The Covid outbreak has led us all having to adapt to different social and working practices. It has also led to many of us considering our mortality and (finally) getting round to that New Year’s resolution of getting our affairs in order. Since lockdown commenced there has certainly been an increase in enquiries about and people preparing or updating their wills. Preparing a will, as many of us know, allows you to decide what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death. So
You have registered the death, organised the funeral and now that you have identified all of the assets your loved one had (and established whether or not they have a Will), you are ready to progress with the administration of the estate. This blog focuses on the procedure where the value of the estate is over £36,000.
You need to now progress with obtaining Confirmation (known as Probate in England & Wales). As detailed in our earlier Blog this is the legal document that gives
You have registered the death, arranged the funeral and now it is time to look at estate administration. The current lockdown period has had a significant impact on the process of administering a deceased person’s estate. The Courts in Scotland, at the time of preparing this Blog, are not currently progressing Commissary work (estate administration). They are, however, looking at how to restart Commissary business soon via remote working. However, even once the Courts have finalised appropriate procedures to restart this business, there will inevitably
In our first blog we advised on how to register a death. Now you (and the funeral director) have the death certificate, you can go about arranging a funeral. Funerals are continuing to take place as normally as possible and families are being encouraged not to delay funerals. The Scottish Government have provided guidance for funeral services during the pandemic and funeral directors are being asked to ensure that social distancing is adhered to.
Some helpful tips:
- If the deceased had a funeral plan, contact
The death of a loved one is a difficult time for everyone. Not only are they grieving but for many they may have never had to register a death or deal with the winding up of a loved one’s estate. It can all become quite overwhelming.
The Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown of the nation has brought a whole new level of uncertainty. A short series of blogs will follow providing guidance from registering a death, dealing with the funeral arrangements and winding up an estate.
During these unprecedented times, obligations are imposed on families to remain together at home. Keeping the parent and child bond intact is often treated as a given. There can however be circumstances in which the State, in the form of the Local Authority, might seek to interfere with that. Where a child could be removed from the family home, the correct legal advice is crucial.
An individual with parental rights for a child has the right to decide where the child lives. The mother has
As we have entered into a further period of at least 3 weeks ‘lockdown’ with the continued restrictions in place requiring everyone to ‘stay at home’, it can be a frightening time for anyone who is suffering domestic abuse.
If you are experiencing physical, emotional, sexual or financial abuse or being intimidated or threatened by a current or previous partner, you are being subjected to domestic abuse.
The Chief Executive of Scottish Women’s Aid, Dr Marsha Scott, when discussing the impact of the current pandemic
With the current Covid 19 situation and imposed ‘lockdown’, we are experiencing uncertain and challenging times. Normal routines have been severely impacted. Children are being home schooled and are missing out on extra circular activities, and visiting friends and family. Maintaining a level of consistency is key, but it can be very daunting to try to keep to prior agreed arrangements for children when other factors come into play.
It is natural for a parent to be concerned how best to safeguard and protect their
Following our previous update, yesterday (15 April 2020), HMRC has issued a further update to its employer and employee guidance on the Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme). We now have the following recommendations:
- The eligibility date, being the date when the employee has to have been on the employer's payroll to qualify for the Scheme, has changed from 28 February to 19 March 2020. This means that a large number of employees who started employment after the 28th February will now qualify for the Scheme
With the latest Government guidance sending the message of ‘staying at home’ in a bid to fight the virus, for many the danger is not only what is outside. The Office for National Statistics reported that 1.6 million women and 786,000 men were the victims of domestic abuse in the year ending March 2019. It is anticipated that figure will rise as the COVID-19 situation continues.
Domestic abuse is not always physical. Abuse can be psychological (including threatening and coercive behaviour), emotional, financial or sexual.
The Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 has now come into force. This Act proposes significant temporary changes to residential tenancy law in the private and social rented sectors.
What are the changes?
Private Residential Tenancies
- Increased Notice Periods
The Act increases the notice period for the Private Residential Tenancy. The current notice period is either 28 or 84 days depending on either the duration of the tenant’s occupation or the ground relied upon.
The Act extends the notice period to 6 months for all grounds
We are aware of increasing instances where tenants, in particular student tenants, are giving Notice to Leave and returning home. On occasion, these tenants are leaving and have abandoned belongings in the property.
While the tenancy agreement will usually oblige tenants to remove their belongings on departure, difficulties arise where the tenancy agreement omits to contract for what will happen with belongings once the tenancy has come to an end.
What is a landlord to do where there is no contractual provision for abandoned belongings
Since 25 May 2015 it has been possible to raise an action challenging the existence of a lease in the Sheriff Court by way of an action for reduction.
