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Are you looking for high quality legal advice? You have come to the right place.

We regularly write about different legal topics and welcome your comments on our posts. If you would like more information on our services, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

What are commercial property dilapidations?

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Most commercial leases will require the tenant to keep the property in a good condition and to carry out any repairs needed under the terms of the lease. Dilapidations refer to the damages or defects to the property as a result of the tenant breaching the...

What are the landlord's responsibilities under a commercial lease?

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As the landlord of a commercial property, your main responsibilities will be to keep up with any maintenance and repairs to the property and to ensure it is a safe place for people to work. The responsibilities of the landlord will vary depending on the...

What are the grounds for an unfair dismissal?

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If you have been dismissed by your employer, it can be a big shock and it can feel unfair. If your employer has not followed correct procedures or the reason for your dismissal is deemed to be unreasonable, then you may have a claim for unfair dismissal. It...

Can I refuse to sign a settlement agreement?

Paul Hardy
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A settlement agreement is a written agreement signed by two parties (usually employer and employee) that outlines agreed terms and conditions to settle a potential employment tribunal claim or other court proceedings. Settlement agreements are a way of...

What are Mirror Wills and are they a good idea?

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Making a Will is one of the most important things you will do in your life, as it ensures that when you pass away, your wishes are fulfilled and your estate is passed on to the beneficiary or beneficiaries of your choice.  Mirror Wills are...

Do you need to use a local conveyancing firm when buying a house?

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The short answer to that is no. While it used to be normal to use a local solicitor for your conveyancing, it’s now increasingly common to carry out the process of buying or selling a house over the phone and online. This means there is no longer any...

What checks and searches are involved in conveyancing?

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What is conveyancing? Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property from one person to another, which begins once an offer has been accepted on a property. This process can be conducted by a licensed conveyancer or a conveyancing solicitor. ...

What are the advantages of setting up a limited company?

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Working for yourself can give you a greater sense of freedom, more flexibility and often the chance to earn a higher income. However, when starting a business, you should give careful thought to how to structure your enterprise as there can be some important...

New Partner - Stuart Wild

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Bird and Co are delighted to announce that Stuart Wild has accepted an invitation to join Bird & Co Solicitors LLP as a Partner with effect from 1st February 2019. Stuart started at Bird & Co in April 2004 and was soon appointed Head of the...

Can a site purchase be conditional on getting planning permission?

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When buying a site that lacks planning permission, whether to self-build or as a developer, your plans and the ultimate value of the site will be heavily dependent on whether you can secure planning permission. It is therefore understandable to want to...

Joint tenants or tenants in common - what is the difference?

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When you buy a property with another person, whether it is as your home or as an investment, there is more than one way you can own it. You can buy a property as ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’ and it’s important to know...

What can you do if you believe your personal injury claim was under-settled?

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Personal injury claims can be quite difficult to value as they don’t just take into account the monetary losses that a victim faces, but also the emotional and physical losses such as prolonged pain and suffering and missed job opportunities. There are...

Are gifts liable for Inheritance Tax?

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Inheritance Tax (IHT) is paid on the assets that someone leaves behind when they die, i.e. property, money, businesses etc. Inheritance Tax is usually paid on estates worth more than £325,000, although the threshold can be higher under certain...

What to include in a shareholders' agreement

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What is a shareholders ’ agreement? A shareholder agreement is an agreement entered into by all or some of the shareholders of a company that outlines how it is managed, the ownership of the shares and the protection and rights of the shareholders....

Can you claim personal injury compensation for a hit and run accident?

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Being a victim of a hit and run accident can be incredibly stressful, and in some cases – life changing. A ‘hit and run’ is when the driver who caused the accident, fails to stop at the scene or provide their details. This is a criminal...

Are settlement agreements and compromise agreements the same thing?

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On the 29 th July 2013, compromise agreements were renamed settlement agreements. The name change was merely a stylistic decision by the government, who believe the wording better represents the agreements. The actual substance of the agreement, remains the...

What to know when buying a site to self-build

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Self-building can be an attractive way to get the home of your dreams, allowing you to create exactly what you need at a significantly lower cost compared to buying an existing property. However, there are various issues to consider so you can make sure...

What to do if you find a problem with your home after the sale is final

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When you buy a property in the UK, you do so under the general principle of “caveat emptor” also known as “buyer beware”. This means that it is your responsibility as the buyer to check the condition of the property you are buying. ...

How do break clauses work?

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Commercial leases are often designed to last for several years, with five and ten year leases both being common. While this provides a degree of certainty for both landlord and tenant, it can also cause potential problems, for example if the landlord later...

Who inherits when there is no Will?

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If a loved one dies without leaving a Will, their estate will be divided according to the standard rules of intestacy as set out by the government. These rules strictly define who inherits depending on what surviving family the deceased has and the size of...

TIME LIMIT: How long do you have to make a personal injury claim?

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If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or malicious action, whether at work, in public, or under any other circumstances, you may be entitled to claim compensation. However, it is important to be aware that there are strict...

Why your business's terms and conditions matter

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For any business, your terms and conditions (or T&Cs) set out the legal basis on which you trade with your customers. They help to clearly establish what customers should expect from you when doing business with you and can be vital if you need to...

When should you make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to nominate one or more people to help you with making decisions about important issues if you lose the capacity to do so yourself in the future. An LPA will therefore commonly be used where you have reason to be...

What to know when buying property at auction

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Buying property at auction can allow you to get the right property at a lower price and is also usually faster than buying a property on the open market, allowing you to avoid the delays associated with property chains, the current owners needing to move out...

What to know when buying property off-plan

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Buying a new-build property before construction has started or while it is being built (known as buying ‘off-plan’) can allow you to get a pristine home or investment opportunity at a significant discount compared to buying a finished property....

