News

Archive for November, 2008

Quick Update

The Law is not static.  Therefore, I need to update previous news letters from time to time.

In December 2007 I wrote about energy performance certificates.  1 October 2008 has come and gone so do you always need an “epc” when you sell or let property?  “Yes” with residential property - an epc is a required part of a home information pack.  “Yes”, too, with commercial property except there is an extension of the transitional arrangements.  Any building on the market at 1 October 2008 measuring 2,500 square metres or less will require an epc either when the property is let or sold or on 4 January 2009, whichever is the sooner.

In November 2007, I mentioned the curious case of Scottish & Newcastle v Raguz.  The Court of Appeal had upheld that a s17 notice (under the Landlord & Tenant (Covenants) Act 1995) had to be served within 6 months of a rent review date even if, by that time, the reviewed rent had not been determined and there were, therefore, no arrears.  The House of Lords, in reviewing the wording of s17(4) said on 29 October 2008, to use the words of Lord Brown of Eaton-Under-Heywood, it “cannot be allowed to distort the obviously sensible and intended construction of section 17(2), namely that no notice need ever be served unless a liquidated monetary charge is already outstanding and recoverable”.  So, the appeal was allowed and common sense prevails.

With the passing of the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act, 2007 I anticipated in September 2007 the property industry waving a sad goodbye to the common law of distress.  However, no enactment order has been passed and the property industry continues to use this quick, cheap and very, very effective method of collecting rent.  It is of course only a matter of time.

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