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Update: commercial property

Paired-down perpetuities law is a welcome step, but the courts have left us wanting in the Good Harvest decision, say Eugene McMahon and Jonathan Ross

9 August 2010

Life has become a little easier for property practitioners. Property instruments that “come into effect” (presumably meaning completed – the statute does not clarify) on or after 6 April 2010 benefit from the passing of the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 2009 (PAA), which removes some of the previous constraints where parties wished to allow for the vesting of a property interest at some uncertain, or distant, future date.

The position is different for trusts, wills and appointments, where the rules still apply but in modified form. But, in most respects, for post-April property instruments, the law is now satisfyingly simple: the ‘perpetuities rule’ has been abolished.

Before PAA 2009, the law relating to the grant of easements and options (and, to a less certain extent, covenants and other contractual provisions made in the property context) was an amalgam of common law and statute, most notably the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1964. All property pr...

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