Ailsa MacLean

Ailsa is a Senior Associate Solicitor in our Commercial Property team in Godalming.

She assists a wide variety of clients in relation to their property transactions, including acquisitions and disposals of both commercial and residential premises, Landlord and Tenant matters, leases, licences, deeds, option agreements and refinancing. Ailsa has experience of dealing with both large high street and smaller niche lenders in providing bridging and general commercial funding. 

More articles from this sector

The Bank of Mum and Dad

It's a good time to sell. Demand for properties amongst buyers is currently exceeding supply meaning properties in the South East are selling quickly and often at, or even above, asking price. The availability of lending to First Time Buyers (FTBs) continues to improve and with lenders offering FTBs incentives such as paying their Stamp Duty Land Tax bill, more young people will be enticed to take their first step onto the property ladder.

Commercial Leases and Break Clauses

In 2014, we reported on the Court of Appeal’s decision in the case of Marks & Spencer PLC v BNP Paribas Securities Trust Company (Jersey) Ltd (BNP Paribas). Following this, Marks & Spencer PLC were allowed by the Supreme Court to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal to not grant them a refund of the rent they had paid past the break date of the lease.

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for Private Rented Property

If you are a Landlord of domestic and/or non-domestic private rented property and the Energy Efficiency Rating of that property (shown on the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)) is F or G, then this article is relevant to you.

Avoid Becoming a Victim of Property Fraud

As reported last July, property fraud is on the increase and as a result, the Land Registry has nominated July as ‘Scams Awareness’ month. If you own property please take a moment to:

The rental shortage – could it hit crisis point?

The continued housing shortage across the UK is hardly surprising, but according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) rents could rise by as much as 15% by 2023 as the supply of new rental property dries up.

Interest rate rises may not all be doom and gloom for property

The rise in interest rates announced yesterday was reported to be at the highest level since the recession in 2009. How will these rises affect mortgages, savings and property in general?

Moving Home? It needn't be painful!

New Home Owners Day is celebrated on 1st May, but, whilst buying a house is supposed to be one of the most stressful things we encounter during a lifetime, we can help make house buying and selling a little less painful with these tips.

Fire Safety for Tenants & Residents

Author: Caroline Walton

Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the Department for Communities and Local Government has published a collection of useful information on fire safety for tenants and residents aimed at people who might have concerns about the building in which they live. These can be found here.

Asbestos: Managing the Risks

Author: Tanaz Nowrouzzadeh

Asbestos has historically been used in a broad range of industries, including the construction of buildings. We now know that asbestos carries significant health risks and in 1985 the UK banned the import and use of asbestos. Despite this ban, asbestos can still be found in many buildings and the people who are most at risk from asbestos are workers who disturb it without realising it is there and surveyors when carrying out inspections of those buildings

Lease Extensions

Author: Tamsin Reader

Since 1993, Leaseholders have been able to claim an extended Lease from their Landlord(s). With flats with less than 80 years it may be difficult to sell or secure a mortgage on. Extending your Lease either by agreement, or otherwise, overcomes this problem and makes your property more desirable and in most cases a more valuable asset.

Landlords - Check Your Tenant's Immigration Status

Author: Caroline Walton

This article follows on from our previous discussion relating to the pilot scheme introduced by the Government under the Immigration Act 2014 whereby residential landlords were required to check the immigration status of their tenants before granting them a tenancy.

Short Term Let Breached Tenancy Agreement

Author: Caroline Walton

With an increase in the current trend of people advertising their residential properties as alternatives to hotels, on the internet or elsewhere, as a way to earn money, tenants need to tread carefully as they could be in breach of a covenant in their lease.

Intention to Use a Property as an "Airbnb"

Author: Richard Cunningham

If you are considering joining the 80,000 British home owners who currently rent part or all of their property through Airbnb, then you should consider some of the pitfalls before you take that step.

Is Your Property Protected Against Fraud?

Author: Caroline Walton

As previously reported, the Land Registry have introduced a service called “Property Alert” which is a free monitoring service for anyone who might be concerned that their property could be targeted by fraudsters who might sell or mortgage it without the knowledge of the true owner. Fraudsters are particularly targeting properties which have no mortgage or charge registered against them, particularly those which are empty or let out.

Capital Allowances - Is Time Running Out?

Authors: Caroline Walton and Megan Lawless

Did you buy or sell a commercial property on or shortly after 1 April 2014? If so, you risk losing the right to make a claim for capital allowances (CA) as the two year deadline to make such a claim is fast approaching!

“Who would be a Landlord?: The trouble with buying to let”

Author: Ian Jones

As of 1 February 2016 the Government’s ‘Right to Rent’ law came into force. This requires private landlords to check, prior to the commencement of any new tenancy, that a tenant or lodger can legally rent a residential property in England and Wales.

New Rules For Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Author: Laura Marchington

The Deregulation Act 2015 (“the Act”) received Royal Assent on 26 March 2015. The Act contains a mixed bag of provisions from landlord and tenant to transport and health & safety and child and trust funds. It was billed to simplify regulation and iron out a number of glitches in the law but due to the pace it was rushed through Parliament, it is questionable whether this has been achieved.

