Keeping It Real Estate

News and Trends in UK Real Estate, Disputes and Planning Law

Theresa May’s announcement at the Conservative Party conference that foreign investors into the UK property market were going to be targeted with an additional SDLT levy has caused further consternation within the industry. Asserting a determination to “level the playing field” for those who live and pay taxes in the UK, the Prime Minister paved the way for yet another stamp duty surcharge, building on the higher levels already introduced for second homes and for…
From 1 October 2018, the government’s clampdown on so called “revenge evictions” has been extended to all existing assured shorthold tenancies, including those which pre-date the commencement of the Deregulation Act 2015. The regime introduced by section 33 of the Deregulation Act 2015 is intended to prevent landlords from serving section 21 notices to recover possession of property let on an AST, if they are serving that notice as a reaction to the tenant having…
From abandoned tube stations and former WW2 bunkers to cranes and skyscrapers, it seems barely a week goes by without a news story (or Instagram post) appearing showing an urban explorer in an area once thought of as off-limits. A quick YouTube search brings up over 36,000 results for “urban exploration skyscraper” and “urbex” (as urban exploration is widely known) shows over 1,000,000 hits – these terms combined have tens of millions of views. The…
As our daily lives become more and more integrated with technology we take a look at two ways in which advances in tech can be used to improve the existing buildings in which we live, work and play.  Renewable Energy New buildings have the luxury of the latest energy efficient technology either through design or imposed through the planning process – but what can be done for our existing buildings? Whilst we are motivated to…
The British Property Federation has commissioned a report, Lost in translation: How can real estate make the most of the PropTech revolution, which considers the opportunities and challenges posed by PropTech to the real estate sector. Authored by Future Cities Catapult, the report notes that there is a strong correlation between digitisation and productivity. While real estate is not the least digitised economic sector, there is “significant untapped potential” and opportunities remain. Indeed, if the sector…
HM Land Registry is currently looking into the potential use of blockchain technology as part of its Digital Street project.  This supports HM Land Registry’s aim to “become the world’s leading land registry for speed, simplicity and an open approach to data”. But how would this work in practice and what are the issues which will need to be resolved to make this a reality? What advantages could blockchain technology bring to land registration? Blockchain…
Robots; underwater warehouses; airships releasing drones for deliveries. No, this isn’t a pitch for a science fiction film but the future of distribution centres. The rise in global e-commerce together with shifts in customer delivery expectations and technological innovation are driving major developments in the logistics sector. In this blog we explore three such developments. The location and shape of distribution centres The near future could see distribution centres underwater or even taking to the…
The sale of houses on a leasehold basis has been criticised in some quarters because of its apparent unfairness to leaseholders. Leaseholders, in contrast to freeholders, lease a property for only a number of years. The question then being, what happens at the end of the term? Enfranchisement rights provide leaseholders who hold a lease of 21 years or more with the right to buy the freehold of their house or obtain an extended lease…
It is acknowledged by most, that cyber security is of paramount importance in any technological advancement and Smart Cities are no different. The Mayor of London recently unveiled his plan to make London the world’s smartest city; recognising that Londoners treat digital connectivity as importantly as they do other basic utilities. The Mayor’s “Smarter London Together”, published in June 2018, emphasised the importance of cybersecurity in one of its five key missions. Mr Khan plans…
We can fly around the world with a tap; find a soulmate with a swipe and buy a house with our thumb print, so why is the UK so old school when it comes to getting planning permission? The good news is that we needn’t be. The technology to revolutionise the planning process is already here and is being used in other countries around the world to build the homes, offices and infrastructure they need…