Incorrect professional advice, professional negligence
When a professional provides you or your business with a service or advice, they have to meet a standard of care and a level of service as they are accountable to you.
If you suffer a loss due to the advice or service they supplied or lack of it, we can help you assess whether they are required to reimburse such losses, taking them to court if necessary.
Professional negligence can be found in all walks of life and includes claims against solicitors, accountants, surveyors and financial advisers. If you are an individual we understand how distressing it can be to have been let down by your advisors having placed your trust and reliance on them.
Buying/Selling a house if you have lost capacity
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to nominate someone to make decisions on your behalf. If you are unable to sign for the sale or purchase of your property and need someone to sign on your behalf, you'd have to award them Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs. This could be your attorney or someone else you trust.
We can help draft and put in place an LPA on your behalf.
Can I gift my house?
Gifting a mortgage free property to someone to help reduce inheritance tax is becoming increasingly common as house prices increase. The gifts need to be outright, so you would need to give up any claim to any rental income or a share in the future sale of the property. The gift must be put in writing and the Land Registry entry changed to the new owner. Also the gift would be liable for Inheritance Tax if the person gifting the property died within 7 years.
If this is something you are interested in discussing, our property lawyers will be happy to talk you through the process.
Inheritance tax on property
Everyone is entitled to pass on up to £325,000 of assets without paying any inheritance tax. Any wealth or property assets that take you over this threshold will be subject to 40% inheritance tax.
If you fall outside of the inheritance tax threshold, we can help you set up a trust in your Will to take advantage of tax exemptions and allowances. A trust could also be useful if you have children from a previous relationship and want to provide for them in your Will.
Our team can also arrange a Deed of Variation, diverting funds from a loved one's estate in order to help with tax planning. Finally, to offer a full package of support we can also put you in touch with independent financial advisors and accountants to advise on your wealth management.
You can own a property as either 'joint tenants' or 'tenants in common'. The type of ownership affects what you can do if your relationship with a joint owner breaks down or if one of you dies. As joint tenants you have equal rights to the whole property and the house will automatically go to the other owner if you die.
Tenants in Common is slightly different. You can own different shares of the property and can pass on your share to someone else in your Will. A Declaration of Trust is often prepared at the same time as the purchase and sets out how the proceed of any sale should be divided. For more information please get in touch.
Protecting your interests in your property
If you're buying a property jointly with someone else but each of you is contributing different amounts, it's worth drawing up a Declaration of Trust. This is a legal document which details how the proceeds of any future sale should be divided. This safeguards both parties interests. If you have already bought a property, a Declaration of Trust can still be prepared provided that your co-owner agrees.
Service Charge, Management Disputes
Service charges or management disputs tend to arise when the Landlord appears to be over-charging, or claiming for items not recoverable under the lease or for services not provided. We can support you either by negotiation, through the courts or leasehold valuation tribunal. In some cases tenants may be interested in exercising a right to manage or acquiring the freehold. Again, we can advise on the best option for you.
Landlord & Tenant disputes
Whether you're a property investor, developer, landowner, landlord or tenant, we can help you if a dispute arises. We are experts in business tenancy renewals.
If you are a landlord or a tenant, we can help with disputes concerning breaches of covenant under a lease or claims against guarantors and former tenants. We can also help you serve notice at the end of a lease, either because it has come to the end of its existing term or because you want to end the lease early under a break clause.