In the recent case of SW v Chesnutt Skeoch Limited the Upper Tribunal considered whether the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) had jurisdiction to consider reduction of an assured tenancy.
The case concerned an application for payment of rent arrears and losses following termination of an assured tenancy. The tenant initially argued that the tenancy
The Scottish Government has published a parliamentary report in connection with the forthcoming Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019.
Our earlier blog stated that the Regulations were proposed to come into force on 1 April 2020. However the report confirms this will be postponed until 1 October 2020.
What are the new key dates? From 1 October 2020 any new tenancies will require to have a minimum EPC rating of E.
On 31 March 2022 this requirement will extend to existing
Following on from the Government’s announcement of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, we now have some further information about the scheme following updated guidance issued by the Government (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme).
In summary, the following will apply:
- Employers will be able to apply to HMRC for a grant to cover 80 per cent of an employee’s regular wage or £2,500 per month (whichever is lower) plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions for employees who are not working but
In the midst of a period of uncertainty for all sectors across the U.K, it was a welcome change for us all to hear the Chancellor’s announcement on Friday 20 March that the Government will cover up to 80% of employee costs if your business has no work for them.
This is an incredible and unprecedented lifeline for employers but there are obviously some conditions attached to this which we try to iron out below. This is a new scheme and new information for
Now more than ever, we should be asking the question: “are my affairs in order?”
In these uncertain times, it is prudent planning to consider putting a Will and Power of Attorney in place. A Will, of course, allows you to state what you wish to happen to your assets upon your death and provides your family with some comfort in knowing your affairs will be in order upon your death. A Power of Attorney, on the other hand, allows you to appoint someone to
Following on from our blog on Monday regarding the Coronavirus and its impact on the private rented sector, it is abundantly clear that the pandemic is causing unprecedented worry to both landlords, letting agents and tenants.
There appears to be a lot of speculation and panic about what the government will do to help tenants. We at TC young will continue to blog and provide informed updates at this difficult time with a view to putting an end to some of the worrisome speculation.
All throughout my high school years I was asked what I wanted to do when I left, my answer was always “I’ll just go to college or university.” I left high school still undecided in what I was to do. Looking for work is always a daunting process, and I had no idea that modern apprenticeships even existed. After hours of internet research I came across the modern apprenticeship scheme. I signed up and instantly received notifications about potential interviews.
Transitioning from seeing my
Each day our news feed is filled with updates and reports regarding the spread of the coronavirus. Guidance from the UK Government is to stay at home for 7 days if you have a high temperature and a new continuous cough.
What can landlords and letting agents do if tenants are self-isolating?
The key here is to ensure you open effective lines of communication. Landlords and agents should ccommunicate with tenants to let them know what they can expect from their landlords/letting agents during
Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) may already be concerned about their ability to respond to requests within the statutory 20 working day timescale due to the possible implications of Covid-19. Will Covid-19 affect your FOISA deadlines? In light of the continued spread of the virus, the Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) has published a statement addressing the obligation on public authorities to comply with the timescales set out in the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (the EIRs).
On 1st May 2019, the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 was amended to provide Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) with a mandatory ground of eviction where a tenant is criminally convicted. However, almost one year later, there remains a cloud of judicial uncertainty surrounding these cases.
Section 16(2)(aa) of the 2001 Act establishes what is effectively a two-part test for RSLs to have a “mandatory” ground for eviction:
- That a tenant, joint tenant, subtenant, or a person residing, lodging or visiting the property, is convicted of
Freedom of Information (FOI) applied to RSLs as of 11th November 2019 — but did you know that the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 now also applies?
As you will be aware, RSLs are now defined as a Scottish public authority under the new FOI provisions. As the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 applies to a Scottish public authority by way of the definition in the FOI Act of 2002, RSLs will now fall under the scope of the Climate Change Act. The Act
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has made some recommendations and proposals to overhaul Inheritance Tax (IHT). Whilst these proposals may look good on the surface, the devil is in the detail.
A welcome proposal made by the OTS is the reduction of the seven-year gifting rule to five years.? This would see individuals being able to make gifts to their children and only have to survive five years for it to fall outwith their estate for IHT purposes. Perhaps the suggested change to five
Currently, employers are only required to give new employees a written employment 'contract' stating their main terms and conditions within two months of starting work.
Following the governments Good Work Plan, the requirements will change for those starting work on or after 6 April 2020. In summary, the changes are:
- The obligation will extend to ?workers? as well as employees
- It must be provided on or before the date on which they start work
- Only certain limited information can be provided later
In the recent case of Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports an employment tribunal ruled that ethical veganism can be a philosophical belief worthy of protection under the Equality Act 2010.
