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Help To Buy Scheme boosts weaker property markets

27th February 2017 | Buying and Selling a Home

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, the Help To Buy Scheme is being used by house builders to boost the property market in parts of England where there is “least demand”. Since 2013, more than 100,000 purchases have been backed by the Help To Buy Scheme. According to research carried out by Hometrack, house builders were signing up developments with use of the scheme in areas where prices have fallen. What is the Help To Buy Scheme? Created by the government, the...

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Cohabiting rights: Legal rights when living together

15th February 2017 | Cohabitation Issues

Your legal rights when cohabiting are significantly different to the legal rights available to a married couple or civil partners. Unfortunately, there are no automatic rights to claims over your partner’s assets no matter how long you have lived with your partner. Where do you stand on cohabiting rights? In 2007, the Law Commission published its recommendations to introduce legislation to provide financial relief to cohabiting couples, but this was not progressed in England and Wales....

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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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