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Lifetime ISA

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THE LIFETIME ISA George Osbourne’s March budget unveiled the proposed Lifetime ISA (LISA) to be rolled out in April 2017. “…25% bonus contribution from the UK Government…” Much like the Help-to-Buy ISA currently on...

SDLT on purchase of an additional residential property

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Are you prepared for the changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax? The government is proposing an increase in the rate of stamp duty land tax (SDLT) for those who complete the purchase of  a second home or additional property after 1 April 2016.  The new...

To Buy...To Let? No More ?

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Buy to Let has become rather less attractive as an investment after a number of measures introduced by the Chancellor in what he has described as levelling the playing field for home buyers as against buy to let investors. For wealthier landlords –...

Helping You on to the Housing Ladder

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In his Spending Review and Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced, a number of measures aimed at helping buyers to own their own homes. These included: -Government fund to enable 200,000 starter homes to be made available at a 20% discount for first...

Help to Buy ISA

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The 2015 budget saw the launch of this initiative to help first time buyers.  Savings of up to £200pm will be topped up by the government by 25% with a cap of £3000. Further information is available on the Gov.UK website : Help to Buy: ISA...

New Responsibilities for Landlords

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The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015  came into effect on 1st October. The regulations apply to existing, as well as to new, tenancies. Landlords must ensure that  during any period beginning on or after 1st October 2015...

Changes in Assured Shorthold Tenancies

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Changes to Assured Shorthold Tenancies came into force today, 1st October 2015. These have important implications for Landlords. The effect of new provisions in s 21A & 21B Housing Act 1988 is that a Landlord cannot serve a notice requiring...

Thinking of Downsizing?

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It is not usual for our clients to downsize in their later years. This may be for practical and health reasons. It may be for financial reasons. (If the latter, it may be worth considering Equity Release as an alternative to a move.) Downsizing is likely to...

Inheritance Tax Changes July 2015 Summer Budget

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Have you prepared your estate to take advantage of the upcoming changes to Inheritance Tax? The Chancellor presented the second Budget of 2015 on the 8th of July in a speech that set out new inheritance tax changes.  Under the proposals, an additional...

Chancel Repair Liability...

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… still  a concern for property owners ! There has been a good deal of press coverage about ‘chancel repair liability’. It has a long and complicated history and is now regarded by many as something of an anachronism.  It can...

SDLT Changes

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A major reform of Stamp Duty Land Tax was announced in the Autumn statement. As a result 98% of residential property buyers will see a welcome saving whilst only those paying over £937,000 will see an increase in SDLT. Each rate will be paid only on...

Dartmoor Commons (again)

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Ancient rights over the Dartmoor commons include : Turbary – the right to take turf for fuel Pannage – the right to allow pigs to eat acorns and beech mast Estovers – the right to take underwood or branches for fuel and repairs For hill...

Flooding - Are You at Risk?

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The Environment Agency has recently published new maps allowing members of the public to discover more information about the risk of flooding to their property – a useful tool to anyone who currently owns or is thinking of buying a property. The maps...

Land Registry Fees Reduced by 50%

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From 17 th March 2014 the Land Registry fees will be reduced by 50% for certain applications delivered by electronic means, these include:  the fee payable by the purchaser on registering a transfer of the whole of a registered title; the fee on...

SOMERSET COASTAL ACCESS REPORT

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MARINE AND COASTAL ACCESS ACT 2009 SOMERSET COASTAL ACCESS REPORT PUBLISHED ACTION REQUIRED BY MIDNIGHT 12 TH DECEMBER 2013 This Report... -Concerns a 90 kilometre stretch of coast path between Brean Down and Minehead; and -Sets out proposals for...

Need Help to Buy a New Build...?

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Help To Buy – Phase 1 – New Build Phase 1 of the government’s Help to Buy scheme is the “Equity Loan” which is available for new build properties only.    In effect it is a shared ownership mortgage.  The...

Help to Buy 2 : Mortgage Guarantee Launch

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Help To Buy – Phase 2 – The Mortgage Guarantee One of the biggest obstacles to owning your own home is that of raising the deposit and not everyone can rely on family to help!  Things will be a bit easier from today as the second phase of...

Planning, Permitted Development

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Planning, permitted development, changes from 30 th May Some relaxation in planning restrictions comes into effect on 30 th May 2013 under the pithily titled Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order...

What Are Your Retirement Plans Built On?

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Annuity and savings rates are low while property prices and rental yields are high.  As a result, buy-to-let properties are becoming more common place as part of a retirement plan.  Whilst this can be a good strategy, it is important to understand...

I Cant Afford to go to Court

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Litigation is not for the faint-hearted. It can be time-consuming, stressful and expensive. Yet surely you have a right of access to the courts to make your claim or enforce your rights? With the decline of legal aid, other means of helping clients have...

