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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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


Woman injured by negligent driver awarded more than £10,000

27th January 2016 | Personal Injury

Woman Injured By Negligent Driver Awarded Over £10k A woman who was injured in an accident involving a negligent driver has been awarded more than £10,000 compensation. The court heard that the woman had been stationary in her car when another vehicle ran into it at speed. The impact pushed her car forward several feet and she sustained injuries to her neck and knee. The woman, who is 70, had to have surgery and was unable to walk for two months afterwards. She suffered severe...


Divorce settlements may have to be recalculated due to error

4th January 2016 | Family Matters

Thousands of divorce settlements may have to be recalculated due to an error on a form on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) website. The error involves Form E, which is shown on the website and is used to record the financial details of divorcing couples including their assets and liabilities. It’s been discovered that the software running the form has not been taking all liabilities into account and so may produce misleading results in some circumstances. Not all couples use the...


Investors bring £27m negligence claim against property valuers

7th December 2015 | Dispute Resolution

A group of investors have brought a £27m professional negligence claim against a firm of property valuers following the collapse of a major development project. A judge at a preliminary hearing said they have a good chance of success but a full trial was necessary to assess the full extent of the loss and to what extent the valuers were to blame. The case involved a company that wanted to acquire five sites to develop into regional fire control centres. A property firm was...


What is Intestacy?

4th December 2015 | Wills & Probate

When you die, no matter how much money you have, your estate has to be dealt with. This means that a family member or close friend must talk to the bank, disconnect all your utilities, pay of all your debts and get back any money owed. This is called probate and this is usually triggered by finding a Will and identifying who has been named as the Executor of the estate. However, when a Will cannot be found there is nothing there to trigger this process or allocate anyone to complete this...