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

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National Minimum Wage Increase

On April 1st 2017, the UK National Wage will be increasing

  • For Apprentices the rate will increase from £3.40 to £3.50
  • For those under the age of 18 the rate will increase from £4.00 to £4.05
  • For those aged 18-20 the rate will increase from £5.55 to £5.60
  • For those aged 21-24 the rate will increase from £6.95 to 7.05
  • For those aged 25 and over the rate will increase from £7.20 to £7.50

Hastings & Co Solicitors are based in Maldon, Essex and specialise in Employment Law. Please telephone 01621 876 031 or email info@hastingsandco.co.uk for advice.

 

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Hastings & Co Solicitors successfully defend constructive dismissal claim

We recently acted for an employer in successfully defending a claim for constructive dismissal.

The facts briefly are that the employer confronted the employee about some allegations which if proven would have likely amounted to gross misconduct. The employee went off sick for several months before resigning and making a claim for constructive dismissal. The employee alleged that the employer was aggressive and oppressive in the manner in which the employee was confronted.

Constructive dismissal occurs where the employer commits a fundamental breach of contract and the employee resigns in response to the breach. It is a key feature of a constructive dismissal claim that the employee must not affirm the contract and waive the breach of contract. This means that an employee wishing to claim constructive dismissal should resign immediately and any delay could be detrimental to the claim.

In this case the determined that the employee had affirmed the contract by not resigning immediately and consequently the constructive dismissal claim failed.

Hastings & Co Solicitors are based  in Chelmsford and Maldon and specialise in Employment Law. For further information contact Liam Hastings on 01621 876 031 or email liam@hastingsandco.co.uk.

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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