Shaken foundations | Feature | Law Gazette

Shaken foundations | Feature | Law Gazette

Covid-19 has changed the world, and signs of this transformation in the property market have been stark. This was clear from the Law Society’s 19th National Property Conference, delivered entirely online for the first time this month. Opening the conference, Warren Gordon, senior professional support lawyer at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and chair of the Society’s Property Section committee, noted that ‘the pandemic has presented many challenges for the property market’. Residential property practitioners are ‘under immense pressure’ as a result of the eight-month stamp duty land tax holiday introduced in July, while ‘the constraints placed on all of us’ by the restrictions have created ‘a huge amount of additional work’, he said. The event took place against a backdrop of ‘an uncertain market’ – the SDLT holiday expires on 31 March 2021 and the furlough scheme was due to come to an end at the end of the month (it was subsequently extended for a further six months from 1 November). Adding to the uncertainty are new planning reforms which are the subject of judicial review, Gordon pointed out. ‘Rights: Community: Action’ brought a challenge in August against government changes to the permitted development rights and the Use Classes Order that came into force at the end of the same month. Come 31 December, the moratorium on forfeiture of commercial leases for non-payment of rent may also expire (it was extended for a second time on 30 September). So, too, the restrictions on service of statutory demands and winding-up petitions imposed by ...
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