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Online Database of Criminal Landlords

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

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 Tenants Liability to Pay the Landlords Valuations Costs on Enfranchisement

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

Chung and Another v Towey Tenants Liability to Pay the Landlords Valuations Costs on Enfranchisement

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

The New Residential Nil-Rate Band

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...

'Stepping into the Unknown'

Posted by on May 5th 2017 in Blog Posts

'Stepping into the Unknown'

The first day of your Training Contract can be one of the most frightening days of your life. Questions and worries whizz around your head; what will I do on my first day? How should I introduce myself? Will I be expected to know everything after a week?

The simple response to all of these questions is – don’t worry!

We all possess that eagerness to impress and illustrate what we can achieve and succeed in, yet don’t allow your nerves to get the better of you. It may well be your first ever ‘legal’ job and thus a big leap into...

KNOW YOUR POLICY!

Posted by on May 2nd 2017 in Blog Posts

KNOW YOUR POLICY!

In Leeds Beckett University  v Travelers Insurance Company Ltd  [2017] EWHC 558 (TCC) Coulson J found that Travelers  were not liable to the claimant University under its insurance policy (“the policy”) because the damage caused was not considered to be accidental damage for the purpose of the policy. The judge determined that ‘accidental’ means an event that occurs by chance and is non-deliberate therefore the Insurance Company, in this case, cannot be liable for damage that was inevitable.

In this case the University built an accommodation block on the site of a former brewery – as well as redevelopment...

General Election - What is Purdah? Will it Affect You?

Posted by on April 28th 2017 in Blog Posts

General Election - What is Purdah? Will it Affect You?

Theresa May’s announcement last week to call a general election was of significant surprise to many given the previous assurances and declarations made by the Prime Minister. Whilst a significant back-peddle from her previously entrenched position where she has maintained that an election would not occur before 2020, the question now arises as to what effect such an announcement will have.

During any election, the pre-election period known as ‘purdah’ comes into force. This is a period in which specific restrictions are placed on the decision making powers of public bodies and government departments in order to prevent these bodies and...

The Pitfalls of Property Guardians

Posted by on April 26th 2017 in Blog Posts, Conveyancing

Due to the rise of so called “professional squatters”, property guardians are often enlisted to live in property, which would otherwise be left empty. Guardians are offered low rent accommodation, their presence deterring squatters, arson and vandalism. To reflect a temporary living arrangement, licences rather than a lease is given. Licences are granted as licences are believed to not offer the tenant the same protections of a lease. Recently, however the decision by the Bristol County Court in Camelot Property Management v Roynon (unreported) has shown that property guardianship schemes may not be a risk free temporary arrangement for landowners!

Bristol...

E-Conveyancing - a Move with Times?

Posted by on April 26th 2017 in Blog Posts, Conveyancing

E-Conveyancing - a Move with Times?

A Digital signature has made its first appearance in a residential property transaction.

An electronic signature was used for the first time to exchange contracts in a residential property transaction on the 6th April 2017 at exactly 15:39. This marked the beginning of E-conveyancing and potentially laid down the first brick for the path of the future. 

Solicitors acting on both sides uploaded the agreed contract onto one of the registered secure systems, which was then sent to the respective seller and purchaser to electronically sign. The system was then able to confirm that the document was read and signed,...

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