Commercial Property Law Update 2020

Holiday Inn
Filton Road
Hambrook
Bristol BS16 1QX

Date: Thursday 21 May 2020

Time: 09:30 - 17:00

CPD Hours:

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£109
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£130.80 (incl. VAT)
Cost including lunch:
£124+VAT £148.80 (incl. VAT)
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KEY SUBJECTS

  • TENANT INSOLVENCY: IMPACT ON LEASE REMEDIES 
  • THE MEES REGULATIONS – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISPUTES FOR THE 2020s 
  • TERMS OF THE RENEWAL LEASE: LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1954 
  • SERVICE CHARGES – ISSUES OF DRAFTING AND MANAGEMENT IN LIGHT OF THE RICS PROFESSIONAL STATEMENT 
  • CASE LAW UPDATE
  • TRICKY AREAS IN COMMERCIAL LEASES

SPEAKERS

Sarah Thompson-Copsey, Non-Practising Solicitor, Legal Lecturer and Trainer

Ben Strange MRICS, Director, Mobius Building Consultancy Ltd

Mark Shelton, Commercial Property Management Law Trainer

John Beckett, Non-Practising Solicitor and Legal Lecturer

Richard Snape, Consultant, Davitt Jones Bould

PROGRAMME

9.30am CHAIRMAN’S INTRODUCTION

TENANT INSOLVENCY: IMPACT ON LEASE REMEDIES 

Tenant insolvency – particularly retail/leisure tenants – seems to occur on an almost weekly basis. This practical session will look at the impact on lease obligations of a tenant’s insolvency and will explore the practical options open to the landlord:

  • When the rent can be unilaterally reduced, how and why: Discovery v Debenhams
  • Can you still rely on the guarantor?
  • Pre-pack alienations – the hardest problem for landlords
  • Liquidators – when they must pay rent & how much

Sarah Thompson-Copsey, Non-Practising Solicitor, Legal Lecturer and Trainer

THE MEES REGULATIONS – COMMERCIAL PROPERTY DISPUTES FOR THE 2020s 

The MEES Regulations were introduced in April 2018 to improve the energy efficiency of the country’s leasehold property stock.  Designed so or not, this has given rise to an unexpected array of negotiation strategies available to well-advised tenants who – with the risk of blighting buildings with sub-standard EPCs as their trump card – are taking increasingly aggressive positions against their Landlords on matters such as dilapidations, rent reviews and lease renewals.

With the suggestion live that the UK Government are set to raise the lettable standard to a minimum EPC rating of B by 2030, it is perceived that this is fast becoming one of the driving forces in Landlord/Tenant matters and will dominate property litigation over the next ten years. This session will look at:

  • A brief recount of the MEES Regulations
  • EPCs – why most cannot be relied upon
  • MEES & Acquisitions – the combination of an inaccurate EPC and a highly geared purchase – who is to blame for a default?
  • MEES & Renewals – with renewals and lease extensions being captured by MEES, can a Landlord refuse to renew a ’54 Act lease of an ‘unlettable’ property?
  • MEES & Dilapidations – if a given property is unable to be let anyway, why would a tenant yield it up in repair?
  • MEES & Rent Reviews – if a property’s rental value is to be assessed based on comparables, what is the rental value of a property which is unable to be lawfully let?
  • Weaponising EPCs – what are the risks and rewards for a tenant who elects to breach their ‘no EPC’ covenant?

Ben Strange MRICS, Director, Mobius Building Consultancy Ltd

TERMS OF THE RENEWAL LEASE: LANDLORD AND TENANT ACT 1954 

When the tenant wants to renew its ’54 Act protected tenancy, what terms can be updated or standardised? How to persuade the court in default of agreement and the importance of surveyor/lawyer teamwork:

  • Alienation clauses – and compulsory AGAs
  • How to approach the tricky issue of break clauses
  • Lease length – tenant’s preference or landlord’s choice?
  • Rent review clauses & market practice
  • Repair, service charges and statutory compliance – the need for care re: MEES

Sarah Thompson-Copsey, Non-Practising Solicitor, Legal Lecturer and Trainer

SERVICE CHARGES – ISSUES OF DRAFTING AND MANAGEMENT IN LIGHT OF THE RICS PROFESSIONAL STATEMENT 

The RICS Professional Statement on Service Charges cannot prevail over express terms of a lease.  It does, though, recommend renegotiation where divergence is too great, and this talk  will consider the implications upon lease renewal.  Practical issues considered will include:

  • Dual service charges – When might they arise, and how can they be provided for?
  • Apportionment – what is ‘demonstrably fair’?
  • Sinking/Reserve funds and Depreciation charges – what are the differences and which is appropriate?
  • Recovering the cost of improvements – does Southwark LBC v Baharier amount to a blank cheque?

Mark Shelton, Commercial Property Management Law Trainer

CASE LAW UPDATE  

Certain reported legal cases are of particular interest to practitioners as they involve matters that are very relevant to their day to day practice.  This session will look at cases that impact on matters that practitioners regularly encounter and will currently include:

  • When heads of terms are binding – Abberley v Abberley
  • When use of a right of way is excessive – Stanning v Baldwin
  • What constitutes reasonable endeavours to satisfy an overage provision? Gaia Ventures v Abbeygate
  • Does a vehicular right of way include a right to load and unload? – Thurloe Lodge v Amberwood Drive
  • Easement implied as a term of a mortgage deed – Taurusbuilt v McQue
  • Can a path become a highway by usage? Barlow v Wigan Council
  • Is a name at the foot of an email a signature sufficient to create a binding contract for the sale of land? – Neocleous v Rees
  • Do me a favour – Burgess v Lejonvarn

John Beckett, Non-Practising Solicitor and Legal Lecturer

TRICKY AREAS IN COMMERCIAL LEASES 

The talk will aim to look at commonplace but tricky areas in relation to commercial leases, and will look at problems and their solutions. Topics covered will include:

  • Alienation covenants and Licences to Assign – inadvertently granting a licence
  • Reasonableness of refusal of consent to assignment, especially in the light of the Supreme Court decision in Sequent v Rotrust (2019)
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax and Rent – pitfalls in relation to assignment and the duration
  • SDLT on holding over – some of the pitfalls
  • SDLT and break clauses – whether an option might be more desirable
  • Meaning of repairing covenants as opposed to renewals and improvements, especially in the light of the Blue Manchester v North West Ground Rents (2019)
  • Repairing covenants and limitations on damages under S 18 Landlord and Tenant Act 1927

Richard Snape, Consultant, Davitt Jones Bould

5.00 pm CLOSE OF PROCEEDINGS    

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Commercial Property Law Update 2020

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