Publications: Speakers Corner


Mortgages and problems with residential tenants’ pre-mortgage tenancies

With the surge in mortgage repossessions, and a large buy-to-let market, it is timely to revisit the issue of the priority (or otherwise) of tenants in relation to mortgagees seeking possession. As a general proposition a tenancy granted before the mortgage is usually binding on the mortgagee. One route normally deployed by the mortgagee is […]

19th Aug 2008 Speakers Corner Read more

Does a failure to complete justify forfeiture of a deposit?

When a contract for the sale of property falls through, the normal expectation is that where the fault lies with the buyer, the deposit paid on exchange of contracts will be forfeited. However, the Court is given a wide discretion to order the return of the deposit to the buyer. The precise extent of that […]

3rd Jul 2008 Speakers Corner Read more

Tenants’ Rights of First Refusal

Tenants’ Rights of First Refusal Dartmouth Court Blackheath Limited v Berisworth Limited [2008] EWHC (Ch) 350 Under section 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987, tenants of premises to which the Act applies have a right of first refusal in the event that the landlord intends to enter into a “relevant disposal”. The Act […]

7th Mar 2008 Speakers Corner Read more

Undue influence and the joint borrower: a refresher

A recent case led me to revisit the question whether a bank can be fixed with the effect of undue influence exercised by a husband over his wife (or wife over husband, but the former is more common) leading her to take on a joint liability to the bank with the husband. As we all […]

16th Oct 2007 Speakers Corner Read more

Presumption of reality in construing rent review clauses

The end of reality? A flurry of cases in recent months has led some commentators to question whether the courts are moving away from the presumption of reality in construing rent review clauses. Is that in fact the case, or are reports of its demise greatly exaggerated? “…the purpose of a rent review clause is […]

1st Jul 2007 Speakers Corner Read more

How Good is Your Expert Evidence?

Obtaining a favourable outcome for a client involved in a property dispute very often depends upon the quality of the opinion evidence provided in support of their case. The most obvious instances are surveyors providing valuation evidence in the context of lease renewals and rent review arbitrations or surveying evidence in the context of dilapidation […]

1st Feb 2007 Speakers Corner Read more

Consult thy neighbour – residential service charge legislation

My current legal “pet hate” relates to residential service charges and the failure of the law to cater for a very common situation, namely a tenant-owned block of flats. I admit this is personal because I have first hand experience of the headache that comes with being company secretary but even professionally I have encountered […]

22nd Mar 2006 Speakers Corner Read more

The Saatchi Gallery – Why It Was Refused Relief From Forfeiture

Cadogan Leisure Investments Limited (“Cadogan”) brought forfeiture proceedings against lessee Danovo Limited (“Danovo”), the company operating the Saatchi Gallery at County Hall. That action came to trial in October 2005 before Sir Donald Rattee, sitting as a High Court Judge. The outcome of the trial is well-known; the Judge found that Danovo was in breach, […]

29th Nov 2005 Speakers Corner Read more

Break clauses – save time and money by talking

In the rush to secure a property, it can be easy to overlook the small print in a conditional lease in relation to dilapidations – with potentially expensive results. Landlords too can benefit from taking time to consider the wider commercial perspective in negotiating exit agreements, which can easily be ignored if there’s too much […]

26th Aug 2005 Speakers Corner Read more