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.
For many, the prospect of making a Will to adequately provide for their family can seem a rather daunting task. However, when you are a business owner, the number of issues to be considered increases. With that in mind, why should business owners make a Will? Is it really that important?
Planning for the future
Succession planning is often at the forefront of a business owner's mind to ensure that the business can carry on when they are no longer here. A Will should be
When proprietors within a tenement instruct a repair by dint of a Scheme Decision made in terms of the Tenement Management Scheme (Schedule 1 to the Tenement (Scotland) Act 2004) any owner in such a tenement can, if they wish, arrange for the repair and then look to the other owners for a contribution to the cost.
In mixed tenure tenements where there are privately owned flats and units let in terms of affordable tenancies (social tenancies) a social landlord might find themselves in such
At TC Young, we offer modern apprentice opportunities in all of our offices. We have worked with school leavers for a number of years (before it was called a modern apprenticeship) and it is a recruitment method that we feel offers excellent training for school leavers. It is also a relationship that we continue to benefit from with individuals receiving training in different areas of the business.
A long time ago ?? we had a plan:
- To recruit a legal secretary; however we struggled to
Grounds for Offering an SSST
There are presently 9 grounds on which a Registered Social Landlord may offer a prospective new tenant an SSST (a short Scottish secure tenancy). One of those grounds is that the property is to be let on a temporary basis to a person who is in receipt of a housing support service. This ground can only be relied on where none of the other grounds apply. It is also important to note that this ground cannot be relied on where
Today sees the introduction of a new Social Security Scotland benefit to assist those on low incomes to meet the costs of a funeral. The payment, known as Funeral Expenses Payment, can help pay for some of the costs of the funeral (burial/cremation fees, travel to arrange or attend funeral, death certificate & other documents). Up to £700 is available for other funeral expenses (e.g. flowers, coffin or funeral director's fees).
The payment will not usually cover all of the costs of the funeral. The
Home Reports provide buyers, solicitors and mortgage lenders with a clear market valuation of residential property on the open market for sale and give detailed information on the condition of the property.
The onus is now with the seller of a property in Scotland, who wishes to sell their residential property on the open market, to provide a home report to any potential buyers. Failure to do so could result in you being fined up to £500.
A Home Report comprises three separate reports these
Are you the owner of a property in a tenement? If you are, can you answer the following:
- Who owns the various parts in your tenement building?
- Who is responsible for the maintenance and repair of your tenement?
- What do you do if tenement repairs are required?
- Who is settling the account for your tenement repairs?
If you are unable to answer these questions, and repairs are required in your tenement, the starting point is to check the title deeds which relate to your property.
With the availability of websites such as Gumtree and Airbnb, we have seen a sharp rise in tenants engaging in unauthorised sub-letting.
Where the landlord of such properties is a Registered Social Landlord (RSL), the unauthorised sub-letting of a property for excessive sums of money (sometimes whilst the rental charge due to the RSL goes unaddressed!) goes against the principles of social housing.
The present legal position is that an RSL tenant can only sub-let the property with the prior written permission of the landlord.
With shared equity schemes, including Homestake and LiFT, now becoming increasingly popular some Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and their subsidiaries who are Rural Housing Bodies, have applied a Rural Housing Burden (RHB) on their shared equity developments. How does shared equity and rural housing burdens work?
What is a Rural Housing Burden?
The official definition is: -
A perpetual personal right of pre-emption contained within the title deeds of a property in favour of a rural housing body which allows the rural housing body the
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) has made some recommendations and proposals to make changes to Inheritance Tax. Whilst these proposals may look good on the surface, do they actually lead to the elimination of some useful tax breaks such as taper relief?
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
Joint and Several Liability - what does it mean?
If there are two or more joint tenants to a Scottish Secure Tenancy Agreement, they will be jointly and severally liable for all of that tenancy's contractual obligations. What this means for the landlord is that it can hold either one or all of the tenants responsible for any arrears. In effect, the Association, has a choice regarding which of the tenants to pursue. This can often be a practical decision. For example, if you
Having dealt with a number of queries involving balcony repairs in both tenements and flatted dwelling house complexes, it is useful to learn lessons from the experience of others. The recurring question of ownership was highlighted in a recent case, Speirs Gumley Property Management v- Lafferty.
