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Howard Smith

| Call 1986

Profile: Property

Experience and Expertise

Howard’s work involves in all aspects of property law, particularly those involving complex legal issues, and he appears regularly in the High Court and County Courts, before the Land Registry Adjudicator and in tribunals.

Party Walls: Howard has often acted in party wall disputes in the High Court and County Court, including obtaining interlocutory injunctions to prevent or remove works in breach of the Party Walls etc Act 1996, removal of special foundations, appeals from awards and costs disputes. He is the barrister member of the RICS Party Walls Guidance Note group and often speaks on party wall issues. Recent successful party wall judgments include:

Rights of Light & Easements: Howard advises regularly in relation to rights of light issues, commonly in the context of complex prospective developments, and he acts regularly in rights of light disputes and attends at mediations. He is the barrister member of the RICS Rights of Light Guidance Note group and is currently co-authoring a book on rights of light. Recent right of light trials include:

Howard also acts in relation to easements & profits a prendre, including rights of way, water rights, mooring rights, drainage rights, mining and mineral rights as well as commons disputes and highway disputes. Recent cases include:

Landlord and Tenant: Howard acts on behalf of landlords and tenants. He commonly acts in commercial lease renewals and disputes under the Landlord & Tenants Act 1954, dilapidations claims, breach of covenant claims, and renewal and repair claims. He was counsel for the applicant in Landmaster Properties Ltd v Thackeray Property Services Ltd (on the scope of claims under the Leasehold Property Repairs Act 1938). He also acts in residential landlord & tenant disputes, service charge disputes and LVT proceedings. He is frequently instructed on claims requiring interim injunctions.

Boundary disputes: he has appeared in numerous boundary disputes and was counsel for the successful party in Joyce v Rigolli 1 P&CR 22, the leading case C.A. on boundary agreements in relation to registered land, and the application of de minimis principles in contracts for transfer of land under s.2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989.

Conveyancing & Land Registration: Howard is often retained in relation to conveyancing matters, both advisory and in conveyancing disputes. He is commonly instructed in relation to disputes arising out of auction contracts and notices to complete, where advice and court proceedings are often required urgently. He also acts in relation to disputes under s.2 of the Law of Property (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1989 (validity of contracts for dispositions of interests in land). He advises on and acts in all cases involving land registration and the Land Registration Act 2002.

Leasehold Enfranchisement: Howard acts in all areas of leasehold enfranchisement, under the 1967 Act and claims for collective enfranchisement and individual enfranchisement under the Leasehold Reform, Housing & Urban Development Act 1993. He was counsel for the successful party in Wellcome Trust v Bellhurst (leasehold enfranchisement and service of notices, Court of Appeal).

Adverse possession: Howard is frequently instructed in adverse possession claims, both in court and before the Land Registry Adjudicator.

Howard also acts in restrictive covenant disputes both in court and in the Land Tribunal, including in relation to the enforcement and modification of restrictive covenants; trusts of land and co-ownership disputes; estoppel & proprietary estoppel claims.

Howard Smith