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The importance of a landlord’s address when demanding rent

5th July 2016 | Commercial Property

Landlords need to ensure they include their name and address when sending demands for rent to tenants. Failure to do so could result in tenants refusing to pay, as happened in a recent case that ended in legal proceedings. It involved a landlord who asked his agent to serve demands for payment of outstanding service charges. The address given on the demand was the business address of the agent. The case went before a Leasehold Valuation Tribunal which concluded that the charges were...

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New tenant was not entitled to exercise Break Clause

20th June 2016 | Commercial Property

Businesses need to take great care when taking over a lease on commercial property from another firm. They may find that they don’t automatically inherit all the entitlements that were granted to the original leaseholder. The issue arose recently in a case involving a company called Gemini Press Ltd. It took over a lease which had originally been assigned to a firm called Ashdown. The original lease provided the tenant with several entitlements including the right to exercise a break...

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Tenant wins dispute with landlords over exercising break clause

13th June 2016 | Commercial Property

A commercial tenant has won a dispute over exercising a break clause even though it served notice to an out-of-date address. The case involved four landlords who were the trustees of a retirement scheme that owned the freehold of a large building. Three floors in the building were let to a commercial tenant on a 10-year lease from July 2010. After three years, the tenant exercised a break clause by serving notices by recorded delivery on each of the individual landlords at the business...

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Dementia sufferer’s Will leaving estate to grandson declared invalid

27th May 2016 | Wills & Probate

A 91-year-old woman’s will leaving all her estate to her grandson has been declared invalid because she suffered from dementia and was unaware of the consequences of her actions. The case involved a woman who had six grandchildren who all stood to inherit when she died. Three months before her death, her grandson helped her to draw up a will leaving all her estate to him. When she died, her other grandchildren challenged the will on the basis that the woman suffered from...

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Landlord loses control of his properties over repair failures

25th April 2016 | Commercial Property

A landlord loses control of his properties due to his failure to carry out repairs properly. The case involved a large building comprising of a number of flats and one commercial unit. The tenants considered that the property was in serious disrepair, causing safety issues. When the landlord failed to bring the building up to the required standard, they applied for a management order under the Landlord and Tenant Act. The First-Tier Tribunal found in their favour. It criticised the...

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More than 150,000 have bought a home through Help to Buy

18th April 2016 | Buying and Selling a Home

More than 150,000 people have got on to the housing ladder through Help to Buy, according to the latest figures from the government. The statistics show that since the launch of the scheme in 2013: • more than 150,000 completions have taken place, with 80% having been made by first-time buyers • the average house price was £188,380 significantly below the national average • 95% of Help to Buy completions took place outside of London • over half of Help to Buy completions...

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Wealthy families face £20,000 rise in probate fees

15th March 2016 | Wills & Probate

Families inheriting estates valued at more than £2m will have to pay probate fees of £20,000 under new proposals being put forward by the government. The move would also see the beneficiaries of much smaller estates paying no fee at all. Under the current system, all estates worth more than £5,000 pay a standard probate fee of £155 when made by a solicitor and £215 if made by a beneficiary. The government wants to introduce a sliding scale with fees increasing depending on...

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Right to Rent checks on new tenants come into effect

29th February 2016 | Commercial Property

Landlords in England now have to carry out Right to Rent checks on potential tenants to make sure they are entitled to stay in the UK. The new regulations came into force on 1 February. They will affect you if you are a private landlord, have a lodger, are sub-letting a property or are an agent appointed by a landlord to carry out right to rent checks. If you come under any of these categories then you will need to: • Check adult tenants will live in the property as their only or...

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Big rise in the number of people challenging ‘unfair wills’

23rd February 2016 | Wills & Probate

The number of people challenging what they consider to be unfair wills has risen by 20% over the last 10 years. There is also a growing tendency for people to consider that they are entitled to inherit their parents’ wealth, even if their parents want to leave some or all of their money to charities, friends or other family members. The figures are from a survey published in the Times newspaper. Researchers found that one in five people aged between 35 and 44 believed that there...

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10 Things You Need To Know When Leasing A Commercial Property

18th February 2016 | Commercial Property

If you have a commercial property and you are going to lease it to a business, there are a number of things you will need to consider. There is a Landlord Code which has been developed following discussions by landlords, tenants and government representatives too. It can be a useful starting place for both tenants and landlords to use when negotiating a lease or a lease renewal. However, to ensure that there is proper legal protection in place for both parties, it is important to use a...

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