Commercial property news

Exercising a break clause in a commercial lease

A High Court decision provides a helpful reminder for commercial tenants of the need to fully comply with any conditions for exercising break rights. Otherwise, as in this case, the lease will continue to exist. Tenants should check carefully the terms of...

New illegal working offence now in force

Employers should be aware that the new illegal working offence is now in force. The new offence will enable the earnings of illegal workers to be seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002. The existing criminal offence of knowingly employing an illegal...

Permitted development change of use from office to residential

Developers looking to convert offices into homes will welcome the government’s announcement of the introduction of a permanent permitted development right for change of use from class B1(a) (offices) to class C3 (dwellinghouses) from May 2016. This...

The Spending Review and Autumn Statement Points to Note

Stamp Duty – A Rush for Completion? From 1 April 2016 higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will be charged on purchases of additional residential properties such as buy to let properties and second homes. The higher rates will apply to...

Liability for business rates during property refurbishment

Owners of vacant non-domestic premises that are undergoing refurbishment should take note of a recent Court of Appeal judgment. The court held that a property that had been undergoing internal refurbishment was not exempt from business rates. On the...

Business partnerships: applying for a new lease

A recent Court of Appeal case illustrates the difficulties that can arise when a business partnership operates from shared premises but does not give full consideration to the legal structure at the outset. The court held that an application for a new...

Employment status and independent contractors

The EAT has upheld an employment judge’s decision that a general labourer, who was employed for four years before accepting £200 in exchange for becoming a labour-only subcontractor for the same company, was a worker. The tribunal therefore had...

Health and safety: adverse weather conditions

An Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) decision provides a reminder to businesses to ensure that they have a clear adverse weather policy in place and that employees are kept as up-to-date as possible regarding any altered working arrangements during periods of...

Business rates relief for empty properties

A decision in the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) suggests that business rates may be payable even where an intended occupant is carrying out substantial refurbishment works and cannot use the property for its intended purpose until the works are complete. If...

Business rates liability for empty properties

The High Court has clarified who is responsible for business rates following disclaimer of a lease. The court held that a landlord (as freehold owner) was liable to pay business rates for an empty property following disclaimer of the tenant’s lease....
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