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Frettens Launch Online Client Portal

Matthew Fretten
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Launched in February, the Frettens Client Portal has already received praise from a number of clients, who particularly like the user-friendly interface, as well as the security and simplicity of the software.

Landlords, are you ready for changes to Section 21 notices, from next week?

Michelle Hayter
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Buy-to-let landlords need to prepare themselves for changes to the Section 21 Notice coming into force next week. On 1st October 2018, all Assured Shorthold Tenancies (ASTs), regardless of their start date, will need to comply with guidelines as to when and...

Proposals for three year tenancy agreements

Sarah Nineham
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Tenants could be given minimum three-year letting agreements to increase security for those who rent a home. Three year tenancy terms The Government is proposing to allow people who rent in the private sector to opt for three-year tenancy terms as this...

83 years of Frettens experience coming to Ringwood

Michelle Hayter
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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors were delighted last week to announce the opening of a second office in Ringwood in July 2018. Who will be based at Ringwood?             The Ringwood team has...

Hello Ringwood!! Frettens opens second office

Matthew Fretten
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The Partners of Frettens Solicitors are excited to announce that they will be opening a brand new office in the heart of Ringwood in July 2018, making Ringwood a second home for the ever-growing Frettens family. A full service law firm for Ringwood ...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Landlords experiencing rent arrears

Kerri Hunter
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Rent arrears are a real concern for UK landlords as it can have a significant impact on their ability to pay their mortgage. Fresh research by the Residential Landlords Association shows that 28% of landlords have experienced rent arrears in the past 12...

Frettens Litigator Promoted to Partnership

Michelle Hayter
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Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce that Carl Geary has been promoted to become a Partner at the firm. Carl has been at Frettens since 2007, initially as a paralegal and then beginning a training contract, the final stage of qualification as a...

Unprofessional Landlords Exiting the Buy-To-Let Market?

Carl Geary
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It is being reported in the property market that the number of people investing in the buy-to-let sector is falling at a rapid rate and many existing landlords are selling their properties. This is likely to be due to changes to tax relief that landlords...

Inheriting is not always straightforward

Michelle Hayter
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It is fairly common for people to write their will so that they leave their estate (the sum total of their assets) to be inherited by their children when they die. Leaving everything to the grandchildren If that person has grandchildren, they might not...

With no will, there is no way of knowing what will happen...

Carl Geary
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When somebody dies unexpectedly, it is an awful and tragic shock for all those that care about them. Sadly, if that person did not make a will, dealing with the aftermath can be even more complicated, upsetting and expensive for their relatives and loved...

Property lettings - changes affecting a Section 21

Michelle Hayter
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The Deregulation Act came in on 1st October 2015 and made changes which affect whether a landlord can serve a valid Section 21. All tenancies that began on or after that date, including renewals are affected. Statutory periodic tenancies are not if the fixed...

Collecting your business debts

Carl Geary
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No business, large or small can survive without sufficient cash flow. Constant vigilance is necessary – below is a checklist to make sure you keep up to date with what your business is owed: As soon as an invoice becomes due for payment start chasing...

Professional negligence claims

Michelle Hayter
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This is a brief guide to the process of making a claim against a professional – maybe a surveyor, architect, financial adviser, accountant or solicitor etc. "People rely more and more on professional advice and have an increased awareness of their...

Contentious probate figures rising

Michelle Hayter
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Ministry of Justice figures show that there has been a significant rise in the number of Wills being contested in Court. This is thought to be as a result of more family breakdowns and an increase in re-marriages, co-habitation and step-families. Under The...

Every residential landlord's worst nightmare

Carl Geary
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Squatters. How do you prevent this happening? How do you remove them if it does? Don’t despair it is possible to evict squatters and regain your property. Squatters are people who do not have a right to be in your property. There is no legal definition...

