Latest Legal News

High Court Rules Against Right to Rent

The legislation that introduced the Right to Rent scheme, which went live in February 2016 and compels landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants, has never been popular with landlords or tenants. Recently, the High Court ruled that the...

SDLT Reminder

Clients are reminded that, following the introduction of the Stamp Duty Land Tax (Administration) (Amendment) Regulations 2018 , the time limit for the payment of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) on property transactions has been reduced from 30 days to 14...

When a Covenant May Be More Than it Seems

If you own or buy a property, you may find that there are covenants which apply to it, a covenant being a requirement to do something or refrain from doing something with your property. A covenant will benefit other property in the vicinity. Typically, a...

Tribunal Paves the Way for Suburban Garden Development

Restrictions on land use appear in the title deeds of many properties – but the law permits their deletion or modification if they become obsolete over time or stand in the way of reasonable development. Exactly that happened in one case in which the...

Thinking of Dispensing With Legal Advice on a House Sale? Think Again!

Home-made contracts, particularly for the sale of land, are a singularly bad idea and can lead to costs that dwarf the modest sums needed to secure proper professional advice. Exactly that happened in one case in which a house purchase contract was so...

Fraud Victim Sacrificed His Home by Delay in Seeking Legal Advice

If you have a legitimate legal complaint, any delay in consulting a solicitor is highly likely to benefit the wrongdoer. A man whose home was taken from him by fraud, but who delayed over 20 years before taking legal action, found that out to his cost. The...

Hedge Cutting Proves Costly

You might think that where the boundaries of property lie should be clear, but boundary disputes are a fruitful source of argument in the courts. A recent case arose when, between contracts being exchanged on a property and the completion of its purchase, a...

Leasehold Reform Consultation Ends

The leasehold system in the UK has been crying out for reform for years, and the Government has decided to tackle the issues through the medium of a new consultation paper called 'Fixing our broken housing market'. The chief target for the Government has...

The Sky Above and the Earth Below

A recent case may raise alarm bells for anyone thinking about adding a basement to a property which is divided. It involved a terraced house which was converted into two flats. The top two floors of the property were owned by the freeholder. The owner of...

Your Home May Be Your Castle But Planning Rules Must Be Obeyed

The widespread belief that 'an Englishman's home is his castle' can all too easily lead the unwary into breaching planning rules. That was certainly so in a case concerning a householder who found herself in serious trouble after splitting her home into...

Credibility of Witness Defeats Adverse Possession Claim

The law allows people who occupy land over a long period and use it as their own, without anyone else asserting ownership rights to it, to apply to have their title to it registered at the Land Registry. This is normally called 'squatter's rights' and...

Residents' Association Pays Price for Failing to Take Professional Advice

Many blocks of flats are managed by a residents' association, which has the great advantage of affording tenants democratic rights of self-determination. However, as a decision of the Upper Tribunal (UT) showed, such bodies bear onerous, and often complex,...

Building Works Next Door Making Your Life a Misery?

Construction works on neighbouring properties can make your life a misery but, with the right legal advice, you may be able to do something about them. In a case on point, the High Court came to the aid of a woman whose rental property was deprived of light...

Failure to Control Knotweed Proves Costly for Landowner

Japanese knotweed is a very considerable pest – 'indisputably the UK's most aggressive, destructive and invasive plant', according to the Environment Agency –as it can cause damage to buildings, spreads easily and is difficult to eradicate. As...

Inconsistent Residential Planning Permission Overturned

If you are faced with an unwelcome proposal for development nearby, a recent case shows how tenaciousness and a knowledge of past planning history can help to prevent it. Consistency of decision making is a fundamental principle of planning law and local...

Planning Application Restricted to Preserve View

On our densely populated island, there is a pressing need for available land to be put to sensible use and, where restrictive covenants lurking in title deeds prevent that happening, they can be modified. In a case on point, a man's desire to provide a...

Tenants Must Bear Cost of Safety Improvements

Following the Grenfell disaster in 2017, cladding has come under close scrutiny with surveys being carried out as a priority in buildings across the UK. The failure to comply with Building Regulations (Part L1A 2010), which provides a framework for ensuring...

What Seems Reasonable to You...

It is a common term in a lease for the tenants to have to seek permission from the landlord if they want to do something new to or with the premises they let. Typically, such clauses specify that permission will not be 'unreasonably withheld'. However, what...

Council Tax to Bite on Empty Property

In 2017, 205,293 dwellings in England were left empty for six months or more. With the housing shortage never far from the news agenda, steps to bring unoccupied houses back into use are being taken by the Government. Under the Rating (Property in Common...

Working From Home? Do You Have the Right?

Although they may not know it, many householders are banned by restrictions in their title deeds from using their properties for commercial purposes. Recently, a man who converted his garage into a dog grooming parlour discovered why he should have sought...

Flats Development 'No Pets' Policy Passes High Court Test

If your tenancy agreement contains a 'no pets' policy, the fact that your pet does not cause any issues for other tenants will not prevent your landlord from enforcing its removal. In a recent case, the High Court ruled that a couple had been lawfully...

Planning Law - Take Advice Before You Act

The planning system is very far from straightforward and sensible landowners seek legal advice before tackling it. The point was underlined by one case in which a farmer ended up with a part-built barn and at risk of enforcement action if he completed the...

Premature Contract Signature Proves Expensive

Signing a contract before you are sure you are willing to complete it can be a huge mistake: judges do not flinch from enforcing valid contracts, as a recent case shows . It involved a man who reneged on a deal to buy a family home for £5 million. He...

DIY Approach to Property Purchase Proves Costly

You might think that something as seemingly simple as buying a pitch for a caravan is straightforward enough to do yourself, but a recent example shows why no sensible person would consider entering into a property transaction without employing a specialist...

Onerous Leasehold Terms to be Banned

Following an outcry over the terms that apply to the purchase of new leasehold properties in some circumstances, the Government conducted a public consultation. This has now reported and legislation is expected soon to deal with the abuses identified. ...
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