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Development issues

Off-plan investments and the risk of lost deposits

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Picture the scene. An off-plan investor contracted two years ago and paid substantial deposits. The longstop date has passed and construction is continuing – but slowly. The investor is losing faith in the developer and is impatient. He has the right to rescind the contract and require the developer to repay the deposits. What should…

Fortune favours the brave – a landlord and tenant perspective

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The interests of residential landlords and tenants are regulated by contractual terms and a statutory overlay, and if there is a problem the court or the tribunal is in the wings ready to intervene – but it’s never really as simple as that! Although rights and obligations etc can be enforced the prospect of taking…

Duval – another headache for residential landlords and their managing agents

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Sherry parties at numbers 11-13 Randolph Crescent must be fun. Readers may remember the case of Dr Julia Duval of that address (a solicitor) and her determination to prevent a neighbour from carrying out alterations to her flat. That determination led to a Court of Appeal case (Duval v 11-13 Randolph Crescent Management Limited) in…

Block management – Reasonableness v The Lease

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The recent case of Mr Iouri Chliafchtein and his dispute over services at 3-10 Grosvenor Crescent, London SW1 proves once again the oldest and most ignored adage in property management – always read the lease. Mr Chliafchtein owns an £18 million apartment in Grosvenor Crescent, one of several in a converted building at 3-10. There…

Development issues

Off-plan investors – do they have security, and if so where are they in the queue?

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OFF-PLAN INVESTORS – DO THEY HAVE SECURITY, AND IF SO WHERE ARE THEY IN THE QUEUE?  When an off-plan scheme fails and the developer ends up in administration or liquidation the investors not only find themselves in unfamiliar territory, but more importantly they face losing substantial deposits. With particular reference to developers in administration this…

Tenants In The Prime Central London Letting Market – Uninformed Or Simply Cavalier!

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An interesting contrast between the letting market and the sales market is the amount of due diligence that tenants and purchasers are likely to carry out. This is particularly true in the prime Central London market – the home of the “UHNWI” and “uber-tenant”. It’s difficult to make a true comparison. A wealthy individual who…

Claims Arising From Failed Off-Plan Investments

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CLAIMS ARISING FROM OFF-PLAN INVESTMENTS In the last few years we have dealt with a large number of cases involving issues arising from off-plan investment schemes, often for clients based in East Asia. Typically these schemes involve the payments of deposits of up to 30% or even more. It isn’t unknown for investors to pay…

Development Issues

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DEVELOPMENT ISSUES Whether you develop large mixed use schemes or residential extensions if you want your project to go smoothly there are legal issues that shouldn’t be overlooked. Dewar Hogan supports commercial and residential developers faced with difficult legal issues and claims encountered during the development cycle. Identifying problems in advance by an appraisal is…

When the law of property development collides with consumer law!

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Some of the most satisfying cases, and also some of the most perplexing, come when other areas of law altogether raise their head in a property context. One such area is consumer law. There is a number of situations where parties to perfectly common property transactions might stand in the relationship of consumer and trader…

Absolute covenants = absolute control. Landlords think again!

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A situation which often grieves residential leaseholders is this – a developer comes along and either purchases the freehold himself, or else enters into a deal with the freeholder, and then proposes to put a new flat or two on top of the existing building. Existing leaseholders seldom like this idea, involving as it does…