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Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 – “Claudia’s Law” receives Royal assent

Posted by on May 31st 2017 in Blog Posts

Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 – “Claudia’s Law” receives Royal assent

The Guardianship (Missing persons) Act 2017 received royal assent on the 27th April 2017 .

This new act aptly nicknamed ‘Claudia’s Law’ arose from the case of Claudia Lawrence who disappeared on her way to work at the University of York in 2009. Her family tirelessly campaigned for legislation that would alleviate some of the stress endured by the families of missing persons.

It is estimated that 1% of the 250,000 people who go missing from the UK every year remain missing for more than a year.

Families not only have to deal with the trauma and stress of missing their loved one,...

River Responsibilities

Posted by on May 31st 2017 in Blog Posts

River Responsibilities

If you live by certain rivers, streams or other watercourses there may be rights and responsibilities that automatically apply and which you must adhere to. Rights and responsibilities relating to such watercourses are referred to as “riparian”, and it is important to identify whether you are the ‘riparian landowner’, and to understand your rights and obligations. In cases where you lease or rent river or watercourse bordering land, it is crucial to  agree with your landlord who will  undertake those responsibilities and who will enjoy the riperian rights.

 

What part of the watercourse do you own?

If the watercourse adjoins any...

Public Policy and the Modification of Restrictive Covenants

Posted by on May 23rd 2017 in Blog Posts

Public Policy and the Modification of Restrictive Covenants

Background

The developer, Millgate Developments Limited ( Millgate), built social housing on land which was subject to a restrictive covenant. The restrictive covenant prohibited building on land which backed onto a children’s hospice. Whilst Millgate were aware of the restrictive covenant they built nine houses and four bungalows on the land regardless. There was no evidence that Millgate had attempted to identify or contact those with the ability to enforce the covenants.

Once the development had been completed Millgate applied to the tribunal to ask the tribunal to exercise its discretion and modify a restrictive covenant so that it was no...

Update - Increase in Probate Fees Scrapped

Posted by on May 17th 2017 in Blog Posts, Private Client

Update - Increase in Probate Fees Scrapped

We recently produced a note on the increase of probate fees which were due to come into force from as early as May 2017.  The new provisions were intended to replace the current flat fee system of either £155 for an application made by a solicitor or £215 for an application made by an individual regardless of the value of the estate, with a system of bands starting from £50,000, relating to the size of the estate, which would have seen fees payable on estates rise between 40% to a staggering 9,202%.

However, in light of the general election being trigged...

Government Legal Service v Brookes

Posted by on May 16th 2017 in Blog Posts, Employment

Multiple Choice Assessment taken by Applicant with Aspergers Subjected Her to Indirect Disability Discrimination

In the recent ruling, Government Legal Services v Brookes UKEAT/0302/16, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) upheld the decision of an Employment Tribunal that requiring a job applicant with Aspergers to take a multiple choice test as part of the recruitment process amounted to indirect discrimination.

The Facts

Ms Brookes applied for a position with the Government Legal Service (GLS) whose jobs are highly sought after and whose recruitment is notoriously competitive. Applicants are required to complete and pass a multiple choice situational judgement test in order to...

Online Database of Criminal Landlords

Posted by on May 16th 2017 in Blog Posts, Commercial Property , Contentious Probate, Property

Online Database of Criminal Landlords

Mayor of London to introduce a new online database of criminal landlords and letting agents

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced on 26 April 2017 that a new online database will be launched in the autumn to “name and shame” criminal landlords and letting agencies who have been successfully prosecuted for housing offences.

There is an estimated 2 million private renters in London and therefore by introducing the online database the Mayor believes that it will give renters greater confidence in renting in London by giving them the opportunity to check prospective landlord or letting agents before entering into a...

My Month Working in London

Posted by on May 15th 2017 in Blog Posts

In October 2016, after working in the Commercial Disputes department at Kitsons for just shy of six months, I was given the opportunity to complete a month long secondment for one of the firm’s London based clients, working in their in-house legal team.

I have always been drawn to the hustle and bustle of the “big city”, and as a student I certainly pictured myself completing a stint in London at some point during my working life. I therefore jumped at the chance to finally experience the London lifestyle for myself. 

While most secondments cover a general...

Chung and Another v Towey – Tenant’s Liability to Pay the Landlord’s Valuations Costs on Enfranchisement

Posted by on May 12th 2017 in Blog Posts, Litigation

On a Tenant’s decision to buy the freehold of their property, the Tenant is responsible for paying for a number of things; the purchase price as well as their own valuation, conveyancing and legal fees. The Tenant is also responsible for the reasonable costs of the Landlord for investigating the Tenant's right to acquire the freehold and the Landlord’s valuation costs incurred. The Landlord’s valuer has the role of the negotiator for the Landlord. These ‘negotiation’ costs are not recoverable from the Tenant and should be clearly separated from the Valuation costs which are recoverable.

Additionally any costs incurred in connection...

The New Residential Nil-Rate Band

Posted by on May 11th 2017 in Blog Posts, Conveyancing

What is it?

Together with the current transferable nil rate band of £325,000, the new Residential Nil Rate Band (“RNRB”) may add an additional tax-free allowance of £175,000 to your estate by 2021. This allowance will also permit married and civil partnership couples to potentially leave assets with a value of up to £1 million free of inheritance tax (subject to certain provisions as detailed below). 

The “RNRB” started at £100,000 on 6th April 2017 and will be increase by £25,000 each year up until 2020 where the maximum allowance of £175,000 will be available. See the table below for a...

The Bank of Mum & Dad Now in the Top 10 of Lenders

Posted by on May 10th 2017 in Blog Posts, Property

The Bank of Mum & Dad Now in the Top 10 of Lenders

With the average first-time buyer requiring a deposit of £26,000 and the average annual salary being £27,600, it is no surprise that first-time buyers are getting older (the average age has increased from 30 to 33) and the number of people buying a property on their own is decreasing (from 29% in 1994/95 to 14% in 2014/15). More people are also now buying in couples – this has increased from 63% to 80% in the same time period. Parents are predicted to lend £6.5bn to their children this year, making them one of the top ten biggest mortgage lenders in...

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