Category Archive London Solicitors

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024 – in Force

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Act 2024 received Royal Assent last Friday the 24th May 2024.
It is an act to prohibit the grant or assignment of certain new long residential leases of houses, to amend the rights of tenants under long residential leases to acquire the freeholds of their houses, to extend the leases of their houses or flats, and to collectively enfranchise or manage the buildings containing their flats, to regulate the relationship between residential landlords and tenants, to regulate residential estate management, to regulate rent charges and to amend the Building Safety Act 2022 in connection with the remediation of building defects and the insolvency of persons who have repairing obligations relating to certain kinds of buildings.

Which parts are in force? This is determined by section 123 of the Act which provides:-

Commencement (1) This Part comes into force on the day on which this Act is passed. (2) The following provisions come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed— (a) section 112 (regulation of remedies for rent charge arrears); (b) section 116 (recovery of legal costs etc through service charge); (c) section 117 (repeal of section 125 of the BSA 2022); (d) section 118 (higher-risk and relevant buildings: notifications in connection with insolvency). (3) The other provisions of this Act come into force on such day or days as the Secretary of State may by regulations appoint. (4) The Secretary of State may by regulations make transitional or saving provision in connection with the coming into force of any provision of this Act. (5) The power to make regulations under this section includes power to make different provision for different purposes.(6) Regulations under this section are to be made by statutory instrument.

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Inheritance Disputes Increase

A significant rise in inheritance disputes largely due to people instructing incompetent or unqualified advisers for will writing or later amendments is happening.

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The Office Now a Hotel

Older offices are being purchased for conversion into hotels due to hybrid working from home and net zero carbon neutral requirements. Solicitors in London have been dealing with change of use planning applications accompanying the regular freehold and leasehold transfer negotiations.

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Employment Law Update

Here is a summary of some recent significant cases:-

The Supreme Court ruled that employees who have been underpaid for their holidays can claim for the shortfall even if more than three months has elapsed between those underpayments. This increases the employers financial liability who are calculating holiday pay incorrectly.

The Employment Appeal Tribunal handed down a judgment on when employees behaviour on social media outside of the workplace can instigate disciplinary action by their employers. A sensitive matter as employees want to add their voices to the virtual debate.

The Supreme Court decided that in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights Deliveroo cyclists are not employees.

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Divorce – Post, Pre Nuptial and Separation Agreements in Divorce Proceedings

The four main routes that these can be disputed in divorce proceedings are that either the agreement does not meet the applicant’s needs, duress, failure to provide full and frank disclosure or no legal advice.

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Commercial Property Sales Ascending

Solicitors in London are reporting many new significant instructions received from Middle Eastern clients who are taking advantage of a slack market. Investment funds and families are among those contributing to more than half a billion pound of freehold purchases.

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Residential Conveyancing is Up

The triple increase in property prices, number of transactions and the amount of properties on the market has been welcomed by residential conveyancing solicitors in London.

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Construction Contracts Drop

The fall in the number of construction contracts has been evidenced by a 25% insolvency increase in building firms since the pandemic.

Escalating inflation, delays in significant infrastructure projects, a drop in the construction of new homes and the cost increments of materials are the chief culprits here.

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Insolvencies Rising

Creditors’ voluntary liquidations are up on pre-pandemic levels as are compulsory liquidations as customer numbers drop off and costs increase.

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Commercial Leases

A large commercial property company in the West End of London has reported its tenants are generating sales in all sectors at a pace far in excess of pre-pandemic conditions. It has noticed a significant increase in lettings.

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