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An update on video-witnessing Wills

Alistair MacFarlane
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The Coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on all of our lives, not least on the difficulty of signing a legal document where a witness is required to be present. This raises special difficulties with Wills where the law, which goes back to 1837,...

Certainty in these times of uncertainty... or is it just more uncertainty?

Emma Honey
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Last week preparations were being made by landlords, agents and their legal representatives to finalise reactivation notices to file at court and serve on tenants from the 24th August, to re-start possession claims.  Little government guidance was...

Divorce and Finances during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Your Questions Answered

Jonathan Whettingsteel
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The COVID-19 pandemic is going to have long lasting implications on the economy and, as such, one of the questions that my clients are repeatedly asking me is whether they should change their course of action during the pandemic. Should they separate but...

Leaseholders: get your "house" in order amid lockdown

Louise Uphill
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Whilst the battle with COVID-19 rages on outside and activity within the housing market is quiet, now is a good time for leaseholders to use this opportunity to get their current lease in a good and marketable condition ready for when the market springs back...

5 Lockdown Questions With Daniel Glass - Personal Training For Everyday Living

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Dutton Gregory's Head of Conveyancing Paul Sams hosts " 5 Lockdown Questions With "! In light of recent events, Paul speaks to industry experts across the South to find out how they are handling the lockdown, both personally and...

Coronavirus and Conveyancing: Electronic Signatures

Rebecca East
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Common Law in England and Wales has always been flexible in recognising a variety of different signatures, including that of merely a mark, initials or a printed name. The law even accommodates signing on behalf of someone where a person is physically...

Coronavirus - Student tenants during lockdown

Gina Peters
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The government introduced measures on 26 March 2020 to prevent tenants in the private rental sector (PRS) from being evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, the measures are not extensive enough. Is this the case for our student population? With...

6 reasons why the property market will bounce back stronger

Daniel Szasz
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It’s safe to say that the lockdown restrictions have been challenging for us all. We’re all wondering what day it is, adjust to a new way of living and working, and many of us have experienced the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our work....

Coronavirus - Now is the time to transfer property and save tax!

Jeremy Tucker
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Transfers of certain types of property, to anyone other than a spouse, will generally mean you have to pay capital gains tax as if you had sold the property at its market value.  Adding to that pain, any taxable capital gain arising for disposals...

Commercial landlords and tenants: what do we do once the lockdown ends?

Denise Bull
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With the government confirming today (16 th April) that the lockdown restrictions will continue for at least another three weeks, it is still uncertain as to when and how this situation will be resolved. For most properties, the exact solution will be...

Commercial Litigation Update: advice for directors and business owners during coronavirus

Andrew Witt
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As we approach the end of the 4th week of lockdown within the UK, it is an opportune moment to review what steps company directors and/or business owner should have already taken and what they may expect in the coming few months. What should you do now? ...

Coronavirus FAQ - Furloughing

Mark Broad
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Furloughing is the latest focal point in employment law but what is it and what does it mean for both employers and employees? Partner and Head of Employment Mark Broad answers some of the most common questions around this topic. UPDATE...

Coronavirus - Options on non-payment of rent for commercial landlords

Claire Bunton
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Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the government has made a number of measures available for commercial tenants to assist them at this difficult time.  Such measures include the temporary abolition of business rates, the deferment of VAT...

Coronavirus - Should you agree a rent concession?

Rachel McNulty
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In these difficult times, many commercial tenants will be asking their landlord for a form of rent concession, whether that takes the form of a reduction, deferred rent, having a rent or service charge holiday or paying monthly As a landlord, it is entirely...

Coronavirus Act 2020: Section 82 - Business tenancies in England and Wales: protection from forfeiture etc

Denise Bull
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Few of us would have imagined even a few weeks ago that I would be writing an article with the title above. We live in strange times. The purpose of this article is to give some advice to commercial landlords and tenants about what the Coronavirus Act 2020...

Coronavirus - Permitted development rights for takeaway services

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On Tuesday 24 th March, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force, bringing into effect the Government’s announcement that restaurants and drinking establishments may temporarily...

Coronavirus - Landlord & Tenant Update (26th March)

Robert Bolwell
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It’s been another challenging week for agents, landlords and just about everyone in the lettings industry . Late on Wednesday, the government’s emergency legislation passed into law, when the royal assent was given to the Coronavirus Act...

Coronavirus - Advice for Commercial Landlords & Tenants

Denise Bull
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COVID-19 is changing the face of the legal workplace. Lawyers and their clients are going to have to adapt rapidly. What does this mean for commercial landlords and tenants ? All the advice and guidance we have seen so far relates to the residential...

Coronavirus - Possession Claims Explained

Ryan Heaven
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The Government have stated their intention to protect tenants during the coronavirus outbreak by stopping any new possession claims from being issued at court. At the time of writing (Monday 23 rd March), the final wording of this legislation has not been...

Coronavirus - Your Landlord & Tenant Questions Answered

Robert Bolwell
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We are now over a week into the official coronavirus pandemic and the pressure on managing agents is increasing exponentially from all quarters. Last updated: 20/03/2020 Despite the pronouncements by Boris in recent days, there is still no clear...

Looking ahead to 2020's housing market

Paul  Sams
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Dutton Gregory Partner and property expert Paul Sams shares his thoughts on what 2020 will bring for the housing market and the difficulties that may lie ahead for industry professionals. “Personally I am cautiously optimistic for 2020.  We have...

