Risk Passing on Exchange of Contracts

When contracts are exchanged, the risks of owning the property (whether it be freehold or leasehold) are transferred to the buyer unless the contract provides otherwise.

By Fatma Mehmet & Annika Tolmay, 20th March 2024

Transparency / open Justice in the Family Courts

An appeal from His Honour Judge Oliver sitting at Central Family Court against findings he made in a Care case to the Court of Appeal. Heard by Lord Justices  Baker and Warby and Lady Justice Simler.   A reserved judgment in a case of such complexity and involving very serious findings with life long implications for our 18 year old client, the alleged perpetrator of sexual abuse,  should have been in writing. The family, the professionals involved and  in future the children must be able to understand the courts decisions. The oral  judgment of the His Honour Judge Oliver was deeply flawed.  Appeal allowed judgment including findings  set aside. The court did not order a retrial. Case to go back to the lower court for case management to be heard by another  judge for resolution of issues.

New Mediation Reforms as of March 2023

Plans have recently been announced to shake up the family justice system by making mediation compulsory for separating couples. 

Terminally Ill Tenant: Cancer Patient Forced to Occupy Leaking, Vermin-Infested Flat While Waiting for Her Home to Be Demolished

A Woman battling cancer has revealed she only has months to move out of her home – with nowhere else to go, as Ealing Council refuses to help.

By Alison Denham and Athena Poyiadjis, 2nd December 2022

Daddy touched me’: The Family Court’s Approach to Child Sexual Abuse Allegations in Re C [2022] EWFC 138

A recent judgment from HHJ Clive Baker outlined how parents and professionals should respond when a child makes an allegation of sexual abuse against a parent.

By Nicole Wallace, 29 November 2022 

Malik -v- McCadden (County Court at Willesden) 29th November 2019

This is one of those very sad cases which arises out of the position of leasehold law in this country.  Many things have been said about it in the past and I am afraid that this is a classic example of how difficulties can arise, regardless of whose fault the situation is, but it puts those who are thrust into that particular environment into an almost impossible situation once a relationship has broken down.

By Arman Khosravi, 8th July 2020

Trecarrell House Limited -v- Patricia Rouncefield [2020] EWCA CIV 760

On 29 January 2020 the long-awaited appeal concerning the impact of service of a Gas Safety Record on a section 21 notice was heard by the Court of Appeal, which consisted of a panel of Lord Justice Patten, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Moylan.

Immunity from care proceedings? 

Should your status as a diplomat allow you to harm your children without child protection agencies being able to intervene? 

That was the question Mr Justice Mostyn had to decide in the recent cases of A Local Authority v AG [2020] EWFC 18 & A Local Authority v AG (No.2) [2020] EWHC 1346 (Fam)

By Oliver Conway, 8th June 2020

Coronavirus and Child Arrangements

The Family Court has now issued guidance about complying with Child Arrangements Orders given that the country is experiencing this unprecedented public health crisis.

By Ron Gilfillan and Keshia Bushay-Ellis , 1st April 2020

Mediating in the Time of Corona Virus

Mediation is typically done face to face, with all parties in the same room for the majority of the time. If you are living separately under the same roof, there is no reason why mediation can’t be done via Skype or Zoom provided that both participants feel safe to mediate like this.

By Glynne Davies, 26th March 2020

Settlement Agreements and Redundancy

We live in difficult times. Nobody quite knows what the future holds and for business that often means tightening its belt, reducing overheads and in some cases letting staff go.

By Russell Conway, 26th March 2020

No Fault Divorce

The decision to get divorced is never easy. Ending a marriage doesn’t always mean ending a relationship. For many, especially when there are children involved, the other party will remain a part of their life, well after a decree absolute is pronounced. 

By Barbara Marques, 20th February 2020

Trecarrel House Limited v Rouncefield

Oliver Fisher instructed on Court of Appeal case.

By Billy Clerkin, 27th August 2019

Restrictive Covenants & ‘not to unreasonably withhold consent’

Subterranean or so-called super basements are ever popular in London. Restrictive covenants continue to provide significant concern, difficulty and delay for developers. 

By Arman Khosravi, 2nd August 2019

Kaur v Griffith (25th July 2019 – County Court at Bromley)

A failure to comply with the Gas Safety Regulations could result in a section 21 notice being invalid.