Landlord's - avoiding and dealing with problems with tenants

Carl Geary
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It’s been a boom time for the rental sector, 40% more people now live in rented accommodation than in 2006. Carl Geary ,  Dispute Resolution Associate says, "Arguably there has never been a better time to be a landlord but problems can...

The importance of keeping your Will updated

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Dentist, Norman Martin, failed to divorce his estranged wife despite having lived with his new partner, Joy Williams, in Dorchester of 18 years. On his death there was no provision for Joy, as Martin had failed to update his will to reflect his relationship...

Landlord's immigration 'right to rent' checks

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If you are a residential landlord you will be obliged to check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent your property from you for any new tenancy granted from 1st February 2016.. This will be done by inspecting original documents which entitle the tenant to...

Private sector rents on the rise

Carl Geary
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Buy to let landlords were hit by the Chancellor’s plans to change mortgage tax relief in the summer Budget. George Osborne announced that the relief would be cut to 20% from 40/45%, which will be phased in over four years from April 2017. This fuels...

New rights for customers under the Consumer Rights Act 2015

Michelle Hayter
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The new Consumer Rights Act came into force on 1st October bringing a raft of changes and making it easier for shoppers who receive faulty goods or bad service to get satisfaction. It also gives on-line customers new legal rights. The Act covers: what...

Section 21 Notice Update

Michelle Hayter
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The 1st of October brings important changes for landlords and agents to be aware of. We have outlined the basics below to keep you up to date with the new requirements. If this raises further questions for you, please get in touch with Michelle Hayter , who...

Changes afoot - should tenants be able to sub-let?

Carl Geary
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Rules on sub-letting in the Private Rented Sector (PRS) are clear – as a landlord you can simply refuse your tenant permission to sub-let. Most residential landords have a clause written into their rental agreement to this effect. An important reason...

Landlords must register deposits by June or risk a fine

Carl Geary
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The Government have issued an amnesty for landlords who have not registered their tenants deposits in one of the official schemes, but this will expire on June 23rd and they may then face a hefty fine of £3,600 (based on an average deposit of...

Disability discrimination - reasonable adjustments

Kate Fretten
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The Court of Appeal has held in this case that it is not a reasonable adjustment under the Equality Act 2010 to require a bus company to have a policy requiring non-wheelchair using passengers to move if occupying a space required by a wheelchair user. Mr...

New mandatory ground for repossession of property by landlords

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A new mandatory ground enabling a landlord to recover possession of their property from a tenant came into force in October last year. “The new legislation allows a landlord to obtain possession if the tenant, a member of the tenant’s household...

The right to be forgotten - what is it?

Carl Geary
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The European Union Court of Justice in May of this year ruled that members of the public who are worried about their privacy on line can ask Google and other search engines to remove sensitive links from their search results. However, search engines can...

Landlords responsibilities to check for illegal immigrants

Michelle Hayter
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Under the new legislation contained in the Government’s Immigration Act 2014, private sector landlords are set to face hefty financial penalties if they do not carry out checks to ensure potential new tenants have a right to remain in the UK....

Landlords and the Tenancy Deposit Protection law

Michelle Hayter
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Most landlords and agents are aware of the provisions relating to tenancy deposit protection under the Housing Act 2004. The Localism Act which came into force in April this year has sought to rectify some of the underlying problems with tenancy deposit...

'AdWords' and Trade Mark infringement online

Karen Edwards
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Lush, the cosmetics company that began in Poole High Street in the 1990’s, has just taken on Amazon, the online retailer and won. Lush’s trademark infringement claim against Amazon’s misuse of its brand has been upheld by the High Court of...

Business affected by bad weather, flooding or storm damage? Force Majeure explained

Matthew Fretten
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The recent spate of storms that have devastated parts of England have caused many problems for businesses. Through no fault of your own maybe your customers have been let down or suppliers have let you down. What are your obligations? The answer lies in your...

Storm damage to trees, fences and property - who pays?

