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Absolute Discretion Has Limits

Construction disputes are a rich source of argument in the courts, and where the contract affords one party a 'discretion' with regard to its rights or obligations under the contract, disagreement can arise as to when this becomes operative. Recently, an...

Charges Must Be Reasonable to be Reasonably Incurred

The leases relating to tenancies in blocks of flats and similar buildings will normally require the tenants to make a reasonable contribution towards the 'estate' costs of the property. The estate costs are those which apply to the whole of the premises or...

Follow Proper Planning Procedures or Else

An argument over a planning permission for a small rural development has necessitated the intervention of the Court of Appeal , which confirmed that a council that failed to follow its own planning guidelines could not grant permission for a development...

Contract Terms Clarified by Court

No amount of careful drafting can be guaranteed to iron out disagreements as to the true meaning of contract terms and when a dispute occurs it may require the intervention of a judge to bring clarity. One case exactly on point concerned a contract for the...

Council's Drafting Error Opens Way for Change of Use

Planning permissions mean what they say and judges are very reluctant to imply terms into them, even in order to correct flawed drafting. That point was made by the High Court as it opened the way for a former DIY store to be used for food retailing. ...

Economic Reality Telling Factor in Planning Appeal

Aesthetic opinions differ dramatically and, in planning disputes, one property owner's dream is very often anathema to another. That was certainly so in one case in which the Court of Appeal opened the way for the demolition and replacement of a...

Business Rates Reform on the Agenda?

There has been much grumbling over the years about the fact that where a tenant occupies multiple floors of a building, those floors will normally be treated as separate premises for the calculation of business rates. This normally produces larger rates...

Housing Developments - Economic Benefits v Environmental Harm

Housing developments are almost always controversial and, in deciding whether or not to approve them, planners have to balance environmental and other objections against social and economic benefits. That was certainly so in one case in which the High...

Landlord's Motivation for Work Not in Point, Rules Court

A recent case decided by the High Court will (if not overturned on appeal) have potential implications for some commercial tenants seeking renewals of their tenancies. It involved a dealer in textiles that occupies areas in the ground and basement floors...

Student Bedsits Are Not 'Separate Dwellings'

In a decision of great importance to landlords of student accommodation , a tribunal has found that bedsits with communal facilities are not separate dwellings. The ruling meant that the tribunal had no power to consider an attempt by a group of students to...
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