Wednesday May 22, 2013 at 2:26pm
The changes to the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO) come into effect tomorrow.
For owners of commercial premises the following is a summary of the most important changes which will be classified as permitted development:
Change of use from offices within class B1(a) to residential dwellings (Class C3)
To qualify, the building must have been used as an office within class B1(a) immediately before the 30th April or, if it is not currently in use, was last used for that use.
Lis.... (read more...)
Wednesday May 1, 2013 at 9:24am
Earlier this year I told you about the new regulations on payment surcharges which came into force on 6th April 2013. At the time we were waiting for guidance to be issued by BIS (the Department for Business Innovation and Skills). That guidance has now been published and is available from BIS. To summarise, the regulations prevent businesses from charging excessive surcharges for processing payments from consumer. A business must not charge consumers a fee (or surcharge) that exceeds the cost t.... (read more...)
Tuesday April 30, 2013 at 4:55pm
I was intrigued when I saw a recent headline announcing that the government was launching a ‘Good Law’ initiative. The cynic in me wondered why we don’t always have good law (as opposed to bad law!), but hopeful of some positive news to counter the overwhelming pessimism we encounter in many quarters these days, I read on. The initiative is from the Cabinet Office and the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel (OPC) – the people who actually write the laws for the government.... (read more...)
Wednesday April 10, 2013 at 10:58am
Since I last blogged on the subject in November 2012 (click here to see it), there have been some changes which came into effect on 16 March 2013. The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 only apply to contracts entered into on or after 16 March.
You may recall that if there is no contract credit period for payment, and no convention such as 30 or 60 days has been established, then the default period is 30 days. Because many contracts provide for longer periods for payment, and pu.... (read more...)
Monday March 4, 2013 at 1:50pm
The government came to power in 2010 promising to get rid of unnecessary red tape, or at least not to increase it through its ‘one in one out’ policy. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) invited business leaders to tell them what regulations they wanted scrapped as part of its Company and Commercial Law Red Tape Challenge. My hopes of soon seeing business freed from the binds of excessive red tape were soon disappointed. Instead of taking decisive action, the gove.... (read more...)
Wednesday February 13, 2013 at 6:09pm
Whenever you go to open a new account at a bank or building society, or want advice from a lawyer or accountant, you’ll have been asked to provide evidence of who you are. This is something we all face, but have you ever wondered what this is really about? Why can’t the bank just set up the account for you, or why doesn’t your lawyer just advise you on the problem concerning you? The reason lies in European legislation designed to prevent what is known as money laundering. Mone.... (read more...)
Tuesday September 25, 2012 at 4:23pm
I am often asked if a Personal Guarantee is unenforceable if independent legal advice was not taken before it was signed. The answer, as with many things, is “it depends”.
It is always worth looking to see if the bank or other person or organisation taking the guarantee has followed their own procedures. It is now rare for a bank or other financial institution to make a mistake, but they can happen. They must prove by their paper trail that they have complied with their own procedu.... (read more...)
Thursday May 24, 2012 at 9:55am
I know from my experience of talking to clients that for most small, family or owner managed businesses, the prospect of picking up the phone and first talking to a solicitor is not something they relish. You might expect that cost would be the main reason that they dread that call but, in fact, it’s often different factors that come into play: things like not knowing which lawyer to select, not knowing where to start in explaining their requirements, and dreading talking to some pompous, .... (read more...)
Friday March 30, 2012 at 9:12am
As a solicitor who defends directors when they get into problems with liquidators, fellow directors and shareholders, suppliers and customers, as well as government bodies, I am constantly struck about how most of these problems could have been avoided if directors hadn’t made a few basic mistakes. So here’s my list of 6 mistakes that I’ve seen since the beginning of the year that have led to real problems, heartache and unforeseen expense for my director clients.
Going in.... (read more...)
Tuesday February 28, 2012 at 2:44pm
The Data Protection Act affects all companies and organisations that hold information about individuals – so that means you, if you keep information about your customers or prospects whether in paper or electronic format. Many business owners are ignorant of their responsibilities, but they shouldn’t be as the censure can be quite severe. The Information Commissioner’s website has lots of detailed information on this topic, but in essence if you can answer ‘yes&rsqu.... (read more...)
