The Supreme Court recently considered whether a landlord can increase the rent if the majority shareholder of a partnership dies and his or her shares are distributed equally among the remaining partners, none of whom holds a majority in the partnership. In the decision, the Supreme Court offered an insight into how to assess the change of control in a company that is not a corporation.
A new initiative seeks to put two significant changes to California's property tax system before voters in November 2018: the elimination of Proposition 13 protection for commercial and industrial properties in favour of reassessment at least every three years and the addition of a tangible personal property tax exemption for all taxpayers and a full tangible personal property tax exemption for taxpayers with less than 50 California employees.
Land and buildings transaction tax is a tax on property transactions in Scotland and applies to purchases of residential and commercial properties and leases of commercial premises. One of the components of the regime is the requirement for three yearly reviews of the tax chargeable. The government's approach is for leases to be reviewed for tax purposes on a regular basis over their lifetime so that the tax payable more accurately reflects the amount of rent actually paid over the entire lease period.
Purchasing property in Cyprus can involve a number of pitfalls. Potential purchasers are advised to exercise extreme caution when buying property, especially if the title deed is not readily available, which is a common scenario when purchasing new property in Cyprus. Above all, it is paramount to obtain independent legal advice from a competent lawyer. A good lawyer should ensure that purchasers are protected from these potential problems.
The Constitutional Court recently considered issues raised in the decision of a lower court in which the legal presumption of accuracy and completeness of entries in the Public Register in relation to real estate was declared in part unconstitutional. The decision may have a significant, adverse impact on the real estate market in Georgia and will be relevant to any real estate transaction, including taking mortgage security.
One of the strategic objectives of the new Scottish Land Commission is to ensure that the ownership and use of land delivers greater public benefit. It has commissioned a series of independent discussion papers on key land reform issues and has now published the first of these. The paper considers how the operation of the land market could be improved, and how the supply of land for new housing could be increased, through public sector intervention.
All new residential property leases in Scotland are now subject to a new letting regime, under which it is no longer possible to enter into a new assured tenancy or new short assured tenancy. Instead, all new residential lets (unless exempt) will be private residential tenancies (PRTs). A number of aspects of the PRT and the model tenancy agreement may need to be modified in view of the different characteristics of residential properties in rural areas.
The most recent incarnations of the Scottish Parliament's land reform and community engagement policies have continued the land reform agenda regarding land ownership and furthered the empowerment of communities. The Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 and the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 include proposals for regulations to create a Register of Controlling Interests in Land and extend the community right to buy in order to include a right to purchase abandoned, neglected or detrimental land.
In a bid to promote and facilitate good practice between landowners and farm tenants, Scotland's tenant farming commissioner is producing a series of codes of practice under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016. The latest of these concerns sporting rights and, among other things, encourages sporting rights holders to communicate with agricultural tenants, in particular regarding access across agricultural land and when planning a shoot.
With a number of states having already legalised medicinal marijuana, the demand for cannabis continues to be on the rise. With an increase in demand for the product comes an increase in the need for production facilities, including indoor marijuana cultivation space. Real estate investors have jumped on this market; however, while the resulting real estate boom is undoubtedly a positive for the real estate industry, it does not come without legal and operational risks.
Agricultural land which is let under a lease on or after November 30 2017 for a term of no less than 10 years is now known as a modern limited duration tenancy (MLDT). Introduced by the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016, the MLTD has replaced the former limited duration tenancy (LDT) and it is no longer possible to create a new LDT. While MLDTs are similar to LDTs, there are a number of practical differences which landlords and tenants will need to know.
The operation of energy plants usually means securing the required land long term by way of a use agreement. Prematurely ending a use agreement can substantially reduce the profitability of investments in energy plants. Defects in the written form of use agreements therefore constitute a risk for such investments. However, the Federal Court of Justice has decided that written form remedy clauses are invalid and do not prevent a contracting party from terminating a use agreement by invoking a written form defect.
In the run up to the recent snap elections, Parliament passed a bill exempting rent agreements for residential leases from stamp duty. The stamp duty on non-residential leases – in particular, commercial and retail leases – remains unchanged. However, these leases are being re-evaluated due to recent case law from the tax authorities.
The proposed second part of the Spatial Planning Act revision will give the cantons more flexibility with regard to construction activities outside building zones so that they can consider their individual needs more appropriately. An initiative to stop uncontrolled urban sprawl will oblige the federation, cantons and communities to freeze the present size of building zones and ensure that the zones grow no further.
Where a farming operation is structured as a partnership, it is important to establish whether the underlying land is partnership property for a number of reasons. These can include whether the land is potentially subject to a legal rights claim on the death of a partner, ascertaining the sums due to the partners on the dissolution of a partnership and also tax reasons, such as whether the land will qualify for 100% business property relief for inheritance tax purposes.
The Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint that an amendment to Rockville's 'light industrial' municipal zoning ordinance was unconstitutional as it violated the due process and equal protection guarantees of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The ordinance made it impossible for Siena Corporation to build on its property a large self-storage facility within 250 feet of a public school.
The tenant farming commissioner recently issued guidance on how parties should negotiate the future of limited partnership tenancies. The guidance sets out certain key principles, including that discussions about the future of a limited partnership should take place well in advance of the termination date. Further, all options should be considered in an attempt to meet the wishes of the landlord and the limited and general partners and to support the future sustainable management of the holding.
In an unusual case, the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit reversed the district court's decision that recently enacted Wyoming laws impose civil and criminal liability on any persons who "cross private land to access adjacent or proximate land where he [or she] collects resource data". The court concluded that the statutes regulate protected speech under the First Amendment and are not shielded from constitutional scrutiny merely because they touch on access to private property.
In 2015 Austria introduced an act which allows individuals, under certain conditions, to challenge laws before the Constitutional Court as unconstitutional. This gave hope to many landlords, which saw this as a tool to challenge the existing rent control regulations. The Constitutional Court recently handed down two new decisions on the same matter with surprising results.
Balancing the interests of the federal government as owner of thousands of acres surrounding Crooked Lake and the rights of private owners, the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently ruled that the US Forest Service exceeded its authority when issuing rules restricting recreational use of the lake. According to the court, relevant Michigan law grants owners of property surrounding the lake the right to reasonable use of the lake.