TSP Legal https://www.tsplegal.com Thompson Smith and Puxon Fri, 10 Jul 2020 16:05:56 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 Stamp Duty Land Tax on Residential Properties – Update July 2020 https://www.tsplegal.com/general/stamp-duty-land-tax-on-residential-properties-update-july-2020/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 16:05:50 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21987 Thompson Smith and Puxon Residential Property Lawyer, Laura Finnigan, updates us on the recent changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT). On the 8 July 2020 the Chancellor announced a ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’ on the first £500,000 of all property sales with immediate effect. Anyone completing on a main residence costing up to £500,000 between 8 July 2020 and the 31 March 2021 will not pay any stamp duty and more expensive properties will only be taxed above that amount. The temporary raise in tax threshold has been bought in to boost the property market and help buyers struggling because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new temporary rates can be found below. Purchase Price Rate Up to £500,000 0% £500,0001 to £925,000 5% £925,0001 to £1.5 million 10% £1.5 million + 12% If you are looking to buy additional property’s the 3% higher tax rate applies on top of the revised rates and will be in place until 31 March 2021. The new temporary rates for additional properties can be found below. Purchase Price Rate Up to £500,000 3% £500,0001 to £925,000 8% £925,0001 to £1.5 million 13% £1.5 million + 15% A calculator is available on the gov.uk website here which calculates
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Thompson Smith and Puxon Residential Property Lawyer, Laura Finnigan, updates us on the recent changes to Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).

On the 8 July 2020 the Chancellor announced a ‘Stamp Duty Holiday’ on the first £500,000 of all property sales with immediate effect.

Anyone completing on a main residence costing up to £500,000 between 8 July 2020 and the 31 March 2021 will not pay any stamp duty and more expensive properties will only be taxed above that amount.

The temporary raise in tax threshold has been bought in to boost the property market and help buyers struggling because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new temporary rates can be found below.

Purchase Price Rate
Up to £500,0000%
£500,0001 to £925,0005%
£925,0001 to £1.5 million10%
£1.5 million +12%

If you are looking to buy additional property’s the 3% higher tax rate applies on top of the revised rates and will be in place until 31 March 2021. The new temporary rates for additional properties can be found below.

Purchase Price Rate
Up to £500,0003%
£500,0001 to £925,0008%
£925,0001 to £1.5 million13%
£1.5 million +15%

A calculator is available on the gov.uk website here which calculates the amount of SDLT due on purchases of main and additional residential properties.

For general advice in relation to any residential property matters, including SDLT, please contact Laura Finnigan at Thompson Smith and Puxon on 01206 217 020 or by email at laura.finnigan@tsplegal.com.

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Restrictive Covenants: Companies Need to get it Right to Protect Against Competition https://www.tsplegal.com/general/restrictive-covenants-companies-need-to-get-it-right-to-protect-against-competition/ Fri, 10 Jul 2020 10:18:45 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21981 Companies should check that post termination restrictions go no further than reasonably necessary. If they do, they are unenforceable.    Restrictive Covenants, if properly written, act as a safety net.  For example, they can prevent a departing employee taking commercially sensitive information about operations, and customers, to a competitor.  The difficulty is these post termination restrictions must be no wider than is reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate business interest.  This has been illustrated in the case of Square Global Limited v. Leonard, a recent case heard in the High Court. In this case, a broker was contracted to give a six-month notice period.  There were also restrictions on working for a competitor for six months, after the end of his employment. The broker handed in his notice, with immediate effect, and left to work for a competitor. His former employer tried to prevent him from working for the competitor, and relied on the employment contract. In response, the broker claimed he had been constructively dismissed, arguing this released him from his obligation to give notice, and also from the non-compete clause. The High Court upheld the employer’s argument, and was persuaded that the six-month non-compete clause was reasonable. This
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Companies should check that post termination restrictions go no further than reasonably necessary. If they do, they are unenforceable.   

Restrictive Covenants, if properly written, act as a safety net.  For example, they can prevent a departing employee taking commercially sensitive information about operations, and customers, to a competitor. 

The difficulty is these post termination restrictions must be no wider than is reasonably necessary to protect a legitimate business interest.  This has been illustrated in the case of Square Global Limited v. Leonard, a recent case heard in the High Court.

In this case, a broker was contracted to give a six-month notice period.  There were also restrictions on working for a competitor for six months, after the end of his employment.