Combat Property Fraud

Author: Caroline Walton

In an attempt to combat property fraud, the Land Registry have introduced an alert service called 'Property Alert' which is aimed at helping the public to protect themselves against property fraud.

Construction Design & Management Regulations 2015

Author: Stephanie Tilley

The Construction Design and Management Regulations (CDM Regs) of 2007 have been revised by the CDM Regs 2015 and these changes, which took effect on 6th April 2015, relate to the management of Health & Safety on construction, engineering and property projects and developments, and the extension of the responsibilities and obligations to affect domestic projects. Criminal and civil sanctions continue to attach to any breaches.

Licensing & Registration for Landlords in Wales

Author: Caroline Walton

The Housing (Wales) Act 2014 was introduced with the aim of improving letting and management standards for people who rent private accommodation across Wales. From this Autumn all private landlords who have a rental property in Wales must register themselves and the addresses of their rental properties. Landlords who undertake letting and property management activities at a rental property in Wales must apply for a licence via Rent Smart Wales unless they instruct an agent to do the work on their behalf in which case the agent must be licensed.

Draft Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Regulations

Author: Caroline Walton

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 contain the draft proposals which are expected to come into force on the 1 October 2015. They will require residential landlords in the private rented sector to...

Tenants' Energy Efficient Improvement Provisions

Author: Andrew Peach

Do you rent out your property?

If so, you must be aware of the provisions of the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) England and Wales Regulations which enable tenants to make energy efficiency improvements to domestic private rented properties and to require minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) to be met before both domestic and non-domestic properties can be let out.

Landlords and the Deregulation Act 2015

Author: Caroline Walton

If you are a landlord of residential property who has let the property out on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) then you may need to take action before 23 June 2015 to avoid financial penalties and the possibility of being prevented from recovering possession of the property from the tenant.

Flats, Marriage and the 80 year hitch

Author: Lynda Russell

When the term remaining on a lease of a residential property drops below 80 years it not only affects the owner’s ability to sell the property, it also decreases the value of the property and substantially increases the premium payable to the landlord for a lease extension. It is therefore imperative to give serious consideration to applying for a lease extension before the dreaded 80 year mark dawns.

Small Scale Developer Contributions

Author: Heather Kershaw

The Community Infrastructure Levy came into force in April 2010. It allows local authorities in England and Wales to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area. The money can be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure that is needed as a result of development. This includes new or safer road schemes, flood defences, schools, hospitals and other health and social care facilities, park improvements, green spaces and leisure centres.

Landlord & Tenant - The Immigration Act 2014

Author: Caroline Walton

The Immigration Act 2014 (IA 2014) makes a number of changes to the UK immigration rules in that it prohibits private landlords of residential properties from allowing certain people to occupy those properties. Landlords will now have to check the immigration status of prospective tenants to ascertain whether they have the right to occupy the premises before granting them a tenancy. They must also make sure that someone’s right to occupy the premises does not lapse. The right to rent checks will only apply to new tenancy agreements. Existing tenancy agreements are unaffected and landlords will not be required to carry out retrospective checks.

New Ground for Possession of Property

Author: Andrew Peach

The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Commencement No. 7, Saving and Transitional Provisions) Order 2014 (SI 2014/2590) has been made, bringing into force various sections of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (ABCPA 2014). Section 97 of ABCPA 2014 will come into force in England on 20 October 2014.

Fracking - Should You Be Concerned?

Author: Alex Muir

Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth and directing a high-pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals at the rock to release the shale gas inside, allowing the gas to flow out to the head of the well. Fracking is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing and refers to how the rock is fractured apart by this high pressure mixture. The process is carried out vertically or, more commonly, by drilling horizontally to the rock layer to create new pathways or extend existing channels.

Urgent Warning for Residential Landlords

Author: Caroline Walton

In the latest tenancy deposit case of Gardner v McCusker, the Judge issued financial penalties against the landlord for not issuing the required Prescribed Information. The Court quashed the Section 21 Notice and ordered the landlord to:

New Property Fraud Alert Service

Author: Caroline Walton

In an effort to combat property fraud, the Land Registry are currently trialling a new alert service called 'Property Alert' which is aimed at helping the public to protect themselves against property fraud.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme

On 14th June 2013 the decision in the matter of Superstrike Limited –v- Marino Rodriques was handed down by the Court of Appeal. The decision clarifies the situation in relation to tenant’s deposits, in particular deposits taken for an Assured Shorthold Tenancy before the 6th April 2007 and where the tenancy continues after the term as a Statutory Periodic Tenancy (SPT).

Ways to Help Your Care Home Business Grow

Are you are turning residents away because you don’t have enough beds?  Extending your care home could be a cost effective option. However, there are many things to consider before embarking on any building project.

Prescribed Information Needed for Tenancy Deposit Schemes

A recent Court of Appeal decision acts as an important reminder that a landlord must actually give a tenant all the information prescribed by a tenancy deposit scheme (TDS) and that it is not enough that the information is freely and easily available.