Carl Geary
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Much of Southern England has been battered by storm force winds and heavy rain and many people have consequently suffered storm damage to their property. When a tree is uprooted in a storm and damages your neighbour’s property it is unlikely you will...

Dispute Resolution - What does it mean?

Carl Geary
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Carl Geary , a Solicitor in our  Dispute Resolution  Team, is often asked why firms of solicitors now refer to their department as Dispute Resolution, as opposed to a Litigation Department. In response, Carl says “The truth can be...

Impact of Small Claims Court limit rise to £10,000

Michelle Hayter
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In April 2013 the Small Claims Court limit rose from £5,000 to £10,000. The Ministry of Justice decided on the increase, which may soon rise to £15,000, as part of a radical shake-up of the civil justice system. The Ministers believe that...

Eviction of tenants reaches 5 year high

Carl Geary
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It’s recently been stated in the Telegraph that the eviction of tenants from rented properties has reached the highest level in five years. Dispute Resolution  solicitor  Carl Geary  says, “We have certainly seen an increase in...

Hampshire Woman awarded £700,000 Will damages

Michelle Hayter
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Mrs Lorraine Feltham from Fordingbridge, head of a property letting company, has sued her step-grandmother’s lawyer for failing to change the 90 year old’s will in her favour, saying that it has cost her more...

Legal Specialists Recognised by Legal 500 Directory

Matthew Fretten
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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce their recommendations in this year’s Legal 500 Directory. Matthew Fretten , Managing Partner and Head of the  Commercial  Team was noted for having a “ very responsive team...

Disputed wills on the rise

Michelle Hayter
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Contentious probate cases have risen sharply in the last few years. This may be due to people having a better knowledge of their rights and entitlements and also to the increasing numbers of second and even third families. It is becoming more common for...

A landlord's obligations

Carl Geary
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It is estimated that there are close to a million buy-to-let landlords in the UK and there are strict regulations which landlords must be aware of and adhere to. Carl Geary , of our  Dispute Resolution  Team, says “Most residential...

Phoenix Companies and insolvent trading

Carl Geary
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Phoenix companies have suffered from a bad reputation in the past, when directors have deliberately forced their companies into liquidation in order to buy back assets at a reduced cost. At the same time they were able to absolve their responsibility for the...

Contesting a Will on grounds of mental incapacity

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...

Small claims limit increased to £10,000

Carl Geary
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As from April this year the current small claims limit of £5,000 has been increased to £10,000 and it is possible that the Government will increase this further in the future to £15,000. Cases dealt with on the small claims track will now...

Commercial Debt Recovery

Carl Geary
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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. An unpaid bill can very quickly become an irrecoverable debt unless help is sought. Asset recovery is a process that...

Business Partnership Agreements

Michelle Hayter
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There are many issues to be considered before going into partnership and the importance of having a Partnership Agreement in place before you open for business cannot be stressed too highly. If you don’t set out your rights and responsibilities in a...

Litigant in person beware

Michelle Hayter
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There has been an escalation in the number of Litigants in Person – or Self Represented Litigants (SRLs) in recent times due to rising costs and cuts in public funding. Any individual is entitled to represent him/herself in court proceedings, but in...

The Jackson Reforms - removal of Conditional Fee Agreements

Carl Geary
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In April of this year we will see some of the most dramatic reforms to civil case funding being implemented for over 10 years. These changes have been dubbed the ‘Jackson Reforms’ and are part of Lord Justice Jackson’s review into the...

Will writing to be regulated for first time

Lee Young
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The Legal Services Board (LSB), the body which regulates lawyers in England and Wales, have called for urgent regulation of will writing. The LSB said that all firms who offer will writing and estate administration should be regulated, to protect consumers...

Buying a new build home? Make sure you know about the Consumer Code

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For home buyers of new build properties (including reserving a plot and newly converted properties) there is a Consumer Code in place.  Conveyancing Executive, Mandy Johnson explains “This was developed by the home building industry to make...

