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Resolving a dispute between property owners with a shared interest

‘An Englishman’s home is his castle’ is a familiar phrase with its origins in the 16th century, where it was widely accepted that no one should have the right to interfere with the use and enjoyment of a person’s property except in very limited circumstances.

Fast forward 500 years and, while the phrase remains well known, there are now numerous ways in which our rights as homeowners can be curtailed and which can lead to a dispute. 

Challenging unreasonable ground rent on leasehold homes

If you have bought a new home in the last few years, then there is a chance that you will own your property on a leasehold as opposed to freehold basis. If this is the case, then you may be liable to pay ground rent charges to the person who retains ownership of the land on which your home is built. Where the amount you have to pay seems unreasonably high, or where provision is made for it to double every five to ten years, then we would urge you to talk to us to see if we can help you get the charges reduced or even cancelled.

Is your workplace sympathetic to the menopause?

In an episode of the Netflix series House of Cards, the American First Lady Claire Underwood opens the door of her huge refrigerator and stands there cooling off from a hot flush. The scene generated plenty of debate online, as it was a rare case of the menopause being acknowledged in a drama as an everyday occurrence.

Like period cramps, the menopause is a health condition which most women will experience at some point, usually between the ages of 45 to 55 and like any health issue it needs to be handled sensitively in the workplace.

As Hywel Griffiths, employment law expert with Petersfields LLP in Cambridge explains, ‘Employers need to be alert to the HR and legal implications of menopause transition, as failure to take a sympathetic and responsible approach could see an employer facing claims of discrimination in regard to sex, age or disability.’

What can you do if you suspect abuse of a power of attorney?

With more people in the UK now living into their 80s and 90s, an increasing number of us are choosing to make a lasting power of attorney. This is a legal document under which we appoint someone we trust to make important decisions about our finances, and health and welfare, should we reach a point where we can no longer make these decisions for ourselves. The attorney(s) that you appoint must always act in your best interest.

However, each year there are a small number of cases where someone appointed as an attorney abuses their position of trust by making inappropriate decisions.  If you are a relative or a co-attorney who is concerned that this may be happening, then we recommend that you take prompt legal advice to limit the potential damage that this may cause. 

Challenging a dubious will where you suspect coercion

We all generally have the right to leave our money and property to whoever we please when we die, but the decisions we make must be arrived at freely and without undue influence from family, friends or others who hope to secure an inheritance.

Unfortunately, with elder abuse and oppression of the vulnerable on the rise, there are hundreds of cases every year where people are coerced into writing a will that does not reflect their wishes. Usually, they have been persuaded by someone they know and trust.

Options for dealing with a problem landlord

According to the Hamptons Letting Index there has been an increase in first-time landlords entering the buy-to-let sector, with many enticed by the stamp duty holiday and low interest rates. Unfortunately, some property investors think being a landlord is a way to make easy money and either do not understand or do not take their obligations and responsibilities seriously.

If you rent your home and are having problems with your landlord’s actions, or lack of action, then it is important that you know what your legal options are. 

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Nine Hills Road
Cambridge
CB2 1GE
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Ely Road
Milton, Cambridgeshire
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Haverhill, Suffolk
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