Airbnb and Assured Shorthold Tenancies: What can a landlord do?

Tom Whatley
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Since being founded in 2008, Airbnb has gone from the complete unknown to having hosted roughly 400 million guests worldwide. Surprisingly a year after its launch, the company was struggling to break-even but now has 31 offices and is estimated to have more...

Commercial Service Charge: what do you need to consider?

Rachel McNulty
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Generally, service charge provisions in a lease are only required where the lease is for part of a building or part of a large estate (i.e. industrial estate, shopping centre, business park). During the initial lease negotiations between a landlord and...

Five Fact Friday: Misrepresentation

Chris Hall
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This week it was revealed, following an investigation, that only 1% of the bulbs sold at Amsterdam’s famous floating flower market, ever blossom.  That spells trouble for those sellers touting their tulips to tourists but it’s also an...

Five Fact Friday: Compulsory Purchase Orders

Chris Hall
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Tomorrow marks the 40 th anniversary of the publication of the Hitchhiker’ Guide to the Galaxy.  *Spoiler alert*.  For those who haven’t read the book (or watched film, or watched the TV series or listened to the radio play…),...

Five Fact Friday: The Supreme Court's Flying Circus

Chris Hall
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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you may have noticed that the Supreme Court has been in the news recently.  What you may not know is that it also celebrated its 10 th birthday this week. Moreover, another British...

Looking into Personal Injury: Accident at Work Claims

Emma Menzies
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Every year hundreds of thousands of accidents occur at work. These might involve heavy lifting or inadequate training on how to lift, using defective equipment or machinery or it could be another employee’s error. We’re taking an insider look at...

No additional Stamp Duty on uninhabitable properties - a win for developers

Claire Bunton
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Have you bought a derelict property since March 2016? Did you pay a SDLT surcharge on the purchase of that property?  If so, you could be due a refund.  On 1 st April 2016, the government introduced the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) surcharge for...

Freehold Restrictive Covenants: Part 2 - Modification and Removal

Claire Bunton
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It is quite common for land or property to be subject to covenants which restrict certain use or activity on the land.  As can be seen from the first part of this article , a covenant must satisfy certain conditions in order to be enforceable. ...

Freehold Restrictive Covenants: Part 1 - Validity and Enforceability

Claire Bunton
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It is quite common for land or property to be subject to covenants which restrict certain use or activity on the land.  What is a covenant? Covenants are typically created where a land owner sells off a part of their land while wanting to restrict...

Is age really just a number?

Chris Hall
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Every now and again we are reminded of ancient laws that have never been repealed, some being fairly ridiculous and amusing!  For instance, an 1872 law that has never been repealed made it an offence for a pub landlord to allow drunkenness in their...

Recent developments in commercial property

Denise Bull
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The property industry comes across many changes and developments which are important to keep up with.  One of the most significant recent developments is the changes to the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) regime. It’s now necessary to file the tax...

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018

Chris Hall
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It took more than 3 years but the Private Members Bill introduced by the Labour MP Karen Buck has received Royal Assent and has become the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018.  It will come into force on 20 March 2019. The new Act will amend...

Supreme Court Upholds Spirit of 1954 Act

Claire Bunton
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Under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (the 1954 Act), some tenants of commercial premises have the right to renew their leases indefinitely. The landlord cannot refuse the tenant a new lease, except on certain specific grounds. Once such ground, ground F,...

Rogue landlords and harassment - where do you stand?

Chris Hall
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On 23 October 2018, the Guardian newspaper, following a joint investigation with ITV News, published an article which revealed that many landlords who have been convicted of housing offences and also failed to pass the ‘fit and proper’ person...

Budget 2018: Stamp Duty Land Tax on a new Shared Ownership Lease: what's changed?

Sarah Sams
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As a result of the recent budget, there have been further changes in respect of the relief that First Time Buyers can claim in respect of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on the purchase of new Shared Ownership properties.  From 2017, it was the case...

Prenuptial Agreements: they're now worth more than the paper they're printed on

Jonathan Whettingsteel
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On 28th February 2018, the Office of National Statistics published their findings looking at marriages in England and Wales in 2015. Of the 239,020 opposite sex marriages in England and Wales, 15% were remarrying. This means that in 2015 alone, approximately...

Dutton Gregory's Help to Buy expert reacts to Minister's latest report

Paul  Sams
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Last week, the Minister of Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, published the latest figures from the Government’s Help to Buy schemes. It was announced that over a third of a million first time buyer properties have been...

A Timely Reminder?

Robert Bolwell
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Last month saw the acclaimed crime drama Unforgotten return to our Sunday evening TV screens, keeping the nation enthralled by another “who done it”. This third series followed an established format – a body is discovered long after death...

Three Important Factors to Consider When Finding New Office Space

Rachel McNulty
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When it comes to finding a new office space, there are many considerations to take into account. These can be divided into three main factors: location , size and price . Location The type of business will determine the location, but no matter your...

The Executioner Gets It Wrong........

Robert Bolwell
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As a teenager, my favourite subject at secondary school was always History.  Not the social history that is taught in schools today, but the history of kings and queens, battles and betrayals, treason and treaties. The gorier the story, the more I...