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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.

Commercial Property expansion - new solicitor

Ben Cobb
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome the latest Solicitor to join their ranks as Ben Cobb becomes a member of the firm's Commercial Property  Team. Ben joined Frettens from the start of 2018, having trained and qualified as a...

Is January really 'Divorce Month'?

Amy Langlois
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Is it true that the number of divorce applications spike in January? Or is this an urban myth? Amy Langlois , Family Solicitor, comments "Sadly, it is true to say that we see an increase in enquiries into our Family Team after Christmas about...

New energy efficiency standards for privately let commercial property

Michelle Hayter
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From the 1st April 2018, there will be a requirement for any properties rented out in the private rented sector to normally have a minimum energy performance rating of E on an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). New tenancies and renewals The regulations...

Self-employed v Limited company

Matthew Fretten
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Although being self-employed or operating as a sole trader is the most popular way of running a business in the UK, there could be significant advantages to operating as a limited company instead. Setting yourself up as a sole trader is the simplest way to ...

Cohabitation Nation - Resolution Campaign

Andrew Stynes
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This week is Cohabitation Awareness week. This is promoted by Resolution, and organisation which our Family Team are a part of. What is Resolution? Resolution ’s 6,500 members are family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive...

Money laundering and proof of ID

Shelley Dancer
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Many of our clients wonder why we have to be so strict about money laundering. At Frettens, we always endeavour to give our clients the best service and it goes without saying that we must protect them from the fraudulent use of their names and addresses by...

Valuing the estate of someone who's died

Heather Varley
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You need values of any money, property and possessions (known as their estate) of someone who’s died, on the date of their death, before you are able to get a ‘grant of representation’. This is the legal right to deal with their estate . ...

Stamp Duty abolished for first time buyers on homes up to £300,000

Amanda Caisley
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In yesterday’s budget, The Chancellor abolished Stamp Duty Land Tax for first time buyers with immediate effect on properties costing up to £300,000. The government’s aim is to help first time buyers and they estimate that this move will...

Buying a property with rights of way

Matt Collis
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There is little that divides a community more than disputes over access and rights of way. The law affecting rights of way has evolved over many years rather than being introduced by a single Act of Parliament, and therefore this area is quite confusing. ...

The 'innocent' discriminator

Kate Fretten
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If another person influences a decision-maker in a discriminatory way, can that person be considered a joint decision-maker? Recently, the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Metropolitan Police v Denby held that, yes, they could be. The Claimant in this case...

Protecting cash flow - recovering unpaid invoices

Kerri Hunter
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Protecting cash flow is vital for the survival of any business and pursuing unpaid debts to your company is frustrating and time consuming. You have up to six years to recover an unpaid invoice or outstanding debt, but ideally you would act quickly to...

Trading online - what terms & conditions are needed?

Louisa Knight
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Your website  Terms and Conditions are vital to your business and are also required by law to protect you and your customers. It can be a daunting task trying to decide what you need on your website. What topics should the terms & conditions...

Mental health at work

Paul Burton
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An independent review on how employers can better support the mental health of employees, including those with mental health problems or poor well-being, has been published recently. The Stevenson/Farmer review of mental health and employers, titled ...

Inheritance tax - what's the benefit of gifts, trusts and charity?

Julie Frampton
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When someone dies, their assets (known as their estate) worth over £325,000 are liable for inheritance tax at a rate of 40%. This is the standard nil rate band and there is also a residence nil rate band which can make a higher proportion of the...

Legal glossary for buying property

Sarah Leach
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At some time in our lives we all have to sign or read something that contains confusing legal jargon. If you’ve ever moved house or rented a property then you will know what a difficult job it can be to wade through contracts full of legal terms. ...

Will new house buying rules clamp down on gazumping?

Jennifer Smith
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The government is reviewing house buying regulations, aiming to end time-wasting offers. Gazumping Gazumping, as it is known, is when when an offer has been accepted for the purchase of a property and the buyer proceeds with their purchase by instructing a...

Pre-nuptial agreements - are they worth the paper they are written on?