It is well known that the Act (which protects against discrimination, harassment and victimisation) covers religion and religious beliefs. It is less well known that it can also extend to certain philosophical beliefs.
In concluding that the claimant?s beliefs were worthy of protection the tribunal took into account his dedicated and strict adherence to
What are the letterhead requirements for companies and charities? Could you as an individual and/or the company/charity be facing possible prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 with further fines of £100 per day being imposed?
Under the Companies Act 2006, a company registered with Companies House must include their company's registered name (as it appears on the company's certificate of incorporation) in all its business letters, order forms and websites, whether in hard copy or electronic, including:-
- notices and other official publications
When a sole director of a company dies, there can often be difficulties. However, those difficulties are, perhaps, more evident where a sole shareholder dies who is also the sole director of a company.
The general position is that where a company has a number of directors and one of the directors dies, the surviving directors can continue to manage the organisation. If the sole shareholder of a company dies, the directors can continue to manage the company until the deceased shareholder?s beneficiaries have the
The First-tier Tribunal recently considered the date to be stated in a notice to leave on or after which the landlord can expect to make an application to the Tribunal for eviction.
By way of background, where a landlord wishes to recover possession of a Private Residential Tenancy, the landlord must serve a notice to leave. The legislation sets out various requirements for the notice to leave. One of the requirements is that the notice to leave states a date on or after which the
Airbnbs and Short-Terms Lets have become a contentious matter in Scotland in recent times. The Scottish Government have recently conducted research into Airbnbs and Short-Term Lets in Scotland which confirmed there are 31,884 active Airbnb listings, three times as many compared to 2016.
It was found that in Edinburgh?s City Centre 16.7% of properties are being used as Short Term Lets equating to an estimated 140,000 visitors to the area per year, around 4.5 times the local resident population.
The increasing popularity of Airbnbs and
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published new guidance in relation to sexual harassment and harassment in the workplace. In this blog we will look at the guidance, and what it means for employers.
The Equality Act 2010 prohibits discrimination and harassment because of, or related to, one or more of the nine protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).
There is no length of service requirement for an
The recent First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) decision of Ritchie v Finlayson highlights the importance of providing sufficient evidence when making a claim against tenants for damage to the let property and contents.
When a tenant vacates a property there may be times when the property is not left in the same condition as it was at commencement of the tenancy. This could be a result of wear and tear or it could be as a result of failure on the part of the
In January 2020, the government confirmed that paid parental bereavement leave will be introduced for eligible employees on 6 April 2020. Here we look at the new entitlements, and discuss how employers can support staff going through a bereavement.
Quite amazingly, there has been no legal obligation for employers to provide paid time off for grieving parents. The Employment Rights Act 1996 affords employees the legal right to take ?reasonable? time off to deal with an emergency, which includes the death of a child.
Charities may be aware that Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) are asking all charities to report Notifiable Events. Whilst there is no legal requirement to report an event, OSCR are keen to encourage charities to report to them when there has been a significant event which may or may not have a negative impact on an individual charity or the wider charity sector.
Types of notifiable events can be as follows:-
- Fraud and theft
- Significant financial loss
- Incidents of abuse or mistreatment of
In the current economic climate, contractor default is even more prevalent in the construction and engineering industries. Therefore, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) should always look to protect their position when entering into construction contracts by taking active steps to guard against the risk of potential insolvency of contractors.
This is usually done by the contractor entering into a parent company guarantee or a performance bond which acts as security for losses sustained by the developer should the contractor fail to perform its obligations under
The European Commission has released its updated public procurement thresholds that applies to Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) from 1?January 2020. Every two years, the European Commission updates the financial thresholds at which the EU Directives apply.
The Public Contracts (Scotland) Regulations 2015 set out specific procedures for awarding contracts in excess of the threshold values. Generally, when the value of a contract exceeds the thresholds (see below), it is a mandatory requirement that you publish a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union
The Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 (2001 Act) allows the landlord of a Scottish Secure Tenancy to recover an abandoned property without the need for court proceedings. Section 17, 18 and 19 of the 2001 Act deal with this procedure.
The procedure can only be applied where the landlord has reasonable grounds for believing that:
- the house is unoccupied; and
- the tenant does not intend to occupy it.
To ascertain if this is the position the Housing Association should carry out diligent inquiries and retain a
You have studied hard, attained your law degree and you are finally ready to be a Trainee Solicitor. Now, all that is left to do is to find a traineeship! But, how exactly do you do that?