Monday January 30, 2012 at 12:56pm
The iconic red London bus has found itself at the centre of a dispute over copyright.
Earlier this month Judge Birss QC handed down his judgement in the Patents County Court case of Temple Island Collections Limited v New English Teas Limited and Nicholas Houghton.
It is an interesting case because it did not involve publishing a photograph taken by the claimant, but creating a similar photograph taken from the roughly the same viewpoint and using a black and white image of the Houses of .... (read more...)
Thursday January 26, 2012 at 11:00am
Wednesday January 18, 2012 at 1:10pm
The Government has announced plans to begin a major cut back of health and safety red tape. It will begin an immediate consultation on the abolition of large numbers of health and safety regulations and intends to have removed the first rules from the statute book within a few months.
It seems David Cameron has finally realised how crippling the raft of health and safety legislation can be for the average business. He’s recognised that health and safety legislation has become an "al.... (read more...)
Wednesday January 18, 2012 at 10:00am
The new regulations relating to cookies which came into force last year basically requires website owners not only to provide information about cookies they use and a mechanism to opt out, but to obtain consent from users of the site before a cookie is used. The only circumstances where this does not apply are very limited.
The only exception to the requirement to provide information and obtain consent is where the use of the cookie is:
for the sole purpose of carrying out the tran.... (read more...)
Thursday January 12, 2012 at 9:00am
Wednesday November 16, 2011 at 4:28pm
Navigating my way around Linked In recently I spotted a question in one of my groups which highlighted a real misunderstanding about the important issue of copyright. From the answers given I suspected the questioner would be no clearer, as many seemed to be contradictory. So I thought I’d dedicate this blog to trying to unravel the complex area of copyright law and provide simple answers to what seem to be the most common questions.
The original question was asked in a very particular w.... (read more...)
Tuesday October 4, 2011 at 9:46am
M & S has been fined £1m for breaches of health and safety legislation. The Crown Court said it had failed to protect customers, staff and workers from potential exposure to asbestos whilst refurbishment works were carried out to a store. Ceiling dust possibly containing asbestos fell to the shop floor whilst it was open. M & S were also ordered to pay £600,000 costs after the prosecution by the Health & Safety Executive.
Marks & Spencers we.... (read more...)
Wednesday August 17, 2011 at 9:00am
I have blogged previously about the pros and cons of doing business without properly drawn up contracts - Contracts – insurance for business and Beware contracting by email. From 1 October 2011 the issue of how you contract becomes even more important for companies in the construction and engineering sectors.Changes to the Construction Act mean that informal and verbal construction contracts will fall within the auspices of the Act and this has significant consequences for smaller constru.... (read more...)
Monday August 1, 2011 at 12:21pm
Although the noises coming from BIS (the Department for Business Innovation & Skills) are upbeat when it comes to the fight against Red Tape, we have yet to see real changes. I wonder how much is just noise (and distraction from the awful economic growth figures) and whether the government’s Red Tape Challenge will actually prove to be more than just a website and encouraging sound bites. Of course, the real issue with excessive red tape comes from Europe and not the UK government. Mos.... (read more...)
Monday July 4, 2011 at 12:55pm
A ‘pre-pack’ is a legal process where the business and assets of a struggling company are sold immediately after it is placed into administration. As the name suggests the deal is agreed beforehand meaning that unsecured creditors (including landlords) are not given the opportunity to object.
Pre-packs are now popular as they allow the business to continue without the unprofitable parts or a heavy debt burden and can save jobs. They have also been controversial where they allow fai.... (read more...)
Monday July 4, 2011 at 11:53am
Capital Allowances are a valuable form of tax relief available to commercial property owners who have incurred expenditure on various fixtures and fittings.
Capital Allowances are available in two situations. Firstly when a commercial property is purchased for occupation or investment purposes and secondly when a new commercial property is built or fitting out/refurbishment works are undertaken.
