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Coventry and Warwickshire’s hot property market has created a number of new vacancies at one of the city’s law firms.
Band Hatton Button, which is based on Warwick Road, has three vacancies in their commercial property department and two in their residential property department.
Both departments are operating at 116 per cent and 117 per cent of their annual targets respectively.
It comes as the Office for National Statistics revealed house prices in the West Midlands showed the highest annual growth in England in the 12 months to September 2018 (6.1 per cent).
The vacancies on offer in Band Hatton Button’s residential property department include a lawyer and a paralegal, while the roles in commercial property are for two lawyers and a paralegal.
Band Hatton Button – which has an annual budget of £4.5 million – is also recruiting for a lawyer to bolster the firm’s family department.
Mark Moseley, managing director at Band Hatton Button, said: “Coventry is very much a city on the up and it has fast become an attractive destination for studying, working and visiting which is something we feel is going to build as we get closer to UK City of Culture in 2021 and with innovations such as driverless cars being developed on our doorstep.
“It’s for this reason that we have decided to inject long-term investment into our property departments.
“The property markets, particularly in the West Midlands, are bucking the wider national trend of slower property prices which is undoubtedly being driven by increasing demand for property in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“Band Hatton Button has gradually grown its workforce and has seen its team increase by approximately 30% in recent years, many of whom are long-serving and, by the New Year, we hope to have seen our workforce grow by another ten per cent which is very much in line with our future growth plans.”
Landlords looking to terminate a lease have received a blunt reminder of what it takes to serve a valid break notice after a legal battle reached the High Court.
The ruling in Vanquish Properties (UK) Limited Partnership –v- Brook Street (UK) Limited centred around premises ear-marked for development on Fenchurch Street in London.
The premises were let to Brook Street by the City Corporation as freeholder, with a break clause in September 2016 on six months’ notice. When developer Vanquish came along, they were granted an overriding lease, so they would become Brook Street’s direct landlord. But when Brook Street were given notice to terminate the lease under the break clause, the paperwork said that it was served on behalf of “Vanquish Properties (UK) Limited Partnership, the landlord of the property.”
Brook Street argued the notice was not valid because a limited partnership has no legal existence and cannot hold property, so Vanquish Properties (UK) Limited Partnership could not be the landlord.
They also argued that the lease could not be held by the individual partners of the limited partnership, as s.34 of the Law of Property Act 1925 stipulates that land cannot be transferred to more than four people, but Vanquish had five partners and no partners were specifically named in any of the papers.
The High Court agreed with Brook Street that the lease could not have vested in the Limited Partnership or in some combination of its partners; the overriding lease had never been properly granted, so Vanquish could not have given valid notice.
Explained Head of Commercial Property, Nick Button, of Band Hatton Button solicitors in Coventry: “This case highlights something that was faulty from the outset, with the drafting of the overriding lease setting the scene for the resulting problems. It reinforces how important it is to make sure all contractual requirements are checked, and double checked, whether it’s when a landlord wants to serve a valid notice to break a lease, or at any other stage.
“Unlike a limited company or a limited liability partnership, a limited partnership is not a legal entity in its own right, which is why it cannot hold a lease. In recent years, limited partnership structures have become increasingly common in property investment, but everyone involved needs to make sure they understand the implications of whatever ownership or business structure they adopt.”
Vanquish Properties (UK) Limited Partnership v Brook Street (UK) Limited  EWHC 1508 (Ch)
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