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Tribunal lifts covenant preventing construction of new houses

A landowner has succeeded in lifting a restrictive covenant preventing the construction of new houses on the edge of a village. The case involved a woman who bought a large plot containing only one house. That house was destroyed by fire a few years after the purchase. In 2015, she sought planning permission for a replacement dwelling and for two further detached houses in what had previously been the garden of the property. However, the land was subject to a […]

Tougher electrical safety standards to protect private tenants

The introduction of tougher electrical safety standards for rented properties has been put forward for public consultation by Housing Minister Heather Wheeler. The move comes after recent data revealed that tenants in the private housing sector were at a higher risk of electrical shocks and fires caused by electrical faults than those in social housing. The government wants to toughen safety enforcement laws to bring all rented housing up to the required standards. Ms Wheeler said: “Everyone deserves a safe […]

New ombudsman could help homeowners and tenants seek redress

The government may appoint a new housing ombudsman to help people settle disputes if they face problems relating to property. The idea was put forward by the Communities Secretary Sajid Javid as he discussed government plans to provide an extra 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. Currently, there are four government approved providers of redress that cover some aspects of home buying and renting, but not all. Membership of ombudsman schemes is compulsory for some groups, but not for […]

New proposals to crack down on unfair property agents

The government is planning to set up an independent regulatory body to oversee the work of letting and property management agents. Ministers say the move is necessary to end abuses in the property management industry, drive down costs and protect consumers from the small minority of rogue agents. Research by consumer group Which? shows that unfair practices can lead to as much as £700m of unnecessary service charges being paid each year, and others such as the All Party Parliamentary […]

Minister urges banks to help small businesses scale up and grow

Britain has seen a surge in the number of new businesses being created each year, according to the latest government figures. There are now a record 5.5 million private sector firms – a million more than seven years ago. The Minister for Small Business, Margot James, welcomed the figures, saying: “Small businesses employ 12.5 million people – 48% of the total UK private sector. “They boast a combined annual turnover of £1.3 trillion – 33% of all private sector turnover.” […]

Substitute clause means Deliveroo cyclists are ‘self-employed’

Deliveroo has won a dispute over whether its cyclists should be classed as workers or self-employed after inserting a ‘substitution’ clause into their contracts. The issue arose after the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) claimed union recognition for Deliveroo cyclists in Camden in London. For the claim to succeed, the union had to show that cyclists constituted a bargaining unit of “workers”. The case was heard by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), which adjudicates in union recognition cases. […]

Three brothers in dispute over their mother’s will

A man who looked after his mother in the years before her death has been removed as an executor of her will following legal action by his two brothers. The man was the woman’s younger son. He had lived with her and cared for her, along with two full-time carers, for several years and continued to live in the house after his mother died. His brothers sought to administer a will made in 1971 in which all three sons had […]

Queen’s Park Rangers allowed to build on ‘open land’

Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club has won a dispute over building on a site within protected Metropolitan Open Land (MOL). The site had been used by the public since the 1960s for sport and recreation. The proposed development was for the demolition of the existing buildings and the construction of a training and academy facility for the club, including an indoor hall, outdoor pitches and community facilities. The London Plan provided that: “The strongest protection should be given to London’s […]

Laundry firms fined £1.71m for breaching competition law

Two laundry firms have been fined a total of £1.71m after they agreed not to compete against each other in certain areas. Micronclean Limited and Berendsen Cleanroom Services Ltd provide specialist laundry services including the cleaning of garments worn by people working in ‘cleanrooms’. These are highly sanitised environments used by businesses such as pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, as well as NHS pharmacies. In May 2012, the companies entered into reciprocal trademark licence arrangements under which they agreed not […]

Landlord wins appeal over repossession of her property

A landlord has won her appeal that she was not affected by recent changes in the law and so her notice to repossess her property was valid. The case involved a landlord who rented out her house in 2007 on an oral monthly tenancy. She sought repossession in 2016 but the tenants objected, claiming that she had not complied with changes brought about by the Deregulation Act 2015. Among other things, the Act amended previous legislation so that a landlord […]

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