The rules relating to Capital Allowances are typically very complex but in simple terms they are .... (read more...)
Wednesday June 22, 2011 at 1:45pm
The Bribery Act comes into force on 1 July 2011. In February and April I blogged on the implications, but I would just like to recap on the main points and highlight 2 Case Studies.
The Act creates 2 general offences, one of offering, promising, or giving a bribe, and the second of requesting, agreeing to or receiving a bribe. These are offences committed by individuals. There is also an offence of bribing a foreign official, and perhaps the most important offence as far as all organisations a.... (read more...)
Tuesday May 31, 2011 at 10:18am
What is Forfeiture? Forfeiture is the landlord’s right to re-enter business premises and bring a lease to an end. In general a lease can be forfeited where the tenant does not pay the rent, breaches the other terms of the lease or becomes insolvent.
Forfeiture is a powerful tool for landlords to use where they wish to remove a tenant and terminate the lease. Tenants should note that the right to forfeit can only be exercised by the landlord if it is specifically referred to in the lease..... (read more...)
Wednesday May 11, 2011 at 5:10pm
Many directors of SMEs are taking huge risks when it comes to paying themselves without realising – and it is often on their accountant’s advice. It is very common that a company’s accountant will advise directors of owner-managed companies to take the majority of their pay as dividends with either no salary or a very low one. This has a financial advantage, particularly as far as national insurance contributions are concerned. The director then simply draws a monthly sum from .... (read more...)
Tuesday April 26, 2011 at 11:18am
Back in February I posted a blog introducing you to the Bribery Act and promised an update when further news was available.
The Ministry of Justice has now published its long awaited Guidance on the Act, and announced that the Act will come into force on 1 July 2011. It has also produced a very useful Quick Start Guide to the Act.
There were 2 big fears. The first, particulary for SMEs, was that here was another piece of legislation with a huge amount of red tape to burden their already over.... (read more...)
Wednesday April 6, 2011 at 12:20pm
From today (6 April 2011) residential property with a purchase price of more than £1m will be subject to a higher Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) rate of 5%. This increase only applies to land which consists entirely of residential property. It does not apply to commercial or mixed used property where the SDLT rate remains at 4%
Steve Petty Commercial Property Solicitor 01926 629 005.... (read more...)
Wednesday April 6, 2011 at 11:02am
If you are a tenant in a multi-let building/estate and reimburse your landlord for the electricity supply then you will be interested to hear about your new rights. Recent changes give tenants the power to demand cheaper electricity costs from a different supplier.
A tenant may now notify their landlord that they want to receive electricity from another supplier and the landlord must respond within 21 days or risk committing a criminal offence.
This will benefit those tenants that believe th.... (read more...)
Tuesday April 5, 2011 at 5:49pm
Over the past few weeks I have received many enquiries from property owners looking to minimise the amount of business rates they pay whilst their property stands empty. This is a particularly important issue since the threshold for claiming Empty Property Rates Relief was reduced from £18,000 to £2,600 this month.
Property owners therefore need to review tactics to minimise liability for business rates by adopting new initiatives.
The Meanwhile Scheme was introduced by the gover.... (read more...)
Friday April 1, 2011 at 3:58pm
The Court of Appeal has recently ruled that the demolition of a building can come under the definition of a "project" under EU Law.
Why is this important? Under normal planning rules the demolition of a building does not require planning permission
This case means that where demolition is likely to have a significant impact on the environment planning permission and an Environmental Impact Assessment will be required i.e. in most cases.
Please note there are special protections th.... (read more...)
Friday April 1, 2011 at 3:33pm
As of today (1 April 2011) many property owners and businesses will be hit with a large increase in business rates for empty property.
The rateable value where no business rates are payable by an owner of empty property has been cut from £18,000 down to £2,600.
I have already received many enquiries from worried business people and property owners seeking ways to reduce their liability.
Eligible businesses should not forget to make a claim for .... (read more...)
