UK Government

 

McMillan Williams are pleased to note the recent announcement by the Ministry of Justice that an additional £8m is to be invested in the payments made to Criminal Barristers undertaking Defence work.

However, there is as yet no detail as to how the extra funding will be allocated, which remains a concern.

Additionally, it is disappointing to note that there is no similar increase in funding for Defence Solicitors, who have borne cuts of 8.75% in the context of fees which have been frozen since 1998. As recent studies have shown, the erosion of the Legal Aid fees paid to solicitors is putting off new entrants to the profession, resulting in areas of the country where the vast majority of Duty Solicitors are over 50 years old. This is potentially a ticking time bomb for access to justice and McMillan Williams urges the Government to take prompt action to avoid the emergence of Legal Aid advice deserts, which could have a catastrophic impact upon the most vulnerable in society.

We Can Help

McMillan Williams is widely recognised as one of the leading firms of Solicitors for having a formidable reputation in Criminal Defence work.  We have a reputation for providing clients with expertise and skilled advice in this area of law.  Our specialist Criminal Defence team can handle any or every stage of your case, any time of day.

With McMillan Williams you can rest assured that you will receive specialist advice and representation of the very highest quality.  Call us today on 020 3551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us about your matter and we will call you back.

Houses of Multiple Occupancy

 

On 1 October 2018, the Government introduced new rules making changes to the licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) meaning that more properties are now covered under the HMO scheme.

What is New?

The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England Order) 2018 revokes the previous Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Descriptions) (England Order) 2006 making mandatory HMO licensing applicable to smaller HMO properties which are only one or two storeys high.

The 2006 Order previously imposed regulation on properties over three stories high. Any property now with five or more people who form two or more separate households and meets the 2006 “standard” test, the “converted building” test or the “self contained flat” test will be caught.

Where a property subject to numerous tenancies, checks will need to made to see if:

  • They are caught by the new HMO scheme
  • The appropriate licence has been obtained
  • All licensing conditions have been adhered to

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those landlords who may fall under the new HMO rules.

Our team of specialist Landlord and Tenant Solicitors recommend legal advice at an early stage to avoid falling foul of an increasingly complex regulatory regime.  Don't delay, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us more about your case and arrange a callback.

 

Land Development

 

New rules under section 14 of the Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 came into force on 1 October 2018 which mean planning permission for the development of land may not be granted subject to pre-commencement conditions without the prior written agreement of the applicant.

What are Pre-Commencement Conditions?

Pre-commencement conditions are those conditions on a planning permission which must be fulfilled before work starts on site or before the use of land changes. Developers and landowners could refuse the imposition of pre-commencement conditions where they believe it is unwarranted or impractical.

Local Planning Authorities will have to give notice of their intention to attach pre-commencement conditions to a planning permission, setting out the text of the condition, the reason for it including an explanation why it is a pre-commencement condition and when a response from the applicant must be received by.

The exception where planning permission may be granted subject to a pre-commencement condition without the applicant’s written agreement is if the applicant has been notified of the intention to impose a pre-commencement condition and has not responded by the date specified in the notice.

This means those who are intending to carry out development work should speak to a planning and specialist solicitor as early as possible to negotiate their conditions.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those who are developing land or those who need advice on how to apply for planning permission.

Our specialist Property Solicitors can advise on all aspects of the planning system and can help to guide you through the Planning Permission Application.  Don't delay, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us more about your case and arrange a callback.

Have Your Say

 

In December 2017 the government put a stop to the sale of new leasehold houses in England. Ten months later, a consultation is finally taking place.

Leasehold Reform

The Government launched a new consultation on their plans for leasehold reform on Monday 15 October and will run for six weeks. 

The plan proposes that almost all new-build houses will in future have to be sold as freehold, and ground rents will be capped at just £10 a year.

This latest technical consultation will seek views on how to implement these reforms to the leasehold system and Estate Agents are among those specifically invited to comment.

This is a highly complex area and it is important that we get the detail right. If you have any thoughts on changes to be made, now is the time to get your views heard.  You can access the consultation here.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including those selling new build and leasehold properties.

If you would like to speak to our team of specialist Property Solicitors to discuss your conveyancing needs, call us today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us more about your case and arrange a callback.

House for Sale

 

Sellers and landlords should take care when providing replies to enquiries and ensure full disclosure is made as the buyer is likely to place reliance on it.

The case of First Tower Trustees Limited -v- CDS (Superstores International) Limited (2017) highlighted that it would be unreasonable for a seller to seek to exclude responsibility and liability by including (on replies to pre-contract enquiries) a non-reliance clause in the contract or lease.

The Court of Appeal confirmed that a buyer should be able to rely on pre-contract enquiries in conveyancing transactions. If a non-reliance clause overrides replies given to those enquiries, then they would become worthless.

Sellers should be reminded to be frank in completing their paperwork and when replying to queries raised of them and to ensure that if during the transaction there are changes to replies previously given, should be disclosed to the buyer.

We Can Help

At MW, our mission is "To make quality legal services accessible to everyone", including Sellers and Landlords who are trying to sell their properties.

Our team of specialist Property Solicitors are on hand to help you with any conveyancing transaction advice you may need.  Don't delay call our team today on 0203 551 8500 or use our Contact Us form to tell us more about your requirement and arrange a callback.

 

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