Articles & Downloads / Property


Michael Duffy

Canary Wharf v European Medicines - can a Tenant terminate it's lease early in light of Brexit?

20 November 2018

There is still a massive amount of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and its implication for businesses in the UK. In the context of commercial leases, one interesting case is the ongoing saga between Canary Wharf Group and the European Medicines Agency. The European Medical Agency (the Tenant of the premises in question) are arguing that its 25 year lease of its London Headquarters at Canary Wharf has become frustrated. The European Medicines Agency is arguing that under the Doctrine of frustration, they should be released from their liability under the lease as they are unable to perform their obligations under the lease, due to events occurring outside their control. The event outside its control is of course Brexit which they are saying has ‘frustrated’ their lease with Canary Wharf Group. Read More


Janeen McKay

What can you do to protect your home when planning for the future?

08 November 2018

With the estimated annual cost of care home fees being £41,000 it is not surprising that many people are considering their own positions to try and protect their assets which they have worked their whole lives to build up. The most valuable asset usually being the family home. Northern Ireland residents with savings, investments and or property, to include the value of their home, with a value greater than £23,250 will not be eligible for financial assistance from their local Health and Social Care Trust and will be obliged to meet the full cost of their residential or nursing care. The main concerns for these individuals and their families is that they will have to sell their home to pay for their care and that their children's inheritance will be reduced. Read More


Michael Press

Who insures? An introduction to insurance under a commercial lease.

27 September 2018

The news headlines have been dominated by stories of the Bank Buildings engulfed in flames and at risk of collapse. The Bank Buildings was constructed in 1785, having withstood not only the 1941 Blitz but also three bomb explosions in 1975. Whilst discussions continue regarding the structural integrity of the building, Associated British Foods plc (Primark’s parent company) has confirmed that the building is covered by a policy of insurance and this should prompt property owners, landlords and tenants to consider their responsibilities when it comes to insuring their building or business premises. Read More


Michael Duffy

Recovering loss arising from a negligent survey when purchasing a property?

14 August 2018

Picture the scenario: a prospective purchaser has instructed a surveyor to prepare a report. The report shows that the property is structurally sound and the purchaser purchases the property on the strength of the survey. After moving in, the purchaser discovers defects or other adverse issues that were not revealed by the survey. Read More


Michael Duffy

Property transactions - know who you’re dealing with!

08 November 2017

The 2016 English case of Dreamvar (UK) Ltd v Mishcon de Reya illustrates the importance of knowing your client and exactly who you are acting for. This case related to a property in London which was being sold quickly. It was not occupied and there was no mortgage over the property. Read More


Janeen McKay

Buying at Auction - Forewarned is forearmed

24 October 2017

Buying a property at auction can be exciting and potentially profitable and appeals to a wide spectrum of purchasers hoping to bag a bargain and cut out the traditional and sometimes lengthy conveyancing process. It is conceived as a faster way to dispose of property and is a relatively simple process. However, it is not risk-free, as once your bid is accepted and the hammer falls, you are contractually bound to complete the purchase no matter what. Read More


Janeen McKay

SDLT – Don't get stamped on!

03 October 2017

You must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), a self-assessment tax, when you purchase a property or land over a certain price in Northern Ireland. The current thresholds are £125,000 for residential properties and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties. With effect from 1 April 2016 the government introduced a controversial higher rate of SDLT on purchases of additional residential property. This means that the surcharge applies to second homes and rental properties. The surcharge was introduced to support home ownership and first time buyers but hits investors and second homeowners hard. Read More


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