When can you let your kids fend for themselves?

If you’re a parent, you’ll be familiar with how long it takes to get your children ready to leave the house. Whether it’s setting up the pram for the baby, filling your bag with all the supplies you need or finding lost shoes, it can be a real pain to do anything quickly, especially if you have an appointment to get to, or shopping to buy. If only you could safely leave your child on their own and get those daily tasks done quickly. But where does the law stand…

Landlord & Tenant: A mouldy problem – who is responsible for getting rid of mould in rented accommodation?

By the end of 2021, a quarter of UK households will rent privately. That’s approximately 5.8 million households renting, due to the combination of soaring house prices and salaries remaining relatively static.  Anyone who has been a serial renter will know that the state of privately rented housing can vary hugely.  Some landlords take pride in their work, furnishing and finishing their properties to a high standard; whereas others complete the job as quickly and cheaply as possible.  For the latter category, neglecting standards can cause all sorts of issues…

Childcare during the holidays: Bring your kid to work day?

If you work full time in the UK, you are entitled to at least 28 days of paid annual leave, including the eight bank holidays. However, for parents of school-age children, the numbers don’t quite add up. First of all, there are all of those weeks at half-term. Next, there are the Easter and Christmas holidays. And then, of course, there’s the ‘big one’ - summer holidays lasting a full six weeks.  Parents are forced to choose between expensive childcare or relying on friends and family members to look after…

What is a Notary and why are they important when conducting Overseas Contracts

It is quite common that when a document is required overseas and as part of an international transaction, people come across words such as “notarisation”, “legalisation” and “apostille”. Below is a summary of the importance of Notaries. Notaries play an important role in overseas documents and international transactions as many documents, including the gravity of power of attorneys and some deeds, will require the witness signs in the presence of a notary public. The Notary will often verify the signature of the signing party and also their capacity to sign…

Old Fees New Rules

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 (“the Act”), is a new piece of legislation banning certain types of fees in relation to the private rental sector, and came into force from 1st June 2019. This is part of a series of reforms to increase transparency within the private rental sector for residential tenants. We explain below who the ban applies to and which fees are banned. WHO THE BAN APPLIES TO? Currently the ban will only affect landlords, agents and tenants in England, in relation to the following types of tenancies: Assured shorthold…

Fines fly following airline cyber breach

The news that British Airways is facing a fine of £184m after personal data of some 500,000 customers was harvested by cyber criminals shows the tough stance of the UK’s data regulator following the introduction of new EU data protection laws last year. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has seen stricter operating boundaries for businesses processing personally identifiable information about individuals, and it also ushered in extended powers for data regulators, which is the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) in the UK.  Under the previous regime, the maximum penalty for data breach…

A simple business hack when preparing for the unexpected

Business continuity planning may range across various disaster scenarios - from cyber-attack to fire or flood - but can overlook the obvious, which is how the business will cope if the owner isn’t available to manage financial matters and decision making. A simple solution is for the business owner to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and appoint someone to look after their financial affairs and act on their behalf, and shareholders, partners and sole traders can all benefit from appointing an attorney in this way. An LPA can…

Pride month – an update on LGBTQ+ rights at work

June is Pride month, when the LGBTQ+ community celebrates with a series of events. It’s a joyful and fun time, but it’s also a protest - there are still battles to be fought, especially when it comes to discrimination in the workplace. Nobody should be made to feel uncomfortable because of their sexual orientation whether they’re in a single-sex relationship, are trans, or gender fluid. Yet even in the 21st century there are some workplaces where being gay can lead to discrimination, physical and verbal abuse, and even dismissal. To…

It’s all in the planning when it comes to selling privately-owned companies

For the shareholding directors of many privately-owned companies, the end-game is focused on selling up before moving on to new ventures or sometimes retirement. But many owners under-estimate the time involved in making a business market-ready, or do not seek advice on the different options before they start, nor the route-map to follow to secure a successful sale. Ideally, an advisory team should be put together, involving a lawyer and an accountant specialising in company transactions, to guide the company on the preparation for sale, before any moves are made…

The question of surrogacy in the UK

It’s an area of family law that isn’t often discussed in public. Indeed, many people incorrectly think that it’s still illegal in this country. But surrogacy is an accepted practice in England and throughout the UK, as long as it isn’t done for profit. However, in June the Law Commission of England and Wales, along with the Scottish Law Commission announced that surrogacy laws were falling behind the times, were unfit for purpose, and need a complete overhaul. The intention with any review of the surrogacy laws is to ensure…