Lease Extension Solicitors

Flats are usually owned under a long lease. As the term of the lease decreases the flat becomes less valuable. Once the term of the lease is less than 60 years it will become increasingly difficult to mortgage and therefore more difficult to sell and probably less valuable. However, subject to a few exceptions, owners of flats have a right to extend the lease on their flats under the Leasehold Reform Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 (hereon “the Act”). This blog takes a brief look at lease extensions and answers some frequently asked questions.

Am I a qualifying Tenant for a lease extension?

Generally, you will be a qualifying Tenant if your lease was for more than 21 years when it was originally granted and you have been the registered Lessee of your flat for more than 2 years and provided that your Lease is not excluded. Leases are excluded if the freeholder is the Crown, National Trust or part of a building within a cathedral precinct. Shared ownership leases do not qualify unless your shareholding has been increased to 100%.

What is the procedure for obtaining a lease extension?

There are two ways of obtaining a lease extension – either by agreement with the Landlord outside the Act or by using the procedure set out in the Act. The procedure under the Act is started by serving a notice on the Landlord (a “section 42 Notice”). We will not outline the entire procedure here but suffice to say that if an agreement is not reached the Tenant will need to make an application to the First Tier Tribunal (Property Chamber).

How much will it cost to extend my lease?

You will have to pay a premium to the Landlord. You will also have to pay your Landlord’s costs including his legal costs and surveyor’s costs. You will also have to pay for your own legal costs and surveyor’s costs.

Will I need to instruct a solicitor?

There is no legal requirement to instruct a solicitor howeverThis  the lease extension process can be difficult and complicated and for most people it will be beneficial to instruct a solicitor. Since Landlords/Freeholders are entitled to recover their legal costs from the Tenant/Leaseholder there is little advantage to be gained by not appointing a solicitor.

Hastings & Co Solicitors can assist both landlords and tenants in connection with lease extensions.

t: 01621 876 031.

e: liam@hastingsandco.co.uk

Hastings & Co Solicitors win substantial settlement

Hastings & Co Solicitors have recently helped one of their clients win a substantial settlement in connection with a property dispute.

We acted for a client in a dispute with her former partner (we’ll call him Mr X). The parties had previously lived together and when they separated entered into a Separation Agreement. As part of the agreement Mr X agreed to continue paying the mortgage on the family home until their child attained the age of 18. In breach of the agreement Mr X stopped paying the mortgage and applied to the County Court to vary the Separation Agreement. We defended the claim and made a counterclaim against Mr X for damages for breach of the Separation Agreement.

At a court hearing Mr X was ordered to pay our client substantial damages and costs.

 

Hastings & Co Solicitors specialize in litigation and dispute resolution and can advise in connection with disputes between co-owners of property.

T. 01621 876 031

E: liam@hastingsandco.co.uk

Hastings & Co settle claim against solicitors

Hastings & Co Solicitors recently acted for a business in a claim against its former solicitors.

The facts briefly were that our client had entered into an assignment of a lease for a shop and the solicitor who acted for them had failed to advise them that there was a restriction in the lease that would prevent them operating their business from the premises.

Upon completion of the assignment our client duly relocated their business to the shop premises. Everything seemed okay until the freeholder  of the premises discovered that the business was using the premises in breach of the restriction.

The freeholder served a section 146 notice (section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925) on the business and thereafter issued forfeiture proceedings against their tenant. That’s where we got involved. We acted for the business in defending the forfeiture proceedings and renegotiating the lease. At the same time we brought a claim against the solicitors for losses arising out of their failure to properly advise their client.

Hastings & Solicitors can handle claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and other professionals. We also advise and act for clients in connection with different types of civil disputes.

Tel: 01245 835 305

Email: info@hastingsandco.co.uk

Hastings & Co Solicitors win claim against car dealer

Hastings & Co Solicitors recently acted for a consumer in connection with a claim against a car dealer concerning a faulty car.

The facts briefly were that the consumer purchased a car which subsequently broke down on the drive home from the dealership.

Under English law goods must be “fit for purpose” and of a “satisfactory quality”. If they are not fit for purpose or of a satisfactory quality the purchaser can reject the goods provided they have not been “accepted”.

In this instance the consumer rejected the car however the dealer refused to take it back or refund the monies paid. We subsequently acted for the consumer in connection with legal proceedings in the County Court. The claim settled on the morning of the hearing when the dealer agreed to refund the purchase price and also pay the consumer’s consequential losses which included storage costs.

Hastings & Co Solicitors specialise in litigation and dispute resolution. For advice or assistance telephone 01245 835 305.

Disclaimer: this blog is only intended to give a brief overview of the law and is not a substitute for independent legal advice.

