is coming in this sector as The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill is currently also making its way through Parliament. This legislation, if enacted, will form the basis for the most comprehensive change to the Code since it came into force in 2017. We will keep you updated on this.

Construction

Part of the Building Safety Act 2022 came into force on 28 June 2022. My colleagues Alex Barker and Kizzy Augustin explain more about the Act in this edition's podcast.

A Government consultation on the definition of "higher risk building" under the Act has just opened. Regulations have also just been laid extending the ban on combustible cladding.

Overseas entities

We are waiting for confirmation as to when the Economic Crime Act 2022 will come into force but expect this to happen this summer. When it does, overseas entities which own or purchase UK property will be required to register details of their beneficial ownership.

 

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