Moving home during the coronavirus crisis

We are living in difficult times but as a community we will get through it together. As a firm we recognise the difficulties and the challenges that are being faced by us all in simply going about our day to day business and living our ordinary lives. We have a very busy and thriving property department and it is our wish to keep all our clients informed as to the latest developments in this regard and the advice given by the Government. Firstly, there is no need to withdraw from…

Interview with Jeremy Lewis our Partner

Interview with Jeremy Lewis our Partner Q: How long have you worked at Bowling & Co?A: Nearly 9 years. Before that I was joint managing partner at a firm in Docklands for 27 years. Q: What aspects of law first attracted you to the profession?A: I was always interested in property law. To others it was dull and boring but I found it interesting and challenging. Q: Who (or what) inspired you? A: A teacher at school who used to say “Being good is not enough if you dream of…

Feathering new nests for fledglings

Exam results have been released and new students know where they will be heading for university.  Following the relief of results day, the next big headache for parents is often the search for accommodation, whether for first-timers or returning students. Faced with high rental costs, shortages and sometimes poor-quality student digs in many cities, increasing numbers of parents are investigating the option of buying property instead of renting, but the different options can make it a minefield.  Explained Property legal expert, Jeremy Lewis of Bowling & Co Solicitors: “For parents…

Stepping up to the challenge of the sale board

Homeowners, estate agents and solicitors up and down the country are wondering whether to expect the traditional upsurge in the property market in April and May. It’s not looking very rosy, according to recent figures from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, whose members reported that they expected sales to fall in the next three months. Overall, their outlook for the housing market was the worst for 20 years, and the lack of clarity around Brexit has shouldered the blame for that, with lack of supply and affordability also affecting…

Top Tips for Landlords: Complying with the new Energy efficiency legislation (EPC tests)

As if landlords didn’t have enough paperwork to worry about, as of the 1st April 2018, things got even more complicated. The minimum ratings for Energy Performance Certificates (which have been mandatory for some time) got a lot tougher, and now any rental property must achieve at least an ‘E’ rating for it to be rented out. Whereas before this only applied to new tenancies, now, it covers existing rental agreements too. That means that even if your tenants have been in your property for years, the house or flat…

Bonus for shared ownership buyers

First-time buyers who bought a shared ownership property in the last twelve months should check if they are due a refund on any Stamp Duty paid That's because when Chancellor Hammond extended Stamp Duty Relief available to first time buyers of shared ownership property in his Autumn 2018 budget, he also applied the extension retrospectively to any qualifying transactions that took place between 22 November 2017 and 29 October 2018. Since November 2017, relief has been available to first time buyers of shared ownership property who opted for the full…

Bump in the night for Airbnb landlords

Rule changes on short term lets could see part-time landlords hit by a new tax bill from next year if they let out their whole property. Homeowners can earn up to £7,500 per year tax free by renting a room to a lodger, but the rise of the sharing economy and sites like Airbnb has seen many hobby landlords come into the market and use the tax break to offset income when they let the whole of their home out for short stays. Whether it’s property owners in SW London…

Buying a house for holiday letting

If you've got the money to buy a holiday home, why have it sitting empty for much of the year? Unless you're going to be popping down to your holiday home every weekend, you could earn a sizeable income letting it out for holidaymakers to enjoy. If you want any more financial incentive then consider that a small, 2-bedroom cottage in a desirable part of the country (such as the Lake District or the West Country), can bring in an income of around £12-£15,000 a year. A larger property could…

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…

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 Jeremy Lewis, property law expert and Partner at Bowling & Co, Solicitors: "Property owners with a septic tank or small sewage…

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