Andrew Guilfoyle
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A pre-nuptial agreement (or ‘pre-nup’ as they are often called) can be made between a couple before they marry, and it deals with how their assets and resources would be treated if they were to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership ....

Minimum wage - Are workers underpaid?

Paul Burton
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The Low Pay Commission, who advise the government on minimum wage levels, have compiled a report which reveals that as many as 1 in 5 minimum wage workers could be receiving less than they are entitled to under the law. At its peak in the year, between...

When must you pay the higher rate of Stamp Duty Land Tax?

Clare Hallett
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In November 2015, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) would apply from April 2016 to purchases of additional residential properties, such as second homes and buy-to-let properties. Since then, a number...

Legal 500 accreditation again for Frettens - Every Partner recommended

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to report that it has been recognised in specialist areas of 'The Legal 500' again for 2017-18. This marks the eighth year in a row that the firm has been recognised by the independently researched guide to law firms...

Conveyancing Team expands with new Solicitor

Matt Collis
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome the latest Solicitor to join their ranks as Matt Collis becomes a member of the firm's Conveyancing Team .         Matt joins Frettens having trained and qualified as a...

How do I challenge the validity of a will?

Michelle Hayter
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This is a difficult subject for everyone, especially when it concerns family or close friends. Challenging a will is emotionally charged but you may realise after a loved one has died that they either changed, or wrote their will whilst suffering from...

Discrimination against part time workers

Kate Fretten
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If a part-time worker works more than 50% of full-time hours, but is paid only 50% of full-time salary, it is less favourable treatment. British Airways v Pinaud In the above case, the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) concluded that this is less...

First time buyer guide to home-buying

Kym Brooks
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Buying a home is a huge financial commitment and can be daunting – especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Kym Brook , a Solicitor in our Conveyancing Team, outlines the steps you need to take when buying your first home . Find a property you...

Pay ratios between bosses and workers

Paul Burton
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New corporate governance reforms have recently been announced which will mean that all listed companies will have to publish the pay ratio between bosses and workers. These are due to come into effect by June 2018. Comparing salaries of top executives with...

GDPR: How to prepare your business

Sarah Sillar
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There has been much uncertainty due to Brexit on how and if businesses in the UK will be affected by the General Data Protection Regulations, known as GDPR. It has now been confirmed that it will be adopted on 25 May 2018 and organisations must ensure that...

Inheritance tax and the residence nil rate band

Lee Young
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Your estate is the sum total of the value of your assets, including property, cars, jewelry, etc. The normal situation is that, when someone dies, if their estate is worth more than £325,000 and is not being passed to a charity or to their...

Government publishes Data Protection Bill statement of intent

Paul Burton
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The government has published a statement of intent on the planned Data Protection Bill. The Bill will provide for the repeal of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and incorporate the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) into UK law....

Franchise agreements

Sarah Sillar
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Some of the best-known brands in the UK use a franchise model as their means of expansion, with great success. UK franchising today is extremely diverse, encompasses a multitude of business types and consumer markets and is well-established as a successful...

Separation agreements. An alternative to divorce?

Andrew Stynes
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If you are thinking about getting divorced , or dissolving your civil partnership , but haven’t yet filed the papers, you can get a separation agreement drawn up. This sets out who will pay the rent or mortgage and bills, until you decide whether to...

Holiday Pay: Voluntary Overtime

Paul Burton
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Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council v Willetts The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that pay for voluntary overtime, normally worked, is 'normal remuneration' for the purposes of calculating holiday pay. The claimants were quick response...

New Faces at Frettens

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome three new members of staff to their Property, Wills & Tax and Commercial Teams. Kym Brooks joins the Conveyancing Team . Kym is a dual qualified solicitor, having qualified in South Africa as an...

Tribunal Fees - Stay on Cases has been removed

Kate Fretten
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Earlier this month, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals issued an order staying all claims and applications arising from the Unison decision by the Supreme Court that employment tribunal fees are unlawful. Last week, in another order, that stay has...

What's the difference between freehold and leasehold?

