Property challenges on the horizon

By Lancashire Business View

17 Apr 2018

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By Matthew Jones, associate commercial property solicitor at Forbes

From an in-depth look at building regulations to new measures affecting landlords, there’s much to prepare for over the rest of 2018.

Here are just some of the things on the horizon that are set to make an impact in the property sector in the coming months.

At the end of last year, the government announced new measures aimed at stopping unfair practices in the leasehold market.

These measures follow media exposure of the exorbitant ground rents being imposed by some landlord owners. They include: preventing long leases on houses, and limiting ground rent and administration costs. It is likely that implementation will be later this year.

One date already set was April 1, when new minimum energy efficiency standards were introduced. A landlord must ensure their domestic and non-domestic privately rented property has an energy efficiency standard of E or above before it can be let.

On to the matter of building regulations: an independent review was set up following the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy to look at current regulations and fire safety, with a particular focus on high-rise residential buildings.

This review will present a final report around springtime. This will potentially change the way we approach due diligence enquires in transactions. Finally, the waters of chancel liability continue to be muddy and the Law Commission is looking at a project which would aim to close any loophole and eliminate the current standard practice of buyers searching and insuring against the risk of liability, which costs an estimated £20m each year.

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