20 December 2019

Balance of power shifts towards residential tenants

Although not specifically referred to in the Queen's speech the Renters' Reform Bill can be found amongst the small print in the Government's briefing document. The main elements of the bill include abolishing the use of "no-fault" evictions by removing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and reforming the grounds for possession.

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17 December 2019

Private sector ACM Cladding Remediation Fund

Almost two years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy there are still around 165 privately owned, high-rise buildings over 18 metres high covered in dangerous aluminium composite material cladding ("ACM Cladding").

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16 December 2019

Development trends in the UK hotels sector

Knight Frank recently published their analysis of development trends in the UK hotels sector.

The central message is that despite lingering uncertainty caused by Brexit, increasing land values, build costs and competition from other development uses, there are still record levels of institutional investment and a strong development pipeline.

Some key takeaways are as follows:

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2 December 2019

Supreme Court rules on “buying” planning permission

R (on the application of Wright) (Respondent) v Resilient Energy Severndale Ltd and Forest of Dean District Council (Appellants),

In a recent judgement, the Supreme Court has upheld a ruling quashing a planning permission for a wind turbine on the basis that a “community fund donation” does not qualify as a material planning consideration.

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28 November 2019

The Future of Real Estate

On Thursday 21 November, Louise Irvine attended the EG conference on the Future of Real Estate. In this blog post, Louise shares some of the key points which came out of the event:

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25 November 2019

Optimism in the UK logistics sector despite Brexit uncertainty

Property Week, Savills and Tritax Symmetry (in association with Analytiqa) have published the results of their third annual market census. The market census surveys developers, occupiers and agents and provides valuable insight into the current view within the UK industrial and logistics sector.

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6 November 2019

A day in ten tweets- the UKAA BTR Conference 2019

31st October 2019 was not necessarily as auspicious as expected by many, but it was a day of discussion on build to rent at the UKAA annual conference. The day came shortly after research reported that UK BTR had grown by 20% in the last year, and there was certainly a buzz as professionals across the industry came together in Mayfair. For those unable to attend, here are ten tweets to hint at the discussion points of the day.

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5 November 2019

Landlord entitled to prevent enfranchisement

On 30 October 2019, the Supreme Court (by a majority of only 3 to 2) surprisingly overturned the decisions of both the Trial Judge and Court of Appeal by deciding that it was reasonable for a landlord to refuse consent for a tenant to apply for planning permission to convert the first and second floors of a 6 storey building to residential, which would result in approximately 52% of the building being in residential use.

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31 October 2019

Mad Tax: Fury Royd

Forsters tax discuss the latest IR35 case law and HMRC guidance

There are interesting insights into what  “control” means in the context of IR35 in the recent  Upper Tribunal  decision relating to Christa Ackroyd Media Limited.

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22 October 2019

EPC B by Twenty Thirteee…?!

Most real estate professionals are presumably familiar with minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) in non-domestic property, now that the relevant legislation has now been in place since 2015. MEES is a consideration on any investment in non-domestic property (together with any related financing) and on any letting of that property.

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17 October 2019

Freedom of movement of capital applies to charitable gifts to Jersey (at least for now!)

The Supreme Court ("the Court") released on 16 October their judgment in the case of Routier v HMRC. The Court determined that the EU principle preventing restrictions of the free movement of capital applies to gifts of UK assets to charities in Jersey. Accordingly, persons making such gifts are entitled to inheritance tax ("IHT") relief in the same way as they would be if they made such a gift to a UK-based charity.

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30 September 2019

Modular Buildings: Sub-divide and conquer?

The last few years has seen an increasing focus on modular buildings as a potential solution to the UK’s housing crisis. The Housing White Paper, published in early 2017, made reference to diversifying the housing market by promoting more modular and factory built homes – but how does this method of construction differ from the market-norm?

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24 September 2019

BE Sheds and Logistics Development Conference 2019

On Thursday 19 September 2019, Emily Holdstock and Paul Grayson attended the BE Sheds and Logistics Development Conference at MK Dons Stadium in Milton Keynes. In this blog post, they share some of their key takeaways from the event:

What is the logistics market looking for?

Developers and occupiers in the logistics sector are focused on the following:

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9 September 2019

New government proposals to reduce ill health-related job loss

Long Term Sickness Absence (LTSA) (sickness absence lasting more than four weeks) is a significant issue in the UK, with over 100,000 people leaving work following a period of LTSA each year. Sadly, statistics show that, the longer a period of LTSA continues, the lower the chance that the individual will return to work.

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14 August 2019

Forsters compete in the Wrenbridge World Cup

On 9 August 2019, Forsters travelled to Cambridge to take part in the annual Wrenbridge World Cup, which this year was in aid of Send a Cow, a charity that provides livestock to rural African communities in order to assist with the alleviation of poverty.

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22 July 2019

What will a no-deal Brexit mean for employers in the hotel sector?

With Boris Johnson confirming that he would be prepared to leave the EU on 31 October 2019 without concluding a formal withdrawal agreement, now seems like a good time to consider what a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would mean for employers in the UK hotel sector and their European workforce.