The broker handed in his notice, with immediate effect, and left to work for a competitor. His former employer tried to prevent him from working for the competitor, and relied on the employment contract. In response, the broker claimed he had been constructively dismissed, arguing this released him from his obligation to give notice, and also from the non-compete clause.

The High Court upheld the employer’s argument, and was persuaded that the six-month non-compete clause was reasonable. This was because the restriction went no further than was reasonably necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests. It was also in line with the industry standard. The court also decided that the broker was required to serve out his six-month notice period, on top of the six-month restriction, keeping him out of the market for a total of 12 months. 

This compares with a case in 2014, Ashcourt Rowan Financial Planning Limited v Hall.  Here, the High Court held a restriction was unenforceable, that prevented a former employee working for a competitor for six months after employment terminated.  This was because the covenant was too widely drawn, and went beyond protecting the legitimate business interests of the employer. 

The law has always regarded contractual terms that restrict activity after the termination of employment as ‘in restraint of trade,’ and void, unless two conditions are met.  These are that the employer has a legitimate interest to protect, and the restriction is strictly limited to what is reasonably necessary to protect a business.

This is a reminder that employers need to ensure that restrictive covenants are no more than reasonably necessary, and focus on activities which would involve the employee directly competing with their old employer.  Trying to do a catch-all is impossible to enforce. 

Garden leave, and how or when that might be offset, should also be tackled.  What is important is that any restrictions are carefully drafted, and checked at the outset.

If you would like to discuss Restrictive Covenants or any employment matter, please contact the TSP Employment team on 01206 574431 or email info@tsplegal.com

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Japanese Knotweed: A Bigger Concern Than Most Realise https://www.tsplegal.com/general/japanese-knotweed-a-bigger-concern-than-most-realise/ Thu, 09 Jul 2020 10:44:22 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21961 What is Japanese Knotweed? It is a fast-growing perennial which produces reddish-purple shoots. What is the problem? Japanese Knotweed grows incredibly quickly even if a small amount of root is left in the ground it can re-infest. It can cause physical damage to buildings and land, in turn reducing the value and marketability. It can also be expensive to control or eradicate. How can Japanese Knotweed affect you? You must disclose whether the property has Japanese Knotweed. If you are purchasing a property that has it, you must disclose it to your mortgage lender. If it has a detrimental effect on neighbouring properties the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 states you as the homeowner could be prosecuted. If it is present you will need to provide the buyer (or receiver if buying) a plan, from a licensed company for its eradication. This plan may be requested by your lender too. Essentially a plan is used to manage its eradication. My property has Japanese Knotweed, what do I do? Seek help from a professional using the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website for a list of approved contractors. Remember, Japanese Knotweed must be disposed of in special licensed landfill
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What is Japanese Knotweed?
It is a fast-growing perennial which produces reddish-purple shoots.

What is the problem?
Japanese Knotweed grows incredibly quickly even if a small amount of root is left in the ground it can re-infest. It can cause physical damage to buildings and land, in turn reducing the value and marketability. It can also be expensive to control or eradicate.

How can Japanese Knotweed affect you?
You must disclose whether the property has Japanese Knotweed. If you are purchasing a property that has it, you must disclose it to your mortgage lender.

If it has a detrimental effect on neighbouring properties the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 states you as the homeowner could be prosecuted.

If it is present you will need to provide the buyer (or receiver if buying) a plan, from a licensed company for its eradication. This plan may be requested by your lender too. Essentially a plan is used to manage its eradication.

My property has Japanese Knotweed, what do I do?
Seek help from a professional using the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website for a list of approved contractors. Remember, Japanese Knotweed must be disposed of in special licensed landfill sites as it is considered as “Controlled Waste”.

Can I insure against it?
If you are aware of the Knotweed, you cannot obtain insurance.

