Reservations over home buying reservation agreements

If there’s one thing that infuriates house sellers (other than being gazumped) it’s a buyer pulling out at the last moment without a good reason. However, the government have stepped in and announced that 2019 will see a trial for reservation agreements – which basically tells conveyancers that buyers who pull out of a transaction because they ‘didn’t like the colour of the bathroom’ will face consequences. And those consequences could be costly. Housing Minister Heather Wheeler informed the Council for Licenced Conveyancers annual conference that reservation agreements could be…

Interview with Huseyin Youssouf of our Commercial property department

Interview with Huseyin Youssouf, Partner in our Commercial property department Q: How long have you worked at Bowling & Co? A: Since 1 January 2000, 19 years and counting. Q: What areas of law do you mainly deal with? A:Commercial property/ Finance, Businesses, High street shops, hotels, care homes, golf course as well as the usual plethora of investment properties and Residential property Q: What aspects of law first attracted you to the profession? A: From the outside it seemed like a prestigious, respected and well rewarded profession. I was…

Surrogacy – what’s the legal standpoint in the UK?

The news that you’re unable to have children of your own can be devastating for parents, especially if it’s all you can think about. Same-sex couples may also face challenges when it comes to starting a family. Other than adoption, one of the most logical answers is surrogacy. But what is the legal position on surrogacy in the UK, and does existing law protect all parties involved, including the surrogates? Paying a surrogatee Recently, one of the country’s most senior family law judges, James Munby, called for the question of…

Soaring fees set deadline for executors and estate planning

Controversial court fees which have been branded a stealth tax on bereaved families are expected to prompt a surge in probate applications before the hike hits. The new banded fee structure will see the cost of probate soar by thousands of pounds for higher value estates. The current flat fee is £215 for a personal application for probate, or £155 when handled through a solicitor, but this is to be replaced by a tiered set of fees. While the fees have been reined in from the original proposal last year,…

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…

New employment rights raise another red flag for employers

Who’s who on the payroll is an ongoing challenge for employers in the run up to new payslip requirements.   New payslip requirements are set to come into force, requiring itemised calculations for variable rates of pay and hours worked. Alongside, the requirement for payslips will be extended to include workers, not just employees.   The two amendments to the 1996 Employment Rights Act will come into force on April 6 2019.  From that date, employees and workers, including those under casual or zero hours contracts, must receive correctly detailed written, printed…

Civil partnerships for heterosexual couples – an update

Big news for heterosexual couples who don’t want to get married – the law is about to change to allow you to apply for a civil partnership. It’s been a while coming, but one of the last areas of inequality in the world of formally recognised partnerships is about to be rectified. The choice to opt for a civil partnership rather than marriage has been closed to heterosexual couples ever since civil partnerships were introduced in 2004, when the Civil Partnership Act stated that only same-sex couples were entitled to…

When ‘Banter’ crosses over into abuse

“It’s just banter, mate! Just banter!” If you work in any kind of environment, from an office to a building site, you’ll be familiar with the term ‘banter’. It’s that humorous back and forth we all use to make the day a little brighter, to have a joke and a laugh with our colleagues, and to generally brighten up what can be a mundane working environment. But is it ‘just banter’, or could it be something more sinister, and more harmful? Workplace banter has its place. However, the term ‘banter’…

Macmillan coffee morning success!

At the very end of last month, Bowling & Co, alongside event partner Stratford Original, hosted a joint Macmillan coffee morning at Bowling & Co's Stratford office. The event was a great success, attended by an enthusiastic and generous gathering of local business owners and clients of the firm. Overall we managed to raise a total sum of £1,111 for Macmillan Cancer Support, which is a very worthwhile cause. Click here to see a slideshow gallery of photos taken at the event. Macmillan Cancer Support is one of the largest British…

Disinheritance – a quick guide to cutting someone out of your Will

The message is slowly starting to get through to the public – making a will is an important life decision that could save your relatives a great deal of heartache once you’ve gone. You can express your wishes, designate who gets what, and that’s the end of it. Or is it? Legal research has reported that the number of disputed wills has shot up in the last couple of years, from 116 in 2015 to 158 in 2016. That may not seem like a high number, but it represents nearly…