I’ve heard of the 10 and 4-year rule in planning, what does it mean?

If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes, or that your proposed development does not require planning permission, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. This certificate simply confirms that any change of use or development that has b....

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I’m buying my first home, when should I give notice on my rented property?

Once you’ve had your offer accepted on the property you’re planning to buy, it can be tempting to think about giving notice to your landlord. However, as you’re probably aware, things don’t always go as smoothly as we’d all like when it comes to buying and selling properties. Once you’ve....

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Landlord and Tenant Disputes: Procedures Revised as Possession Cases Resume

Early on in the coronavirus crisis, measures were put in to prevent individuals becoming homeless due to financial problems brought on by the pandemic, and therefore a temporary ban was placed on residential landlord and tenant possession proceedings. The temporary ban was due to end on 23 Augus....

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Mediation – what it can achieve, and how to approach it

If you’re separating, going through a divorce or dissolving a civil partnership or even you’ve been separated for a while, you may need help in sorting out arrangements with your partner. It’s at this point that working with a neutral third party, an independent professionally-qualified mediat....

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NPPF should not impose ‘undeliverable’ housing targets on councils

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) must not impose ‘undeliverable’ housing targets on local councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned. In a letter in response to the Government’s NPPF consultation penned in recent days, the LGA has voiced concerns over the NPPF....

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Calls for new authority to oversee fire safety risk of HRRBs

A new joint competent authority (JCA) should be set up to oversee the fire safety and other risks associated with buildings more than 10 storeys in height, it has been said. The comments feature in Dame Judith Hackitt’s final report into fire safety for high-risk residential buildings (HRRBs), ....

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“Vital” changes needed to NPPF, groups claim

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) requires a number of “vital” improvements in order to be to truly fit for purpose, a number of organisations have said. In a joint letter penned to the Government, planning professionals, transport authorities, charities and various other groups h....

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Access to transport suffers as only half of new homes are built near to a train station

Only half of the new homes being built in England’s fastest growing cities are sited within 2km of a train station. That is according to a recently published report. The Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) study looks at the locations for new homes in cities such as Leeds, Newcastle and Br....

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Equal Pay – what SME employers need to know

Nearly five decades after the debate on equal pay began in the UK, the discussion continues. The Equal Pay Act 1970 was a landmark piece of legislation. It stated that equal pay was due where work was broadly the same and equal in value in terms of effort and skill. Fast-forwarding to 2018 shows ....

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Mediation – helping to forge family-centred solutions

In the first of a series of posts about mediation, we’ll start by looking at what it is and what it seeks to achieve, and the part a mediator can play in helping couples deal with important practical issues surrounding separation, enabling them to go their separate ways and move on with their live....

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Concerns that permitted development rules are producing ‘poor quality’ residential homes

In recent days, fresh concerns have been raised that permitted development rules are having a negative effect on Britain’s housing market by encouraging too many ‘poor quality’ office-to-residential conversions which are not properly overseen by planners. Under the rules governing permitted....

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Top 10 mistakes clients make about wills, and how we can put them right

Of course, one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make is dying without a Will, and it’s a sad fact of modern life that more than two-thirds of people in the UK don’t have one. However, even where there’s a Will in place, mistakes or oversights can be made, and it’s more important than ever ....

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“Fresh thinking” needed on Green Belt policy

A briefing document published by the Landscape Institute in recent days has called for “fresh thinking” on the UK’s Green Belt policy, amid concerns that existing laws are too vague and fail to address a number of important environmental issues. Towards the end of April, the Institute laid ....

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Ashes to ashes… and where you can scatter them

While many of us grew up thinking of burial as the way in which we say farewell to the deceased, statistics from the Cremation Society of Great Britain show that around 75 per cent of people are now choosing cremation rather than burial.   Deciding what to do with the ashes In the 1970s, onl....

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Consultation unveiled on proposed new cladding rules

Prior to his appointment as Home Secretary on Monday 30 April 2018, former Housing Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled an important consultation on new proposals to improve fire and safety testing on cladding systems installed on residential buildings. It is expected that the consultation, which comes....

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Making mirror wills – will your wishes be fully reflected?

If you and your partner share the same plan for what happens to your estate after each of you has passed away, then mirror wills can work for you. Basically, mirror wills are two separate wills made at the same time, naming the same beneficiaries. Often, the only difference between them is the name ....

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The Skripal case – unravelling the unusual and challenging mental capacity issues

Over recent weeks, the twists and turns in this high-profile case have made daily media headlines. The events that unfolded on a bench in a park in Salisbury rapidly became first a national and then an international political issue, as Colonel Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were hospitalise....

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LGA voices concerns over permitted development changes for rural communities

In recent days, Housing Minister Dominic Raab has unveiled important changes to permitted development rights affecting home and land owners who live in rural areas. Previously, farm owners were able to convert existing agricultural buildings into a maximum of three houses without seeking planning....

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Important new leasehold changes could affect property developers

Property developers who are dependent on payments from leases to bolster their operations could be adversely affected by leasehold changes which appeared in the Government’s Housing White Paper in February. Currently, there are an estimated four million residential leasehold properties in the U....

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Six lesser-known ways to reduce Inheritance Tax you may not have considered, but really should

Inheritance Tax (IHT) is one of the most controversial taxes in the UK, so it’s little wonder that families are looking for ways to reduce the likely bill. So, if you’ve used up your annual exemptions, made gifts to individuals, given money to the bride or groom, plan to outlive your lifetime....

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