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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.

6 top tips for eco-conscious home buyers

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The effects of climate change are becoming a significant concern for eco-conscious consumers. Many people have recycled for years, they switch off lights when the leave rooms and reduce the amount of meat they eat. But what about the environmental cost of...

Will house prices fall after the Stamp Duty holiday ends?

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The first Stamp Duty holiday deadline on 30 June 2021 has been and gone. Any conveyancing transactions must have completed by 30 June to receive a full tax break on properties worth up to £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland. Until 30 September...

First time buyers could get up to 50% off the cost of a new build home

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The government has announced a new scheme called the First Homes Initiative which could give first time buyers in England discounts of at least 30% and up to 50% on their first home. With the average UK house price now exceeding £250,000 , the new...

Do you need to use a local conveyancing firm?

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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...

Is buy-to-let property still a good investment?

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It has been a difficult year for buy-to-let investors and renters alike. The Covid-19 pandemic meant that many people lost their jobs or were put on furlough leave, and as a result, many fell behind on their rent. In normal times, a tenant could be evicted...

7 Top Tips for Selling Your Home

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Selling your home can be a daunting prospect. You will no doubt be aware of the various steps you need to take to ensure your transaction runs smoothly and without disruptive delays. That’s not to mention having to balance selling your current home...

Quick ways to spruce up your garden to attract potential buyers

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With so many people forced to stay at home over the past year, it is understandable that home buyers are considering making major changes to their living circumstances. Flats and homes with no outdoor space are falling out of fashion; rural homes with...

Is Now a Good Time to Sell your Home?

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Spring is usually a popular time to put your home on the market. But with the Covid-19 pandemic, is now a good time to sell your home? This time last year in April 2020, national lockdown meant the housing market was firmly closed. People could not sell...

Stamp Duty Surcharge Increases Property Tax Bill for Non-UK Buyers

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From 1 April 2021, people buying residential property in England and Northern Ireland who are not resident in the UK will be required to pay a Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge. Here we outline how this surcharge will work and how it may affect you if you want...

Staycation Boom - Is Now a Good Time to Buy a Holiday Let?

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Everyone is looking forward to 21 June when (if all goes well) most, if not all, coronavirus restrictions will be lifted, as per the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. But with continued questions surrounding foreign travel, many people are...

Our Commitment to Clients during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic

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We are now opening all of our offices to the general public from Monday 17th May 2021. We will be open during our normal business hours. We will retain the safety measures set out on the link page but the offices will be open and clients can attend for...

2020 Home Buyer Statistics: 72% of Bird and Co Clients First-Time Buyers

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We took a look at our internal client data throughout 2020 to see how home buying patterns changed during the year of Covid-19. As we all know, the coronavirus pandemic had a drastic impact on the property sector from the get-go. During the first lockdown,...

Stamp Duty holiday extended to 30 June with tapered extension to 30 September 2021

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Over 100,000 property transactions could be saved by the Stamp Duty holiday extension, announced on 3 March 2021 as part of the Spring Budget and efforts to support the housing market during the Covid-19 pandemic. Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has listened to...

New mortgage guarantee scheme to bring back 95% mortgages

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The government has announced that it will start backing 95% mortgages, allowing home buyers to purchase their home with just a 5% deposit. Announced on 3 March 2021 in the Spring Budget, the new mortgage guarantee scheme aims to bring back low-deposit...

Help to Buy equity loan scheme extended to 31 May and new scheme set to start

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The Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme deadline has been extended by an additional two months until the end of May 2021, the government has announced. More than 16,000 purchases were at risk of falling through due to delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,...

How to Protect Yourself Against Conveyancing Fraud

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Conveyancing fraud is on the rise. Cyber criminals have become increasingly more sophisticated over the years, and the uncertain situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has given them a fresh opportunity to take advantage of unsuspecting individuals. ...

How Will Capital Gains Tax Changes Affect Homeowners and Landlords?

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The Government is considering major changes to Capital Gains Tax that could increase tax for many homeowners and potentially transform the property market. On 13 July 2020, the Chancellor wrote to the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) asking it to conduct a...

How to Make the Right Offer on a House

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Putting an offer on a house is the first step towards securing your ideal home and it can be quite daunting, particularly for first time buyers who are new to the housing market. When so much money is at stake, you want to be sure that you get the best...

Getting a Remortgage While Furloughed

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At the start of lockdown, startling research showed that lenders had limited their remortgaging options for furloughed homeowners, leaving them at risk of paying higher rates. However, as we have adapted to life with the Coronavirus/Covid-19, it has become...

When is the Busiest Time of the Year to Move House?

