The Data Protection Bill – how will it affect e-business?

How safe is your customers’ data? Are you managing their information responsibly, and, more importantly, correctly in the eyes of the law? The new Data Protection Bill is designed to update the existing laws, and hopefully plug a few gaps along the way. It’s big, it’s important, and it affects every single business that collects any kind of client or customer data, no matter how inconsequential a tiny packet of data may seem. It also gives your customers the ‘right to be forgotten’ – a major development and one you…

Converting commercial property in residential housing

Commercial property re-development (where previously commercial buildings are transformed into residential units) is a current growth area. For example, a run down old factory site could be purchased for say, £250,000 and (subject to the usual planning obligations) converted into 10 residential units, with an estimated value at £150,000 each. This could provide a potential profit for the developer or investor willing to invest in converting the building. With the government encouraging commercial to residential conversions, and with a good supply of old offices, shops and industrial properties up for…

Where there’s a Will, there’s a way

When thinking of making a will, the idea of a Victorian lawyer taking down the last instructions at the bedside still springs to mind for many people. And the 19th century lawyer would find things pretty much as they were if they time travelled to 2017, but a major change to how people can say what should happen after their death is likely to happen soon. If the proposals from the Law Commission get the go ahead, the law is likely to catch up with technology, and in future we…

2018 EPC regulations: Notes for Landlords

We all want to be greener, more energy efficient, and have warm, comfortable homes that don’t leak heat or let in the cold. If you’re a landlord, though, you now have a responsibility to ensure your rental properties are energy efficient. After much to-ing and fro-ing, the 2018 EPC regulation amendments have finally landed, with the changes finalised by the Dept. for Energy & Climate Change. In a nutshell, it means it will be unlawful to let or lease a property (both residential and commercial) that has a poor EPC…

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR): Are you ready?

After four years of wrangling, the EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) is set to come into effect from May 28th 2018. That gives everyone affected less than a year to make sure they are ready for the changes, and that they comply to the letter of the law. Currently, the UK has the Data Protection Act 1998 in force. This however, will be suspended by the new regulations, with bigger fines for non-compliance, and giving people greater say over what information is retained by companies, and what they do…

How to speed up the conveyancing process

Describing the current housing market as ‘soft’ is a polite way to say it’s tough out there. Belts are tightening, mortgage lenders are asking a lot more questions and delving deeper into your financial history before saying yes to a loan, and bricks and mortar simply aren’t moving as quickly as before. House prices are still growing (mostly), but at a considerably reduced rate compared to 2016PB (Pre-Brexit). You can make your property as attractive as possible to buyers by making sure you have great photographs, utilise online sellers as…

Top 5 tips for successful commercial business relocation

It’s said that moving to a new house is one of the most stressful events of your life. If you’re moving your business, then you have a completely different set of things to worry about. Rather than ‘Where’s the kitchen box with the kettle gone?’ it’s more ‘Where’s the box with the server gone!’. You’ve also got to make sure that a move doesn’t cost you more than just the price of the removals van, and that your business doesn’t suffer as a result. Business relocations should be smooth transitions…

How to behave yourself in front of the kids during a divorce

During a divorce, the priority has to be the kid’s welfare and wellbeing. Using them as a weapon against your partner in a messy breakup is cruel in the extreme. It’s important to recognise from the outset that children react to stressful situations in very different ways to adults. They have no frame of reference to work from, so to them the feelings of abandonment, confusion, loneliness and even anger are new and often completely overwhelming. Often, children will blame themselves for the break-up of their parents’ relationship, and it…

Property Ownership – who is the real beneficial owner?

The UK has become one of the most popular destinations for foreign investment in real estate over recent years. Such investment has significant benefits to the economy and provides many jobs for the construction industry. When overseas companies invest in the UK this gives concern for potential illegal activity to take place. This concern has been voiced by the UK government and has led to the proposed introduction of a beneficial ownership register. The UK government seek to have clear corporate transparency in order that properties which are owned through…

Stripping it back to understand dress codes

This summer has seen dress codes being re-written by Royalty, MPs and now the Anglican Church, leaving many wondering where they stand in the workplace. First, the Queen conducted the State Opening of Parliament in a hat and coat, in place of the traditional gown and crown. Then the Speaker of the House declared jackets and ties an unnecessary convention for male MPs. And now the Synod, the Church of England’s ruling body, has agreed to a change in canon law that will see clergy able to ditch their traditional…