The Law Commission has announced that electronic signatures can be used instead of a handwritten signature on nearly all legal or contractual documents following a lengthy consultation. Helen Porter, Partner in our Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, here explains more about the move, the areas of legal practice where there are still exceptions and what this means for businesses.
The abolishment of eviction notices under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 could be seen as a positive move for tenants as they will remove the ability for landlords to evict them without a justifiable reason. However, there is a concern from the Resident Landlords Association (RLA), which is the largest representative for landlords within the UK, that “landlords will be more selective when this abolishment is in place”. Understandably, this raises causes for concern for current and future tenants.
It was recently World International Property Day (26 April), a day on which the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) seeks to raise awareness about how various intellectual property (IP) rights impact on our daily lives. This year’s event celebrated the positive role that IP plays in encouraging sports amongst the masses, centring around how developments in technology and IP have seen sporting events grow to a global scale over the years.
The Tenant Fees Act sets out the Government's approach to banning letting fees paid by tenants in the private rented sector and capping tenancy deposits in England. The aim of the Act is to reduce the costs that some tenants have to pay, and...
On the 15th April 2019, the Government announced proposals to repeal section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which provides a no fault procedure for a landlord to recover possession of their tenanted property. Were the proposals to proceed, the future of tenant evictions and repossessions would be drastically altered. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, reviews the proposals and the steps landlords can take to protect their property in the future.
Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team have previously discussed the progress of the Tenant Fees Act through the Houses of Parliament, but the Act has now received royal assent and shall come into force on 1 June 2019. From this date, landlords and letting agents are only able to charge for the deposit, rent and restricted default fees. Helen Porter, Partner in the team, reviews the changes being introduced and explains the steps landlords should take now to remain compliant.
Our Residential Conveyancing team have previously discussed how to spot Japanese Knotweed on your property, but could you have legal grounds to make a claim if your neighbour’s land has Japanese Knotweed that is encroaching upon your land? ...
On 20 March 2019 the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 (the Act) will come into force in England. The Act will give tenants the right to take court action for breach of contract if a property is not fit for human habitation at the start of and throughout their tenancy. Helen Porter, Partner in the Southampton based Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, explains the amendments being introduced by the Act and what they mean for landlords
Landlords will be familiar with the protection afforded to business tenants when it comes to lease renewal under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. At the end of WWII, commercial property was at a premium. Business tenants found that when they...
We understand that being a landlord is a big responsibility and we’re here to help you understand your legal obligations to make your role as easy as possible.
In recent months, there has been a growing trend in the way commercial tenants are using a particular type of insolvency prevention procedure, known as a Company Voluntary Agreement, to reduce the amount they are paying to their landlords. Here Helen Porter,...
From 1 October 2018, all Assured Shorthold Tenancies will be subject to the rules that were introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 (‘the Act’), which outlines situations when a landlord can terminate a tenancy under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Helen Porter, Partner in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, explains how the Act affects landlords who are faced with a complaint about their property from their tenant, and why this may restrict you from serving a Section 21 notice.
When a landlord wishes to evict their tenant, it is vital that they follow the correct procedure for doing so, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays and wasted costs. This is particularly important given the upcoming changes in the law regarding landlords’ use of the procedure under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, explains the changes in the law, and the steps landlords must take to ensure they are compliant.
On September 5th the Tenant Fees Bill (the Bill) had its’ third reading in the House of Commons and the Bill has now been passed up to the House of Lords for consideration. Helen Porter, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Partner, explains how...
When a landlord wishes to evict their tenant, it will not be a decision they have reached lightly and will invariably be the last resort. There could be various reasons why they wish to do this, but there are also various steps they must follow to ensure any subsequent eviction is legal. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, explains the correct steps for landlords and the legal consequences if they do not evict their tenants legally.
When tree roots extend into your neighbour’s property they can cause damage, especially if they are close to foundations of a building. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, explains here the rights you have regarding tree roots and steps to take before legal action.
When granting an assured shorthold tenancy of residential accommodation, you should ensure you are aware of the obligations you are required to satisfy both at the beginning of, and throughout the duration of the tenancy, otherwise you could face serious difficulty when trying to regain possession of your property. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, explains these responsibilities here, and reviews a recent case highlighting the impact the failure to deliver a Gas Safety Certificate to a tenant can have on the validity of notice given under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.
As a landlord, one of the most important legal requirements is that you cover the basic safety practices and equipment in the property or properties you are renting. Keeping your tenants safe should be your principal concern, so ensuring that these obligations are met is of the utmost importance. Helen Porter, Partner and Litigation and Dispute Solicitor, clarifies the responsibilities of residential landlords regarding fire, gas and electrical safety, and explains how UK legislation applies in this area.
Barely a day goes by without a local newspaper recording the infringement of a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). These are often accompanied by protestations from the accused claiming they had no idea that a TPO was in place and, more frequently, detailing the fines imposed against them (which can be as high as £20,000). Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team, clarifies the position on TPOs as well as offering advice to landowners and developers.