Hastings & Co Solicitors win constructive dismissal claim

Hastings & Co Solicitors recently acted for an employee in a successful constructive dismissal claim against their former employer.

Constructive dismissal occurs when the employee resigns in response to something which the employer has done. The employee feels that they have no choice but to resign.

In this instance the employee felt that they were being forced out of the company and after a number of incidents eventually resigned. Hastings & Co Solicitors then acted for the employee in bringing a claim for constructive dismissal in the employment tribunal. The claim eventually settled shortly before trial.

Hastings & Co Solicitors act for employers and employees and specialise in all aspects of employment law including constructive dismissal claims.

T. 01245 835 305.

Disclaimer: this blog is only intended to give a brief overview of the law and is not a substitute for independent legal advice.

Employment Law Update: Minimum Wage Rise

With effect from today the national minimum wage has increased. The rates have increased as follows:-

  • for apprentices the rate has increased from £2.68 to £2.73 per hour.
  • for those aged 16 and 17 the rate has increased from £3.72 to £3.79 per hour.
  • for those between 18 and 20 the rate has increased from £5.03 to £5.13 per hour.
  • for those aged 21 and over the rate has increased from £6.31 to £6.50 per hour.

Hastings & Co Solicitors are based in Essex and specialise in Employment Law. Please telephone 01245 835 305 for advice or email info@hastingsandco.co.uk.

My car has been stolen – update

Since blogging  on this subject earlier in the year we’ve had success helping two car owners recover their stolen vehicles.

In the first case our client had decided to raise some extra income by renting out his car. He duly found someone to rent his car through an advertisement on the internet. The person renting the car immediately sold the car to someone else. Once people find out that the car is stolen and that the law favours the original owner and not the innocent purchaser they often cannot sell it quick enough. In this particular case the car was sold on a couple more times in the space of a couple of months and ended up in a dealership in Milton Keynes via Hull. We were able to assist our client to obtain an injunction preventing the dealership from selling the car and thereafter the vehicle was returned to our client.

More recently we assisted a client who had a vehicle stolen from a lock up garage. The vehicle was an old car awaiting restoration. One day the owner went to check on the car and discovered it had been stolen. A google search revealed that the vehicle was up for sale with a car dealer in London. We assisted our client to obtain an injunction preventing the dealer from selling the car and ordering the dealer to return the car.

In this situation the law favours the original owner – the innocent purchaser has no right to the stolen goods. The innocent purchaser does  have a claim against the person who sold  him the goods for his money back. In turn, if the seller was also an innocent purchaser he has a claim against the person who sold him the goods and so on. However, it is almost inevitable that the person who stole the vehicle in the first place has either disappeared or is not worth suing.

These same principles apply to all stolen goods and not just stolen cars.

Hastings & Co Solicitors are a niche practice in Essex specialising in litigation, employment law and debt collection.

Please telephone 01245 835 305 without any obligation.

Max Clifford sentenced to eight years for sexual abuse

Max Clifford has been sentenced to eight years in prison for sexually abusing  four teenage girls.

Earlier this week Clifford was convicted for a string of sexual assaults which occurred over twenty years ago.

One of the women was 15 when Clifford first assaulted her. She explained how Clifford impressed her parents by name dropping whilst they were on a family holiday. She said she felt “blown away” when Clifford told her she could be the UK version of Jodie Foster. He later forced her to perform oral sex on him and he indecently assaulted her. A letter which the victim had written Clifford anonymously three years ago was read out in court. In the letter she talks about how Clifford had groomed her and later abused her.

Allegations about Clifford came forward in the midst of Operation Yewtree following the Jimmy Saville sexual abuse scandal. Interestingly the anonymous letter to Clifford had been sent before the Jimmy Saville sexual abuse scandal had become public. However, the letter was discovered by the police in his bedside drawer.

Victims of sexual and physical abuse are entitled to claim compensation. Whilst there are time limits for bringing claims it is sometimes possible to bring claims for abuse that occurred many years ago.

Hastings & Co Solicitors of Chelmsford in Essex have experience dealing with sexual and physical abuse claims.  Telephone 01245 835 305 for a free consultation without any obligation.

Disclaimer: this blog only gives a brief overview of the law and is not intended as a substitute for independent legal advice.