Tenancy Deposit Scheme Rules

In April 2007, measures were introduced under the Housing Act 2004 which meant that any Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) deposit had to be paid, by the landlord, into one of three Government approved holding schemes within 14 days of receipt and the landlord had to provide the tenant with certain prescribed information regarding the deposit within the same time period. 

Gas Safety Reminder

Landlords (and Licensors) of domestic property must comply with the provisions of the Gas Safety Regulations 1998 which includes:

Squatting is now a criminal offence

From 1 September 2012 squatting in a residential building is an offence, punishable by a maximum prison term of up to six months, a maximum fine of £5000, or both.

The New EPC Rules - How to Avoid a £5000 Fine

The coalition Government’s plans to be seen as the “greenest Government ever” took a step closer with the introduction of a number of new directives.

VAT Increase for Listed Building Alterations

If you own or are developing a listed building, recent changes announced in the Budget will affect you whether the property is residential or commercial as the zero rating currently available for approved alterations to protected buildings (both residential and charitable buildings) will be removed with effect from 1 October 2012.

Tenancy Deposit Protection - Time Is Running Out

If you are a landlord of residential property and you let it out under an assured shorthold tenancy, you should note that the rules relating to the registration of the rent deposit changed on 6 April 2012. You must ensure that, in respect of all rent deposits that you currently hold, they are correctly registered before 6 May 2012, and that you have sent the necessary certificate and the information prescribed by the legislation to all parties who are entitled to receive it within 30 days of receipt of the deposit.

How Secure Is Your Landlord?

As a pub tenant you may be leasing from a pubco or other entity, who themself holds a lease from the property owners, i.e. the freeholder, thereby making you “the sub-tenant” who is paying rent to an intermediate landlord, who pays (not necessarily the same) rent to the freeholder.

Break Clause - Late Payments Could Cost You Dear

If your Lease contains a break clause then you have the right to terminate before the end of the term.  But beware! 

Finance Act 2012 - Capital Allowances

Capital Allowances are a form of tax relief which can be set against Income or Corporation Tax. They are based on the capital expenditure incurred on the provision and installation of certain assets within a commercial building.

The Government's Proposals to Boost the Housing Marketing

On 1 February 2012 the Minister for Housing and Local Government made a written statement updating the Government’s action on housing following the publication of its housing strategy in November 2011.

Protect Yourself from Property Fraud

The Land Registry has reported major issues with fraud involving properties which are not occupied by the owner. If you own property which you do not occupy personally we can advise you on the ways in which you can protect yourself from becoming the subject of such a fraud.

First Time Buyer SDLT Relief To End

Currently if you are buying a residential property as your main residence for a price not exceeding £250,000 and you are a first time buyer, you may not have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on the purchase price. This concession expires on 24 March 2012, with the effect that, any purchase with an effective completion date of 25 March 2012 or later cannot benefit from the relief, even if the contract for the purchase of the property is dated before that date. The relief gave a saving of £2,500 on a house purchase of £250K.

Section 25 Notices - Are you due to renew?

I have been contacted by a client in a complete panic asking me to get him out of a hole. He had a lease of business premises within the protection of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, the contractual term of which came to an end on 31 December 2011. In June of last year he was served with a non-hostile Landlord’s Section 25 Notice terminating his tenancy as at 31 December 2011. The Notice stipulated the terms upon which the Landlord was prepared to agree a renewal. My client had no issue with those terms and so simply filed the Notice, assuming the renewal would just take its course. Sadly, he didn’t advise me of receipt of the Notice and now finds himself in the position of having received a letter from the Landlord’s Solicitors demanding vacant possession in two weeks' time.

Ministry of Justice to Criminalise Squatting in Residential Buildings

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has published a response to the Consultation Paper “Options for Dealing with Squatting”.

Feed-In ("FIT") Tariff Leases

The Feed-In Tariff (FIT) scheme which was introduced by the Government on 1 April 2010, promotes the widespread uptake of a range of small-scale renewable and low carbon electricity generation technologies.

The National Planning Policy Framework

Following the Government’s recent Budget announcement, the NPPF came into force on 27 March 2012.

Localism Bill 2010-11 Receives Royal Assent

On 15 November 2011 the Localism Bill 2010-11 was granted Royal Assent.  The Localism Act 2011 will introduce fundamental reforms in many aspects of Local Government.  These will include:-

Neighbourhood Planning Regulations

On 13 December 2010 the Coalition Government presented the Localism Bill 2010-11 to Parliament.

CIL Reform

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is currently consulting on proposals to reform the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).  Draft Regulations to accompany the consultation have also been published. 

Presumption in Favour of Sustainable Development

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has now published a draft presumption in favour of sustainable development. The presumption states:-

Law Commission: Easements, Covenants and Profits A Prendre

The Law Commission has published its final report containing its recommendations to simplify, modernise and improve the law of easements, covenants and profits a prendre.  on 8 June 2011.

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