Led by Laura Finnigan the Thompson Smith and Puxon Residential Property team can help with all of your property matters and can be contacted on 01206 574431 by email at movinghome@tsplegal.com

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Delay in Service of Gas Safety Certificate no Longer a Bar to Landlords https://www.tsplegal.com/general/delay-in-service-of-gas-safety-certificate-no-longer-a-bar-to-landlords/ Wed, 08 Jul 2020 11:20:19 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21956 A recent decision has been handed down which clarifies the harsh position that was previously in place in respect of landlord compliance with regulation 36(6)(b) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (Gas Safety Regulations), which requires landlords to provide a copy of the latest gas safety certificate to an incoming tenant before that tenant occupies the premises. A breach of this regulation has in the past precluded landlords from serving a section 21 notice pursuant to section 21A Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988), meaning that landlords potentially faced the untenable position of being able to recover possession of their rental properties in the absence of a breach of the tenancy on the part of the tenant. Previous Position The Court’s approach towards the gas certificate regulations mentioned above have been very strict in the past as a result of the case of Caridon Property Ltd v Shooltz [2018] EW Misc B9, in which the requirement to supply a gas safety certificate prior to the tenant occupying the premises was described as a “once-and-for-all-obligation”, in the sense that a breach of this regulation could not be cured retrospectively and providing the relevant gas certificate at a later date
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A recent decision has been handed down which clarifies the harsh position that was previously in place in respect of landlord compliance with regulation 36(6)(b) of the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998 (Gas Safety Regulations), which requires landlords to provide a copy of the latest gas safety certificate to an incoming tenant before that tenant occupies the premises. A breach of this regulation has in the past precluded landlords from serving a section 21 notice pursuant to section 21A Housing Act 1988 (HA 1988), meaning that landlords potentially faced the untenable position of being able to recover possession of their rental properties in the absence of a breach of the tenancy on the part of the tenant.

Previous Position

The Court’s approach towards the gas certificate regulations mentioned above have been very strict in the past as a result of the case of Caridon Property Ltd v Shooltz [2018] EW Misc B9, in which the requirement to supply a gas safety certificate prior to the tenant occupying the premises was described as a “once-and-for-all-obligation”, in the sense that a breach of this regulation could not be cured retrospectively and providing the relevant gas certificate at a later date would not remedy the breach. The effect of this was that landlords, who had failed to provide a gas certificate prior to a tenant moving in, were prohibited from serving a valid section 21 notice in relation to that tenancy and therefore had to pursue fault-based grounds for possession pursuant to Schedule 2 of the HA 1988 and serve a section 8 notice, such as in respect of rent arrears, which was not always appropriate or applicable.

New Position

On the 18 June 2020, the former position was overruled in the case of Trecarrell House Ltd v Rouncefield [2020] EWCA Civ 760. It was held that as long as a valid gas safety certificate has been provided to an existing tenant before a section 21 notice is served, i.e. one that was in place at the time that the incoming tenant took occupation of the property, then the landlord retained his right to use the eviction procedure under section 21 HA 1988, notwithstanding the earlier breach of section 36(6) of the Gas Safety Regulations.

This surprising turn of events lifts the bar previously imposed by a breach of regulation 36(6) of the Gas Safety Regulations and gives the opportunity to use section 21 notices to landlords who have previously been in breach of the regulations.

Impact for Landlords

This development is set to have a largely positive impact on landlords in gaining possession of their properties on non-fault grounds, such as for reasons of sale and substantial repair/renovation. This will prevent landlords from having to establish fault grounds under Schedule 2 of the HA 1988, and can therefore benefit from the accelerated possession procedure if the tenant fails to comply with the section 21 notice and vacate the property.

Despite the decision which relaxes the restriction placed on landlords in relation to gas safety certificates; it should nevertheless not be viewed as an excuse in failing to adhere to regulation 36(6) of the Gas Safety Regulations. If landlords find themselves in a position where they have not complied, it is highly recommended that they arrange for one to be provided to tenants at the first available opportunity and seek legal advice. This will not only ensure the safety of the tenant, but will also ensure any section 21 notices served in the future are valid.  

The Dispute Resolution Team continues to monitor legal developments affecting our landlord clients so that they are provided with the most up to date information. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Team on 01206 574431 or by e-mail at info@tsplegal.com