Simone Bayly
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The tenure of a property relates to Land Laws and Land ownership. Simone Bayly is a Senior Paralegal in our Conveyancing Team. She has explained the different types of tenure and some of the considerations when buying a flat or house . Freehold When you...

Suspension is not a neutral act

Paul Burton
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Agoreyo v London Borough of Lambeth The High Court has held in this case that the suspension of a teacher amounted to a breach of the implied term of mutual trust and confidence. In this case, a teacher was suspended because of the force she used with...

Landlord fined for changing the locks

Michelle Hayter
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A buy-to-let landlord has been ordered to pay just under £3,000 after pleading guilty to a charge of ‘harassing an occupier to give up the occupation of their premises’. The tenant had not paid their rent, so the landlord changed the...

Can an employer protect themselves against Tribunal claims?

Paul Burton
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The unpredictable nature of HR issues means that forecasting and budgeting are virtually impossible, and even with an experienced HR professional or team, it is not possible to avoid or foresee every situation that will arise. Good quality legal advice can...

Buying a property at auction

Bernitta Shrapnell
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Buying property at an auction can be a fairly stress free way to buy a property - one of the main advantages is the straight forward approach to the sale. The traditional route to buying usually takes around twelve weeks from the day an offer is accepted...

Gender pay gaps

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Under a new legal requirement in force from April 2017, UK companies with 250 or more employees have to publish their gender pay gaps by April 2018. The pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women. Across the UK...

Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill introduced

Paul Burton
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The Parental Bereavement (Pay and Leave) Bill was introduced to Parliament on 19 July 2017. Under the bill, employed parents who have lost a child would be entitled to statutory paid leave to allow them time to grieve away from the workplace. During the...

Taking a child abroad if you are separated/divorced

Amy Langlois
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If parents are no longer living together due to separation or divorce , there are legal issues to consider if one parent wishes to take a child on holiday abroad – or even to relocate to another area. It is always preferable to obtain written...

The Taylor Review

Andrew Guilfoyle
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Last month, the ‘Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices’ published its findings and recommendations with a series of proposals that aim to ensure all work is "fair and decent". The Review was launched at the end of 2016 after being...

What is the difference between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common?

Natalie Neil
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When two or more people buy a property together, there are two forms of ownership for the property which co-owners should consider. Joint Tenants When the co-owners are both named on the title deeds, they can hold the property as joint tenants. This means...

Discrimination: Unfavourable Treatment

Kate Fretten
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Trustees of Swansea University Pension & Assurance Scheme & Anor v Williams. The Court of Appeal has held that ‘unfavourable treatment’ is not to be equated with detriment, for the purposes of a claim of discrimination in consequence of...

Supreme Court rules on Employment Tribunal fees

Paul Burton
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The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced fees in July 2013. This means the government will now have to repay as much as £32million to claimants. Fees ranged between...

Divorce - Telling the kids

Andrew Stynes
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When a couple decides to split, there is never an easy way or time to tell the children. It can sometimes be just as much of a blow when the children are grown up themselves. But are there any tactics that would make breaking the news to them less painful,...

Supreme Court rules employment tribunal fees are unlawful

Paul Burton
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The Supreme Court has today unanimously ruled that the government was acting unlawfully and unconstitutionally when it introduced fees in July 2013. This means the government will now have to repay as much as £32million to claimants. Fees ranged...

Plans to ban leaseholds on new build houses

Jennifer Smith
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It is widely being reported in the news today that leaseholds on new build houses could be banned, and ground rents dramatically reduced, under government plans which are subject to consultation. In February this year, we reported that reported that about...

Unpaid holiday pay and wages

Paul Burton
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A study has found that employers are cheating British workers out of at least £1.5bn a year in holiday pay and a further £1.2bn of wages for hours worked each year to which they are legally entitled. It reported that 1 in 20 workers are not...

Do I need to attend court to get divorced?

Amy Langlois
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A short video article featuring Amy Langlois , Family Solicitor , explaining whether you need to attend court when getting divorced.   For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Amy or a member of the Family Team will be...