Friday April 1, 2011 at 3:17pm
The temporary increase in Small Business Rate Relief has been extended by a further year to October 2012 Small Business Rates Relief is available to all businesses whose rateable value is less than £12,000. This means that eligible businesses occupying one property with a rateable value of £6,000 or less will pay no business rates. For those with one property having a rateable value of between £6,000 and £12,000 there will be relief on a sliding scale from 100% to zero. A.... (read more...)
Thursday March 31, 2011 at 1:08pm
Budget 2011 – Property Now that the dust has settled after the Budget Report last week it would be a good time to summarise the main implications for the property world. Business Rates The temporary increase in small business rate relief has been extended by a further year to October 2012 This means that eligible businesses occupying one property with a rateable value of £6,000 or less will pay no business rates for that period. For properties with a rateable value of between £.... (read more...)
Monday February 28, 2011 at 3:44pm
Since it first came to power, the government has promised to reduce the excessive red tape that is strangling British business, and SMEs in particular. It introduced a ‘One In One Out’ system where new regulation would only be introduced where another piece of regulation could be removed. It also created its own red tape regulator, the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC), whose job is to scrutinise proposed regulations to see whether their benefits exceed their costs and are fit for pu.... (read more...)
Wednesday February 2, 2011 at 12:24pm
The Government has announced that from 1 April 2011 the empty property business rates threshold will revert to £2,600 from the current level of £18,000.
This will be a matter of great concern for SME’s and commercial property owners who have any empty premises in their portfolio.
The only crumb of comfort is the extension of Small Business Rate Relief until October 2012 for those that are eligible. See here for details.
This will result in businesses with e.... (read more...)
Wednesday January 26, 2011 at 11:26am
Business rates are one of the largest costs to SME’s but many are unaware of the tax relief available.
A business in England that occupies only one commercial property is entitled under the rules to have their bill calculated using the small business rate multiplier where the rateable value is under £18,000 (£25,500 in London).
There is also the temporary business rates cut for businesses occupying one property where the rateable value is under £12,000. See my earlier.... (read more...)
Monday January 3, 2011 at 6:35pm
Below are my 5 key talking points for the property market over the next 12 months:
1. Interest Rates
With continued high inflation becoming a concern it is likely that the current ultra low interest rates will begin to rise steadily later this year. This could lead to a higher volume of properties being marketed for sale in 2011 as loan repayments increase.
2. Bank Finance
I expect the same hard slog in 2011, with a continued lack of Bank finance availability for property investment and d.... (read more...)
Monday November 15, 2010 at 2:10pm
In my blog of 15th September 2010, I pointed out that breaches of directors’ duties can have serious consequences for a director, particularly if a company becomes insolvent or after it is sold. It is in these situations that directors frequently find themselves facing claims to pay often-huge sums into the company. One of the areas where it is easy for a director to slip up is in ‘conflicts of interest’. The law is complicated but, for SMEs, can be summarised as follows:
.... (read more...)
Wednesday September 15, 2010 at 7:36pm
Company directors are subject to so many duties that, if they are not careful and don’t take proper advice, they can easily find themselves in breach of one or more of their duties. But, in SMEs and family-owned companies, the directors and shareholders are usually the same people; so who cares anyway and how would anyone find out about the breaches? Some breaches are very easy to commit, and many directors don’t even know they are doing anything wrong. For example, there are various.... (read more...)
Thursday July 1, 2010 at 7:58am
I have blogged before about the coalition government's promise to remove excessive red tape and to allow businesses to nominate their most hated business laws.Well, at last our chance is here. The government has now launched its Your Freedom website where we can tell it what regulations we want to see removed.They promise to listen. Now let's see how good they are at acting.Gary CousinsBusiness Solicitor
.... (read more...)
Monday June 14, 2010 at 9:54am
The new PPS 3 now defines previously developed land (brownfield land) as follows:
‘Previously-developed land is that which is or was occupied by a permanent structure, including the curtilage of the developed land and any associated fixed surface infrastructure.’ The definition includes defence buildings, but excludes:
Land that is or has been occupied by agricultural or forestry buildings.