Disputes between landlords and tenants

Carl Geary
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No landlord or tenant wants to be involved in a dispute over a residential property as these can quickly escalate into costly and protracted legal conflicts. Most disputes can be divided into three main categories: Non-payment of rent Service charges ...

Preventing squatters - a landlords guide

Carl Geary
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A landlord’s worst nightmare – visiting your property and finding it unlawfully occupied by squatters. What can you do to avoid this happening? If your property is currently unoccupied, try and give the appearance that someone is living there....

Evicting Squatters

Carl Geary
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Squatting is when someone occupies an empty or abandoned property without the permission of the owner – often without his knowledge and without any legal right to do so. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 criminalised violent or forced...

ACTAPS Accepts Frettens Disputed Wills Specialist

Michelle Hayter
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Michelle Hayter , Dispute Resolution Partner at Frettens Solicitors, has been accepted as an Associate Member of The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS). Very few solicitors in this area specialise in handling contested wills...

Debtors that don't comply with court judgements - a lost cause?

Carl Geary
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In this difficult economy, it is more important than ever to keep a firm grip on expenditure. Taking the decision to commence Court proceedings against a debtor is therefore for most businesses, not one which is taken lightly. Sometimes however, this is an...

Frettens Litigator Wins High Court Case

Michelle Hayter
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On 28th February 2011 a judgment was formally handed down in the High Court in a case which had attracted national press attention because it surrounded the Will and Estate of the late Paula Beken, the wife of the late Keith Beken, a famous photographer...

Boundary Disputes

Carl Geary
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Boundary disputes between neighbours are very distressing as it usually means that normal neighbourly relationships have broken down. Common causes for disputes are new extensions and overlapping walls or fences. If a dispute arises it is first...

What is professional negligence?

Michelle Hayter
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Professional negligence falls under the umbrella of the English law of tort. General rules rely on establishing that a duty of care is owed by a defendant to the claimant, and the defendant is in breach of that duty. Councils have a duty of care to ensure...

Advice for Landlords: Tenancy Agreements for Student Lets

Carl Geary
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At some stage, most students move from halls into private accommodation and if you are renting as a private landlord, you should have a tenancy agreement prepared by a solicitor. As the landlord, you will usually be responsible for...

Recommended for Property, Litigation, Commercial, Wills & Tax by The Legal 500 2010

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We are delighted to report that we have been recognised in four specialist areas of The Legal 500 Guide to Legal Service 2010. The Legal 500 is an independent guide to law firms and has become the largest and most in-depth survey of the UK legal market...

BBC Panorama programme: The Final Rip Off

Lee Young
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Solicitors or Will Writers – What is the Difference? Response to the BBC Panorama programme: The Final Rip Off The BBC’s “Panorama” programme, aired on 9 August 2010, revealed disturbing evidence of cases of mis-selling,...

Employment Law: The Cost of Lying Litigants

Paul Burton
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2009 saw the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) deal with two particularly poignant cases relating to the award of costs. Firstly, in the case of Dunedin Canmore Housing Association v Donaldson it was held that the Employment Tribunal should have awarded...

Dealing With Tenants That Don't Pay Rent

Carl Geary
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During the last two years of economic difficulty, many commercial Landlords have had difficulty with tenants who have been unable to pay their rent. These are the options available to Landlords in this position: Distress is where the Landlord seizes...

Recovering a debt with a statutory demand

Michelle Hayter
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A statutory demand is a way of recovering money that is owed to you. It is a written request for payment, either to a business or an individual and should include: The amount to be paid When payment must be made Contact details about the demand The...

How do I... Dispute a Will?

Michelle Hayter
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Wills are fertile ground for legal contests.  The law lays down technical requirements for executing a valid will. Unhappy potential beneficiaries have numerous ways to attack the validity of a will in court. Commonly, people who were not...