Mobile Homes Act 2013

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The Mobile Homes Act 2013 received Royal Assent on 26th March. Sections 9 to 12 came into force on Monday 26th May along with the Mobile Homes (Selling and Gifting) (England) Regulations 2013. The Act introduces a new procedure for the sale (or gifting)...

Farming - Protecting a Lifestyle

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Farmers plan the annual cycle of production in the expectation of a harvest later. As a farmer you regularly invest time and money today for a reward in many months’ time. Yet the irony is that you may not devote much time and thought to protecting the...

Mortgage Shortfall Fears

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Mortgage Shortfall Fears The new Financial Conduct Authority has suggested that approximately 2.6 million people will not have saved enough money by the time their interest only mortgages mature to repay them with the average shortfall being in the region...

Unlocking the Value in Your Home

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The term ‘capital rich, income poor’ describes the position of many people in their later years.  There is value locked up in the home but there is little income and little in the way of savings.For many people their most valuable asset is...

Green Deal or No Deal?

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by Nigel Stannard The Department of Energy and Climate Change  has recently issued the Green Deal Code of Practice and the legal framework came into force on the 1st October 2012. This means that Green Deal providers, assessors and installers can now...

Dartmoor Commons... Do You Have Unregistered Rights?

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More than 40 years after the Commons Registration Act 1965 came into effect, there remains a great deal of doubt, and potential for dispute, over rights of common. The Devon County Council, as commons registration authority, has made decisions recently in a...

Ownership of Sewers & Drains...

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Property owner responsibilities and ownership of sewers and drains From the 1 October 2011 the majority of private sewer and lateral drain ownership was transferred to water and sewage companies. This change will benefit most home owners as the...

Boundary Disputes

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Boundaries are not always set out with great precision in plans. Sometimes boundaries change. Consequently, the physical boundary may or may not represent the legal boundary. Arguing over them is costly especially if the fight goes to the courts. Such a case...

Prescriptive Right of Way

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It is generally known that an easement, such as a right of way, can be acquired simply by exercising the right, unchallenged and uninterrupted, over a long period. For the claim to the right to be successful it must have been exercised without force, without...

Breach of Contract

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The Court of Appeal gave judgment yesterday in a case in which it had to consider the effect of a breach of a condition in a contract for the sale of land. The seller of a warehouse and outbuildings at a farm had contracted to provide, within six months...

Security of Tenure

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Landlord and Tenant – tenancy of uncertain duration. A somewhat unusual and perhaps far-reaching case came before the Supreme Court recently and judgment was handed down on 9th November 2011. Mexfield Housing Co-operative Limited v Berrisford...

Rights of Unmarried Couples

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The Supreme Court has handed down judgment in a landmark case concerning the beneficial interests in a house owned by an unmarried couple. In  Jones v Kernott  , the parties had acquired a property jointly in 1985. They lived in the house, sharing...

Farmers and IHT

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Agricultural Property Relief is valuable to farmers in reducing the impact of Inheritance Tax (IHT) on their estates. The farmhouse, or other living accommodation, often gives rise to difficulties. In a recent case before the Upper Tribunal (Tax &...

Equity Release to Pay For Care

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It is being widely reported that consideration is being given to the controversial step of forcing pensionsers to remortgage their homes to pay for personal care. The Dilnot Commission reported in July this year – see news item on  ‘Long...

Dartmoor Commons Decision

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Dartmoor Commons: Court of Appeal decision This is by way of update to a news item posted on 24th August on a case SWLaw Solicitors took to the Court of Appeal. Please refer to the earlier post  here . The Court of Appeal decision was handed down...

Feed-In Tariffs

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Feed-in tariffs (otherwise “The Clean Energy Cashback Scheme”) for electricity generated from solar PV installations are under review. The Department of Energy and Climate change has launched a  consultation  on the first phase of the...

Conveyancing Quality Scheme

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SWLaw Solicitors Ltd has become one of the first firms in the region to achieve accreditation in the new Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS). CQS ensures that matters are managed to the highest professional standards in conveyancing, and has the...

Dartmoor Commons

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A long-running dispute, which could have wide-ranging implications for commoners and landowners not only on Dartmoor but across the whole of England and Wales, came before the Court of Appeal yesterday (23rd August). For Dartmoor’s many moorland...

Warning To Letting Agents

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The Office of Fair Trading issued a warning yesterday to letting agents to check that their terms and conditions are fair and transparent. It published an  evaluation of the enforcement action  taken against Foxtons for breach of the  Unfair...

Dartmoor Planning Consultation

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Dartmoor National Park Authority has today, 1st July, launched a Consultation on its Development Management and Delivery Development Plan Document (‘DMD’). Yes, quite a mouthful ! It sets out detailed policies and proposals to implement the Core...

Meaning of 'Vacant Possession'

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The meaning of ‘Vacant possession’ fell to be considered by the Court of Appeal in the case of NYK Logistics (Holdings) Ltd v Ibrend Estates BV [2011] EWCA Civ 683. The leading judgment of the unanimous Court was handed down by Lord Justice Rimer...