Do you need planning permission for a conservatory?

With house prices on a steep trajectory upwards, more people are improving what they already have, rather than upscaling to a larger property. In many instances, that includes adding a conservatory to the property to give you an extra room. Sunny, spacious, and perfect for entertaining or simply relaxing, a conservatory is a popular choice for anyone who wants to expand their property footprint. However, it’s not just a matter of contacting a conservatory company and getting on with your home improvements. Depending on a number of factors you may…

Cohabitant agreements – giving unmarried couples rights

It’s an unfair fact of life, but in the eyes of the law a married couple has far more protection than a cohabiting, unmarried partnership. Even if you’ve spent years jointly contributing to the running of a house, split paying the mortgage between you, have children together, or have been living with each other for decades, the loss of a partner could change everything. If the relationship ends either through separation or bereavement, unmarried cohabiting couples do not have the same or similar rights as married couples. They don’t have…

Sign of the times – do you need planning permission for a sign?

Everyone knows that you may need planning permission if you’re extending your house, adding a new building to your business complex, or even putting up a large wall. But did you know that you may also need permission for a sign? It all depends on how big the sign is, and whether it’s an illuminated design or a simple temporary banner. If you want to display an advertisement on the front of your property that’s larger than 0.3sq metres then you might need to apply for advertisement consent. That’s not…

Brexit – follow the money

After weeks of meetings, press conferences, private functions and a huge flurry of reporting, Brexit seems to have come to a shuddering halt. There have been five rounds of negotiations, yet it appears the UK and EU representatives have reached an impasse until the UK’s financial commitments have been settled. Issues surrounding the Irish land border with the UK and the rights of EU citizens (both here and the millions of Brits abroad), have been reported frequently. The real issue that’s caused everyone to scuttle back to their respective corners…

A quick guide to probate

Dealing with the death of a loved one is hard enough. However, there are still practical considerations to deal with, including making sure that the last wishes of the deceased are taken care of. If a person has written a Will then it will be up to the executor to make sure those wishes are carried out according to the specifications of the Will (as long as it is correctly completed in accordance with the law). To do this, an executor will need to obtain a Grant of Probate. This will let…

Beat the workplace bullies

Nobody should ever have to start their working day worrying about being harassed, bullied, or intimidated in the workplace. We spend nearly a third of our lives at work, so it should always be a place where we feel safe. Not only does bullying in the workplace drive down productivity, but it can become so bad that it leads to conflict that destroys morale, triggers mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, and even forces good workers to find another position simply to get away from the problem. However, running…

Overseas expansion for Bowling & Co

As part of the Firm’s 60th Anniversary we are looking at expanding our International connections and practice. This month saw our two Senior Partners (Dinesh Raja and Huseyin Huseyin) undertake a business development trip to Istanbul where our Head of Turkey Desk, Ayla Toprak Zengin, hosted them in conjunction with OXO Investments, a property consultancy specialising in assisting Turkish investors to acquire UK real estate. In addition to meeting contacts and clients Dinesh and Huseyin attended the launch of a new development in Turkey held near the Ortakoy Mosque, See…

The rights of Grandparents

In a divorce, nobody really comes out of the process a 'winner'. Hostilities between battling spouses can sour relationships not just between them, but throughout the wider family group too. Courts do their very best to protect the interests and the wellbeing of the most vulnerable members of the family, the children. But what about the older relatives? In a divorce, what rights do grandparents have, and how should they deal with what is always a painful and emotional situation? The forgotten victims Grandparents can often be the forgotten victims…

Avoiding septic tank blockages when it comes to selling

This year’s housing market has been characterised by slumping prices and sluggish sales in many areas, posing a challenge to would-be sellers looking to move on. And for those who are not connected to mains drainage, generally in rural areas, there’s an added challenge, with many unaware of stricter rules regarding septic tank systems and soakaways, which must be dealt with as part of the conveyancing process. According to Nicholas Maestri, property law expert and Partner at Bowling & Co, Solicitors: "Property owners with a septic tank or small sewage…

New Debt Claim procedure

A pre-action protocol relating to debt claims has for the first time been introduced as of 1 October 2017. The protocol requires certain steps to be taken and certain information to be provided to the debtor before legal proceedings can be started. However, the protocol only applies to debts owed to a business by an individual or sole trader, not business to business debts. The aim of the protocol is to encourage early engagement and communication between the parties and help them to resolve the matter- including agreeing a payment…