Land that has been developed for minerals extraction or waste disposal by landfill pu.... (read more...)
Friday June 11, 2010 at 5:44pm
Directors are under a legal duty to maintain detailed accounting records of their company. In particular, they must maintain records:
to show and explain transactions, and disclose the financial position of the company at any time with reasonable accuracy;
to enable them to compile balance sheets and profit and loss accounts;
to keep records of all money received and paid out by the company on a day-to-day basis;
to maintain records of the company’s assets and liabilities;.... (read more...)
Wednesday June 9, 2010 at 11:16am
The Government has announced that back gardens are to be reclassified for planning purposes. The effect of this is that it will be easier to for Local Planning Authorities to oppose applications from developers to develop garden land as the developer will not be able to argue that the land is 'brownfield'.
At the same time, however, the Government is also proposing that local residents have more say over development in their area. It may be the case that if a development proposal ha.... (read more...)
Thursday June 3, 2010 at 6:54pm
The government has taken its first steps to reducing the amount of red tape which is stifling business, particularly SMEs. The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced an action plan to tackle excessive regulation. It includes the following:
The creation of a new Cabinet “Star Chamber”, officially to be called the Reducing Regulation Committee, which will be chaired by Mr Cable. It is tasked with “stress-testing” proposed regulations to make sure that only thos.... (read more...)
Friday May 28, 2010 at 9:24am
April saw two of the UK's best known retailers receive significant fines for breaches of fire safety legislation. On 20 April Tesco was fined £95,000 after admitting 5 breaches of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and on 29 April 2010, the Co-operative was fined £210,000 after entering a guilty plea in relation to six offences. In both cases, the breaches are ones that could have easily occurred in any retail premises. Tesco was fined: £40,000 for two counts a.... (read more...)
Tuesday May 25, 2010 at 9:00am
When the final Coalition Agreement was published last week, Nick Clegg announced that the government would be asking people what laws they wanted to be scrapped. It was a manifesto pledge of both the Conservatives and Lib Dems for there to be a “one in one out” policy as far as business regulation is concerned – in other words, if a government department wants to introduce another piece of regulation, they must abolish as least as much existing regulation – and it has now.... (read more...)
Thursday May 20, 2010 at 6:54pm
Hidden in the governments detailed coalition agreement released today are concrete proposals to limit future back garden development. The plan is to give councils new powers to stop what they call ‘garden grabbing’. Full details to follow but if you are thinking about selling off part of your garden for development now could be the time to take that step. If you have surplus land or are a developer who carries out these types of schemes then contact property lawyer Steve Pe.... (read more...)
Thursday May 20, 2010 at 12:00pm
The long-awaited Full Coalition Agreement has now been published, which sets out what the coalition intends to do during its time in office. Refreshingly, it has a section specifically on business, something which the individual party’s manifestos failed to do. Unfortunately, there are a lot of promises to “review”, “look into” and “consider”, which doesn’t help when SMEs are desperate for help. The government’s main promises, as far as SMEs .... (read more...)
Thursday May 20, 2010 at 11:46am
It was today announced by the new government that the requirement for seller's to provide a Home Information Pack (HIP) will be suspended from 21 May 2010.
As expected Energy Performance Certificate's (EPC's) are retained and will still need to be produced within 28 days of the property being put on the market.
The practical effect of HIP's being scrapped is to shift the cost of paying for searches back to the buyer, which was always the position before they were int.... (read more...)
Friday April 23, 2010 at 11:50am
The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) came into force on 1 April. CRC is a compulsory carbon dioxide emissions trading scheme where large organisations are required to buy allowances based on how much CO2 they expect to emit from their buildings during the year. The CRC will inevitably have a knock on effect to small and medium sized businesses, many of which will be tenants in buildings where the scheme applies. As is the case with any commercial lease
the landlord will be looking to recoup fro.... (read more...)