The private rented sector is made up of 4.5 million households in England. Both landlords and tenants frequently pay Letting Agents to provide a valuable service in ensuring properties are managed; assisting landlords in complying with their legal responsibilities and helping tenants secure a home, being their first port of call for any maintenance and repair issues.
Disputed boundaries, loud music and overhanging trees have long caused grievances between neighbours. Now technology has led to a further issue; drones. Drones are not only loud, but sometimes equipped with cameras.
Experts across the world are focusing on property laws and how they will stand up to the growing popularity of reality gaming, following on from the global success of Pokémon Go. Helen Porter, Commercial Lawyer, advises business and property owners of their rights when trespassing is becoming an increasing concern.
When attempting to obtain possession of your property as a landlord (when it is let out on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement), there are two routes that can be followed. Helen Porter, Partner in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team explains how Section 8 and Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, as subsequently amended, can assist.
The Housing and Planning Bill has now had its second reading in the House of Lords on 26 January 2016, after passing through the House of Commons. The next stage for the bill is scrutiny by a House of Lords committee who will look at the bill line by line. The committee will produce a report on the Bill and it will then go for a final third reading in the House of Lords before both Houses consider any amendments and the Bill receives Royal Assent.
On 1 October 2015, new rules are coming into force which will affect the giving of Section 21 Notices giving at least two months’ notice requiring a tenant to deliver up vacant possession of residential property let under an assured shorthold tenancy, without having to prove fault on the part of the tenant.
The usual contractual methods for terminating a lease, or strictly, the ending of the tenant’s obligations under a lease, whether by the fixed term coming to an end, the operation of a break clause, by agreed surrender or assignment are relatively clear and well understood. However, the courts can, under the doctrine of “equity”, interfere in cases where the assertion of strict legal rights is found to be unconscionable.
At Warner Goodman Commercial we are often asked what address the landlord must supply to its tenant of rented residential property. Landlords might not want their tenants to contact them direct, particularly when they are using agents to manage their property. Helen Porter, Warner Goodman’s residential landlord and tenant property litigation solicitor provides clarity on this legal issue.
A recent Court of Appeal decision highlights the need for careful drafting of leases and commercial contracts to avoid the inadvertent release of a surety when dealing with licences for alterations or other amendments to the original contract. Helen Porter, Associate Solicitor, advises on the latest Court of Appeal decision on strict covenants and sureties’ liabilities.
In this age where we are increasingly concerned about the protection of our home and its contents, more of us are considering the use of, and installing CCTV. But where does this leave us when the neighbour’s camera overlooks our garden or our home? Helen Porter, Associate Solicitor who specialises in property-related disputes, advises on the remedies.
Helen Porter here reviews two recent cases between neighbours regarding tree roots extending into properties, the importance of foreseeable risk, and gives guidance to commercial property owners on avoiding these risks.
Does your home have a gas central heating system? Is your boiler situated away from an external wall? If so, then it is likely that your flue runs through your wall or ceiling void and so you need to be considering having new inspections hatches installed, warns Helen Porter, Litigation Lawyer.
Commercial tenants have never been in favour of their landlord, or more usually a bailiff, turning up unannounced and seizing their goods in order to recover arrears of rent. However, they will soon be able to breathe a sigh of relief as the common law remedy of distress is being abolished and replaced by Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery (“CRAR”) from 6 April 2014.
Acquiring land by adverse possession is the process by which a person who is not the legal owner of the land can become the legal owner by possessing the land for a specified period of time. Here we review a recent case and the implications this has on the future of land possession.
Public use of privately owned open spaces is on the line following the introduction of legislation that allows landowners to bring to an end recreational use of land as a village or town green. Helen Porter, Head of Litigation at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman Commercial, advises here how the new law could open the way to more building development by giving landowners the chance to challenge usage rights to prevent registration of village greens.
The Government has now responded to the Court of Appeal’s recent ruling on another tenancy deposit issue which has caused consternation for many landlords. Here Helen Porter, Head of Warner Goodman Commercial’s litigation department, reviews the case and advises how landlords should proceed.
On 12 October 2013, the ten year transitional period under the Land Registration Act 2002 (‘the Act’) will draw to a close and a small number of interests in land will lose their status as ‘overriding interests’.
An ‘overriding interest’ is an interest that binds an owner or purchaser of land, despite no record of the interest appearing on the registered title. Common overriding interests include short leases, certain easements and rights of people in actual occupation of the land.
The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 came into force on 16 March 2013, bringing with them the need for businesses to review their current supply contracts. Here Helen Porter, head of Warner Goodman Commercial’s Dispute Resolution Team, looks at what this means for you and your clients and advises the best course of action for the future.
New plans designed to encourage large building projects and increase the amount of homes available on the market could leave Hampshire residents in the dark as the Government plans changes to rights to light, warns the Commercial Property Team from Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP.