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Can you get more for less by building your own house?

12th February 2015 | Buying and Selling a Home

How Cost Effective Is Building Your Own Home? | Middletons A survey carried out by the National Self Build Association suggests that there are more than seven million people in the UK who are considering building their own property, but how realistic is this dream, what challenges does it bring and more importantly, how cost effective is it? Self build is undoubtedly challenging, however there are varying degrees of self build. The most common one is where you do everything yourself and...


Builders win damages from client over contract breach

4th February 2015 | Business Law

Builders Win Damages Over Contract Breach | Middletons Solicitors A contractor that was left more than £100,000 out of pocket when a customer cancelled a building project has been awarded damages by the High Court. The compensation was awarded even though the firm didn’t have a signed contract. The issue arose after the firm won a tender to build an extension to a house. During negotiations over final pricing, the customer was sent a blank copy of the proposed contract and the JCT...


Tenancy deposit error prevents landlord repossessing property

3rd February 2015 | Commercial Property

A landlord has been prevented from serving a possession notice because the tenant’s deposit had not been placed in an authorised protection scheme. This was in spite of the fact that that the deposit had been paid before the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) regulations came into force. The case involved a tenant who had started a tenancy in 2002 and paid a deposit. The tenancy was renewed in 2005. This was after the TDS regulations were introduced. However, the landlord didn’t place the...


‘Homemaker’ wife wins chance to get better divorce settlement

28th January 2015 | Family Matters

The Court of Appeal has ruled that a judge got it wrong when calculating the divorce settlement for a woman who gave up a lucrative career to look after her children. The case of Julia Hammans will now be re-tried by another judge to ensure that she is treated fairly. The court heard that Ms Hammans gave up a high paid job as a financial director so that she and her husband could raise a family. When the couple divorced in 2004 after 21 years of marriage, she estimated that their...


Stamp duty changes provide boost for 98% of homebuyers

27th January 2015 | Buying and Selling a Home

Changes to stamp duty announced in the Autumn Statement by Chancellor George Osborne have helped stimulate the housing market, according to solicitors and estate agents. Mr Osborne said 98% of people in England and Wales will now pay less duty when buying a property. Only those buying homes worth more than £937,000 will be worse off. The changes, which came into effect on Dec 4, introduced more gradual increases in stamp duty rates. Under the previous system, the duty had been...


Is There A Time Period For A Personal Injury Claim?

21st January 2015 | Personal Injury

How long do I have to make a personal injury claim? | Middletons Solicitor  If you have been injured in an accident you could claim compensation for your injuries. You may have been injured in an accident at work, a car accident, a sports accident or perhaps in a trip or slip. Whatever the circumstances of your accident, you should get advice from a specialist solicitor to see if you have the right to claim compensation for your injuries. This can be particularly important if you have...


Care home fees – Can I get them back?

19th January 2015 | Wills & Probate

There has been a lot of discussion about who pays for care once we have a need for more involved care, such as a nursing home. In some circumstances, your relative may have paid for their care in a nursing home but should be entitled to have those costs paid by the NHS instead. Whilst there are means testing rules in place, many older people are left in a position where they have no choice but to sell their home and use this money to pay for their care. If a relative is paying for their care...


Can I Get My Rental Deposit Back?

15th January 2015 | Dispute Resolution

Can I Get My Rental Deposit Back? A Guide To Rental Deposit Common Practice and Schemes | Middletons When you rent a property it is normal practice to pay a deposit. The rental deposit is there to give the landlord some protection in case you don’t pay your rent or you damage the property. Usually, you pay one month’s rent as a deposit when you move in and as long as all is well throughout the rental period, you should get your deposit back. Due to the large number of disputes...


Nearly 40,000 first-time buyers used Help to Buy in first year

10th November 2014 | Buying and Selling a Home

Nearly 40k First Time Buyers Use Help To Buy in 2016 | Middletons Solicitors  The Help to Buy schemes, launched by the government last year, have enabled nearly 40,000 people to buy their first home, according to official statistics. Help to Buy consists of two schemes which enable people to buy a property even if they only have 5% of the purchase cost. More than 48,000 people in total have taken advantage of Help to Buy in the scheme’s first year. The government has released...


Commercial tenant not entitled to refund on prepaid rent

3rd November 2014 | Commercial Property

Commercial Tenant Not Entitled To Prepaid Rent Refund | Middletons The Court of Appeal has ruled that a commercial tenant was not entitled to a refund of prepaid sums after exercising a release clause. The tenant had a commercial lease which was due to expire in 2018. The terms included a break clause that offered the tenant the option of terminating the lease in either January 2012 or January 2016. The tenant exercised the clause at the first opportunity and paid the basic rent for...