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Neither Better nor Worse: How TUPE Protects When Employees Transfer https://www.tsplegal.com/general/neither-better-nor-worse-how-tupe-protects-when-employees-transfer/ Tue, 07 Jul 2020 14:35:35 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21948 The directors of a property management company ran into a brick wall when they tried to boost their benefits package before transferring to a new employer, under the TUPE regulations.  TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. These rules are designed to protect jobs, and safeguard contractual terms of employment, when a business transfers to new ownership, or a contract is placed with a new service provider.  It has been clear that the new employer must not change terms to disadvantage an employee. Now the Employment Tribunal has ruled that changes made solely for the transfer should not advantage an employee either.    The case involved Lancer Property Asset Management. This company provided estate management services to one large client, Berkeley Square Estate, who decided to move to a new service provider. As a result, the directors of Lancer were to become employees of the new provider, Astrea Asset Management Ltd, under the TUPE regulations.  In preparing for the transfer, the directors decided to award themselves a salary increase, generous new terms for bonus and termination payments, together with a 24-month notice period. The new employer disputed the terms. It dismissed two of the directors for gross misconduct, and refused to
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The directors of a property management company ran into a brick wall when they tried to boost their benefits package before transferring to a new employer, under the TUPE regulations. 

TUPE stands for the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations. These rules are designed to protect jobs, and safeguard contractual terms of employment, when a business transfers to new ownership, or a contract is placed with a new service provider. 

It has been clear that the new employer must not change terms to disadvantage an employee. Now the Employment Tribunal has ruled that changes made solely for the transfer should not advantage an employee either.   

The case involved Lancer Property Asset Management. This company provided estate management services to one large client, Berkeley Square Estate, who decided to move to a new service provider. As a result, the directors of Lancer were to become employees of the new provider, Astrea Asset Management Ltd, under the TUPE regulations. 

In preparing for the transfer, the directors decided to award themselves a salary increase, generous new terms for bonus and termination payments, together with a 24-month notice period.

The new employer disputed the terms. It dismissed two of the directors for gross misconduct, and refused to pay the enhanced benefits to the other directors. The dispute ended up at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. The directors argued that the TUPE regulation regarding pre-transfer variations was for situations where the change was detrimental to the employee.  

TUPE is about ensuring fairness and continuity. It’s no surprise that anything that makes an employee worse off would be prohibited, but being better off hasn’t been tested in this way before.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal said that all contract variations which are connected to a transfer are void, whatever the outcome. The objective of TUPE is to protect, not enhance.  The Tribunal also highlighted that no legitimate commercial purpose could be demonstrated for the changes, meaning they infringed the general abuse principle of EU law, and were unenforceable.

If you would like to discuss TUPE or any employment matter, please contact the TSP Employment team on 01206 574431 or email info@tsplegal.com.

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A Warm TSP Welcome to Richard https://www.tsplegal.com/general/a-warm-tsp-welcome-to-richard/ Wed, 01 Jul 2020 09:40:14 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21936 Thompson Smith and Puxon is pleased to announce a new addition to their Residential Property Team, Richard Broadhead. Richard studied Law at Brunel University and was admitted as a solicitor in 2000. Richard is based in our Clacton office, working alongside Laura Finnigan and specialises in all residential property matters including: Buying and selling of both freehold and leasehold properties New builds Re-mortgages Shared ownership Transfers of equity Richard says “I am excited to start at TSP and join their busy Residential Property team. Moving home is one of the most important decisions that people make and it’s not something that they do very often, so it’s great to be able to help people take such a major step in their lives and guide them through the process.” Residential Property team leader Laura Finnigan said “On behalf of the Directors and staff at TSP I would very much like to welcome Richard to the firm and the team.  We are experiencing an increase in instructions after lock down and are very much looking forward to having Richard on board to lead our busy Clacton residential property team.” About the Residential Conveyancing team The TSP Residential Property team is a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme
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Thompson Smith and Puxon is pleased to announce a new addition to their Residential Property Team, Richard Broadhead. Richard studied Law at Brunel University and was admitted as a solicitor in 2000.

Richard is based in our Clacton office, working alongside Laura Finnigan and specialises in all residential property matters including:

  • Buying and selling of both freehold and leasehold properties
  • New builds
  • Re-mortgages
  • Shared ownership
  • Transfers of equity

Richard says “I am excited to start at TSP and join their busy Residential Property team. Moving home is one of the most important decisions that people make and it’s not something that they do very often, so it’s great to be able to help people take such a major step in their lives and guide them through the process.”

Residential Property team leader Laura Finnigan said “On behalf of the Directors and staff at TSP I would very much like to welcome Richard to the firm and the team.  We are experiencing an increase in instructions after lock down and are very much looking forward to having Richard on board to lead our busy Clacton residential property team.”