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Summer has been the busiest time of year to move house for many years. Figures suggest that between 2007-2018, around 12.8% of all owner-occupier home movers moved house in August alone. This is a significant proportion when compared with winter move...

Getting a Mortgage While Furloughed

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Nearly 10 million employees have been placed on furlough leave since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or Furlough Scheme) started in March 2020. Under the Scheme, furloughed employees have had their salaries reduced by up to 80% (up to a maximum of...

Stamp Duty Holiday on Homes up to £500,000 to start immediately

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Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has announced a holiday on Stamp Duty Land Tax. Between 8 July 2020 and 31 March 2021, home movers and first time buyers purchasing homes up to £500,000 will pay no tax. Announced today as part of a package of legal and policy...

Moving House During Covid 19

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In the lt few days the Government has changed its advice on moving house during the Covid 19 outbreak to get the property market back up and running.  The property industry has issued some pan industry guidance including the following advice for...

What to do if your property chain collapses

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Property chains are delicate. If you are buying and selling property at the same time, then you will be in the middle of a chain, with people both above and below you. It’s also likely that there will be multiple transactions happening at once with...

Tips for Moving House with your Pets

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Moving house may be one of the most stressful and exciting life events a pet (as well as a person) can go through. Unexpected activity, noise, strange removal people, even stranger smells, and the sudden loss of territory can all make moving home...

What is a pre-nuptial agreement and do I need one?

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A pre-nuptial agreement or a ‘prenup’ is a formal, written agreement that details how assets such as property and pensions will be divided in the event of divorce. With the number of couples marrying later in life increasing, it is common for...

Leasehold vs Freehold - Things to look out for

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If you purchase the freehold of a property, you are buying it outright, including the land the property stands on. If you purchase a leasehold, you are only buying the right to live in the property for the length of the lease. The land the property stands on...

A renter's guide to common tenancy jargon

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If you are currently renting, or are looking to rent, a property, then the jargon you’ll inevitably come across can appear confusing and overwhelming. Abbreviations, acronyms, you name it – there are plenty of terms you need to familiarise...

How long does it take to get a divorce?

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The breakdown of a marriage is an emotional and stressful time and the prospect of having to undergo lengthy court proceedings is likely to be the last thing you want to contend with during such a delicate period. However, contrary to popular belief, most...

What happens if you are hit by an uninsured or untraceable driver?

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Being involved in a road traffic accident is a traumatic experience in itself, but things can be made even more difficult if the responsible party is uninsured or cannot be traced because they failed to stop at the scene of the accident. You will...

What are the Requirements for a Will to be Legally Valid?

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 Making a Will is one of the most important ways you can plan for the future to ensure as far as possible that your final wishes are respected. In England and Wales, you have complete freedom to leave your money and property to whomever you like....

Are terms and conditions a legal requirement for businesses?

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Terms and conditions (T&Cs) are an essential agreement which set out the legal basis upon which businesses trade with their customers. They are used to protect intellectual property rights, limit or exclude liability and establish a contractual framework...

Removals Advice - How to Find a Removals Company

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Moving house is rarely an easy process. It may be tempting to save money and move all your belongings yourself. However, there are advantages to hiring a removals company instead. Provided you choose the right one, professional movers could take much of the...

What is equity release and how does it work?

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As we get older, it can often be useful to have access to some extra cash to help fund our retirement, pay for care costs or allow us to splash out on home improvements or other plans. With many of us having a large amount of capital tied up in our homes,...

Moving House Tips - A Guide to Moving House

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You’ve done all the legal stuff, got the all-clear from your surveyor, signed and exchanged contracts, and now it’s official – you’re moving house. There is still a lot to do in between exchange and completion but moving house...

When Should you Remortgage your Home?

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You may be able to save hundreds of pounds just by switching your mortgage to a better deal or a new provider at the right time. Most people think about remortgaging at some point and rightly so. Whether interest rates have changed, your home has risen in...

Can I challenge a Will?

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Losing a loved one is a distressing time, and it can be made worse if there are disagreements regarding the Will left behind by the deceased. When drafting a Will, there are strict rules which need to be adhered to and if there are doubts or concerns about...

Are settlement agreements the same as redundancy?

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Settlement agreements and redundancy both involve an employee being paid monetary compensation for the loss of their job, however, they are essentially two different things which offer different legal rights. It you are going through a redundancy process and...

Can my employer change my contract?

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Under normal circumstances, changes to a contract of employment need to be mutually agreed upon by both the employer and the employee before they are made official. If an employer wishes to make any changes to a contract, they are obliged to consult the...

What does TUPE mean?

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If a business you work for has been purchased by a new owner, your employment may be protected under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) regulations, commonly referred to as TUPE. Depending on the circumstances, this could mean that you...

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...

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...

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