What do amendments to the Building Safety Bill mean for the industry? Ross Wilson discusses all in Property Week magazine

What do amendments to the Building Safety Bill mean for the industry? Ross Wilson discusses all in Property Week magazine

Presentation1 e1630505904476

Ross Wilson, a Senior Associate in our Property Litigation department, recently wrote an article for Property Week on the amendments to the Building Safety Bill.

The full article can be seen on the Property Week website here.

Ross has been and continues to be involved in a wide range of cladding related disputes (both for building owners, tenants and at points at the Grenfell Inquiry). If you wish to discuss a potential cladding dispute, please contact Ross on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or ross.wilson@colmancoyle.com.

Picture2
New Covid-19 Commercial Rent Arrears Arbitration scheme

New Covid-19 Commercial Rent Arrears Arbitration scheme

There is anecdotal evidence that commercial rent arrears have been on the rise during the pandemic as businesses were forced to close.

On 4 August 2021 the Government published some of the proposed objectives regarding a planned binding arbitration system for commercial landlords and tenants who have been affected.

It is planned that the new arbitration system will only apply to commercial tenants who have been affected by COVID-19 business closures and only for the period during which the restrictions applied, from March 2020 (the “ringfenced period”).

At this stage the new arbitration process is intended to be an effective way of resolving disputes and planned to be quicker than comparable court proceedings.

The parties will be encouraged to reach consensual agreements where possible. It will be expected that terms should be agreed between impacted landlords and tenants.

The final details are yet to be announced; however the intention is that the process will enable landlords to evict any tenant for the non-payment of rent incurred prior to March 2020 and from the end of the ringfenced period.

Landlords will also be able to charge interest on rent incurred from the end of the ringfenced period onwards, subject to the terms of the lease.

It is planned that there will be an expectation that tenants and landlords will both contribute to the cost of the arbitration. However, there are likely to be costs penalties for those parties who have not acted in good faith.

The binding arbitration system is designed to trigger the start of a return to ‘business as usual’, by balancing the protection of landlords and supporting those businesses most in need.

Even prior to the scheme coming into force there are other options available in situations where disputes arise regarding commercial arrears. Colman Coyle’s Property Litigation department regularly acts for Landlords and Tenants who require advice and assistance in these matters. If you would like to discuss a potential case, please contact our team on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or enquiries@colmancoyle.com.

Abi Layiwola

Abi Layiwola

Senior Associate

Anne Brown joins our Dispute Resolution team

Anne Brown joins our Dispute Resolution team

Colman Coyle are pleased to welcome Anne Brown as a Senior Associate to our Dispute Resolution team.

Anne qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2004 and has considerable experience acting for a wide range of clients including private and high net worth individuals, small and medium-sized businesses, as well as property management companies and large financial institutions. 

Anne has acted on behalf of residential landlords and tenants in a variety of disputes which include residential possession proceedings, service charge and breach of covenant disputes. Anne also acts for commercial landlords and tenants, in disputes ranging from recovery of rent and service charges to lease renewal and forfeiture proceedings.

Anne is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.

Colman Coyle has considerable experience in Property and Commercial Litigation, and if you would like to discuss a potential case, please contact our team on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or enquiries@colmancoyle.com.

Anne Brown panoramic
Abi Layiwola joins our Dispute Resolution team

Abi Layiwola joins our Dispute Resolution team

We are pleased to welcome Abi Layiwola as a Senior Associate to our Dispute Resolution team.

Abi is a specialist property litigator who deals with high value and complex litigation. Abi has acted for private companies, entrepreneurial investors, trusts and retailers.

Abi has more than 10 years’ experience of acting for various clients and has a wide-range of expertise in a broad range of property disputes, including breaches of covenant in relation to construction matters and holiday lets, forfeiture cases for exclusive properties and dispensation for s20 major works.

In addition, Abi is an experienced Solicitor-Advocate with Higher Rights enabling her to represent her clients before all civil courts in England and Wales.

Colman Coyle has considerable experience in Property and Commercial Litigation, and if you would like to discuss a potential case, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7354 3000 or enquiries@colmancoyle.com.

Abi Layiwola panoramic
New vacancy: Paralegal leading to training contract – please apply here!