About the Residential Conveyancing team

The TSP Residential Property team is a member of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) – the mark of excellence in the home-buying process. The Law Society introduced the scheme to promote high standards. It ensures high levels of service and enables clients to recognise practices which provide a quality residential conveyancing service.

The TSP Guide to Moving Home can be downloaded by clicking here or for more information about the tailored residential property service the team can offer contact movinghome@tsplegal.com

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The Continuing Impact of Covid-19 on Possession Proceedings https://www.tsplegal.com/general/the-continuing-impact-of-covid-19-on-possession-proceedings/ Tue, 30 Jun 2020 11:05:36 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21915 Further to our previous article, ‘Covid-19 – Property and Possession’ which set out the consequences for possession proceedings introduced by Practice Direction 51Z (PD 51Z), which came into force on the 27 March 2020 and suspended possession proceedings issued pursuant to CPR Part 55 for a period of 90 days until 25 June 2020, an extension has been granted. As PD 51Z made provision for an extension, the fact that it has been granted is in itself not a surprising given the lasting nature of the pandemic; however, we set out below what this means for landlords. The Extension On 10 June 2020; the 121st Practice Direction was issued providing for further amendments to be implemented into Part 55 CPR and to provide clarification that: During the stay, courts are not required to give any notice to parties Nor does time run (in relation to time limits) during the stay PD 51Z ceases to have effect on 25 June 2020, when the new rules (below) come into effect Upon expiry of the current suspension under PD 51Z, it has been announced by the Housing Secretary that the Civil Procedure Amendment No.2 Coronavirus Rules 2020 (the 2020 Rules) will come into
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Further to our previous article, ‘Covid-19 – Property and Possession’ which set out the consequences for possession proceedings introduced by Practice Direction 51Z (PD 51Z), which came into force on the 27 March 2020 and suspended possession proceedings issued pursuant to CPR Part 55 for a period of 90 days until 25 June 2020, an extension has been granted. As PD 51Z made provision for an extension, the fact that it has been granted is in itself not a surprising given the lasting nature of the pandemic; however, we set out below what this means for landlords.

The Extension

On 10 June 2020; the 121st Practice Direction was issued providing for further amendments to be implemented into Part 55 CPR and to provide clarification that:

  • During the stay, courts are not required to give any notice to parties
  • Nor does time run (in relation to time limits) during the stay
  • PD 51Z ceases to have effect on 25 June 2020, when the new rules (below) come into effect

Upon expiry of the current suspension under PD 51Z, it has been announced by the Housing Secretary that the Civil Procedure Amendment No.2 Coronavirus Rules 2020 (the 2020 Rules) will come into force on 25 June 2020. They will temporarily amend Part 55 of the Civil Procedure Rules tocontinue the suspension on possession proceedings for a further two months. This also includes a suspension on any enforcement proceedings issued by writ or warrant. The 2020 Rules have been introduced to:

  • Avoid any gap in the operation of the suspension of proceedings
  • Come into force on 25 June 2020 for eight weeks
  • Expire on the 23 August 2020

Impact on Landlords and proceedings

The above amendments will be implemented as part of the Government’s commitment to ensuring that no tenant is evicted from their home this summer as a result of the financial difficulties caused by Covid-19.

Unfortunately, for many landlords, news of the extension will be far from welcome news and the fact remains that neither the Coronavirus Act 2020 nor the 2020 Rules provide for any exception to the extension in respect of tenants who were in arrears or in breach of their tenancy agreement prior to the pandemic. As explained in our previous article, many landlords rely on the income of their rental properties as a contingent to pay their own buy to let mortgages, or other utilities. Mortgage lenders are granting relief on payments, referred to as ‘payment holidays’, to help landlords balance these difficulties and mitigate the financial effects of Covid-19 and landlords are recommended to contact their lender immediately for confirmation that this will apply given the extension granted.

In the event that difficulties with rent arise, the government has urged landlords and tenants to exhaust all possible options, such as flexible payment plans, to ensure that cases only end up in court as an absolute last resort to prevent the inevitable backlog in cases which is set to follow. Although landlords will not be able to progress proceedings for the foreseeable future, other options for action remain available, such as active negotiations and the service of notices seeking possession, albeit in the amended formats.

Our Services

The Dispute Resolution Team continues to monitor the position regarding possession proceedings, so that our clients can be provided with the most up to date information. In the meantime, none of the amendments introduced excuse either landlords or tenants from their contractual obligations under the tenancy agreement and applicable landlord and tenant statutes and certainly should not be viewed as an opportunity to evade liability for such obligations.