Factors for a development in Paisley carried out 'necessary repairs' to individual balconies affixed and forming part of a building they managed. The factors billed everyone treating such repairs as 'common repairs'. The Deed of Conditions which appeared
Often people will ask - what is the difference between a power of attorney and guardianship or if one is better than the other? Our simple guide below explains the difference.
Power of Attorney
Power of attorney is a legal document which you ('the grantor') grant in favour of another person ('the attorney') to make decisions relating to your finances, property and/or welfare. In Scotland this is known as a continuing and welfare power of attorney (lasting and enduring power of attorney in England &
Dependent upon your family circumstances, it may be sensible to consider including a liferent provision in your Will. However, what is a liferent exactly and how may it benefit you?
What is a liferent?
A liferent can be used where you wish your spouse, for instance, to benefit from the income from your assets or be in a position to use those assets, without them having outright entitlement to/ownership of those assets. Instead, the assets will ultimately pass to others; most commonly, your children.
On 16 September 2019, The Private Landlord Registration (Information) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 came into effect, introducing a more comprehensive, rigorous application process in order to raise general awareness amongst landlords of their legal requirements and to provide better assurance to private rented sector tenants of landlord competence and compliance. In short, the regulations have changed the landlord registration process with the aim to improve standards within the private rented sector in order that homes rented to tenants are of good quality and are being
The government has just launched a consultation on how to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. The consultation seeks views on how employers can be encouraged to better prioritise the prevention of sexual harassment.
Consideration is being given to a new duty to require employers to actively protect staff from harassment in the workplace. This would enhance current requirements by placing a preventative duty on employers to take action, for example, implementing an equality policy, raising awareness, providing training and dealing effectively with complaints.
We previously blogged about data protection breaches under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and how to deal with the aftermath. Since then, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has issued its first fine using the GDPR, which came into force in May 2018, and accompanying Data Protection Act 2018.
Under previous legislation, the maximum monetary penalty that could be imposed by the ICO was £500,000. Only Facebook and Equifax have been the recipients of fines at the maximum level, falling safely within the umbrella of
It is a frustrating situation for Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) when tenants become insolvent and any outstanding debt becomes irrecoverable. Below we answer some common questions around tenants signing trust deeds and sequestration.
Are we obliged to write off any debt? At what stage do we do so?
When a tenant enters into a trust deed, any tenancy debt is affected only if that trust deed proceeds to become protected. You should initially receive communication from a trustee advising that the debtor/tenant has entered into
On 1st July 2019 the above regulations will come into force. These regulations modify the provisions of the 2016 Act whereby residential tenancies granted by charities to provide housing for veterans or temporary accommodation to care leavers cannot be classed as Private Residential Tenancies. This means that such tenancies will sit outside of the statutory regime.
The new regulations do not have retrospective effect. This means that tenancies granted by these organisations
We're all going on a summer holiday?
It's that time of year again. Sun, sea and sand... it's holiday time.
Multi-generational travel has increased markedly over the past few years. No longer is it simply mum, dad and the children jetting off abroad, it is now mum, dad, the grandparents, the grandchildren etc. Whilst family time on those long summer days is on everyone's mind, it is also important to consider what if something happened to all of us? Do I need a failsafe beneficiary?
From 1 February 2021 Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) will need to ensure that the fire and carbon monoxide detection systems in their residential properties meet the new 'tolerable standard'. The Scottish Government has introduced a loan scheme in order to assist RSLs implement the changes that may be required. For a further explanation of the new 'tolerable standard' please see our previous blog post.
The loan scheme is called: The Fire and Carbon Monoxide Detection Loan Scheme. Through this scheme, RSLs will be able
Deciding upon what you wish to happen to your body when you die is never an easy thought. What would your family want? Should you be buried? But along with that can often come additional expenditure on top of funeral costs, including purchasing a lair etc. Or should you be cremated and have your ashes scattered in that special place?
Well, now there may be no need to decide between the two if the latest decision emerging from Washington, USA is anything to go by.
The Scottish Information Commissioner (SIC) has recently published two sets of guidance on Freedom of Information (FOI), Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and the terms of the Order which brings RSLs under the FOI regime.
The guidance relates to:
- How Freedom of Information will apply to RSLs and their subsidiary companies; and
- Which RSL subsidiaries are covered by FOI?
