Commercial Property Update – April 2024

Photograph of Hannah Cullen

Posted: 1st May 2024
by Hannah Cullen

Updates in the Law

Revised Code of Practice by Ofcom

On April 15, 2024, Ofcom published a revised Code of Practice under the 2017 Electronic Communications Code. The updated Code of Practice includes new guidelines aimed at resolving disputes between operators and site providers, with a particular focus on best practices for alternative dispute resolution (ADR). These amendments are designed to facilitate the effective resolution of disputes and ensure that telecommunications equipment is deployed efficiently and without unnecessary delays. This development is particularly beneficial for landlords who lease land for substations to telecommunication providers, as it provides clearer pathways for resolving conflicts and ensuring smoother operations.

Recent Cases

Masterman v Information Commissioner (EA/2023/0450P)

In this case, the First-Tier Tribunal determined that a summary of licence conditions for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) qualifies as environmental information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Consequently, the request for this information to a local authority did not engage the Freedom of Information Act 2000, meaning the information had to be disclosed. This ruling highlights the breadth of what can be considered environmental information, reinforcing the principle that such information should be accessible to the public.

Andrew Nunn v HMRC [2024] UKFTT 298 (TC)

The First-tier Tribunal ruled that principal private residence relief (PPR) from capital gains tax was applicable in a case where the development of land had begun prior to its sale. This was based on the taxpayer entering into a legally binding agreement with a developer, as outlined in a letter, for the developer to undertake development activities on the land that was part of the taxpayer’s property before the formal exchange of contracts. This decision underscores the importance of the intentions and actions of parties in property transactions and the implications for tax reliefs.

Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd v Medley Assets Ltd [2024]

In this case, the county court addressed the meaning of ‘holding’ within the context of a landlord’s opposition to a lease renewal under ground (f) of section 30(1) of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The court held that ‘holding’ refers to the premises occupied by the tenant as of the date of the hearing. This interpretation has significant implications for landlords and tenants engaged in lease renewal disputes, clarifying the point at which the occupancy status is determined for legal purposes.