Practice Areas & Industries: Withers Bergman LLP


Residential Real Estate Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

We advise both domestic and international clients on buying and selling residential real estate in the UK, Italy and the US and provide a range of services relating to the acquisition and holding of real estate assets.  In addition, we manage acquisitions in other foreign jurisdictions and co-ordinate advice on tax-efficient structures for holding real estate, whether as an investment or as an additional home.

Many of our clients spend substantial sums on developing and renovating their real estate and we assist in the negotiation and appointment of designers, architects and other professionals, as well as guiding them through the complexities of obtaining the necessary permits. Where properties are to be let out (leased), we advise both landlords and tenants on issues surrounding short-term rental agreements.

Our global client base includes locally based purchasers buying family homes, city pied-à-terres and country cottages, clients with international property interests, residential developers of new homes or existing buildings and both individual and commercial investors building up residential real estate portfolios. Many wealthy or high profile clients are particularly concerned about privacy issues, and we ensure their anonymity is protected at all times.

Recent work

  • Acting on the acquisition of landmark residential real estate in the UK, Italy and New York, with values for single units of up to $100m.
  • Advising the developer of a Knightsbridge apartment block on the acquisition, financing and sales.  More than 200 units have been sold.
  • Representing well-known international personalities buying and selling residential properties, where the preservation of their anonymity was a high priority.
  • Working with leading London estate agents/brokers on a wide range of transactions for both locally based and international clients.
  • In 2007 we successfully closed the most expensive residential transaction in the United States to date and the second largest residential transaction in the entire world.  The property, located in the prestigious east end of Long Island, was sold to a hedge fund manager for $20m over the asking price.  The transaction included a property easement donation to the Nature Conservancy and relocation of historic buildings to the local municipality. 

Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Lettings Update
Paul Brecknell, June 23, 2016
Three interesting updates from the world of lettings.

A Brief Summary of Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
Paul Brecknell, June 09, 2016
The Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 provides that any landlord wishing to dispose of his interest in a building containing two or more flats must first offer its interest to the 'qualifying tenants' ie, broadly speaking, the tenants with long leases. If the landlord fails to do so, he will be...

Rating Revaluation
Paul Brecknell, June 09, 2016
The Valuation Office Agency ('VOA') is recalculating business rates. The new rates will be payable from 1 April 2017, based on rents in 1 April 2015.

Rights of First Refusal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
Eloise Morgan, June 09, 2016
Part 1 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987 applies to premises which consist of the whole of or part of a building. It provides that any landlord wishing to dispose of his interest in a building containing two or more flats must first offer the interest to 'qualifying tenants'. If the tenants do...

What is a 'Penalty'?
Paul Brecknell, January 20, 2016
When you leave your car parked in a private car park for a few minutes longer than the permitted time, you may not expect a hefty financial penalty. Nor, for that matter, would you expect it to cause seven law lords to consider in a judgement of 123 pages the principles applying to the law of...

Immigration Bill 2015
Henry Stuart, January 19, 2016
On 17 September 2015, the Immigration Bill 2015 ('the Bill') was introduced into the House of Commons. Clauses 12 to 15 of the Bill relate to residential tenancies and further develop the 'right to rent' measures that were introduced by the Immigration Act 2014 ('the 2014 Act').

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards - Watts All The Fuss About?
Emma Horn, January 19, 2016
Under the new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards ('MEES'), landlords cannot grant a lease of a property with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of F or G unless all cost-effective works to improve energy efficiency have been carried out or an exemption applies. MEES applies to both...

Regulating Deregulation: Changes to Obtaining Possession of Assured Shorthold Tenancies
Eloise Morgan, January 19, 2016
Provisions of the Deregulation Act came into force on 1 October 2015, and have made some comprehensive changes to the procedure for obtaining possession under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 (as amended). Serving a section 21 notice requiring possession allows landlords of Assured Shorthold...

VAT: The Hidden Cost in Residential Service Charges
Graham Elliott, January 19, 2016
Not all VAT related cases come before a tax tribunal. In the case of Janine Ingram the issue was one of ‘Landlord and Tenant’ law, which just so happened to involve VAT.