Investment in technology

We are pleased to announce that the firm has made an investment in cloud technology to deliver its digital dictation, as part of a firm-wide investment in technology services planned for 2019. Bowling & Co has signed up with Diktamen, a leading technology provider of digital dictation cloud services and an established Finnish business, founded in 2007. Diktamen, who specialise in the legal sector, offer voice capture solutions to enhance and streamline productivity. David Downham, Practice Director at Bowling & Co, commented, "Our staff can now upload dictated documents and…

Chancellor’s Brexit brinkmanship puts the hold on

The continuing uncertainty over Brexit saw the Chancellor deliver a Spring Statement that was more holding plan than action plan. Following just one day after the latest rejection by Parliament of the government’s latest Brexit deal, there were few surprises but many cautions as Philip Hammond highlighted a range of alternative scenarios, depending on what happens with the country’s exit from the EU over coming weeks. That included a possible reversal to the ‘end of austerity’ he predicted in the Autumn 2018 Budget, with the Chancellor saying that he will…

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…

What rights do absent parents have if they come back into a child’s life after several years’ away?

The concept of a traditional family unit has changed, and, in some situations, this can give rise to problems. Figures from 2016 suggest that not only does it have a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of the family unit, but it has a financial impact too. According to the Relationships Foundation’s report ‘The Cost of Family Failure Index’, the economic impact of family breakdown in 2016 was higher than the UK defence budget, at an astonishing £48billion. That breaks down to an individual cost for each and every taxpayer…

Landowner carries the can on illegal waste

An illegal waste wood stockpile on land in Devon has seen the landowner prosecuted and left with the clean-up bill after being held responsible for knowingly permitting the tenants' activities. The tenants had leased the land for a wood recycling business, but none of the material that arrived on the site ever left, creating a 10,000-tonne stockpile covering the area of a football pitch. When the stockpile was destroyed in a massive fire which burned for five days, the Environment Agency prosecuted not just the tenants, but the landlord as…

Who chooses whether your kids gets vaccinated?

For decades, vaccinations have been regarded as the most important form of defence against childhood illnesses like measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). And for decades, parents happily vaccinated their kids to protect them (and others) without question. Then, around 10 years ago, serious doubts began to be raised as to the safety of vaccines by the now-discredited Andrew Wakefield, who called into question the safety and validity of combination vaccines like MMR. Despite the research eventually being proven to be full of errors and, in fact, flat-out wrong, some parents…

What is adverse possession? – an explanation of the reality behind ‘squatter’s rights’

If you’re a property owner, one of the biggest worries is that ‘squatters’ will move into a vacant property and take up residency. If they are not removed quickly then there is the possibility that they can acquire the ownership of a property or a piece of land, simply by staying there for a long time. This is known as ‘adverse possession’ or more commonly, ‘squatter’s rights’. Adverse possession is based on the principle that if the property owner does not evict squatters from their property or land within a…

Commercial landlords – What are your obligations?

If you choose to invest in commercial property rather than domestic stock and then rent it out, then, as with domestic rentals, you have to meet certain obligations to both maintain the condition of the building and to look after the interests of your tenants. If you are thinking of moving into commercial property rental is to make sure you have a good solicitor on your side – one who’s well versed in the finer points of lease negotiation, commercial property and that all-important Landlord and Tenant Act 1927. Negotiating…

Where can you be buried or scattered after your death?

Our final journey is one we all make alone, but it’s up to every individual to make sure those left behind are fully aware of the last wishes of the deceased. That includes how to deal with the body, whether that means cremation or burial. For years, bodies have been interred in designated graveyards, or cremated at the local municipal crematorium. The details are usually handled by the funeral home. Funerals are very expensive, with recent estimates putting the average price at around £4,000. This amount does vary, though, depending…

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…