GDPR – Have you made sure you’ve done everything to comply?

Now that the GDPR has come into force, it’s absolutely essential that businesses ensure they’re following the new regulations. The consequences of non-compliance have the potential to cause great financial damage and the enforcement agencies operating in each of the EU nations will be taking their new responsibilities incredibly seriously. Here, we take a look at a few GDPR basics, examine what’s changing under the new regulations, and what non-compliance could mean for your business. GDPR Basics The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on the 25th May…

To make your home your castle, be sure who owns the drawbridge

The Government has announced plans to tackle unfair leaseholder arrangements on new build properties, but in the meantime, as the Spring housing market gets into full swing, it’s worth understanding the difference between freehold and leasehold property. Increasing property prices and high population densities have seen a big increase in the number of leasehold properties across the country, as houses are split into flats and new apartment blocks are built, so there are now 1.4 million leasehold houses across England. And while leasehold arrangements are generally seen as a simple…

Hostile attacks – how can you defend yourself against overseas hackers?

You’ve been hacked. They’ve got into your Wi-Fi at home or at work and accessed personal details. You’re in a flat panic - how much information have they got to? What has been compromised? And what do you do about it? Once the dust settles and you’ve dealt with the immediate crisis, it’s time to start an investigation into how it happened in the first place. Is it your fault, or is it your ISP who is to blame? Read the T&Cs Internet service providers make it very clear in…

How to make a custody battle less painful for everyone, especially the kids

No matter how bad a marriage or partnership breakdown is, it can be ten times worse if there are children involved. Every situation will be different and depend on the unique circumstances of the family unit. But whatever happens, it is imperative that the children are protected from any animosity between the parents. Put simply, no matter how acrimonious the break up, making the process as stress free as possible for the children should be everyone’s concern. It will certainly be the family court’s number one priority above everything else,…

Brexit: An update

It’s the end of May, we’ve got less than a year before the UK officially starts the transition to leave the EU, and the waters are as muddy as ever. Although a great deal of progress was made over the last couple of months, there are still some sticking points that need to be sorted out before the Brexit Bus can get back on the road. First off is the key point that UK (and European) businesses will be concerned about – trade agreements. There were rumblings that Parliament would…

Inheritance tax – could the rising value of houses push more ordinary people into the inheritance tax bracket?

The last thing you want to think about when you’re mourning the passing of a loved one is divvying up the estate (including the taxman’s cut). However, because of the rise in value of property in the UK, more people are finding that they fall into the inheritance tax bracket, and are getting hit with an inheritance tax bill they were not expecting. What is inheritance tax? It’s exactly what it says – a tax on the estate (including property, possessions and any money) of a deceased person. Thresholds are…

Tree Hugging: What is the law surrounding Tree Preservation Orders

Barely a day goes by without a local newspaper recording the infringement of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). These are often accompanied by protestations from the accused claiming they had no idea that a TPO was in place and, more frequently, detailing the fines imposed against them. TPOs were introduced in 1947, giving local planning authorities the power to protect and preserve individual trees and woodlands. However, given the amount of prosecutions brought by local councils, it appears that this piece of legislation may not be fully understood by the…

Access Disputes – how to settle your differences without going to court

Whether you are married, in a civil partnership or just living together, splitting up can be an emotional time. If there are children involved, the feelings of hurt and anger can be magnified. However, this is the time when your children need you to be at your most level-headed. With Legal Aid now only offered in a handful of cases, more couples are trying to resolve their differences without going to court. While it may not be possible in every case, settling issues such as access to children without appearing…

What does intestate mean for you?

October 2014 saw the biggest changes in probate law’s history come into effect. While the overhaul meant no real difference to those with minimal assets, for the partners of those who died without making a will and who have more assets, it meant significant change. In the cases where a Will is involved, the deceased’s Executors have the legal power to distribute their estate according to the deceased’s instructions. However, in the case of intestacy, the landscape is vastly more complicated. Who can Inherit? Under the rules of Intestacy, only…

How to delist a listed cottage or building

While listed buildings are often attractive, brimming with character and desirable purchases, then can come with potential headaches for the new owners. Listed buildings do not enjoy the freedom associated with new-builds. Often, listed cottages and buildings come with certain restrictions - it is part of the privilege of owning a dwelling that holds historic interest. These can include higher insurance premiums, when compared to non-listed buildings and the requirement for special permission to be granted for works to be undertaken on the property such as the building of an…