Importantly, the answer to this is not the same for everyone. For some, the answer is more straightforward than others. They may have always have dreamt of being a high-flying Commercial Solicitor and know that this is what they intend to pursue. For others, they may fancy themselves
The Private Residential Tenancy regime provides that ?it is an eviction ground that the tenant has been in rent arrears for three or more consecutive months? (Ground 12 of Schedule 3 of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016).
There appears to have been a perception that a landlord could serve a Notice to Leave relying on this ground as soon as a tenant entered into arrears. The landlord would then delay raising proceedings until such time as three consecutive months of arrears had accrued.
As we wake up this morning we are presented with the seismic shift in the landscape of UK politics with the Conservatives taking control of the House of Commons with a landslide victory. Whilst the reality of what lies ahead in the next 5 years remains to be seen, there will of course be an impact on employment law as a result of this election.
In their manifesto, the Conservatives proposed to create a single enforcement body for employment rights to enforce employment law
The key difference is that a wayleave does not have to comply with any strict rules of creation. Wayleaves provide rights similar to those found in servitudes but can be created without the need to identify a benefited property. Wayleaves are binding for a specified period and against successors in title rather than being personal to a grantor.
Reminder of what a servitude is
A servitude is a real right which attaches to land and is independent of ownership. It can only be created over
Choosing who you wish to implement the terms of your Will can be a difficult decision. After all, this is the person you will trust to ensure that your estate is administered according to your wishes. An executor is a person who is appointed by someone who is making a Will (also known as the testator) to carry out their instructions as set out in their Will.
If you have been appointed as an executor, several considerations should be borne in mind. Firstly, as an
It?s rarely in the best interests of a landlord/tenant relationship to have to move a disagreement over deposits to court proceedings. In some instances though, it is an inevitable result of a landlord not adhering to the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Regulations 2011. Between December 2017 and June 2019, there were over 200 cases where the tenancy deposit regulations had been breached and an award was granted against the landlord by the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland Housing and Property Chamber (FTT).
The regulations state
When you, or someone close to you, has been diagnosed with a deteriorating health condition thinking about day-to-day practicalities can be difficult, for example managing finances.
To allow someone to manage your day-to-day banking (but not open or close accounts or apply for overdraft) can be arranged by means of a Third Party Mandate. The account holder signs a mandate allowing the third party to pay bills and assist in managing the account on a day-to-day basis. This type of arrangement is suitable for someone
The Energy Efficiency (Domestic Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 are proposed to come into force on 1 April 2020.
The purpose of these regulations is to tackle the the least energy-efficient properties in Scotland.
These regulations outline minimum standards of energy efficiency landlords must meet for domestic private rented properties. EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) are used to measure this standard.
The regulations provide that a landlord is not permitted to let a domestic property if the energy performance indicator for the property is below
Since 2012, landlords in Scotland have been required to lodge security deposits in one of three approved tenancy deposit schemes. Landlords should by now be well aware of their obligations to lodge deposits within 30 working days and to provide tenants with specific information relating to the tenancy and the deposit. The scheme is regulated by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2011.
On 11 November 2019 the Tenancy Deposit Schemes (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2019 made a number of changes to the 2011 provisions. Perhaps,
You have made a Will. Congratulations! This now means all of your affairs are in order, your Will can be easily interpreted upon your death and your family will understand your reasons for what you have chosen to include in your Will. Well, not necessarily. It can, at times, be difficult to understand someone?s Will after their death and it may be that a Letter of Wishes can clarify matters.
What is a Letter of Wishes?
A Letter of Wishes is as it says: a
Are you a property owner whose title deeds contain conditions which are out-of-date or unclear or in some way now proving to be unduly onerous or prohibitive to the use and enjoyment of your property? Are you looking for ways to have your title conditions varied or even discharged?
It is possible to vary and/or discharge many conditions which appear in title deeds and there are a number of ways in which this can be achieved. Two practical courses of action are open to owners
There can be many reasons for someone requiring a move to a care home from being less able to do the things you used to do, recurring falls or starting to feel lonely. Care homes have trained staff on hand, which may help to remove risks you may face at home. It is perfectly normal to have conflicted feelings about a care home move for yourself or a family member. So what are the things you should think about before moving into care accommodation?
Have you possessed land for which you have registered a deed ?openly, peacefully and without judicial interruption?? If yes, you may have obtained good title to it.
The law, or prescription, operating for sasine?titles has remained unchanged since the introduction of the Prescription and Limitations (Scotland) Act 1973 in that where a title includes a description of land ?habile? to include it is possible to gain rights over that land over a passage of time. This principle is referred to as prescription.