As many of you may be aware, changes proposed by Chancellor George Osborne which take effect at the start of April governing the buy to let market, will affect everywhere in the UK, but particularly London where prices are considerably higher than the rest of the country. As things currently stand you must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if you buy a property or land over a certain price, and what you pay depends on whether the property is residential or non-residential.
Our current thresholds are £125,000 for residential properties, and £150,000 for non-residential land and properties, with stamp duty on an increasing scale dependent on the property price above the threshold. Currently, on buy to let properties the SDLT rate is 2% of the purchase price from £125,001, 5% from £250,001, 10% from £925,001, and lastly 12% on anything above £1.5 million. Read More
As law experts dealing in many various arenas of our legal system, it is always sad when we become involved in situations that could so easily have been avoided.
One such area involves Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs), which is a very inexpensive way of providing protection for individuals and their families. It averts huge amounts of money and stress, yet it is alarming how few people know about them. Read More
As experienced family lawyers we at Pindoria Solicitors have noted one of the more interesting legal developments in recent weeks, of a heterosexual couple who want to enter into a civil partnership rather than marry.
Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, from London, lost the legal challenge claiming the family law discriminated against them after they were told in 2014 that they could not enter into a civil partnership because they were not of the same sex, which the law requires. Read More
The Supreme Court highlights the importance of full and frank disclosure in divorce proceedings in the cases of Sharland and Gohil.
In both cases, the wives’ unknowingly accepted far from equal divorce settlements as a result of their husbands fraudulent disclosures of their financial positions. Read More
As we enter another year of potentially low interest rates, something which we have become somewhat used to, it may be time to think again about your options.
We’ve had several years now of low rates following the fallout from the credit crunch, and whilst this is great news for many; we do find that there are those who are not taking full advantage of the situation. Recent times have seen lenders offering some great deals and many people throughout London and the south east could save vast amounts of money by just switching lenders. Read More
The Stamp Duty rate payable on purchases of buy to let and second homes will be increasing considerably from 1st April 2016; but are you aware why the Government is making such a drastic change in the level of stamp duty payable?
From 1st April 2016 more transactions will attract stamp duty than before as the threshold is being lowered to £40,000 (from the current £125,000). That means that not only will there be an extra 3% duty payable on buy to let purchases or second homes, but there will also be a lower threshold to meet before stamp duty becomes payable. Considering that a vast majority of properties in the current market will be over £40,000, this will impact many of us. Read More
Many landlords across London and the South East will be unaware of the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 which came into force late last year.
However, it really is worth noting because these regulations are designed to make private residential landlords take practical steps to ensure the safety of their tenants, and thereby minimising the possibility of accidental death from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Read More
New figures seem to indicate that many couples could be waiting for their children to leave home before getting divorced, with the over-50s the only age group in which splits are rising.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show the number of divorces in England and Wales has decreased again with the over-50s the only group bucking this trend. The new figures, which are for 2013, have been compared with those for 2003, and we, as divorce lawyers here in London and the South East believe it makes interesting reading. Read More
The recent Court of Appeal case of Aburn v Aburn  shed further light to the court’s approach in dealing with spousal maintenance (periodical payments) in ‘needs’ based divorce cases, as opposed to the ‘big money’ cases that have little in common with the average family.
In this case, the parties were married for over 20 years and had children aged 14 and 19. The husband was a GP earning approximately £83,000 pa. The wife was a nurse and midwife, and had not worked since the birth of their first child. Their home had equity of £500,000 and they had savings of £80,000. The husband was due to receive his share of his GP practice of £235,000 on retirement and had a substantial pension. The wife had no pension provision. Read More
Contested wills have shot up dramatically in recent years and here in London and the South East this is more prevalent than practically anywhere else in the UK. It is little wonder because the price of property in London and associated regions is so high, meaning that many people who were relatively cash poor during their lives die with properties worth substantial amounts.
The London many knew in their younger days is a very different place to the leading world city we now have. However, this increase in contested wills is an unwanted distraction when dealing with the death of a close family member as we, as wills experts, are only too aware. Read More