If we can assist with any questions you may have, please contact the TSP Dispute Resolution team on 01206 574431 or by e-mail at info@tsplegal.com.

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Selling a Residential Property Which is Subject to Overage https://www.tsplegal.com/general/selling-a-residential-property-which-is-subject-to-overage/ Thu, 25 Jun 2020 12:55:19 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21890 What is “Overage”?If land may have future development potential, a seller may sometimes choose to impose an arrangement as part of the sale agreement that entitles them to receive a percentage of the enhanced value if it is subsequently sold after the development has happened or with the benefit of planning permission. How likely is it that my property is subject to Overage?Although more common in commercial transactions these arrangements are sometimes entered into for residential properties with large gardens or paddocks/equestrian facilities. They do not affect most residential properties. Preparing for SaleIf you are selling a property that is subject to overage preparation is key in order to avoid delays which may potentially put you at risk of losing your buyer. Even if no payment is due under the current overage arrangement, your first step should be to locate copies of all relevant documents relating to the overage. This may mean obtaining them from the Land Registry or contacting the solicitor who acted when you purchased the property. Your Solicitor will need to check the details of the overage carefully: – If it has expired can you get it removed from your title deeds? – Who now has the
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What is “Overage”?
If land may have future development potential, a seller may sometimes choose to impose an arrangement as part of the sale agreement that entitles them to receive a percentage of the enhanced value if it is subsequently sold after the development has happened or with the benefit of planning permission.

How likely is it that my property is subject to Overage?
Although more common in commercial transactions these arrangements are sometimes entered into for residential properties with large gardens or paddocks/equestrian facilities. They do not affect most residential properties.

Preparing for Sale
If you are selling a property that is subject to overage preparation is key in order to avoid delays which may potentially put you at risk of losing your buyer. Even if no payment is due under the current overage arrangement, your first step should be to locate copies of all relevant documents relating to the overage. This may mean obtaining them from the Land Registry or contacting the solicitor who acted when you purchased the property. Your Solicitor will need to check the details of the overage carefully:

– If it has expired can you get it removed from your title deeds?
– Who now has the benefit of the overage? The previous owner could have sold or assigned the benefit to someone else
– Where are they? If you know them it may be very easy to contact them informally or it could take several weeks to track them down

Once you have contacted them they will often need to get in touch with their own solicitor.

Make sure your buyer is made aware of the overage and the terms of it as early as possible, ideally by the selling agent before an offer is made.

You will need to check the terms of the overage provisions very carefully. Overage provisions imposed some years ago are often no longer acceptable to many residential mortgages and they may need to be removed or varied before any buyer will be able to obtain a mortgage and proceed with a purchase. 

In Summary
Taking these steps as early in the transaction as possible and being armed with full information will make the sale process much smoother.

Led by Laura Finnigan the Thompson Smith and Puxon Residential Property team can help with all of your property matters and can be contacted on 01206 574431 by email at movinghome@tsplegal.com

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Proceed with Caution: Some Issues for Businesses Returning to Work https://www.tsplegal.com/general/proceed-with-caution-some-issues-for-businesses-returning-to-work/ Wed, 24 Jun 2020 11:05:02 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21882 Following the Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday 23 June it may be reasonable to feel optimistic about emerging from the other side of lockdown. There has been a shift from legislation to regulation which suggests a more flexible and practical approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and while social distancing will remain with us for some time to come, it is recognised that a one metre rule can be used if two metres cannot.  With these changes, many businesses can now put their recovery plans into action. No doubt however, their turnovers and profit margins will still be affected, not least by the gradual nature of the unwinding of the lockdown but also because of the increased cost of employing staff on furlough. It would be naive to expect all furloughed staff to return to work by October and we have already seen an increase in the number of businesses seeking our advice on the way to manage ad hoc and collective redundancies. Despite the general feeling that the restrictions are easing across the board, staff should still be working from home where possible. Only where this is not possible should staff be required to return to their workplaces which
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Following the Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday 23 June it may be reasonable to feel optimistic about emerging from the other side of lockdown. There has been a shift from legislation to regulation which suggests a more flexible and practical approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic and while social distancing will remain with us for some time to come, it is recognised that a one metre rule can be used if two metres cannot. 

