Category Archives: News

The National Will Register- Certainty

Certainty is a Law Society endorsed provider of a national Will register and Will Search service.  The internet database allows third parties to enquire whether a Will has been made.

We offer our clients an opportunity to register their Will with Certainty should they wish to.

Earlier this month Certainty posted a particularly interesting article on their website which we would like to share with our clients:

When three sisters lost their father and his Will

Following the loss of their father, three daughters found themselves undertaking an emotionally charged search of his personal belongings and paperwork that spanned decades.

After an extensive search they eventually found a ‘copy’ of his Will dated 1991 but another twist now challenged the sisters, the firm based in Harlow that had written the 1991 Will had gone into liquidation. The sisters now faced a yet more frustrating issue of not knowing which firm held the original Will.

The sisters sought advice from a solicitor who recommended that they conduct a Certainty Will Search ‘Combined’ to a) check the National Will Register to see if the Will was registered and b) search for unregistered Wills with local solicitors.

The Will search was successful and found the original Will. Following the liquidation of the Harlow firm the Will bank had been inherited by another local firm who responded to the Will search and repatriated the original Will with the beneficiaries, one of whom was the executor.

One of the sisters commented: “After a very difficult time losing our father, my sisters and I had to try to locate my late father’s original Will. Certainty Will search service was very efficient and supportive at a very emotional time. The Will has now been located which has meant less stress for the whole family. I’m so grateful that our solicitor advised us to use the Certainty service.”

….Real life Will search stories from the legal profession…
The search used for this case was a Combined Will Search at £90.00 + VAT.

 07 August, 2017 11:52:10  – certainty.co.uk

Important News About Employment Tribunal Fees

 

The ybSupreme Court has allowed the appeal by Unison, holding that the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunals Fees Order 2013 (“the Fees Order”) is unlawful and will be quashed. According to the statistics, the order led to a 70% reduction in employment claims.
When giving the judgment Lord Reed emphasised the importance of the rule of law and that rights granted by the Parliament may not be reduced by the Fees Order. He also commented that employment tribunal cases are important for society as a whole and not just the individuals involved.  In his view the Fees Order prevented access to justice.

It is unlikely that the fees regime will be abolished entirely.  It might be that the government will issue a consultation paper and then bring in a new fees regime, with fees at a lower level.

It seems that the Employment Tribunals Service has its work cut out. The Tribunal rules will need to be re-written and the online Claim Form system re-programmed.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that all fees paid between 2013 and now will have to be refunded. There will probably need to be a manual trawl of all decided cases.

There is a question about all those people who chose not to bring a claim because of the fees.  Would these people be allowed to bring their claims out of time?

 

Hooray!

A big thank you & well done to all who took part and supported this worthy cause. We look forward to next years event!

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Why you should commission a survey before purchasing a property

If you are purchasing a property and are obtaining a mortgage, the mortgage company will insist that you have a valuation survey done to ensure that the property is valued to at least the sale price.

A property survey can do a whole lot more for a buyer, whether or not they are obtaining a mortgage.  The right survey will identify issues with the property, such as ill-fitting windows, dry rot or problems with the roof.  Sometimes, other problems such as inadequate rights of access or possible non-compliance with planning or building regulations are detected.  Buying a property without commissioning, or not commissioning a detailed enough, survey means that a buyer is at risk on requiring costly repairs to be carried out.  The seller is not obliged to tell a buyer about issues with the property unless he is asked a direct question about a certain issue which the seller must answer truthfully or be at risk of a claim for misrepresentation.  The expression “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware) applies to property purchases, so it is in the buyer’s best interest to know everything possible about the property.

If a survey report identifies a problem with the property, such as  dry rot, then it is a good idea for the buyer to obtain an estimate to put the problem right from a reputable contractor.  The buyer then has the option to either:

go ahead at the same price and correct the problem after purchase;

  • ask the seller to deal with the problem before exchange of contracts;
  • negotiate a reduction in the purchase price to take account of the cost of remedial repairs; or
  • withdraw from the sale.

Surveyors’ fees and other professionals’ fees appear expensive, but, when compared to the cost of buying a property, they are good value for money, especially if issues are highlighted. The last thing a buyer wants is to move into his new home and be faced with problems which are not visible but can cause real problems to the property in the future.

The website of The Royal Institution of Charted Surveyors will provide you with details of surveyors to carry out the work, or we may be able to recommend someone.

 

 

Landlord and Tenant Negotiating Points

When a new commercial lease is being negotiated there a great many things to consider, but the five following issues will inevitably be on the agenda.

Rent

The landlord will want the highest rent at the earliest opportunity, the tenant may be looking for a rent-free period or a low rent in the first couple of years.

Length of Term

A lease is a commitment by the tenant to abide by the obligations in it for the length of the term, in particular to continue paying rent. Either party may be looking to the long-term, for example the tenant may want a long lease if it thinks that the business being carried on may eventually be sold with the remainder of the lease being part of the package. On the other hand a landlord may want a shorter lease if it has plans in the medium term which do not involve the tenant.

Break Clauses

Nowadays, tenants often want to have the opportunity to end the lease at some point during the term.   It is also not unheard of for a landlord to insert a “break clause” in its favour, perhaps to take advantage of a development opportunity.

Repairing Obligations

Usual starting point from the landlord’s point of view is to insist on a “full repairing lease”: essentially this means that the tenant is obliged not only to maintain the property in good condition but also to make good any wants of repair that exist at the beginning of the tenancy.   A tenant should therefore consider mitigating this repairing obligation, this is usually done by agreeing a schedule of condition itemising those defects which the tenant will not be obliged to address.

Security of Tenure

A commercial tenant will have security of tenure in most cases unless it has been deliberately excluded by agreement between the landlord and tenant. Security of tenure strengthens the tenants bargaining position at the end of the term, but some landlords have a policy of never offering security as part of the deal.

As is no doubt obvious, these different factors can all impact on one another in the negotiation, with a degree of compromise on each side. What is important is that each party considers its position by reference to these factors as well as all others relevant to a particular property before concluding a deal. If the main points have been considered and understood at the outset then the transaction is  going to proceed much more smoothly from there on.