RSLs should read the new guidance on Freedom of Information and be aware of the following key points:
- There will be a two-part test for determining
The Property Factors Scotland Act 2011 required all property factors to register on the newly formed Register of Property Factors. Failure to register is a criminal offence punishable by a fine or even imprisonment! Given the sanctions which exist it is important to be clear who is under an obligation to register. This is still proving a challenge for some entities providing property management services to residential schemes.
The legislation provides a definition of a property factor i.e. a person who, in the course of
If you have a Will in place, it is important to review this on a regular basis to ensure it is up to date with your personal and financial circumstances.
People often think of reviewing matters such as the amount of money to be left to nieces or nephews or who should, in fact, inherit the family heirlooms. However, most don't think to review who they have appointed as their Executor in their Will. So why is this important?
What is an Executor?
Brain Injury Awareness Week 2019 is here - #ActionForBrainInjuryWeek #ABIWeek, culminating with #HatsForHeadway on Friday 24th May.
As is often the case, family members can face numerous difficulties as the result of a loved one succumbing to a brain injury - if they no longer have capacity to make decisions for themselves and if the family is not aware of what steps they need to take. Difficulties can arise in relation to medical or financial decisions that need to be made and no-one having
Office equipment; repair services; boilers; stationary and much more are bought by Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) as a matter of course.
Sometimes it's simple for an RSL to buy things, other times it's more complex and subject to public procurement law. No matter what, information about what they are buying will be given to the RSL by the supplier.
Come 11 November 2019 this information will be covered by Freedom of Information (FOI). This will impact not only RSLs, but the people and companies that
It is fairly well known that the Equality Act 2010 affords protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation on the basis of religion (or religious beliefs).
Perhaps less well known is that it can also provide protection in relation to certain philosophical beliefs.
To be protected such philosophical beliefs must be more than an opinion or viewpoint - it must be a genuinely held belief in relation to weighty and substantial part of human life and behaviour. It must also be serious and important, and have
No-one likes to contemplate their own death or think of the death of a loved one. It is however an important topic of conversation to have with your family and friends and is encouraged as part of the Dying Matters Awareness Week. Doing this at an early stage allows you to have an unpressured conversation at a time that suits you and not at a time of ill health or crisis.
Conversations of this nature are a prompt to discuss your affairs and the
Once appointed by the Court to act as Financial Guardian there are certain administrative responsibilities which you will have to fulfill, these are detailed below. By taking on this role you are accepting this responsibility and it is therefore important that you consider if you have the time and ability to carry out the duties of a Financial Guardian.
Caution (pronounced Kay-shun)
The Sheriff may order that you obtain a Bond of Caution (usually within 4 weeks of your date of appointment). A Bond of
Holiday lettings sit outwith the standard regulatory framework of the private rented sector. A holiday let is excluded from constituting a Private Residential Tenancy. So when is a 'holiday let' not a 'holiday let'?
There is no requirement for such landlords to register or pay over a deposit to a Tenancy Deposit Scheme. Furthermore, the Repairing Standard does not apply to holiday lets of less than 31 days.
The Scottish Courts considered holiday lets in the case of St. Andrews Forest Lodges Ltd. v Jeremy
Many families wish to ensure that their family are provided for in the future. They have worked hard to be able to own their property and do not want their estate to be exhausted by paying care costs. Beware, there are many things to consider before gifting your property to avoid care costs.
- Should you require a move to residential care accommodation the local authority can look at assets you had previously, the time of gifting and the reasons for gifting. There is the potential
Since 2002 deferred payment schemes have been available for care home residents however, many are unaware of their availability.
Care home residents who have insufficient income and capital (excluding the value of their property) to meet care home fees may enter into an agreement with their local authority to defer payment of part of their contribution towards care costs. They can settle these sums with the local authority at a later date when their home is eventually sold. A deferred payment agreement is an agreement
Trainee recruitment is a part of my job I really enjoy. I love meeting new people and trying to find someone that I think will bring an extra dimension, while assessing whether they will work well alongside the existing team.
Our latest search for a trainee produced nearly 100 applicants. But of that 100, how do we whittle them down?