By Billy Clerkin, 1st August 2019

Forfeiture of a Lease when there has been a breach

A failure to comply with a lease covenant could be: a failure to pay service charge, ground rent, unauthorised alterations, unreasonable noise nuisance, allowing damage / waste to property, illegal subletting, unlawful Airbnb, change of user, failure to provide access and even possibly any act that causes the insurance policy for the building to become invalid.

By Arman Khosravi, 30th July 2019

What can I do to reduce my inheritance tax liability?

Unlike the UK, if you live in Australia, Canada, Portugal, there is no inheritance tax (IHT) – meaning the recipients or the beneficiaries take the whole lot.

By Samina Aslam, 2nd July 2019

Stamp duty, fixtures & chattels

All non-domestic The distinction between fixtures and chattels is important for the calculation of Stamp Duty Land Tax in all land transactions. The reason is whereas Fixtures attract stamp duty, Chattels do not. 

By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 6th June 2019

Business rates explained

All non-domestic properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses, factories and holiday rental homes, guest houses and even stables (unless you use the horses for farming) have to pay Business Rates.

By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 5th June 2019

Worried about leaving a gift to someone in your will? Forfeiture or No-Contest Clauses.

Are you worried about leaving a gift to someone in your will? Whether it’s a family member, friend or someone else in your life, you might be worried about how that person will spend the money. Perhaps they have never been good with finances or your relationship with them has not always been easy.

By Lisa Bilham, 21st January 2019

So, who owns the roof and air space above a purpose-built block of flats or a converted house?

Whether tenant or landlord you must scrutinise the wording of a lease to determine whether the roof and airspace could be developed, your prevented from development or the rights let to and/ or developed by a third party.

By Arman Khosravi, 27th November 2018

Employment disputes and settlement agreements

This is a document that for many years used to be referred to as a Compromise Agreement.  Under the current legislation it is now referred to as a Settlement Agreement and is a legally binding Contract between an employer and an employee whereby the employee agrees to leave the Firm/Organisation normally in return for a largely tax free compensation sum.

By Russell Conway, 25th August 2018

New HMO Rules 2018 – The Government gets tough on HMO owners.

This Government has for a long time now had a stated intention of getting tougher on Landlords who rent out unsuitable accommodation to large numbers of people.  Until now HMOs were largely defined as properties of three storeys or more with five or more people making up two or more separate households residing within them.  These were largely used by students, migrants and young professionals on low incomes.

By Russell Conway, 25th June 2018

Defective S.21 Notice – Gas safety certificates & Caridon Property Limited -v- Monty Shooltz

Welcomed by tenants and housing practitioners but perhaps a current landlord’s worst nightmare, HHJ Jan Luba QC has provided much needed clarification on the application of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998.

By Arman Khosravi, 13th February 2018

Estate Administration / Probate and Digital Assets

In the past couple of months, it is likely that you may have come across the ubiquitous success of Bitcoin in the news. Launched in the US around 2009, the cryptocurrency peaked in value in the tune of just under $20,000 in December 2017.

By Samina Aslam, 26th January 2018

What happened to marriage? Today’s popular trend is couples just living together. But what are the legal risks of this increasing trend?

It has recently been reported that the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled in the past 5 years. Unfortunately, the law has not caught up with the consequences / risks that cohabitees may face if they fall out or one passes away.

By Arman Khosravi, 17th January 2018

Property alterations, consent not to be unreasonably withheld and retrospective consent

If you are considering making alterations to your flat or apartment, you must check what consents you need from  the Freeholder to avoid breaching your lease.

By Arman Khosravi, 10th January 2018

Divorce and the Family House

When marriages break down it is inevitable that couples will ultimately separate and live apart.

By Jim Richards, 23rd May 2017

Divorce? The dangers of not using a Solicitor 

Many people use online services when divorcing now. At this time, many of us feel we need to save money, we may be looking at a situation where we will be financially much worse off in the future. There is therefore often a wish to try to reign in outgoings and try to agree an arrangement with an ex-partner, when we are not truly aware of what we may be entitled to on divorce.

By Jo Shortland, 8th May 2017.

The dangers of DIY  Wills

We have all seen the DIY Will packs on sale at WH Smith and other high street retailers and on the face of it, these may seem like a good idea. But beware of the many pitfalls which will inevitably occur when making a Will without the advice of a legal professional!