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15 July 2019

Forsters CRE Cricket Day

On Thursday 4th July, Forsters CRE Cricket Club ("FCCC") made the journey over to Kew for the department’s annual cricket day. Blessed with glorious weather and a fantastic pitch, client teams The Crown Estate, Canmoor and La Salle completed the lineup and precisely on time at 11:21 the first ball was bowled.

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12 July 2019

Wellness in the BTR Sector- roundtable résumé

On 4 July, representatives from arguably the majority of the UK’s Build to Rent sector assembled at the offices of Ashurst for a roundtable to discuss “Beyond the Hype: The Real Importance of Wellness in the BTR Sector”. Here are some thoughts on a wide ranging discussion (held under Chatham House Rules).

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9 July 2019

New proposed on-site affordable housing requirement for central London hotels

Westminster City Council has launched its formal Regulation 19 consultation on its draft City Plan. This follows its informal Regulation 18 consultation at the end of last year which saw questions raised by the hotel industry and other property professionals over the viability and practicality of proposed on-site affordable housing as part of new hotels in Westminster.

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22 May 2019

The Power is back on

On a beautiful sunny evening on 21st May 2019, the Commercial Real Estate Legal Association (CRELA) hosted its latest event at Battersea Power Station (BPS) tracking its development and let me tell you, the Power is certainly back on at this iconic landmark.

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21 May 2019

International aspects to a nuptial agreement

When one or both parties to a marriage has a connection with another country in addition to England and Wales there are international considerations and implications to take into account. This could be because of where they live, their domicile or nationality, or where their assets are based.

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15 May 2019

Private Sector Funding for Cladding Replacement

While funding is already available for the removal and replacement of dangerous cladding on buildings owned by councils and housing associations, the owners and occupiers of private buildings were not originally included in the government's relief plans.

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3 May 2019

SDLT anti-avoidance

The decision in Hannover v HMRC – First- tier Tribunal - regarding the application of the anti-avoidance provision of section 75A FA 2003 has created uncertainty in the property industry.

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29 April 2019

Do nuptial agreements have a role in modern families?

Modern families take many forms. So-called nuclear families (with a husband, wife and two children to whom they are both biologically related) have become gradually less common, with a corresponding increase in the number of people entering into same-sex marriages or civil partnerships, marrying for the second or third time or choosing to remain unmarried.

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12 April 2019

Proprietary estoppel claims - lessons from recent case law

Promises are often made and later broken. Often there is very little anyone can do about this.  However, in certain circumstances, and specifically in relation to land or property, it may be possible to bring a claim to enforce a broken promise, known as a "proprietary estoppel" claim.

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8 April 2019

The time has come to consider blockchain-based trusts

I have been asked on a few occasions in recent years, 'should we put trusts on a blockchain?' My answer is invariably "no", as there is friction between the discretionary, flexible world of trusts and the fixed, certain world of blockchain-based smart contracts. Life assurance on a blockchain? Possibly. But trusts? That's a tricky one.

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8 April 2019

Inheritance in the Twenty-First Century

Michael Armstrong, Senior Associate in our Private Client team, has written an article for Charles Stanley’s series on inherited wealth. The article, reproduced below, explores how the increasingly free flows of data and people across the globe will affect the transfer of wealth to the next generation.

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1 April 2019

A FLIP-ping fabulous affair

On Wednesday 27 March, associates and senior associates from across Forsters’ real estate teams hosted the first Future Leaders in Property (“FLIP”) event of 2019.

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1 April 2019

I spent all my years believing you, but I just can't get no relief

Entrepreneurs' relief is a valuable tool for business owners to minimise their tax payable on a disposal of the business or an interest in it. Applying to the first £10m of qualifying capital gains it reduces the rate of CGT to just 10%.

Pre budget 2018 the requirements for claiming the relief were that there was disposal by an individual (or in some cases a trust) of

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19 March 2019

The Foodhall Revolution: A new wave of meeting and eating

Having a keen interest in the food and drink sector (from both a personal and professional perspective!), on Tuesday 5 March, I attended the LPF seminar on “Foodhalls – The New Growth Market”. The evening, which was hosted by Cushman & Wakefield, opened with a presentation outlining the current market, the components of a successful foodhall and the different models in use.

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13 March 2019

Court U-turn in approach to “out of time” Inheritance Act claims

Shortly after Mr Justice Mostyn rejected an application to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 outside the statutory six month time-limit, the Court last week allowed a claim to be brought under the Act some 25 years and nine months after the deadline for doing so.

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12 March 2019

The landlord perspective on CVAs: 4 takeaways

On Thursday 28 February, Kathryn Copeland, associate in our Commercial Real Estate team, attended a BPF seminar on the impact of Company Voluntary Arrangements (“CVAs”) on landlords. The panel discussion reflected on practice to date following the rapid increase in CVAs in 2018, as well as the future of CVAs and the BPF's thoughts on reform.