First of all we decide what our key criteria will be. That will vary each year depending on the priorities we place on certain skills,
In September 2001, the Scottish Government introduced legislation to provide free personal care for those who were assessed as requiring it and were over 65. 'Personal care' means care which relates to day to day tasks and the needs of the person cared for (for example, washing, eating etc.).
1st April 2019 sees the introduction of 'Frank's Law', which will broaden the availability of free personal care to those under 65. This means that those living with early onset dementia, Parkinson's Disease,
The Gas Safety (Installation and Use)(Amendment) Regulation 2018 came in to force on 6 April 2018. A year on, it is worth reminding landlords of its terms. This amendment addressed the often unnecessary and unintended financial burden of over-compliance with the 12 month gas safety check.
Instead of having to begin the process early, in anticipation of access problems, landlords were given more flexibility in meeting the requirements of the legislation. An MOT style system was introduced which allowed landlords to carry out their
It's Lent - the Christian period of time for reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter. With that in mind, what better time than to focus your mind on your affairs and having everything in order so that you and your family have a secure and comfortable future. This can be sorted with both a Will and Power of Attorney.
Your Will is probably one of the most important documents that you can make. It is vital if you wish to protect
No one likes to contemplate their own death or the death of a loved one. The importance of preparing a will is often overlooked or postponed or those who do have wills overlook the importance of reviewing their wills.
In preparing a will you provide written instructions on how your estate should be distributed on death and who should do so. Often the Executor will be the person who will make funeral arrangements. This need not be the case. Should you wish, you can make
If you have undergone gender reassignment surgery, you will be dealing with an overwhelming number of changes and will be starting to create your new identity. To make things easier, the Registers of Scotland (ROS) will change your title deeds to reflect your new identity. They will not only change your name as owner, they will also change your name as borrower in respect of any securities registered over your title. Please note however you will also have to inform your security lender of the
You have made a Will. Congratulations! This puts you ahead of the almost 60% of the Scottish population who do not have Wills in place.
In your Will, you have appointed an Executor; the person charged with implementing the terms of your Will and carrying out their legal duties as your Executor. However, in light of a case involving a man who murdered his mum, but because he is named as the Executor in her Will he can attend to administering her estate, some people
Many people choose a loft conversion as a means of obtaining more space without having to move home. This blog provides some advice on what you should be thinking about before making the decision to extend and how to ensure that the loft conversion is safe and legal.
1. Check you own the roof and roof space
If you live in a house this shouldn't be an issue but for top floor flats (including upper cottage flats) you should check the title deeds (or ask
'It's in the diary.' 'Let's catch up over coffee.' These are typical phrases which are uttered when we hear the words - 'business development'. What are we really looking to gain from having countless lunches and coffees with contacts we may not have seen or heard from in a while?
In these uncertain times, businesses can no longer afford to cherry pick where their business comes from. Work may be referred continuously from one reliable source or may come from the man in
There are many people who are providing care for loved ones in their own homes. The Scottish Government recently circulated an updated Carers' charter explaining the rights of adult carers or young carers in Scotland. This came on the back of the introduction of new legislation, The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016, which came into effect from 1 April 2018. What are your rights as a carer in Scotland?
The legislation was introduced to enhance the rights of carers in Scotland to help improve their
You have been appointed as a Continuing (financial) Attorney and now need to trigger the powers granted to you.
- Check the document has been registered with the Public Guardian's Office. The document requires to be registered to be operational.
- Check the powers you have been granted. Ensure you have specific powers to deal with managing bank accounts.
- Attend the bank to register the registered Power of Attorney (POA) document. Call the bank or drop in to check if they have a staff
It is all change right now in the world of repairs for private landlords in Scotland.
We recently saw new Gas Safety Regulations come into force on 6 April 2018 and more changes have been implemented with the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 (Modification of the Repairing Standard) Regulations 2019. Please find below a summary of the changes that came in to force on 1 March 2019.
At first glance, the changes to the repairing standard seem to look like a loosening of the requirements, particularly
As we approach 29 March there are changing levels of uncertainty around what might happen when the UK leaves the European Union, it is a good time to consider what options your business might have to take ahead of a possible Brexit.
The current position is that at 11pm on 29 March 2019 the United Kingdom will leave the E.U. This is known as the 'withdrawal date'. A European court has ruled that the UK can decide to halt the process and stay in the
Are you a Registered Social Landlord engaged in property factoring? