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News

19 March 2020 Residential property

For clients in the midst of trying to buy, sell or rent a property, the coronavirus outbreak is causing particular uncertainty at all stages in the process. We want to reassure you that our property law team will continue to operate as normally as possible to keep all property transactions on course during this difficult and uncertain time. According to Holly Stevens in the property team at Ware & Kay in York, there are a number of things to consider, depending on where you are with your property transaction. Property viewings If you are still in the early stages of looking to buy or sell your property, take sensible precautions. Before showing prospective buyers or renters around a property, or before going on a viewing: ask if anyone is unwell or is in isolation when…
10 March 2020 Residential property

The Rented Homes Bill had its first reading on 22 January 2020. The first thing the Bill does is to abolish assured shorthold tenancies (ASTs) in England. ASTs were created by the Housing Act 1988 to strengthen the rights of landlords and increase the supply of private rented accommodation. An AST is a type of assured tenancy; its advantage from the point of view of a landlord is that, in addition to the grounds for seeking possession that are available to all assured tenancies, possession may also be obtained using the procedure set out in Section 21. The advantage of an AST for a tenant is the possibility of referring excessive rents to a rent assessment committee. The demise of the AST is intended to ‘reset the balance of rights and responsibilities between landlords and…
04 March 2020 Residential property

If you have a garden big enough for another property, you may be thinking about how a new building could allow you to downsize or to sell on and bank the profit. ‘There are several things you need to consider first,’ says Philip Taylor, a residential conveyancing expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton who outlines some of the issues involved. Physical constraints of your garden plot Your garden must be able to accommodate a new home comfortably and have good physical access. There should also be no legal obstacles to access, so involve your solicitor early on. For example, if you do not own your current driveway but only have rights over it, do not assume your new build will automatically have the same rights. Access to services, such as electricity and water, is…
20 November 2019 Residential property

A Farm Business Tenancy is a contractual relationship which allows a tenant to rent land or buildings from a Landlord to run an agricultural business. But what provisions should a Farm Business Tenancy include to ensure it is legal and fit for purpose for both parties?  Hazel Anyon, Agricultural Property specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains. Under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995, a Farm Business Tenancy arises if it was granted on or after 1st September 1995 and land is used predominantly for agricultural purposes throughout the term of the tenancy. Whilst some terms are statutory and must apply, many terms of a Farm Business Tenancy can be negotiated between the Landlord and Tenant. The Act defines agriculture as including ‘horticulture, fruit growing, seed growing, dairy farming and livestock breeding and keeping…
06 November 2019 Residential property

When many of us think about heritage properties, we think of buildings associated with our architectural past: a castle, stately home or elegant Georgian townhouse perhaps. But new developments, such as barn and warehouse conversions, may also be heritage properties if they are listed or in a conservation area. In this article, Philip Taylor, residential property expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton looks at the different categories of heritage property and the implications for buyers who face the prospect of having to deal with the obligations that go hand in hand with owning a property of historical interest.  ‘If you are considering buying a listed building, a property in a conservation area or a property that appears in a local heritage asset list, then it is important that you speak to your solicitor at…
06 November 2019 Residential property

If you occupy land or buildings, then you will usually be under a duty to take reasonable steps to prevent anyone visiting you being killed or injured or suffering damage to their property.  You will also be under a duty not to do anything which may cause harm to your neighbours. The extent of the duties imposed on you will vary depending on the circumstances but where a breach of duty occurs the consequences could be serious, as Johanne Spittle, Head of Litigation with Ware & Kay in York & Wetherby explains.   ‘We live in a world where anyone who suffers damage or personal injury expects to be compensated’ says Johanne.  ‘This includes people who are lawfully on your property like employees and invited visitors, but also those who are there unlawfully like squatters…
08 October 2019 Residential property

In the recent case of Stanning v Baldwin the Court was asked to consider a number of issues one of which as to whether the redevelopment of the Claimant’s property and construction of 4 houses would lead to an intensification of use of a right of way over a land owned by the Defendants. The Claimant, Glynis Stanning, owned The Coach House, access to which was over an unsurfaced and unadopted track over Gerrards Cross Common near Slough, a local beauty spot registered as common land. The track was the sole means of vehicular access and the right of way arose by prescription. In 2017 the Claimant obtained planning permission to demolish the Coach House and to erect four terraced houses, with underground parking for nine cars and with access to continue over the…
01 October 2019 Residential property

Experts predict that the housing market will face some challenging times in the months ahead as the number of sales continue to fall. With the average house now taking over 19 weeks to sell, the outlook may appear disheartening if you want to sell. There are still buyers out there, searching for their next home from a smaller pool of properties, and Philip Taylor, a residential conveyancing expert with Pearsons & Ward in Malton, offers some advice on selling your home in a flat market. Be realistic on price Market data suggests that overall house prices are slipping. There are strong regional and local variations, so it pays to research the sale price your home may realistically expect to achieve. Local estate agents should have a good idea of how much your property is likely…
15 May 2019 Residential property

More than 85 per cent of land in England and Wales is now registered with HM Land Registry; however large swathes of rural farmland remain unregistered. Land is often farmed by the same family for years and therefore no ‘trigger event’ arises which would require first registration. Philip Taylor, Head of Residential Conveyancing and agricultural law specialist at Pearsons & Ward Solicitors in Malton explains when it is compulsory to register unregistered land and outlines the benefits and the pitfalls for those who do not. When you should register All land or property must be registered with HM Land Registry if you have: purchased it; been given land or property as a gift; inherited any land or property; leased it for more than seven years; received it in exchange for other property or land…
07 December 2015 Residential property

On 1 December 2015, HMRC clarified to Practical Law Tax the additional rates of SDLT that will apply to acquisitions of additional residential property (for example, second homes and buy-to-let properties) with effect on and from 1 April 2016. If the total chargeable consideration provided for such a property exceeds £40,000, the entire consideration will be subject to SDLT at the following rates on a progressive basis: 3%: £0 - £125,000. 5%: over £125,000 - £250,000. 8%: over £250,000 - £925,000. 13%: over £925,000 - £1.5 million. 15%: over £1.5 million.   The announcement in the 2015 Autumn Statement was unclear and it transpired that practitioners and commentators had interpreted the announcement differently. Consequently, following an update published by the Law Society (see Law Society, Autumn Statement: changes to SDLT), Practical Law Tax contacted…
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