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Obtaining quia timet injunctions against persons unknown What can a landowner do if he fears that trespassers will come onto his land and cause damage to the land or perhaps injury to themselves; and wants to pre-empt this from occurring in advance? This question was considered in the recent decision of Vastint Leeds BV v Persons Unknown [2018] EWHC 2456. The property in question is a development site...

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Recent developments arising from the Grenfell tragedy Readers will no doubt be aware that an independent public inquiry is currently ongoing chaired by Sir Martin Moore-Bick in relation to the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017. The formal opening of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry took place on 14 September 2017. Those interested in keeping abreast of developments can visit the Inquiry’s website here...

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A tenant applies to the landlord for consent to assign, where the landlord is not entitled unreasonably to refuse consent. The landlord refuses consent on three grounds. Of those three grounds, two are reasonable; the third is unreasonable. Is the refusal of consent valid? The answer was revisited and summarised again in the Court of Appeal’s recent decision in No.1 West India Quay (Residential) Ltd v...

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The validity of "No Oral Modification" clauses Who would have thought that a property dispute involving just over £12,000 in licence fee arrears would trouble not only the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court but also lead to a decision on a fundamental and, until now, unsettled, issue of contract law? Well, Rock Advertising Limited v MWB Business Exchange Centres Limited [2018] UKSC 24  is just such...

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A review of the case of Openwork Ltd v Forte What happens if the overall effect of a contractual term is clear but the detailed terms are incomplete? In Openwork Ltd v Forte [2018] EWCA Civ 783 (18 April 2018), the Court of Appeal considered, amongst other things, whether a contractual term was sufficiently certain in its effect to be operative and enforceable. In light of this decision,...

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Reviewing the Court of Appeal decision in Reedbase v Fattal The Court of Appeal has recently considered the consultation requirements relating to residential service charges contained in the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, on an appeal from the Central London County Court, in Reedbase Ltd & Anor v Fattal & Ors [2018] EWCA Civ 840 (19 April 2018). The issues related to two penthouses in an apartment...

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A review of the recent decision in Rotrust v Hautford If a lease contains a tenant covenant "not to apply for planning permission without the permission of the landlord, such consent not to be unreasonably withheld or delayed," what are the considerations that a court will give to whether a landlord's refusal is unreasonable? This was the question before the Court of Appeal in Rotrust Nominees Ltd...

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In Sackville v. Robertson [2018] EWHC 122 (Ch), the High Court considered a summary judgment application by a landlord arguing that a purported break notice served by an assignee of the tenant was invalid, as at the time of service of the break notice the assignment had not been registered at the Land Registry. The landlord (and claimant in the application) was known as Sackville. Robertson...

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Looking at the case of Riva Properties and others v Foster + Partners If a firm of architects is engaged by a client to design a building to a certain budget, will the architects be negligent if their design is significantly in excess of that budget and no amount of “value-engineering” can bring the likely cost of the design down to within budget? In a nutshell, these...

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