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20 March 2017

Real Estate and Construction Newsletter - March 2017

Welcome to the March edition of our Real Estate and Construction Newsletter.

This month our property litigation team provide you with a cautionary tale in creating binding contracts for the sale of land and comment on the recent Supreme Court decision in Newbigin v S J & J Monk (a firm) on the subject of business rates.

The Construction industry is currently suffering from a skills shortage, which is likely to worsen due to potential restrictions on free movement of people coupled with retirements. The introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy in April 2017 will hopefully be one way of addressing this. In this edition we discuss how the levy will work and who can benefit from it. 

We also look at payment fraud in property transactions and what we are doing to protect your transactions as well as looking at whether wellbeing will be a key area of focus for the built environment in 2017.

Finally, we give you an overview on what you need to know following the release of the Housing White Paper last month.

Business Rates - good news for ratepayers at last

The Supreme Court has handed down a unanimous judgment in favour of the ratepayer overturning the Court of Appeal decision. This is good news for developers and reinstates the practice of altering the rating list to reflect a building being in the course of refurbishment. In the context of forthcoming changes to business rates bills this judgment will provide some timely reassurance. To read the article in full please click here.

I would sign that if I were you

The Court of Appeal has provided some useful commentary on Section 2(1) of The Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 and when it will not apply to contracts for the sale of land. To read the article in full please click here.

The new Apprenticeship Levy: How does it work?

The levy will apply to all employers in the UK whose annual payroll exceeds £3 million. HMRC will charge employers 0.5% of their total pay bill, through the PAYE system, though employers will receive a "levy allowance" of £15,000 per year which is deductible from the levy payable. To read the article in full please click here.

What are we doing to protect your transactions from scams?

A brief note from our team on how we are protecting your transactions from payment fraud and cybercrime. To read the article in full please click here.

Fit for business: property, health and wellbeing

Gone are the buckwheat smoothies, activated almonds, dry Januaries and morning jogs into the office. For most of us healthiness comes in waves. But in 2016 'wellness' was obdurate as the buzziest of buzz-words in the property industry, so  it's timely to ask whether it will last longer for our built environment than for most of our post-holiday efforts. To read the article in full please click here.

What you need to know about the Housing White Paper

The long awaited White Paper, entitled 'Fixing our broken housing market', finally emerged from DCLG last month. It signals the government's direction of travel under Theresa May, with an emphasis on a fairer Britain supporting the hard working for whom housing has become increasingly unaffordable. We look at some of the key planks in more detail in our series of articles. To read the article in full please click here.