By Lisa Bilham, 20th April 2017.

Housing disrepair explained 

Disrepair is not a straightforward word to interpret and, as with most legal definitions, it will depend on each individual situation and will be open to interpretation.

By Sharenjit Kaur, 12th April 2017.

Co-Parenting after separation

The process of divorce or separation may cause a harmful impact on children. It is important to minimise conflict to the furthest extent possible. When parents are able to work together in a co-operative manner, the risk of negative emotions may be reduced and both parties will be able to play an active role in their child’s life.

By Kimya Asadi, 14th February 2017.

Wake-up! – I.D. Fraud costs Mishcon de Reya £1m, it’s time to take Cyber Crime seriously!

Mishcon’s was recently found liable to its client Dreamvar (purchaser) for breach of trust having failed to seek an undertaking from the seller’s solicitors that reasonable steps to establish their client’s identity was carried out.

 By Arman Khosravi, 7th February 2017.

The extent of a tenants repairing obligation in a commercial lease

There are generally two issues associated with the extent of the repairing obligation of a tenant in a commercial lease. These are (a) the extent of the repair and (b) the standard of the repair.

 By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 2nd February 2017.

The Supreme Court and disinherited adult child claims

An increasing number of legal challenges are being brought under the 1975 Inheritance Act, which stipulates that “reasonable financial provision” must be made in a parent’s will for the “maintenance” of a child — a definition now increasingly being applied to adult children.

By Arman Khosravi, 5th January 2017.

What will the effect of Brexit be on the Private Rented Sector?

This question has been pushed around by many who can only at best express a speculative view. However, with Theresa May having confirmed that Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty will be invoked before the end of March 2017 the question demands constant review.

By Arman Khosravi, 30th December 2016.

Transfer of equity

Transfer of Equity is a legal term referring to the transfer of the legal ownership of a property. It is different from buying and selling a property (in which also the legal ownership is transferred) in that there is usually no money changed hands by the parties involved.

 By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 15th December 2016.

Rogue landlords beware!

Local Authorities are now able to make an Application for a “Banning Order” to stop a rogue Landlord or indeed a Landlord’s Managing Agent from continuing to let properties where they have committed certain offences. Read more.

By Russell Conway, 9th December 2016.

Japanese Knotweed – A pesky problem!

Any conveyancer, estate agent, buyer or seller who has encountered Japanese knotweed will know that it’s presence can significantly impede the conveyancing process. Indeed there are no conveyancing or environmental searches that detect the presence of Japanese Knotweed. Read More.

By Deborah Mantell, 9th December 2016.

The repairing covenant for latent and inherent defects in commercial Leases

A tenant of a commercial property –especially in a newly built commercial centre— must take special care when reviewing service charge and service costs provisions. It is customary that the landlord passes on the liability for the maintenance and the repair of the building to the tenants.

 By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 1st December 2016.

Renewal of Business Tenancies by the Landlord under S.25 of LTA 1954

A business tenancy protected by the LTA 1954 will not come to an end automatically at the end of the contractual term. It will continue under the same terms until it is terminated by either the landlord or the tenant in a specified manner under the Act.

 By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 22nd November 2016.

AirBnB and unlawful subletting

It is now more common than ever that a prospective tenant will procure a tenancy with the intention of subletting without permission. This is known as ‘unlawful subletting’.

By Arman Khosravi, 21st November 2016.

Lease extension

One of the most important questions a purchaser of leasehold property should ask is: “How long is the lease?” The length of a lease is important because…

By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 18th November 2016.

Restrictive and positive covenants

One of the first thing anyone who buys a property has to come to grips with is the nature of covenants governing his or her land. A covenant is a legal obligation to perform or not to perform certain acts with respect to property.

By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 4th November 2016.

Exercising the Break Clause in commercial leases and tenant’s entitlement to a refund

In commercial leases –especially if the term is longer than 5 years—there may be a break clause which enables the Tenant to break the lease before the end of the term. This provides comfort for the tenant to end the lease in circumstances where the business is not doing well or the tenant is unable to pay rent.

 By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 21st October 2016.

How to avoid gazumping

Gazumping is a controversial practice which means when a seller accepts a higher offer on the property from a second buyer while in the process of selling the property to someone else.

By Alireza Nurbakhsh, 14th October 2016.

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