In determining the feasibility of a real estate project, an evaluation of the relevant financial and statistical analyses is not enough. Due to the complex and extensive legislative scope that developers now face, they must also consider the legal factors that will affect a project's implementation and operation, including with regard to the authorised use of a property, environmental zoning and ownership requirements, as well as the rights of indigenous communities.
Service charge provisions in shopping centre lease agreements frequently give rise to disputes between landlords and shop operators. In a recent decision on such costs, the Supreme Court offered some insights into shopping centre lease agreements which go beyond service charge provisions.
Digital advertising is an effective and efficient way to brand a property, but it is also increasingly complex and nuanced, which is why many real estate firms subcontract this work to creative agencies that specialise in digital ad strategy and development. However, engaging a third party to provide this service can introduce risk in a number of areas. Therefore, real estate firms should consider how to mitigate those risks in their contracts with digital advertising partners.
President Trump recently signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018, a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending plan covering the remainder of the 2018 fiscal year. In addition to providing for increased appropriations for several affordable housing programmes, the spending plan adopted two key provisions from the proposed Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act that will strengthen and expand the low-income housing credit.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently reversed the US Court of Federal Claims decision that a constitutional compensable taking had occurred with respect to the owners of real property which had been damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina and other recent hurricanes. This ruling could affect many thousands of Texas and Southeastern United States claims that are being filed in the court of claims in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Swiss legislation provides for adequate compensation for considerable advantages and disadvantages resulting from spatial planning measures. In particular, land that is newly allocated to a building zone substantially increases in value. Owners of such land will benefit from spatial planning activities without any contribution on their part. For reasons of fairness, these benefits are subject to a levy which is supposed to 'skim off' part of the added value.
Transaction structures involving special purpose vehicles, whose main assets after completion of the purchase process consist only of the purchased real estate, are often chosen in Germany. Such structures are used in particular to shield from liability, so that third-party access to the special purpose vehicle's assets is limited. They are also used to facilitate a sale without incurring real property transfer tax for the exit.
Many residential property developers will begin 2018 with a major cash-flow challenge, as they may be faced with a substantial value added tax (VAT) liability in respect of the temporary letting of residential units which have been developed for resale. It is hoped that the South African Revenue Service and the National Treasury will urgently address the problems with regard to the VAT rules concerning the change-in-use adjustments for property developers.
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.