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11 March 2019

Business rates savings schemes are proper and lawful

In a Judgment dated 7 March 2019, the Court of Appeal has held that 2 similar schemes designed specifically to avoid the owners of unoccupied properties being liable for business rates are perfectly valid and lawful. Such schemes do not stand to be treated any differently from tax avoidance schemes commonly used to avoid or mitigate any other form of taxation, such as income or corporate or inheritance tax.

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8 March 2019

Statement of changes in Immigration Rules - Implications for Tier 1 (Investor) Visa applicants and holders

On Thursday 7 March, the Home Office released its Statement of Changes setting out proposed changes to the UK Immigration Rules. It contains the long-awaited details of changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) Visa (the "Investor Visa") that were announced in December 2018 (shortly after the Home Office backtracked from its announcement that the visa was about to be suspended).

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8 March 2019

International Women's Day 2019

Forsters is delighted to celebrate International Women's Day 2019. As a firm, we are committed to seeing each and every one of our people realise their potential in a diverse and inclusive working environment and are delighted to take this opportunity to celebrate the success of women at all levels of the firm.

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28 February 2019

Time called on stand-still agreements in Inheritance Act claims?

This week’s judgment in Cowan v Foreman and ors [2019] EWHC 349 provides guidance as to the court's jurisdiction pursuant to section 4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“IPFDA”) and condemns the use of stand-still agreements. In this case the court refused to exercise its power to allow a widow to bring a claim against her late husband’s estate under the IPFDA outside the statutory six month time-limit.

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20 February 2019

Landlord wins in Canary Wharf Brexit Frustration Case

The High Court has ruled that a lease will not be frustrated on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The High Court's nervously anticipated decision in the case of Canary Wharf (BP4) T1 Limited and Others v. European Medicines Agency [2019] EWHC 335 (Ch) has been handed down today.

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18 February 2019

Tips on how to bring up the topic of nuptial agreements with your partner

The prospect of discussing nuptial agreements with your partner may seem daunting but if approached in the right way it can form part of an open and honest conversation about your future together. From our experience, when the subject is brought up sensitively, your other half will most likely welcome the opportunity to discuss finances and to provide greater certainty for the future.

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18 February 2019

Multi-Storey Sheds – The Only Way is Up?

Goodman Group has announced that it has acquired a 9.5 acre site in Park Royal for around £70 million. This is an interesting acquisition as it represents the highest price per acre ever for an UK industrial land acquisition. However, Goodman’s plans for the site are perhaps even more intriguing.

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11 February 2019

Co-working: the future for office space?

On 27 October 2018, a number of Forsters’ associates attended a Women in Property seminar held at Coutts. The seminar discussed co-working and considered the question, “Flash in the Pan or Here to Stay?”

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11 February 2019

The benefits of signing a nuptial agreement

However many years you have been together, financial conversations can be difficult. Raising the subject of a nuptial agreement with your partner requires you to be sensitive, rational and honest. The good news is it can help you to build trust as a couple and can underpin your relationship. You can begin your future together by being open and honest about difficult subjects.

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7 February 2019

Retail real estate- getting into shape

On Thursday 31 January, BNP Paribas hosted its annual “Capitalise: Prospects for Property” seminar. On a crisp London winter morning, hundreds flooded into the National Gallery to hear expert views on the global economy, politics and the current state of UK real estate.

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5 February 2019

Honesty is the Best Policy – 5 take-aways from the WPA Good Growth Seminar

If One Heddon Street is the Crown Estate's first adventure into co-working flexible office space, then this market is in for a treat in the years to come. From the vibrant ornaments/flowers outside, cute café in the entrance, lush living wall and delicious #daisygreencollection coffee presented in a very fashionable #louisedear style cup, I knew I was in for a treat this morning.

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4 February 2019

An introduction to nuptial agreements

Engagements and wedding planning are joyful and heart-warming experiences and too often any talk of a pre-nup is viewed as being at odds with this special time. But mind-sets are changing with more and more couples signing nuptial agreements, valuing the certainty and financial transparency that such an agreement brings and rejecting the notion that nuptial agreements are unromantic.

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31 January 2019

New Year, New Disclosure!

We are now a month into the Disclosure Pilot Scheme (the “Pilot"), which came into force on 1 January 2019. The Pilot will operate (with limited exceptions) for two years in various Business & Property courts around the country and seeks to revolutionise the way parties deal with disclosure in proceedings; standard disclosure is no more!

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30 January 2019

London’s Knowledge Clusters

A gloriously crisp January morning saw me donning my very attractive cycling gear and speeding down to Kings Cross to attend a breakfast seminar to unpick the key themes behind the recently published London Knowledge Clusters Research Report.

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8 January 2019

Charities and real estate – what do you need to know?

Charities might wish to acquire or sell property for a number of reasons; to occupy, as offices or shops, or for investment purposes in the furtherance of its charitable aims. When entering into a real estate transaction the charity trustees will need to ensure they comply with the terms of the charity’s constitution as well as statutory requirements set out in the Charities Act 2011.

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