Friday March 5, 2010 at 11:09am
After a long wait, the Consumer Code for Home Builders comes into force on 1 April. It will be mandatory for house builders who are members of a home warranty scheme which has undertaken to enforce the Code. Home warranty bodies such as NHBC, Premier Guarantee and LABCNew Home Warranty have all agreed to require their registered builders to adopt and comply with the Consumer Code.I set out the main issues covered by the Code in this ezine article in October 2008.The Code will apply to all .... (read more...)
Tuesday February 16, 2010 at 5:07pm
When you take a car in for its service do you ever get the feeling that you have been taken for a ride quite literally?! I certainly do when given the list of parts the garage recommends be replaced. It would be useful to have some way of getting to the bottom of what really is important. This was the inspiration behind my Planning Law Guide that certainly can be as complex as the average Audi.
Take the following example. The word “Development” in planning terms does not just mean .... (read more...)
Thursday January 21, 2010 at 10:49am
I have previously posted on the issue of back garden development. It looks as though the Government may be finally waking up to the fact that flaws in its planning guidance have caused rather more of this type of development than may have been desirable.
Housing and Planning Minister, John Healey, has announced that he will be strengthening national policy advice to make it clearer that garden land is not necessarily suitable for development and that decisions to stop building on it shoul.... (read more...)
Wednesday January 20, 2010 at 9:36am
I have previously written about the business rates revaluation. For those businesses which may experience a large increase in business rates, the transitional relief scheme is intended to spread the impact over several years. To find out whether your business rates increase will be phased in over time, check the lists below.
Caps for small properties Small properties are those with a rateable value of below £18,000 (£25,500 in Greater London) as at 1 April 2010. The cap .... (read more...)
Thursday January 14, 2010 at 5:26pm
The surprise banks’ overdraft charges victory could leave landlords’ exposed to a new challenge by estate agents. The High Court originally ruled that millions of pounds of residential tenancy “renewal” fees charged by Foxtons to landlords were unfair resulting in expected refunds running to millions of pounds. The new interpretation of the law means that buy-to-let investors may now face delays in their claims for a rebate whilst any appeal is heard.
Please get in touc.... (read more...)
Monday January 4, 2010 at 9:29am
The Chancellor’s December 2009 pre-Budget Report announced that the Government is to extend and increase the temporary relief from empty property rates for low value properties. The Government will continue the relief for a further year from April 2010.
Further, for 2010-11, empty commercial properties with rateable values up to £18,000 will be exempt from business rates. This continues the exemption for what the Government says is an estimated 70 per cent of empty properties.
Wit.... (read more...)
Friday December 11, 2009 at 4:16pm
This Act of Parliament has now received Royal Assent but the date for it actually coming into effect has yet to be announced. Although this sounds like some obscure piece of law, there will be one significant benefit for property developers.
At present, an option to purchase land is void if it is not exercised within twenty-one years of the date the option is granted. Now twenty-one years may sound a long time but for investors and developers who specialise in the strategi.... (read more...)
Monday November 9, 2009 at 1:31pm
A Federation of Small Business survey showed that an average SME spends 7 hours every week coping with red tape; and a Federation of Private Business survey revealed that the cost to SMEs of compliance was £9.3 billion each year.With so many SMEs struggling in the present economic climate shouldn't the Government be dealing urgently with reducing the regulatory burden on the SME sector? Whilst some of the red tape comes from UK Government initiatives, most originates in the.... (read more...)
Friday October 2, 2009 at 11:58am
Following a change to planning rules which took effect on 30 September, developers can now extend their existing planning permissions to give them more time to weather the economic downturn.
Developers with planning permissions granted up until 30 September 2009 where the time limit for implementation has yet to expire may apply to extend their permissions. The move has been made to boost the industry and to save costs for developers badly hit by the recession. Many developers have put pr.... (read more...)
Wednesday August 26, 2009 at 3:47pm
I am sure that all buyers (and most sellers) will want to make sure that goods sold are of satisfactory quality and do the job intended. But what is the remedy when things go wrong, for example the steel supplied is not up to the job, the cattle food makes the cattle ill, the computer does not live up to its billing, or the machinery keeps breaking down?