Common conveyancing problems and what to do about them

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The conveyancing process is an essential part of buying or selling a property, covering key things such as preparing and exchanging the contracts of sale, having checks and searches carried out on the property for the buyer, the transfer of funds and...

What is digital conveyancing?

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Digital technology has revolutionised conveyancing in recent years, allowing the entire process to be handled remotely by email, over the phone and via video messaging. This makes things much faster and more convenient for homebuyers and homeowners, allowing...

How do settlement agreements work?

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Settlement agreements are an increasingly popular option for resolving employer-employee disputes, as well as heading off potential disputes during redundancy proceedings and other types of employee terminations. Settlement agreements act as a replacement...

Can you borrow against your house to buy another house?

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If you wish to a buy another house, either to rent out, as a second home, for your children to live in, or for any other reason, borrowing against your current home can be a good way to raise the necessary money. There are potentially 3 ways to do this: ...

Do you have to change your mortgage to rent out your property?

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If are planning to move and rent out your old home, a common concern is what to do about your mortgage. Many people do not realise that it is usually a condition of any residential mortgage that you need to let your lender know if you wish to rent your...

Can you get out of a tenancy agreement early?

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Whether you are a landlord or tenant, there are various circumstances where you may wish to end a tenancy agreement early. It might be that as a landlord you want to sell the property or as a tenant that you need to move for work or personal reasons. ...

How long does it take to buy a house?

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Exactly how long it takes to buy a house depends on various factors, including how quickly you can find the right place and how quickly you can find a buyer for your own home (unless you are a first time buyer). However, if you have found the right property...

Can you transfer ownership of a house with a mortgage?

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If you need to transfer the ownership of a property, such as when getting divorced or if you want to transfer the property to a family member, having a mortgage can make things more complicated. While it is perfectly possible to transfer ownership of a...

Can a freeholder refuse to extend a lease?

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When buying a leasehold property, its value will depend on how many years are left on the lease. The shorter the remaining time, the less the property will be worth. If you own or are considering buying a leasehold property, understanding your right to...

How staircasing for shared property ownership works

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Shared ownership can be a good way for people to buy a home who otherwise couldn’t afford to as it allows you to buy a percentage of a property and pay rent on the remainder. This means you can get on the property ladder for less and pay a reduced rate...

What the government's ban on new build leasehold houses will mean for leaseholders

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The government has announced plans to tackle “unfair and abusive” practices within the leasehold system, including banning leaseholds for most new build houses. These plans will only affect houses and not leasehold flats. The new measures...

Things to know when considering equity release for your home

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Equity release can be an attractive way to fund your retirement, allowing you to unlock some of the value tied up in your home as a tax-free lump sum. Many people use this money to pay off debts, fund home improvements or other plans to make their...

3 things to consider when downsizing

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Downsizing is a popular choice for older people, especially those who are retiring or whose children have left home and therefore no longer need as much space. Moving to a smaller, cheaper home offers a number of advantages, including releasing capital,...

Announcement - Chris Jeyes

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On 16 February 2018, Christopher Jeyes, Barrister and Partner, left Bird & Co Solicitors to pursue more advocacy opportunities. Christopher started his career with us in February 2010 as In-House Counsel, progressing through to be Partner in 2014. ...

What to check when buying a listed property

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There are somewhere in the region of half a million listed buildings across England and Wales with the number increasingly all the time. While these buildings are often highly attractive places to live, full of history and character, there are a number of...

What does conveyancing involve?

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Conveyancing is the name for the legal process involved in buying or selling a property, as well as a variety of other property transactions, including remortgaging and lease extensions on leasehold property. The process is usually handled on your behalf by...

Do you need a survey when buying a home?

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When buying a new home, you take a big risk if you don’t properly investigate the property and any issues it might have. Failing to identify problems up front can mean you end up overpaying for a property, being left with unexpected expenses or being...

Can you renegotiate the sale price on a property during the conveyancing process?

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Once an offer is made and accepted on a property, you may think the price agreed is a done deal. However, there remains room for manoeuvre on both sides of the deal, meaning the buyer can reduce their offer or the seller can ask for more, as long as they do...

Is online conveyancing safe?

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For many people carrying out important business online is now second nature, so it’s not surprising that when it comes to buying a home, many people want the same convenience they are used to from the internet. A growing number of firms are now...

How buying a home with your children affects stamp duty

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An increasing number of people are relying on their parents for financial help when buying their first home, in large part due to the significant gap between average wages and average house prices in many parts of the UK. While it is common now for parents...

What you need to do to rent out your old home

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There are a number of reasons why renting out your old home can be an attractive idea, including as a way of generating a retirement income if you are downsizing, or if you move in with a partner who already owns their own home. However, to avoid any legal...

Things to know when buying a new build home

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Buying a newly built home offers a number of advantages, including the idea that you will be getting a pristine property with no wear and tear from previous owners. If you can buy off-plan, before the property is finished, you can also often get a...

SDLT (Stamp Duty Land Tax) FAQs

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1. I have been registered as an owner of a residential property in the past but I did not live there. If I purchase a property to live in will I be a first time buyer? Answer:  Unfortunately not. To qualify as a first time buyer you need to have...

Useful advice on conveyancing fraud risks

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We take the security of our clients seriously, so when we are advised of risks by other responsible parties such as banks and mortgage lenders, we try to pass the advice on. The advice below has kindly been issued by Santander, but it applies equally across...

5 things to consider when buying a house as an unmarried couple

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A growing number of couples in the UK are choosing to buy property together without getting married or entering a civil partnership. This can be a good way to get onto then property ladder when house prices are unaffordable for many individuals, while also...

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