With these changes, many businesses can now put their recovery plans into action. No doubt however, their turnovers and profit margins will still be affected, not least by the gradual nature of the unwinding of the lockdown but also because of the increased cost of employing staff on furlough. It would be naive to expect all furloughed staff to return to work by October and we have already seen an increase in the number of businesses seeking our advice on the way to manage ad hoc and collective redundancies.

Despite the general feeling that the restrictions are easing across the board, staff should still be working from home where possible. Only where this is not possible should staff be required to return to their workplaces which ought to have been risk assessed and appropriate PPE must be provided.

Individual members of staff will have views on their ability and/or the necessity to return to work. Employers who are able to communicate with their staff and get a ‘measure of the mood’ will be better placed to manage a more effective transition back to work for those who need to return. An uncoordinated or insensitive relaxation of the rules will give opportunities for rule-breakers and complainers to create distractions from the day job and there can be serious legal repercussions if a valid protected disclosure is made (whistleblowing) or if someone was forced to leave their job on the grounds of health and safety.

The employment team at TSP works closely with the corporate and commercial teams and delivers sensible advice designed to help your business do what is necessary.  If you have any concerns about managing your staff at this difficult time, please do not hesitate contact Jolyon Berry at jolyon.berry@tsplegal.com or 07771 542740. Jolyon leads the TSP Employment Law team and is a Legal 500 “Leading Individual”.

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Is Your Property Registered? https://www.tsplegal.com/general/is-your-property-registered/ Thu, 18 Jun 2020 10:43:29 +0000 https://www.tsplegal.com/?p=21868 We are seeing fewer properties that are unregistered these days. This is due to compulsory registration gradually being phased in over the last 30 years. Nonetheless, if you purchased your property or land pre 1986, it may still be unregistered if it hasn’t been affect by either a sale, purchase, deed of gift, mortgage, new lease or assent. What does unregistered mean?Unregistered simply means a record of your ownership is not held centrally at the Land Registry. Proof of ownership is therefore in the form of the original title deeds. How will I know if my property is registered or unregistered?You can find out online for free by submitting a ‘detailed enquiry’ on the Land Registry website, or enquire with your solicitor. What events trigger compulsory registration under the Land Registration Act 2002? – Freehold Conveyance – Lease granted for more than seven years it lease assignment – Assent/venting assent – First legal mortgage – Appointment of trustee by deed or vesting order What is voluntary first registration?If your property is unregistered you can voluntarily register your property with the Land Registry. The Land Registry charges a fee for this which is based on the value of the property. The
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We are seeing fewer properties that are unregistered these days. This is due to compulsory registration gradually being phased in over the last 30 years. Nonetheless, if you purchased your property or land pre 1986, it may still be unregistered if it hasn’t been affect by either a sale, purchase, deed of gift, mortgage, new lease or assent.

What does unregistered mean?
Unregistered simply means a record of your ownership is not held centrally at the Land Registry. Proof of ownership is therefore in the form of the original title deeds.

How will I know if my property is registered or unregistered?
You can find out online for free by submitting a ‘detailed enquiry’ on the Land Registry website, or enquire with your solicitor.

What events trigger compulsory registration under the Land Registration Act 2002?
– Freehold Conveyance
– Lease granted for more than seven years it lease assignment
– Assent/venting assent
– First legal mortgage
– Appointment of trustee by deed or vesting order

What is voluntary first registration?
If your property is unregistered you can voluntarily register your property with the Land Registry. The Land Registry charges a fee for this which is based on the value of the property. The Land Registry website has further information.

Why is registration important?
Firstly, the Land Registry holds your title electronically so there is no concern over misplacing your deeds. Your interest in and title to the property is protected by being part of a public register therefore you have security and certainty as to what you own. In addition, where an unregistered title is complex, its registration will make title investigation simpler for potential buyers and speed up the conveyancing process when you decide to sell.

What if my property is unregistered but I have misplaced some of the deeds?
This happens. If it does, you will need to apply to the Land Registry for registration of title based on a Statement of Truth as to where and how the title deeds were destroyed, or as to the circumstances in which they were lost.

If your property is not registered and you would like to apply for first registration, the Residential Property team at Thompson Smith and Puxon can help. The team, led by Director Laura Finnigan can be contacted on 01206 574431 or by email at laura.finnigan@tsplegal.com

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