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What is a Judicial separation?

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Judicial separation order is an alternative to divorce which can be utilised where, for example, religious beliefs forbid divorce. Reasons to Seek Judicial Separation A judicial separation order can be sought: At any time after the marriage: ...

Navigating Part III Applications: A Deep Dive into the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984

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Introduction Within the legal realm of England and Wales, the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 stands as a cornerstone legislation, offering a structured approach to resolving financial settlements in international divorce scenarios. Central to...

Navigating Nuptial Agreements: A Positive Journey Post Radmacher v Granatino

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In the wake of the groundbreaking Supreme Court verdict in Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, the landscape surrounding nuptial agreements, spanning pre-nuptial, post-nuptial, and separation agreements, has experienced a notable evolution within...

Navigating Financial Remedy Proceedings: A Brief Overview for Couples in England and Wales

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When a marriage comes to an end, untangling financial matters can often be one of the most complex and challenging aspects of the separation process. In England and Wales, financial remedy proceedings provide a legal framework for resolving financial issues...

Navigating Child Arrangement Proceedings: A Guide to Starting the Process in England and Wales

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In cases where parents are unable to agree on arrangements for their children following separation or divorce, initiating child arrangement proceedings under the Children Act 1989 may be necessary to resolve disputes and establish formal arrangements....

The Evolution of No-Fault Divorce in England and Wales: A Step Towards Modernising Family Law

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Divorce, once a taboo subject, has become a common occurrence in many societies worldwide. In England and Wales, the legal landscape surrounding divorce has undergone significant transformations over the years, reflecting changing societal attitudes towards...

Is it still worth investing in the London property market?

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London has some of the most expensive property in the world, being ranked fourth most expensive globally for prime property and third for ultra-prime property. It is also highly popular with overseas property investors, with research previously having...

Licence to occupy - A good alternative for business?

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Acting as an agreement between a property owner and occupier, a licence to occupy gives the licensee non-exclusive possession of a property. This is typically for a set period of time, and can range from a single week to 12 months. Despite the differences...

What is a reasonable service charge?

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A service charge is a payment made from leaseholders to the landlord, which covers the cost of maintenance, management, and other services required within a building. For a service charge to be considered reasonable, The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 ...

How does leasehold enfranchisement work?

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Are you interested in extending the lease on your property or buying the freehold? The process for doing so is called leasehold enfranchisement and there are many things that you will need to know in order to successfully navigate the process. In this...

What is a break clause?

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The relationships between landlords and tenants can be complicated, which is why it’s vital that leases and tenancy contracts are drafted correctly. When entering into a commercial or residential lease the circumstances of either party may change...

Man's home 'stolen' in conveyancing fraud

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Reverend Mike Hall was working in North Wales when he was informed that people were inside his Luton home, only to learn it had been sold without his knowledge by conveyancing fraud. Mr Hall was only informed of the property sale when his neighbours saw...

How Long Does It Take to Move House in the UK?

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Moving house is an exciting and significant event in most people’s lives, but it can come with its fair share of stress. For many people, the process of moving house can be daunting and overwhelming. A common question often asked is “how long...

Buying a Property With Tenants - Their Rights and Yours

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Within the UK, it is possible to purchase a property that already contains tenants. This is known as a tenant in situ. A tenant may be in situ if the current landlord is unable or unwilling to evict them before the sale. These properties are more likely to...

Why Are Fewer Over-55s Downsizing?

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2.9 million over-55s are planning to downsize their homes in the future. This is a 200,000 drop from 2018, when the number was 3.1 million. Legal & General estimated that three-quarters of over-55s own their homes, with many of these larger than the...

Top Tips for Signing a Commercial Lease

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Renting a commercial property is usually one of the biggest investments a business will make. Commercial leases are complex, however, and there are a number of issues to be wary of. It is important not to rush into signing a commercial lease without taking...

Japanese Knotweed - a Guide for Homeowners, Sellers and Buyers

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UK property owners’ land and homes are being infected by the rapidly growing species Japanese knotweed, which can damage building’s foundations and floors, as well as growing through walls and fences. Initially introduced to the UK in the 19 th ...

Leasehold Housebuilders to Allow Leaseholders to Buy Freehold at a Discount and Repay Unfair Ground Rent

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Leaseholders are being given the opportunity to purchase their freehold at discounted prices after being ‘trapped’ into leases that left them paying thousands in annual ground rent and struggling to sell their homes. Evidence that many leasehold...

Ban on Commercial Evictions Extended to March 2022

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The ban on commercial evictions has been extended to March 2022, it was recently announced. Under the ban, which was originally supposed to end on 30 June 2021, landlords will be unable to use the full range of enforcement options they would usually have to...

Increasing Numbers of First-time Buyers Are Spending over £1m on Their Properties

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House prices are rising, buyers are paying well over the asking price, and many cash offers are being made. In spite of the pandemic, the demand for houses remains strong and it seems as though first-time buyers are having to find ways of competing in a...

Common Landlord & Tenant Queries & Answers Arising out of Covid-19

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My residential tenant is in rent arrears as a result of COVID -19  – What can I do? Tenants continue to have a liability to pay their rent and abide by all of the other terms of their tenancy agreements. Unfortunately, if your tenant gets...

Wandsworth Council's Sprinkler Application Struck Out

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Mark Eaton of HPLP Solicitors has successfully acted for a number of leaseholders in striking out an application made by Wandsworth Council to the First-tier Tribunal under its statutory ‘service charge’ jurisdiction under section 27A Landlord...

Paying Service Charges Under Protest

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Service charges  can be paid and then challenged later. Or can they? The right to challenge after payment is found in the  Landlord & Tenant  Act 1985. That Act says that service charges cannot be challenged in the courts if...

