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Heads of terms is a document that records the main terms of a lease agreement between a landlord and a tenant. The terms are usually prepared and negotiated by the landlord’s agent. Although heads of terms are not legally binding, it is important for the tenant to take time to understand the terms and the financial implications behind those terms before they start lease negotiations. 

Stephen Stewart
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For so long Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) were little more than coloured paperwork forming part of a conveyancing transaction. This is all set to change from 1 April 2018 with regulations that require commercial properties being leased to have a minimum EPC rating of E.  Landlords that rent out properties with lower ratings could face fines of up to £150,000.

Rachael Spalton
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Britain’s historic vote to leave the European Union shook the nation on 23 June – but what impact has it had on the UK’s commercial property market? 

Victoria Sandberg
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There is a growing trend of rural landowners leasing barns for commercial purposes. But what factors should you consider before you take the leap? 

Stephen Stewart
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Most tenants will recognise the importance of lease terms relating to the amount of rent payable or the length of a lease, but the remaining provisions can be just as, if not more, important with potential ramifications on their business costs.

Victoria Sandberg
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A recent ruling in the Court of Appeal confirms that land owners do not have to take costly steps if they want to prevent people from parking on their land.

Stephen Stewart
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At the start of April the latest Government reform came into play with the intention of cooling the buy-to-let market, being an additional 3% payable on SDLT charges.  The increase also affects those buying a second home or a holiday home however it is the buy-to-let market that it is anticipated will be affected most. So what is the alternative? 

Rachael Spalton
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Regulations to establish a flood reinsurance scheme were made in November and came into immediate effect.  Flood Re is the system preferred by The Association of British Insurers and the Government to ensure that affordable insurance against flood risk is available for home owners whose properties are considered to be at high risk of flooding.  It is anticipated that the scheme will start business in April this year and the catastrophic floods which we saw over the Christmas period demonstrate that a workable scheme needs to be implemented as soon as possible.  

Victoria Sandberg
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Rachael Spalton and Victoria Sandberg of Longmores Solicitors’ commercial property team and Paul Raitt of Brasier Freeth Surveyors recently held a joint seminar on the subject of “Buying Or Leasing Business Premises; Pitfalls For The Unwary”. 

Rachael Spalton
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Last month the Government announced changes to the planning regime to make permanent the controversial Permitted Development Right which allows the conversion of office premises to residential without having to obtain a full planning permission.  The Permitted Development Right was introduced in May 2013 as a temporary measure until May 2016 but has now been extended indefinitely and forms part of the Government’s drive to deliver 1 million homes by 2020.  Whilst the Permitted Development Right may only deliver a small proportion of the Government’s homes target, the change will no doubt be welcomed by developers. 

