Commercial Property Update – March 2024

Photograph of Hannah Cullen

Posted: 1st April 2024
by Hannah Cullen

Updates in the Law

Abolition of SDLT multiple dwellings relief

Multiple dwelling relief is currently available for linked land transactions involving the acquisition of more than one dwelling if certain conditions are satisfied. The relief fixes the SDLT rate to the average chargeable consideration for the purchases of the dwellings rather than the aggregate chargeable consideration.

During the Spring 2024 Budget the government announced that from 1 June 2024, the SDLT relief for multiple dwellings will be abolished.

Recent Cases

Taylor v Jones and another [2024] EWCA Civ 170

In a rare case concerning the Party Wall Act 1996 (PWA 1996) the Court of Appeal recently considered the extent to which a building owner was liable to pay for remedial work to an adjoining owner.

The building owner complied with the PWA 1966 procedure before carrying out work, however, substantial damage to adjoining properties occurred.  Expert evidence established that the adjoining properties had significant pre-existing problems. They were “on a hairtrigger” and any slight movement might have caused substantial damage. The building owner’s work had operated as that trigger.

A surveyor acting under section 10(11) of the PWA 1996 decided that the building owner should pay the entire costs of the remedial works. The building owner appealed to the County Court, and then further to the Court of Appeal.

It was held that the building owner was not liable to pay for all of the repairs.