Latest News

Probate Charges to be Increased for Larger Estates

Proposals to link the cost of being granted probate over an estate valued at more than £5,000 (currently fixed at £215 for those applying individually or £155 if applying through a solicitor) to the value of the estate were announced in...

Leasehold Reform Consultation Ends

The leasehold system in the UK has been crying out for reform for years, and the Government has decided to tackle the issues through the medium of a new consultation paper called 'Fixing our broken housing market'. The chief target for the Government has...

International Litigation Poses Challenges That Make Legal Advice Essential

Modern litigation spans the globe and issues concerning cross-border service of documents and jurisdiction often raise difficulties that make specialist legal advice essential. That was certainly so in a High Court privacy case with a strong international...

Late Appeal is Void Appeal for Property Owner

When the owner of a property that had been designated as a house in multiple occupation (HMO) by his local council in 2001 chose to challenge that ruling some 15 years later, the council refused to review the decision. The property owner claimed to have had...

Recalcitrant Husband Banned From Paying His Lawyers Until Arrears Cleared

It is commonplace for one spouse to control the family finances and, while relations are amicable, this usually causes few issues. However, if the relationship falls apart and separation or divorce is in train, this is often no longer the case. When a...

Lack of Will Leads to Family Dispute in Court

When a man's first wife died, he inherited her share of the property they had owned jointly. At the time, he was living with his third wife, and the couple remained together for a further 28 years until his death in 1990. He died without making a will and...

The Sky Above and the Earth Below

A recent case may raise alarm bells for anyone thinking about adding a basement to a property which is divided. It involved a terraced house which was converted into two flats. The top two floors of the property were owned by the freeholder. The owner of...

Ombudsman Acts Against Slipshod Council

When people need to go into care, the local councils that end up supporting the care costs are well known for their doggedness in attempting to ensure that the person being cared for supplies as much of the funding as possible. This will often involve a...

Forfeiture for Rent Arrears - Commercial Landlords Take Note!

In a decision that will be essential reading for property professionals, the High Court has ruled that landlords who invoke the statutory commercial rent arrears recovery (CRAR) regime may thereby waive any right they have to forfeit leases. Landlords who...

Vaccinations Protect Child's Welfare

There has been a massive amount of disinformation put about over the years (and, apparently, recently promoted by the Russian security services) regarding the effects of various vaccinations on children. One result is that some parents are deeply wary of...

Leaving Your ISA to Your Family

Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) have many advantages over normal savings accounts – chiefly that the investment income earned on them is tax free and gains within them are not subject to Capital Gains Tax. They are, not surprisingly, widely regarded...

Your Home May Be Your Castle But Planning Rules Must Be Obeyed

The widespread belief that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' can all too easily lead the unwary into breaching planning rules. That was certainly so in a case concerning a householder who found herself in serious trouble after splitting her home into...

Landlord Succeeds in Challenge to HMO Licence Fee

An increasing number of local authorities run licensing regimes to ensure the quality of accommodation provided in Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). An important High Court ruling has, however, established that licence fees levied on landlords must not...

Child Contact Disputes Can Be Defused by Mediation - But Take Advice Soon

If parents engaged in child contact disputes take up entrenched positions, it is very nearly always the child that suffers most. Such disputes can often be defused by taking legal advice at an early stage in order to promote dialogue and an amicable...

Timeshare Credit Agreements Worth £47 Million May Be Unenforceable

Lending money to the public is, for obvious reasons, a heavily regulated activity and, as a case concerning timeshare properties showed , any involvement by those who are not authorised to carry out such activity can render credit agreements entirely...

Keep Your Records Safe

The High Court of Justice is a very expensive place to resolve a family dispute, as is evidenced by a recent case which pitted members of a farming family against each other : it shows beyond doubt the importance of documenting decisions and retaining the...

Credibility of Witness Defeats Adverse Possession Claim

The law allows people who occupy land over a long period and use it as their own, without anyone else asserting ownership rights to it, to apply to have their title to it registered at the Land Registry. This is normally called 'squatter's rights' and...

Restrictive Covenants Are Not Necessarily Insurmountable

Property title deeds often contain restrictions on future use of the land and one of the most common is a requirement that only one house can be built on a single plot. It may be thought that such a restriction must be adhered to forever, but if the...

Wife Must Pay for Her Own Mistakes

The Supreme Court recently decided a case which made clear some of the limits that apply when financial issues were resolved within a consent order at the time of a divorce but where circumstances have changed over time and one spouse seeks to have the...

Court Accepts £6 Million Distribution to Attorney

When a person's affairs are being managed by someone else under a lasting power of attorney (LPA), there are strict rules about what the attorney can and cannot do with the assets placed under their control. The attorney is expected to safeguard the assets...

Care Not a Deprivation of Liberty

Care orders for children that result in them being taken away from their parents are not made lightly. When a 14-year-old girl was assessed as having 'a range of complex therapeutic needs' that made constant supervision and care essential, the decision was...

Long-Term Partner Wins Right to Stay in House

Those who doubt the legal advantages of getting married should take note of a case in which an elderly man was left facing homelessness after his partner's unexpected death and had to go to court to seek reasonable provision from her estate. The unmarried...

Changes to the Definition of HMO - Landlords Take Note

With burgeoning numbers of students and a continuing housing shortage, residential property for letting has been a popular investment for several years. Many such investments are in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and landlords of large HMOs (which are...

Residents' Association Pays Price for Failing to Take Professional Advice

Many blocks of flats are managed by a residents' association, which has the great advantage of affording tenants democratic rights of self-determination. However, as a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) showed, such bodies bear onerous, and often complex,...

Law Overrides Will That Excludes Partner

The law that allows someone who was dependent on a deceased person during their lifetime to make a claim against their estate if there is no, or inadequate, provision for them in the will is one of long standing (the Inheritance (Provision for Family and...
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