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Liz Gallop, Rachael Spalton and Victoria Sandberg of Longmores’ Commercial Property team and John Wiblin of Longmores’ Commercial Litigation team held a very useful and well-attended seminar last week, under the umbrella heading of...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Rachael Spalton
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The Commercial Property department has recently added a high level appointment to their team, Rachael Spalton who joined the Hertford based firm in March at partner level.  Rachael has spent the last 13 years working in central London,...
Victoria Sandberg
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Commercial property solicitors have seen a significant rise in transactions over the last 12 - 18 months. There certainly seems to be an increased confidence in sellers, purchasers, lenders, landlords and tenants, although prices/rents are still some way off...
Victoria Sandberg
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In previous blogs we have discussed the issue of whether or not a tenant can assign its lease. Briefly, if the lease contains no provisions dealing with assignments, the tenant will be free to assign the lease as it wishes. However, this is rare and most...
Victoria Sandberg
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A central register of land ownership was created in 1925, although at that time it was not compulsory to register dealings with land in all areas of the country. Different parts of England and Wales became subject to compulsory registration of dealings at...
Victoria Sandberg
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Tenants sometimes wish to assign their lease to a group company. Whether or not they can do so depends on the wording in the lease. It is quite common for a lease to specifically prohibit inter-group assignments. However, where it is permitted (either...
Victoria Sandberg
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Longmores Solicitors, jointly with Handelsbanken, Rural Solutions and Hardcastle Burton, sponsored a recent seminar to discuss new planning opportunities in rural property. Various rural property specialists talked about the new planning opportunities as...
Victoria Sandberg
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Property is usually sold at auction for a particular reason. It may be that the seller wants the property sold quickly and requires the certainty of knowing that when the hammer goes down, the property will definitely sell (instead of waiting until the buyer...
Victoria Sandberg
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Whether you are a landlord or a tenant of commercial premises, it is extremely important that the lease sets out full details of who will insure and exactly what they will insure. If the lease is silent, there is no implied obligation on either party to...
Victoria Sandberg
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The Land Registry has launched a new form – Form RQ(Co) – which can be used by a company to register a counter-fraud restriction against the registered title to a property of which it is the registered proprietor. There is no Land Registry fee...
Victoria Sandberg
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In a previous blog we discussed the assignment of commercial leases. In this blog we discuss an alternative means of dealing with a tenant’s interest in a lease of commercial property: sub-letting (also known as underletting). A tenant may wish to...
Victoria Sandberg
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Alienation is the legal term for assigning, sub-letting, charging or otherwise dealing with a tenant’s interest in a lease of property. In a lease of commercial property, whether a tenant can do any of these is dependent on what the lease does or...
Victoria Sandberg
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Service charges are one of the main issues of contention in leases, for both landlords and tenants. A service charge clause is designed to enable the landlord to reclaim from the tenant(s) the costs it incurs in repairing and maintaining a building...
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On Wednesday 12th March 2014 at 4pm Longmores would like to invite you to a seminar by members of the specialist Commercial Litigation team on debt collection.  The seminar is aimed at businesses and managers whose role includes responsibility for...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Victoria Sandberg
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  In our previous blog we discussed whether and, if so, how the commercial property leasing process can be simplified. We came to the conclusion that greater use of excluding the tenant’s right to renew under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 may...
Victoria Sandberg
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The Commercial Property team at Longmores Solicitors LLP held a very useful seminar yesterday, to discuss whether the commercial property leasing process can be simplified. The seminar took the form of a round-table discussion, with attendees including...
Victoria Sandberg
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The purpose of a rent review in a lease is to ensure (for the Landlord’s benefit) that the rent payable by the tenant remains at market value. In theory it is possible to have rent reviews that apply both up and down (and indeed there has been a push...
Victoria Sandberg
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Chancel repair liability has been widely reported on recently, in both the legal press and (unusually!) the national news. The reason for this is that on 13 October 2013, new rules came into effect regarding overriding interests, including chancel repair...
Victoria Sandberg
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In the current economic climate, tenants are taking much shorter leases than in the past. However, tenants are sometimes still reluctant even to sign up for a 5 year lease, especially if they have a new business. We are therefore seeing an increase in the...
Victoria Sandberg
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In our previous Longmores Commercial Property Team blog we discussed the importance of having a survey carried out before buying or taking a lease of commercial premises. A survey should highlight any major issues regarding the property which will or may...
Victoria Sandberg
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Nowadays, few people would dream of buying a home without having a survey carried out. However, when buying or taking a lease of commercial premises, our experience as solicitors is that this is not always the case. Buyers and tenants of commercial premises...
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Victoria Sandberg joined the Commercial Property department of Longmores in August 2013. She works with Liz Gallop and Richard Taylor in dealing with the sale and purchase of commercial properties and business leases for a wide range of property clients....
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Victoria Sandberg
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The Government has relaxed some of the rules for when planning permission is required for the change of use of and alterations to property in England, from May 2013. The intention behind the changes is to bring redundant buildings back into use and to...
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The recent case of Rainbird and another v  Smith and others has once again demonstrated the importance of clear Will drafting on behalf of clients. Section 33 of the Wills Act 1837 states that where a Will includes provision for a child of the...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
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Following a Court of Appeal judgment on 14 June 2013 in Superstrike Ltd v Marino Rodrigues [2013] EWCA Civ 669 , residential landlords need to look carefully at their arrangements concerning their tenant’s deposit, and all the more so if they intend...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
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Tenants of business premises have a statutory right to renew their leases subject to the conditions contained in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. If you are a landlord and you go through the correct procedure prior to the grant of the lease to exclude (or...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
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If you are a tenant and you rent premises which you occupy for business purposes then when your lease comes to an end the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954  gives you the right to renew  your lease unless prior to your lease being entered into it was...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Richard  Taylor
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With a further hike in stamp duty land tax (SDLT) rates for higher value residential property in the Finance Act 2012 there is a growing temptation to look at schemes to reduce the impact of SDLT. However, recent cases have shown that HMRC are taking an...
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Subject to certain reliefs business rates are payable not only on occupied properties but also on vacant properties.  This is a real problem for property owners in the current economic climate who are struggling to rent out properties and who therefore...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Richard  Taylor
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Some recent cases have highlighted the tactics sometimes employed by neighbouring owners of a development site. Rights to light are a regular cause for concern for developers.  One of the ways to acquire a right of light is by prescription under...
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As part of the sale process the seller’s solicitors has to get replies to preliminary enquiries about the property from his client and send them to the buyer’s solicitors. If the sale is of commercial property then the seller replies to the...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Craig Harrison
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In the context of preparing and negotiating commercial contracts, one aspect which does not always attract the focus and attention so clearly merited is considering how and to what extent a particular party’s liability under the contract is to be...
Richard  Taylor
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The construction industry is going to play an important part in helping the country to claw its way out of what is now recognised as the worst four-year period for the UK economy outside wartime in the last 100 years.  Therefore, while having to raise...
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In today’s difficult market conditions business flexibility is key. If you are taking a lease of business premises you need to make sure that you are not being tied in for longer than you may need to be.  Ideally you therefore need to try and...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Richard  Taylor
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Now and again I receive a call from the proprietor of a small business who is looking to take a lease, perhaps of a small shop or office, with the expectation that he really only needs a lawyer to read over the draft lease and let him know “if...
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If you apply for planning permission to develop land the local planning authority may require you to enter into what is known as a section 106 agreement in which you undertake to pay specified sums in order to fund infrastructure development in the area or,...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
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The loss of a loved one can sometimes be anticipated due to ill health or age but equally it can be completely unexpected and traumatic.  Whatever the circumstances, dealing with the shock and grief of losing someone can often mean that families and...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
Richard  Taylor
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Since the Land Registration Act 2002 came into force on 13th October 2003, there have been two regimes for dealing with adverse possession, where someone occupies another’s land without consent. The regime that applies depends on whether your land is...
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In these current difficult economic times, tenants with cash flow problems who cannot  pay their rent are all too common. As a landlord you may be faced with a difficult choice.  If you terminate your tenant’s lease because of rent arrears...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
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If you are a landlord of commercial premises , your tenant has not paid the rent and you want to get the property back then you have two options if the premises are not occupied for residential purposes. The first is to go to court to get an order for...
Posted in:, Commercial Property
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People often think of time limits for bringing claims as something imposed by law, as indeed they are. However, there can be other time limits which apply, including those imposed by contract. Insurance contracts normally include time limits for making...
Posted in:, Commercial Property