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Help to Buy schemes used by over a million home buyers

Nearly 260,000 people have bought their home using Help to buy schemes and more than 870,000 have opened a Help to Buy ISA. The latest figures issued by the government show that: • over 259,000 completions have taken place using one or more of the Help to Buy schemes, most of these are first-time buyers • more than 215,000 (84% of total completions) first-time buyers are now on the housing ladder thanks …Read More

Finance company protects its business against former employee

A finance company has succeeded in using its employment contracts to prevent competition from a former employee for a set period. The employee had worked for the company as a broker in the energy market. His contract contained a non-compete clause preventing him from working for competitors within a specified territory for six months after termination of his employment. “Territory” was defined as England and any other country in which …Read More

Increases to probate application fees postponed until after the election

The government has postponed its proposed increases in probate application fees because there won’t be time to introduce them before the coming election. Ministers hope to go ahead with the changes later this year despite strong opposition from lawyers, charities and the public. Under the current fee structure, fees for grants of probate are set at £155 if the process is handled by a solicitor and £215 if handled directly …Read More

Landlord wins dispute with local authority over students in HMO

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of a landlord who was in dispute with his local council over accommodation for students in two houses in multiple occupation (HMO). The landlord had been granted HMO licences by the authority in relation to the two properties. Each property had a bedroom in the attic, but the licences prohibited the use of those rooms for sleeping because once the sloping ceilings …Read More

Government plans to unlock more brownfield land for new homes

The government has announced new measures to speed up the development of derelict and unused land for new homes. Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell said local authorities across the country will have to produce and maintain up-to-date, publicly available registers of brownfield sites. The new registers will help housebuilders identify sites quickly, helping to unlock land for thousands of new homes. Communities will also be able to highlight local …Read More

Supreme Court rulings help clarify law on indirect discrimination

The Supreme Court has provided two rulings that help clarify the law on indirect discrimination in the workplace. In the first case, the employer required staff to pass a skills assessment to be promoted. Some employees complained when they failed the assessment. They were either black and minority ethnic (BME) candidates or aged over 35. They quoted a statistical report which found that BME and older candidates had a proportionately …Read More

Woman removed as executor of her father’s will

A woman has lost her appeal against being removed as an executor of her father’s will following a dispute with her brother. The case involved a father who died in 2008. He was survived by his daughter and son who were the executors and beneficiaries of his will. There were difficulties between the two of them and by February 2013, there had been no grant of probate – the process …Read More

Government publishes set of measures to boost housing market

The government has published a set of measures designed to boost the housing market and increase the number of homes to buy or rent. It’s hoped the proposals will remove some of the obstacles faced by local authorities and developers that prevent housing projects going ahead. The reforms are set out in the Housing White Paper. These are some of the main areas covered: Getting the right homes built in …Read More