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…

Civil partnership or cohabit – which is better?

Not everyone wants to get married in a church or registry office. For many cohabiting couples, a civil partnership is far more attractive – it moves away from the idea of women being the ‘property’ of their husbands and is infinitely more acceptable to those who do not follow any particular faith. Civil partnerships have been available for same-sex couples since 2004, yet they are still not available for heterosexual couples who cohabit. In June the legality of denying heterosexual couples the right to have a civil partnership was challenged…

How are businesses coping?

Now that GDPR has been in force for a number of months, we thought it was time to take a look at how it's affecting businesses. Are companies struggling to keep up? What impact have the regulations had on digital services? Are we likely to see organisations punished with large fines in the future? Here, we take a look at how businesses are coping with GDPR and what challenges they face. Struggling to cope with data requests With the introduction of GDPR, businesses have found themselves struggling to keep up…

What to do if your business is being held to ransom

Cybercrime, both against businesses and individuals, is becoming more common. It’s frightening and a major issue for businesses, which can end up having a big impact on your finances. There are also some pretty heavy potential legal issues to think about too, especially if your customers’ data has been compromised. Contrary to popular belief, it’s mainly small businesses that face the brunt of attacks. While large corporations face being bombarded by hacks on a daily basis, they often have entire departments dedicated to fighting off cyber attacks and blackmail attempts.…

Challenging times: what happens when family is cut out of the will?

High profile inheritance disputes follow celebrities and the super-rich as surely as night follows day, but such challenges are becoming increasingly common, whatever the values involved. Some of the names to have made headlines include the artist Salvador Dali, whose body was exhumed last year for a DNA test after a woman claimed to be his daughter and entitled to a share of his $1bn estate. Former South African President Nelson Mandela left the bulk of his estate to his current wife, but his late ex-wife Winnie challenged the will,…

Derelict buildings or structures: who’s responsible?

If you own your own property, then you’re generally responsible for the upkeep of the building. The buck stops with you, whether the property is residential or commercial, and by law you have to ensure it’s safe for members of the public to enter or pass by. If a building falls into disrepair or becomes an eyesore, what rights do neighbours have to force the owner to secure, renovate or, at the very least, tidy up a bit? Impacting the value of your home A run-down property with boarded-up windows,…

Flying the nest: do parents and children have rights over who lives under their roof?

For Generation X'ers and Baby Boomers, it was unthinkable to stay at home beyond a certain age, usually your late teens to early 20s. With reasonably affordable property prices and rents, most of those born from 1960 onwards had probably flown the nest by the time they were 18. However, today’s ‘Millennials’ face a huge housing problem, with astronomical property prices well beyond the reach of anyone even on a good salary, and high rents. That means more 20-somethings (and even those in their 30s) are still living at home…

Landlords – your legal obligations regarding smoke alarms, CO detectors and other safety features

All landlords have to fulfil certain legal obligations if they’re to rent their property. Some of the most important legal requirements are those that cover basic safety practices and equipment. Keeping tenants safe should be a landlord’s principal concern, so ensuring that these obligations are met is of the utmost importance. Here, we take a look at what landlords have to do when it comes to fire, gas, and electrical safety and also detail the relevant UK legislation. Relevant legislation A landlord’s legal safety obligations are legislated for by a…

Your rights as a step-parent after a divorce

If you’re a recently divorced step-parent and are wondering what rights you have in regard to seeing your step-children, there’s a number of things you need to know. Here, we take a look at what happens after a divorce, what measures a step-parent can take in order to gain access to a step-child, and whether there any financial obligations that needs to be met. A legal definition of a 'step-parent' In order to work out what legal rights and responsibilities are shouldered by step-parents after a divorce, we first need…

GDPR – Have you made sure you’ve done everything to comply?

Now that the GDPR has come into force, it’s absolutely essential that businesses ensure they’re following the new regulations. The consequences of non-compliance have the potential to cause great financial damage and the enforcement agencies operating in each of the EU nations will be taking their new responsibilities incredibly seriously. Here, we take a look at a few GDPR basics, examine what’s changing under the new regulations, and what non-compliance could mean for your business. GDPR Basics The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on the 25th May…