Property transactions and Japanese Knotweed

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive species of plant which can cause damage to properties if left untreated, particularly with drains and other buried services, paths and driveways, boundary/retaining walls, outbuildings, conservatories and gardens. Your legal responsibilities for invasive plants and injurious weeds If you have invasive plants or injurious weeds on your premises, you have a responsibility to prevent them spreading into the wild or causing a nuisance. You must not plant or otherwise cause to grow in the wild any plant prescribed under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.…

Getting ready for Shared Parental Leave

The new era of family friendly rights is almost upon us and with just weeks to go before Shared Parental Leave will come in to force alongside maternity, paternity and adoption leave for births or placements on or after 5 April 2015. Is your business ready? Shared Parental Leave is being applied in order to encourage the sharing of leave between working parents and allow flexibility for employees to both take part in family care should they wish to. Shared Parental Leave does not replace existing maternity, paternity and adoption…

Impending changes to the divorce process

The way divorce petitions are processed is changing, following a consultation by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS). There will now be designated divorce centres which will be the only points of entry across the single family court for the issuing of divorce petitions and financial remedy applications. All divorce petitions will be sent by post to one of the centres unless there is an urgent reason to seek to issue at the counter. The application process will remain unchanged but all uncontested petitions will be prepared and made…

Protecting your assets: extending your lease

Many people who own a leasehold property will – at some point - face having to make a difficult decision about whether or not they should extend their lease. With an aging and growing population and with the continuing trend of developers building blocks of flats, this question can only become more prevalent. The first question that will, naturally, spring to cross one's mind is: how? Followed closely perhaps by: it is worth the time and expense? In an era where most people look for ways to create wealth, extending…

Choosing the right property for your business

Selecting the right premises is a key decision for many businesses and it is important to consider the matter thoroughly before jumping in, as renting or purchasing a property is expensive. Below we have created a list of our top 10 considerations that you should have in mind when choosing your business premises. 1. Customer base and competition It is important to examine and analyse the demographic of your customers. If many of your customers are in one specific location then it should be obvious that the closer you can set up business to…

Talking it out

Statistics show that more children than ever woke up Christmas morning with only one of their parents, following a relationship break-up. According to research, published by the Marriage Foundation, one in three children under the age of 15 woke up with just one parent on Christmas morning. Alongside, are many more families where couples will have 'held it together' for one last family Christmas, but who will now be heading for divorce. The latest EU data shows that the UK has the highest rate of family breakdown in Western Europe.…

Obesity can be deemed a disability following Court ruling

Employers will need to review circumstances for obese employees whose weight is causing them problems in the workplace, following a landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The Court has ruled that if the obesity of a worker "hinders the full and effective participation of that person in professional life on an equal basis with other workers", then obesity can fall within the concept of "disability". The decision is binding across the European Union and creates a precedent that is likely to have a major impact on employment…

A look back over 2014

What a year it has been for us here at Bowling & Co Solicitors! With the new year fast approaching we thought we would take this opportunity to take a look back over the year, put in motion our plans for 2015 and to wish you and your families and friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This year we have focused more on working with and helping local and national charities. We have made donations throughout the year to several charities including Community Links, The Royal British Legion,…

Online and email risk: think before you click

What you write in emails or on the internet could seriously damage your own or another person's reputation, you could lose your job and you and your company could be sued, or even imprisoned. Stop and think before you click Anything written in an email has the potential for public exposure (for example, if the email is forwarded to others). Posting on the internet is essentially making a public statement (for example, when commenting on social media sites, blogs or other electronic forums). Failing to take care about what you…

Stamp Duty Land Tax reform

In the final Autumn Statement before the general election next year, the Chancellor, George Osborne has announced an overhaul of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). At present, stamp duty is calculated as a percentage of the whole property with an increased rate triggered by being only a pound over the relevant threshold. The new measures introduced with effect from 4 December 2014 fundamentally change the way in which SDLT rates will be applied to the purchase price of properties. The new stamp duty rate will be calculated as follows: 1.…