Sale of goods law provides remedies for buyers where the goods are not of "satisfactory quality". A recent High Court case conf.... (read more...)
Thursday August 6, 2009 at 2:58pm
The Credit Crunch is inevitably contributing to a delay in payment to businesses, particularly vulnerable SMEs. Money owed to small businesses shot up by 40% from £18.6 billion in 2007, to £25.9 billion in 2008, according to Bacs. And who knows where the figure is at this time, no doubt substantailly higher.
This attack on cash flow is probably the biggest single cause of company failure. For example Barclays state that more than 750 companies failed in the South East in 2008 due t.... (read more...)
Thursday July 9, 2009 at 4:45pm
In the past 2 weeks I have been the victim of large scale internet fraud on 2 credit cards, and so I have taken a keen interest in liability and in ways to protect against future fraud.
I have been very careful to use only on line stores who encrypt customer details, but fraudsters have still managed to obtain my credit card details including security number, as well as my address, telephone number, date of birth. This can only be a result of sophisticated hacking, or criminal activity by an e.... (read more...)
Wednesday June 17, 2009 at 2:45pm
Responsibility for fire, health and safety issues rests with the operator of the business. Since 1 October 2006 it has been necessary for all businesses to comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The Order applies to all non-domestic premises in England and Wales. If you are responsible for business premises, an employer or self-employed with business premises, or responsible for any part of a dwelling used for business purposes, or indeed a contractor with some control over .... (read more...)
Monday March 23, 2009 at 6:16pm
This was publicised in the Telegraph today and is another piece of bad news for businesses struggling with their cashflow.
The rateable value of some properties rose or fell in line with changes in rental values after the last revaluation on 1 April 2005 and 'transitional arrangements' were in place to phase in the increase or decrease in the rate bill. The next revaluation will come into effect on 1 April 2010. The current transition scheme operates over a four year period from 1 April 2005. T.... (read more...)
Thursday October 9, 2008 at 6:00pm
Government plans to cut the cost of red tape must be welcomed by business owners, surely?The proposals are that budgetary ceilings are set on the amount of regulation that can be introduced by individual departments.Under the plans, a rolling budgetary limit will curtail the costs of new regulation from next April (2009). Government departments will be allowed to offset the cost of any new rules with savings made by reducing the existing regulatory burden and by trading with other departments. T.... (read more...)
Monday September 15, 2008 at 6:08pm
It now seems accepted that Sharia Courts are legal alternatives to the traditional court system in the UK – as long as all parties agree. The UK courts have for a long time now been promoting ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ – whereby parties to a legal dispute are encouraged to settle their disputes out of court. Often this is achieved by negotiation, sometimes by Mediation (whereby an independent 3rd party tries to broker a settlement between the parties) and more rarel.... (read more...)
Monday August 18, 2008 at 4:19pm
It's been pretty commonplace over the last ten years for people to sell off part of their back garden to a property developer. With the construction of new homes effectively mothballed at the moment, you might be forgiven for thinking that you've missed the boat if you are keen to sell off some surplus garden land. The good news is that developers specialising in certain types of property are still in the market for land and one such area is bungalows. This market is holding up rather better tha.... (read more...)
Tuesday August 5, 2008 at 4:33pm
As if there weren't enough issues to worry about when you're buying a business, a recently decided case has given business purchasers another headache. The case was Sodexho Ltd v Gutridge and others. The decision in this case was that where an employer fails to give equal pay then a contractual liability exists in respect of those employees to whom the failure relates, even before any action has been taken to determine the existence of the pay inequality. The ramifications for anyone buying a bu.... (read more...)
Tuesday July 22, 2008 at 4:46pm
You'd be forgiven for asking that question the first time you hear about BREEAM. It is, in fact, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (no wonder they use an acronym). BREEAM is the world's most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. BREEAM assesses buildings against a set criteria and provides an overall score which will fall within a band providing either a PASS, GOOD, VERY GOOD or EXCELLENT rating. It ties in with the Code For Sustainable Home.... (read more...)