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Friday 9 December 2016

MH Real Estate

Banksy’s mural – who owns what when a tenant leases a property from a landlord

A mural attributed to the elusive street artist Banksy has raised some interesting points about who owns what when a tenant leases a property from a landlord.

Tuesday 19 April 2016


A Tenant’s Guarantor recently unsuccessfully claimed that the Landlord’s actions meant the Lease it had guaranteed had been surrendered. If the Lease had been surrendered, the Guarantor would not have had to pay future arrears and take a new lease of the Property.

The Court reaffirmed some old decisions and clarified what would or would not constitute a surrender by operation of law (ending a lease early without a written document). Whilst the Judge emphasised that it is necessary to look at the Landlord’s conduct as a whole in deciding whether or not it had accepted a surrender by operation of law, the following specific actions were dealt with in the Judgment:-

Mark Lavers
MH Real Estate

Friday 20 November 2015

MH Real Estate

Place Your Bets – Buying A Flat Off Plan

It is extraordinary that the practice of viewing a muddy hole in the ground (or just viewing computer generated schematics), entering into a binding contract with payment of a 10% deposit to purchase a flat which may, or may not, be built upon it at some point in the future, has grown to epidemic proportions in recent years. This is buying “off plan”. The reasons for this epidemic are obvious but, in particular, the availability of new properties is not keeping up with the apparent demand. There were many burnt fingers during the recent recession when purchasers who had, prior to the recession, exchanged contracts to buy off plan found that the value of their prospective flat fell dramatically during the recession and often with the subsequent inability to obtain the necessary mortgage finance to complete. Despite that, buying off plan, whether a flat or house, is now being pursued by UK and overseas buyers with great abandon. Therefore, some downsides and upsides to note below:

Tuesday 9 June 2015

MH Real Estate

Renewable Real Estate

As national, EU and international pressure to meet carbon emissions targets continues, in the last quarter we have seen our clients deliver some innovative renewables projects, with real estate playing a major role.

We recently advised on the infrastructure for a Solar Farm, which when completed will provide up to 50 megawatts of electricity – enough to supply electricity to 50,000 homes. Interestingly, the project was not located in the deserts of Africa or the plains of Spain, but in one of the Home Counties here in the South East of England – not a part of the world immediately associated with endless hours of sunshine! Our real estate team worked closely with the landowners, local residents and solar infrastructure specialists to create a workable property structure that gave the solar farm the requisite property interests, while balancing the needs of the local residents who live close by. A feature of the deal we found interesting was the completion of a “Mitigation Deed” between the community and the developer in which the residents, instead of opposing the development through the planning process, actually supported it in return for a contractual promise from the developer to cultivate and maintain the surrounding countryside, by the creation of a “buffer zone” around the solar farm. This area was designated as a wildlife and nature corridor for the mutual benefit of the residents and local flora and fauna for the life of the solar project.

Friday 24 October 2014

MH Real Estate

Great Expectations or a bleak house?

Last year proposals were revealed to open Charles Dickens’ country house, Gads Hill Place, in Higham, Kent as a museum. Dickens first saw the house as a child and dreamt of living in the “wonderful Mansion” later in life. Years later he did precisely that and purchased the house for £1790 in 1856. In that house Dickens wrote one of my favourite books, Great Expectations, published in 1860. What of the expectations for mansions in 2014 and beyond? Well, it seems taxation may be on the agenda.

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