Personal Injury case studies

Liam Hastings has been  dealing with personal injury claims for the last 14 years and is a member of the Law Society Personal Injury panel. These are some of the cases he has handled in the last 7 years:-

  • £1,650 to a client who was injured when tripped he over a pothole. The claim was made against the local authority who had failed to maintain the pavement.
  • £5,000 to  a client who was injured following negligent treatment in a care home.
  • £20,000 to a client who was injured whilst at work on a building site. The claim was made against the site managers.
  • £1,000 to a pedestrian who was hit by a car as she attempted to cross the road.
  • £90,000 to a client who was injured at work. The claim was made against the employers who had failed to provide their employee with proper equipment.
  • £6,700 to a client who injured his finger at work. The claim was made against the employer, who had failed to properly train or supervise their employee and who had in place unsafe working practices resulting in the employee being injured.
  • £45,000 to a client that injured his knee at work. The claim was made against the employer who had failed to implement safe working practices.
  • £8,500 to a client injured in a Road Traffic Accident.
  • £5,000 to a client who was injured whilst on an aeroplane. The claim was made against the tour operator.
  • £2,400 to a client who was injured in a Road Traffic Accident.
  • £3,000 to a client who was scalded with hot water whilst on an aeroplane. The claim was made against the airline company.
  • £4,250 for a client who was injured when she slipped over food on the floor in a supermarket.
  • £6,000 to a client who was exposed to chemical inhalation at work.
  • £90,000 to a client who sustained a knee injury following an accident at work. The claim was made against the employers who had failed to supply the correct equipment for working at height and who had unsafe working practices.
  • £2,000 to a client who sustained a whiplash injury in a Road Traffic Accident.
  • £3,750 to a client who suffered a whiplash injury in a Road Traffic Accident.
  • £2,800 to a client who was injured at work. The claim was made against the employer who had failed to provide their employee with the correct equipment and who had unsafe working practices.
  • £2,200 to a client who was injured in a Road Traffic Accident.
  • £20,000 to a client who was injured when she was bitten by a dog.
  • £44,000 to a client who was injured at work.
  • £3,650 to a client who was injured when his chair collapsed. The claim was made against the retailer that sold the chair.
  • £7,750 to a client who was injured when she crashed her bike. The bike had a design fault which made it unsafe to ride. The claim was made against the retailer that sold the bike.
  • £10,000 to a client who was injured in an accident at work.
  • £5,800 to a client who tripped over a pothole at work and injured his ankle.
  • £10,000 to a client who was injured at work.
  • £2,000 to a client who suffered a whiplash injury in a Road Traffic Accident.
  • £3,500 to a pedestrian was was injured when a car reversed into her.
  • £2,000 to a client who was injured when she tripped over in a public car park. The owners of the car park had cut down some railings but left stubs sticking out of the ground creating a tripping hazard.
  • £41,000 to a client who was injured at work. The claim was made against the employer who failed to provide their employee with personal protective equipment in breach of the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002.
  • £14,000 to a client who was injured when she slipped over a pool of water in a supermarket.
  • £10,000 to a client who was injured in a Road Traffic Accident when another car drove into the side of her car.
  • £5,750 to a client who was injured when she slipped over on wet floor in a supermarket.
  • £25,000 for a client injured in a Road Traffic Accident. The claim was made against the driver who was negligent.
  • £13,500 for a client that fell down some communal stairs and fractured his arm. The claim was made against the freeholder of the building who had failed to maintain the lighting on the stairwell.
  • £3,500 for a client that slipped on a wet floor in a supermarket and cut her hand on some sharp racking as she fell.
  • £17,500 for a client injured when she tripped over a pothole in a public car park. The claim was made against the owners of the car park who had failed to take reasonable steps to maintain the car park contrary to the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.
  • £10,000 for a client who was injured whilst on a package holiday abroad. The claim was made against the tour operator under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.
  • £40,000 for a client who was injured at work. The claim was made against the employer who had poor manual handling practices.
  • £50,000 for a client who injured his foot and ankle in a Road Traffic Accident. The claim was made against the negligent driver.
  • £3,000 for a client who was injured when he was knocked off his bicycle by a taxi driver.
  • £28,000 for a client who was injured in a hotel.
  • £2,000 for a client who cut her foot on sharp racking in a supermarket.
  • £80,000 for a client injured whilst on holiday abroad.
  • £80,000 for a pedestrian injured in a Road Traffic Accident.

Hastings & Co Solicitors specialise in personal injury claims. Telephone 01245 835 305 for a free consultation without any obligation.

 

Co-op Legal Services announce big losses in 2013

Co-op Legal Services have announced an operating loss of £9.1m on a turnover of £33m in 2013. They have also announced a £13m “goodwill impairment” following a reassessment of its business plan, according to the Law Society Gazette.

The Co-operative Group has announced overall losses of £2.5b for 2013.

Hastings & Co Solicitors are based in Chelmsford, Essex and specialise in employment law, litigation, accident claims, Landlord & Tenant law, commercial law.

T. 01245 835305