Latest Legal News

Planning Building Work? Get Legal Advice

When a property development involving a building that is listed or in a conservation area is undertaken, it is reasonable for the contractor employed to do the work to assume that the employer has used due diligence to obtain the necessary planning consents....

Inveterate Trespasser Rightly Jailed for Contempt, Court of Appeal Rules

It is in the nature of litigation that the losing party frequently feels that the judge was wrong and the outcome unjust. However, a case in which a householder repeatedly lost his liberty , and ultimately his home, due to his defiance of court orders shows...

No Going Back on Gift Freely Made

A recent case decided by the Scottish Courts shows the wisdom of not making irrevocable decisions that you may later come to regret. It involved a woman who gifted her house to her daughter and son-in-law, retaining a tenancy for life over the property....

Don't Even Think About Doing a Property Deal Without Legal Advice

Property purchases are, for the majority of people, the highest-value deals they ever enter into and that is why they should never be undertaken in haste or without expert legal advice. A case in which an amateurish, home-made agreement led to years of...

Restrictive Covenants Can Go Undetected - Use an Expert Conveyancer!

Covenants that restrict the use to which properties can be put lurk undetected within many title deeds and can have a dramatic impact on a property's value. That was certainly so in the case of one unfortunate couple who said that tight restrictions applying...

Instruction Sufficient to Allow Third Party Reliance on Arrangements

The purchase of properties abroad is a process that can be replete with disputes and financial losses for the unwary or unadvised. Whilst some foreign countries have presented few issues, others have had more chequered histories. Recently, investors went...

Tree Felling Without Permission Proves Expensive

Ignoring tree preservation orders can prove to be a very expensive mistake and if your property has a protected tree on it, you should make sure any order is understood and followed and any necessary permissions obtained. Felling a protected tree without...

Rules are Rules

A recent case should serve as a reminder that rules are rules and 'close enough' often isn't! The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 states that 'the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwelling...

Failure to Challenge Repaving Results in Loss of Title

Failing to take active steps to protect your land from use by another can produce unfortunate effects, as a couple from York discovered recently. The couple own a bungalow which has a front driveway adjacent to that of the next-door bungalow – a...

Couple Outraged By 'Ugly Duckling' Home Cinema Win Six-Figure Damages

If building works on your home go wrong, strong legal representation can ensure that you are properly compensated. In a recent case, a couple who paid over £400,000 for a state-of-the-art home cinema, but did not get the architectural jewel they had...

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...
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