Blogs

Pre-nuptial agreements – an insurance policy, ‘just in case’

When we move home, we take out contents insurance just in case the worst should happen. Nobody anticipates having to make a claim, but it’s there to protect us – just in case. The same applies to pre-nuptial agreements. Far from the unromantic picture painted by the press, who delight in reveal....

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Veganism – a protected belief under the Equality Act?

In recent years, the UK has seen a surge in interest in veganism – especially at New Year, a time when many people are full of resolutions to improve their health and wellbeing. In fact, over a quarter of a million people signed up to Veganuary in 2019, a month-long pledge to stop eating animal p....

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Commuter villages proposed

Hertfordshire and Essex could see the creation of dozens of commuter villages, if the ideas in a top academic’s report for an urban policy think-tank are eventually adopted by the government. The report suggests that these new communities should be developed on land, green belt in many cases, clo....

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Mixed sex civil partnerships: a step towards equality

In 2018, London couple Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan won a landmark legal bid at the Supreme Court for the right to enter into a civil partnership. Previously, only same sex couples had been permitted this right, as granted by the Civil Partnership Act 2004; however, following the Supreme Co....

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Call yourself a philanthropist?

It can be hard to pin down exactly what defines philanthropy. In essence, it’s a wish to promote the welfare of others, usually expressed by giving generously to charities or other worthy causes. If popping some loose change into a collection tin now and then or giving two pounds a month by direc....

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Navigating the 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax surcharge

In his 2015 Autumn Budget speech, then Chancellor George Osborne announced a new 3% surcharge on the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) payable on additional properties – for example, those purchased as holiday homes or buy-to-let properties. The changes, which passed into law in the Finance Act 2016, ha....

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Four-year ban for London rogue landlord

The government estimates that there are 10,500 rogue landlords currently operating in England. In recognition of this serious problem within the private rented sector, the Housing and Planning Act 2016 introduced new powers for local authorities to crack down on the worst rogue landlords who repea....

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Blowing the whistle (and unfair dismissal)

On 27 November, the Supreme Court ruled that a Royal Mail employee had been unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing six years previously. The landmark judgement overturned a previous Court of Appeal ruling stating that the appellant, Ms Jhuti, had been dismissed as a result of poor performance. ....

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Will a tennis court or swimming pool add value to my property?

If you’re looking to buy, or already own, a property with significant acreage, chances are you might be looking for ways to enhance your family’s enjoyment of your land and even to augment your property’s value. Frequently, high-net-worth clients will ask us about the planning implications of....

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No-fault evictions – a thing of the past?

On 21 July, the government launched its consultation on the abolition of Section 21 Notices (more commonly known as ‘no-fault evictions’), with the aim of improving security for tenants in the private rented sector. The consultation ended last month and, with the government currently analysing ....

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Surge in rural home conversions

Data from the Local Government Association (LGA) has revealed a big rise in the number of old farm buildings, particularly barns, being converted into single or multiple homes. A threefold rise since 2015 has brought more much-needed homes to the countryside and a useful long-term future for many h....

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…or does Herts house more stars?

Our last blog on celebrities making Essex their home named several West Ham players, as well as former Amstrad boss and Spurs owner Lord Alan Sugar, but there’s more to life than football, isn’t there? Now it’s Herts’ turn to come under light-hearted scrutiny and perhaps take us into differ....

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