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Welcome to our Blog

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.

ToLATA - A guide for unmarried couples who are separating

Michelle Hayter
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What happens when a couple who are not married but own a property together decide that they need to separate ? Most people are surprised to find out that the legislation that governs this situation is completely unrelated to the Family Law legislation,...

GDPR: You will NOT receive next month's newsletter

Paul Burton
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This year we have shared a form, asking you to re-register for our newsletter because the changes being implemented on 25th May regarding GDPR, meaning that if you have not signed up for our newsletter, you will no longer get the newsletter. We have not...

GDPR for landlords

Sarah Sillar
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The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018. It forms the new standard for control of data, seeking to introduce higher and more stringent regulations upon those whose hold and process personal data. What data does GDPR...

Does 'maintenance for life' really mean just that?

Simon Immins
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The law relating to matrimonial finances is based around the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (subject to some much needed amendments) but does it now reflect today’s society and the financial needs of the divorcing parties? Changing times The assumptions...

Extending your lease - What's the difference between a non-statutory and statutory procedure?

Niki Adkins
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Why should I extend my lease? If you are selling a property with an unexpired lease term of less than 80 years, a potential buyer is likely to insist that you extend the lease on, or before, completion. When a lease drops below 80 years the cost of...

Welcome to the Family - Simon Immins joins the team

Michelle Hayter
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome the latest Solicitor to join their ranks, as Simon Immins becomes a member of the firm's Family Team . Simon  joined Frettens in April, having been a Partner at Turners Solicitors in...

Why every parent needs a will

Lee Young
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When you are a parent to young children, life can be a daily demanding obstacle course! Getting everyone up, ready for nursery/school and getting into work… then after a busy day at work, coming home, cooking for the family, helping with homework,...

Capital Gains Tax - which is your main residence?

Lee Young
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Your main residence is exempt from capital gains tax because of private residence relief, which negates any capital gains. When someone owns more than one property however, the tax position becomes more complicated. The main residence Unless you confirm...

Frettens launch corporate video

Matthew Fretten
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Frettens are delighted to share their new corporate video. The film focusses on our firm's people-first approach and how we have harnessed this to drive success. The film has been created in conjunction with Dorset Business , the Dorset Chamber of...

Power of Attorney fee refund scheme

Andrew Guilfoyle
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The Ministry of Justice has launched a scheme to refund those who may have overpaid when applying to register powers of attorney. The scheme applies to any lasting power of attorney (LPA), or enduring power of attorney (EPA) that was registered with the...

A common mistake Landlords make with Form 6a Section 21 Notices

Kerri Hunter
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Section 21 is the no fault way of obtaining possession from an assured shorthold tenant . What is a Section 21 Notice? A Section 21 Housing Act 1988 notice is the first step to obtaining the property back. These are used when the landlord wants...

The grounds for divorce

Holly Doick
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In England and Wales, you must have been married for at least a year before you can apply for a divorce . Only one ground for divorce It is a popular misconception that there are five grounds for divorce. There is actually only one ground for...

Fitness for Human Habitation Bill

Carl Geary
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2018 is likely to be a difficult year for lettings professionals in terms of keeping up with the legislation that is due to be finalised and passed. As well as new energy efficiency standards, GDPR, there is a Fitness for Human Habitation...

Intestate - What happens when someone dies without leaving a will?

Heather Varley
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When a person dies without leaving a valid will they are said to have died intestate. Dealing with their estate can be very complicated. When someone dies intestate If this happens to one of your relatives, it is best to seek legal advice as soon as...

Purchasing a flat with a short lease - extending the lease as part of the process

Sharon Windsor
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When purchasing a leasehold flat you must think carefully about the number of years left on the lease and the ground rent risks you may expose yourself to. There are two reasons for this:  Your mortgage lender is likely to require a certain number...

What exactly is a mirror will and how similar do they have to be?

Alia Allen
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A mirror will is when you and your partner make almost identical wills. These usually leave everything to each other respectively should one partner die before the other and if they die at the same time, everything is passed to children or the same named...

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 Gaisford
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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...