New vacancy: Paralegal leading to training contract – please apply here!

Colman Coyle logo

Colman Coyle is an established and highly regarded solicitors practice based close to the City of London in a thriving and cosmopolitan area of Upper Street, Islington.

The firm provides a wide range of legal advice and assistance primarily to commercial and high net worth national and international clients.

Due to our continued expansion, we are now looking to recruit someone to join us, initially as a paralegal, but with the intention that the role will lead to the person being offered a training contract. This role is within our Dispute Resolution department which is both interesting and varied and includes international work and a wide variety of commercial and residential disputes.

As much of our success is down to the high-quality legal advice and the practical approach which we provide to clients, the successful candidate will possess excellent communication skills, a strong academic background (2:1 degree or better), have completed the LPC, and desire to be part of a busy and highly motivated team.

This is an immediate vacancy and at this stage applications are being requested by 9th July 2021 with interviews to follow thereafter.

Position: Paralegal leading to Training Contract
Firm: Colman Coyle Solicitors
Location: Islington, London N1
Salary: Competitive

Please apply in writing to us with your CV addressed to Howard Colman at vacancies@colmancoyle.com.

No application via agencies, please.

How the recent fire at New Providence Wharf could change the way unsafe cladding is removed

How the recent fire at New Providence Wharf could change the way unsafe cladding is removed

Just over a week after the Fire Safety Act 2021 received royal assent, a fire has engulfed three floors of the 19 storey New Providence Wharf tower block in east London.

According to news reports, a fifth of the tower’s external façade contained ACM cladding and it took 125 firefighters and 20 fire engines to extinguish the blaze. It was also reported that the main contractor was due to arrive on site three days after the blaze occurred. ITV has also reported that “residents did not hear [the] emergency alarm” during the fire.

The cause of the fire, the impact of ACM cladding (if any) and the inability to hear the fire alarm will surely be the subject of a thorough investigation. It nevertheless raises the question as to how the Government, other public bodies, Building Owners and tenants may react to remedial works (ongoing or otherwise) in respect other high rise residential buildings. For example:

1. Building Owners are already facing a number of challenges in removing unsafe cladding as soon as possible whilst also, for example, waiting for the outcome of applications to the Government’s remedial funds and / or navigating statutory requirements relating to service charge and consultation processes. Will the Government place even greater demands on and / or devise new penalties against Building Owners for failing to commence works imminently?;

2. Tenants’ already have an urgent and understandable need to be safe in their homes. Will the events at New Providence Wharf cause tenants to feel so unsafe that they collectively refuse to pay rent in protest? It raises an interesting prospect of how a Building Owner and / or Court will deal with such a situation given the reasons for non-payment. Some tenants may take it further and simply move out altogether to ensure their own safety. Will those tenants then try and seek to recover any additional losses (e.g. additional rent / moving costs) from their old landlord?;

3. Will there be a possible increase in the issuing of enforcement notices and improvement notices by the local Fire and Safety services and local authorities respectively and / or the use of additional powers under the Fire Safety Act 2021?; and

4. Could the events at New Providence Wharf result in the reintroduction of previous and / or the expansion of ongoing waking watches (especially where simultaneous fire evacuation procedures may not be working properly)? If this happens, who is going to pay for this often very expensive procedure? It also raises the question of whether some simultaneous fire evacuation procedures are suitable and how this may impact on any existing applications to the Government’s Waking Watch Relief Fund and whether the fund will be reopened after the deadline closed on 14 March 2021?

News of tower block fires such as New Providence Wharf are undoubtedly going to lead to the apportioning of blame. This may have the unfortunate side effect of leading to further delays in remediating fire safety issues and / or increasing costs which tenants may ultimately have to bear themselves. It may also affect how ongoing or proposed remedial works are to be undertaken in the future. It is therefore vital that Building Owners, management companies and tenants seek advice (if they have not yet done so) to understand how any fire safety issues can be addressed as expeditiously as possible whilst also seeking to recover all associated costs from any culpable third parties and / or limiting their own financial liabilities.

Colman Coyle’s Property Litigation department has and continues to act for various parties in this sector including Landlords, Tenants and Management Companies.

Ross Wilson

Ross Wilson

Senior Associate

Loading...