New Assured Tenancy Notice Seeking Possession from 1/12/2016

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The Assured Tenancies and Agricultural Occupancies (Forms) (England) (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/1118) were made on 17 November 2016 and come into force on 1 December 2016.  The statutory instrument is here . The regulations amend the...

Relief from Forfeiture

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Pineport Ltd v Grangeglen Ltd [2016] EWHC 1318 (Ch) How long can a tenant wait before seeking relief from forfeiture? In this case a commercial tenant , whose long lease had been forfeited by peaceable re-entry for non-payment of rent, was entitled to...

Two cases about legal costs

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1. Chaplair Limited v Kumari [2015] EWCA Civ 798 Many landlords issue money claims for service charges arrears in order to obtain judgment as a precursor  to taking  forfeiture proceedings. Their claims will  be allocated to the small...

Leases and Private Residences

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We are seeing more and more cases where a tenant of a long residential leases lets out his or her property on short term lets.   In Nemcova v Fairfield Rents Limited [2016] UKUT 303 (LC) , Ms Nemcova gave evidence that she only let the property...

Service Charges and Assured Tenancies

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Cardiff Community Housing Association Limited v Kahar [2016] UKUT 0279 (LC) This is a case about service charges and an assured tenancy . The tenant, Mrs Kahar, didn’t think that she should pay service charges because her tenancy agreement failed...

H.P.L.P successful in upholding restrictive covenants

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Mark Eaton of H.P.L.P successfully acted for a Residents' Association and Individual freeholders in opposing an application by a resident to allow her to extend her house in compliance with planning permission. All properties on the estate were...

Court fees up again: money claims from 9/3/15

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Less than a year after the last increase in court fees, the cost of issuing money claims has now been increased above a certain threshold. The fee is calculated by reference to the value of the claim including interest. The tiered fees up to...

"All rise" - court fees increase April 2014

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On 22 April 2014, Civil and Family Court fees increased significantly. For possession claims, it has increased from £175 to £280 for claims sent to the court to issue. For Possession Claims Online (PCOL) the rate has dramatically increased...

Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords - Protocol changes - Civil Procedure Rules

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The 79 th amendment to the Civil Procedure Rules have significant changes for social landlords. The changes came into force on 6 April 2015. There is a new Pre-Action Protocol for Possession Claims by Social Landlords . Part 1 contains preliminaries...

Tenancy Fraud

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The Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Act 2013 came into force on 15 October 2013. The government estimates that around 100,000 properties are unlawfully sublet. The act creates two new criminal offences of unlawful subletting by assured and secure...

Accountant's Certificate

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Leases often set out a requirement that the sum due in service charges should be certified by an accountant as soon as possible after the end of the financial year. Such a clause was in the leases considered in CLACY v SANCHEZ [2015] UKUT 0387 (LC)¸...

Paying for improvements

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There have been 2 significant reported cases this year regarding leases and improvements. I) WAALER v THE LONDON BOROUGH OF HOUNSLOW [2015] UKUT 0017 (LC) 4 1.This case was about whether particular improvements to a property carried out by a...

Up the Garden Path

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One summer evening in 2010, Mr Samuel Edwards was taking rubbish out of the second floor flat which he and his partner rented from the leaseholder of the flat, Mr Kumarasamy. Unfortunately, Mr Edwards slipped on uneven paving stones and hurt his knee. He...

Barratt v Robinson [2014] UKUT 322

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This is a significant case about the costs which a landlord can claim from a tenant under a clause which is found in most leases. This is where the tenant covenants: To pay all reasonable costs charges and expenses ( including solicitors' costs...

Interpretation of service charge clause: Arnold v Britton 2015

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This was an appeal to the Supreme Court of a 2013 hearing. The case concerned a number of chalets in a leisure park, each of which was subject to a 99 year lease from 25/12/1974. In issue was the interpretation of a clause requiring the lessees to pay...

Daejan Properties Ltd v Griffin [2014] UKUT 0206 (LC)

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If a landlord does not carry out works and the building deteriorates, does the tenant have to pay to remedy the consequential problems? The answer is no: he will have a claim in damages for breach of covenant and he can set off that claim against his...

Injunctions to Prevent Nuisance and Annoyance

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Part 1 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 came into force on 23 March 2015 (Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 (Commencement No. 8, Saving and Transitional Provisions Order 2015 - S.I. No. 2015/373)). The Injunction...

Have you received an Improvement Notice under the Housing Act 2004?

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If your property has a problem and the local authority decides that the problem is serious enough to be regarded as a Category 1 or 2 hazard, then it can serve an Improvement Notice on you obliging you to carry out works. Under the Housing, Health and...

Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 - update 1

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This act is now partly in force and is anticipated to come into full effect in October of this year. Among other matters, it brings about changes in relation to Anti-social Behaviour injunctions replacing the 'ASBI' with the IPNA (Injunction to...

Are "T" marks determinative of ownership on plans and conveyances?

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Many landowners assume that the existence of T marks on a conveyance or Land Registry plan is the final word on ownership, but that is not correct. The case Lanfear v Chandler [2013] EWCA Civ 1497 concerned the construction of a car port by Mrs...

Demands for service charge information - no civil remedy

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The names Morshead Mansions / Di Marco may be familiar to leaseholders whose freehold is owned by a company of which they are members. A well known dispute in 2008 clarified that sums equivalent to service charges could be demanded of leaseholders by...

All change for section 21 notices

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The recent case of Spencer v Taylor has simplified matters relating to the differing section 21 notices to the benefit of landlords . Previously under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, there were two procedures for recovering possession with two...

S146 notice confusion

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Forfeiture of residential leases is never the easiest subject. The courts often seek to protect tenants from the ultimate sanction of losing their home or business premises. A recent case has added to the confusion. The old rule of thumb used to be: in...