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18 January 2021 Litigation

The court provided useful examples of the sort of conduct that might allow a landlord to refuse a new lease, even though the tenant has security of tenure under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 (“the Act”). The judgment can be found here. Background When granting most leases to be used as commercial premises, the landlord and tenant need to agree to follow a special procedure, known as ‘contracting out’, otherwise the tenant’s lease will not end at the end of the period stated in the lease. The lease is continued by law and the tenant has a right to apply to the court for a new lease, if terms cannot be agreed. The landlord can only end the lease under certain circumstances set out in the Act. The most common are that the landlord wishes…
08 December 2020 Litigation

A farm is an eternal hive of activity. There is always something going on, work to be done, developments to be made, and improvements to be completed. With such activities, some noise and disruption is inevitable. However, if your actions impact your neighbours to such an extent that it amounts to a nuisance, this could lead to untold legal headaches. Nuisance is unreasonable interference with another person’s use or enjoyment of land. Nuisance can be public, statutory, or private.  Public nuisance Public nuisance can be a criminal offence and arises where a group of people are affected by your actions, for example if you obstruct the highway or pollute water supplies. Statutory nuisance Statutory nuisances are defined by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as something which is ‘prejudicial to health or a nuisance’. This can include excessive noise…
20 November 2020 Litigation

Will disputes are becoming increasingly common due to an increase in the elderly population, a rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers, changes in family structures and the increasing value of estates.  What are the grounds for contesting a Will or estate? Claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 If you have been left out of a family member or a friend's Will, or if you do not think you have been left enough under a Will, then you may be able to make a claim for reasonable financial provision under the above Act. There are a number of criteria which any potential claimant will need to satisfy, one of the most important ones of which is being able to demonstrate a "financial need".  There is a time limit of six months from the…
11 November 2020 Litigation

Building a granny annex can seem a perfect solution to many families; not only is it a way of consolidating family assets and passing on wealth but it also provides an immediate solution to childcare and a longer term plan for caring for elderly parents. However, before embarking on this project it is important that you consider and avoid the potential pitfalls! Disputes about ownership further down the line are unfortunately common and so it is essential that the arrangements are properly documented and legal advice is obtained. If you are combining finances with other family members then it is important that this is properly documented. If, for example, it is intended that the property will be owned jointly, as tenants in common, consideration needs to be given to what happens after your parent dies and…
20 February 2020 Litigation

When relationships between business owners break down the impact on the business can be far reaching. In a family business, commercial problems can become complicated by unresolved resentments and issues that lie under the surface and once families fall, those problems can be difficult and expensive to resolve. Anecdotal evidence suggests that only 1 in 6 farming family businesses have a written partnership or shareholders’ agreement in place. It is no coincidence that we have seen an explosion of cases before the courts involving farming families who have failed to document how the business is to be run in terms of management, retirement and succession. One of the simplest ways of avoiding conflict in family owned businesses is to reach an agreement at the earliest possible stage about how the family will deal with matters…
11 February 2020 Litigation

It is tempting for businesses to be reticent about taking action to recover a debt from a ‘longstanding customer’ particularly one that places a lot of orders with you. But these customers may be affecting your cash flow and putting your business at financial risk. Taking action sooner rather than later is important to the operation of your business and it can also stop your customers seeing you as a ‘soft touch’, paying other creditors before you because they are shouting louder. Effective Credit Control To help ensure your company runs smoothly and cost-effectively. The following steps will help you implement effective credit control: Issuing regular statements to your customers and chasing for payments by email, letter and in person. Making sure that you put procedures in place to avoid the risks of…
18 November 2019 Litigation

For most retailers, Christmas is the busiest trading period of the year and with the challenges facing the High Street many will be taking every opportunity to maximise their revenue. However, it is important that tenants and landlords consider their lease and other obligations when planning their Christmas trading activities: Pop-up shops: it is now common for landlords to fill empty space with ‘pop-up shops’ or bars and restaurants. It is important that they check whether planning permission is required and to ensure that the arrangement is properly documented. Although granting a licence to occupy may be convenient, a short term lease which is contracted out of the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954, possibly with an option to break, is a safer route. The building insurance policy should also be checked. Use: Leases…
19 July 2019 Litigation

Uncertainty and risk go hand in hand in the farming industry. As well as the unremitting inconsistency of the British weather, disease, changing eating habits, tax demands and outside political factors are constant worries for farmers in the UK. At Ware & Kay, our specialist agriculture lawyers are widely experienced in recognising and dealing with the many issues and risks involved in the farming sector and strive on a day-to-day basis to minimise the variety of stresses which arise for their many farming clients. Our agricultural law specialists at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton outline four current concerns for farming businesses and offer practical advice on tackling them. Uncertainty of Brexit The UK’s exit from the European Union is currently pencilled in for 31 October 2019, but with the current political turmoil circling Westminster, whether this…
18 June 2019 Litigation

If you have decided to end your marriage, dissolve your civil partnership, or separate from the person you live with, Robert Bellhouse and the experienced family law team at Ware & Kay can help. Separating couples can find it difficult agree about how joint property such as their home and finances are to be divided. Agreeing arrangements for children is often another area of contention, as emotions run high. However, not all relationships have to end acrimoniously. The process of Collaborative law, provides an alternative way for couples to reach an agreement about their finances and arrangements for children on separation. Using the collaborative process is often quicker than going to court. Under the collaborative process each person and their solicitor attend a series of meetings. Other professionals such as accountants, pension experts and financial…
17 May 2019 Litigation

Not surprisingly, there are various legal issues that need to be considered by landowners before embarking upon your diversification scheme. Johanne Spittle FALA and head of litigation at Ware & Kay solicitors explains that top of your list should be checking whether there are any restrictions that might limit possible use of your land and access to it.  Access It is common for farms and agricultural land to be accessed along private roads or tracks. If use of this road is required for the diversification project, for example to access the proposed farm shop or your commercial development, it will be necessary to establish ownership of the road or rights granted over it at the outset. If access is required over a road or track that is owned by a neighbouring landowner and over which you…
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