Pinney Talfourd is now recommended for excellence in the South East/ Essex area for:
- Commercial Litigation
- Commercial Property
- Corporate and Commercial
- Debt Recovery
- Personal Injury (Claimant)
- Personal Tax, Trusts & Probate
The main announcement which is of interest is the government’s commitment to the long-promised (and some would say overdue) review of business rates. Large and small business has been lobbying on this issue for some time now highlighting the adverse effect which the system has on business (especially SME’s) and the adverse effect the system has on economic recovery. This should be good news for the property sector. However, only time will tell.
The government has announced a number of new enterprise zones but unfortunately none in the South East of England.
Tax relief will be granted for contributions to flood defence projects.
The government has announced the Help to Buy: ISA. First-time buyers who choose to save through a Help to Buy: ISA will receive a government bonus, which will be calculated and paid when they buy their first home. We do not expect this to have a marked effect on this sector but it will assist some.
The March 2015 Budget sets out information on the government's commitment to house building. This includes (subject to a business case) £7 million funding from 2015-16 to 2019-20 to the Greater London Authority to support the delivery of the Croydon Growth Zone, which could unlock over 4,000 homes and £97 million of funding to support the London Borough of Barnet and the Greater London Authority's plans for the regeneration of Brent Cross, unlocking 7,500 new homes. This will in my view assist growth in this area.
We also explain the unexpected announcement about a review of Deeds of Variation that could lead to changes to Inheritance Tax planning opportunities for families on death.
For those born after 5 April 1938 the personal allowance will be increased to £10,600, increasing to £10,800 in 2016/17 and to £11,000 in 2017/18.
The basic rate of tax is currently 20%. The threshold at which the higher rate band of 40% applies will rise from £41,865 to £42,385 increasing to £42,700 in 2016/17 and £43,300 in 2017/18. The additional rate of tax of 45% is payable on taxable income above £150,000.
A further change is the departure from annual paper tax returns which will be replaced with a digital tax account. This will enable individuals and small businesses to see and manage their tax return online.
The total amount of pension contributions that an individual can accumulate over their lifetime (known as the ‘lifetime allowance’) will be reduced (from 6 April 2016) from £1.25 million to £1 million. The lifetime allowance will be indexed annually in line with the Consumer Price Index from 6 April 2018.
As the commercial property market continues to come out of recession, there have been an increasing number of cases where landlords are refusing to renew commercial leases.
Under the LTA 54, a commercial tenant within the Act has the right to renew the lease on basically the same terms as previous subject to agreement as to rent and modern updating.
There are however specific grounds on which a Landlord can refuse to renew.
An example of this was in the case of Mussellwhite v Yoseffi. The landlord opposed the renewal of a lease where the tenant had persistently refused the landlord access to inspect the property, had made rent payments late, and had failed to open the premises as a shop in contravention of the lease.
The Court agreed that the landlord was entitled not to renew and terminated the tenant’s interest. The tenant appealed and in July 2014 the Appeal Court ruled in favour of the landlord holding that lack of access and failure to use the premises as agreed were substantial breaches of the lease.
Cohabiting couple families account for 16.4% of all families in the UK.
51% of respondents to the British Social Attitudes Survey in 2008 thought that unmarried couples who live together for some time probably or definitely had a “common law marriage” giving them the same legal rights as married couples.
This is not legally the case.
There is a bill which addresses the rights of cohabiting couples which is in the early stages of passing through the parliament and therefore the law may change in the future.
However, right now, couples who live together have very few rights in law in the event of relationship breakdown. There is no such thing as a 'common-law' husband or wife and there is no length of co-habitation that will change this.
The Family Team at Pinney Talfourd can advise regarding cohabitation agreements and trust deeds to help protect couples and their assets in the event of separation.
Call 01708 229 444 for more information or visit the Family Law webpage to book an appointment online and get peace of mind.
Our employment law solicitor Alex Pearce has been providing regular updates throughout 2014 on the changes in employment law. Now he looks at what's in store in the coming year.
Employment law has always been a fast paced area of law with frequent changes.
As we enter into a New Year, 2014 saw a number of major changes to employment law including:
2015 will bring about further changes.
This month we have already seen the new clawback provisions which apply to any variable remuneration awarded by PRA-authorised firms since 1 January 2015 and a ban on "overseas only" recruitment by employment agencies.
On the 5 April 2015, a new system of shared parental leave will be available to parents of children due to be born or placed for adoption with them on or after that date. Eligible employees will be entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks' leave and 39 weeks' statutory pay upon the birth or adoption of a child, which can be shared between the parents.