If I were in charge – Dan

In the first of our ‘If I were in charge’ blog posts, our Director Dan Knowles shares what he’d do if he were in charge of the country. As with the posts from other team members to follow, there will be 2 Property related proposals and 2 other proposals. Stamp duty – switch who pays At the end of 1991, …

Developers change toxic leases

Developers commit to combat Toxic leases About time, many may say! Many leases of newbuild properties have rather onerous ground rents, described as toxic. Ground rents are typically annual payments paid by a leaseholder to a freeholder to reflect that the latter owns the ground on which the property sits. For too long, they have been seen as an income …

Leasehold reform

Leasehold reform The Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) committee recently released its report into leasehold housing, in their report the select committee set a range of recommendations to the government to implement: • Ensure that commonhold becomes the primary model of ownership of flats in England and Wales • Require ground rents on new leases to be set at …

Govt. borrowing cap removed

Removal of the borrowing cap As long as anyone at Sawyer Fielding can remember, successive governments have talked up the need to build more housing. Also, as long as we can remember, the country has failed to do so. This has been the case for a number of reasons including supply and demand cycles and a complicated and protracted planning …

Land Value Capture reforms

Potential reforms of Land Value capture The Communities & Local Government (CLG) committee are currently examining reform to Land Value Capture (LVC) methods. LVC is a method of tapping into increased value of a property by virtue of a planning permission being granted (“planning gain”). The three most common methods are – Section 106 contributions A Section 106 contribution is …

CPO Law Changes

Changes to Compulsory Purchase Law Compulsory purchase law has recently been affected by changes made to legislation which came into effect on the 22nd of September 2017 and 6th April 2018. The main changes affect the Confirmation of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs), claims for CPO compensation and Advance payments of CPO compensation. This article will summarise what the effects of …

Social Housing white paper

Published Date: August 2018 Social Housing White Paper In August 2018, Government launched it’s new Social Housing white paper. This document is a series of proposals that Government are consulting on. It is widely acknowledged that the lack of social housing is a significant part of the housing crisis. Not enough are built and of what there is, much is …

3 year tenancies

Introducing 3 year tenancies The Government are currently looking at increasing the minimum term for tenancy agreements to be three years. Research suggests that 81% of tenants have agreements for 6 or 12 months whilst the average tenant remains at a property for 4 years. The justification is clear. It can be very difficult for tenants to uproot their lives …

Securing vacant possession

Dealing with private tenants Compulsory Purchase is flawed when it comes to dealing with private tenants! The system doesn’t work! On Estate regeneration schemes, it’s arguably even worse. When Landlords sell properties on Compulsory Purchase terms, they are almost always required to secure vacant possession. That means evicting their tenant. In many cases, the tenant is in receipt of benefits …

Shared Equity

Shared equity schemes Shared equity on regeneration estates is becoming increasingly more common. Some love it, some hate it. Some schemes work very well. Some fail badly. As with many things, the devil is in the detail. This article is designed to help leaseholders affected by Compulsory Purchase consider whether shared equity is a good option for them or not. …

Access to Justice

Entering the Lands Chamber The Lands Chamber plays a hugely important role in resolving disputes. Disputes are common place, sometimes because of genuine disagreements and sometimes because of one party being unreasonable or unrealistic. For example, where leaseholders wish to extend their leases, there is a process where disputes could end up in the First Tier Tribunal of the Lands …