Real World: An Update from Dechert's London Finance & Real Estate Group - May 2012

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Welcome to the Spring edition of Real World from Dechert’s London Finance and Real Estate Group, keeping you up to date with recent developments in real estate law and practice. I hope you like our new user-friendly format, which gives faster, easier access to the articles by clicking on the links below (see article for links).

In This Issue:

- The Budget: Largely Disappointing for Real Estate

- Know Your Contractual Limitations

- Estate Rent charges: An Effective But Unpopular Means of Collecting Freehold Service Charges

- Break Rights: A Costly Trap for Tenants

- The National Planning Policy Framework: Aiming for Growth Through Sustainable Development But With Appropriate Controls

Excerpt from Know Your Contractual Limitations

An expired limitation period can operate as a complete defence to a claim, so missing a limitation deadline could be your worst nightmare. The Court of Appeal case of Inframatrix Investments Ltd v Dean Construction Limited [2012] EWCA Civ 64 serves as a useful reminder of the importance of knowing your contract and when your limitation period expires, but working out the latter is not always straightforward.

Dean Construction Limited (DCL) was a specialist roofing and cladding contractor engaged by Inframatrix Investments Limited (IIL) to undertake works at a factory. The contract was originally prepared by IIL’s lawyers but the final executed version reflected DCL’s amendments to the proposed twelve year contractual limitation period at clause 17.4 as follows: “No action or proceedings under or in respect of this Agreement shall be brought against the Contractor after (a) the expiry of 1 year from the date of Practical Completion of the Services or; (b) where such date does not occur, the expiry of 1 year from the date the Contractor last performed Services in relation to the Project.”

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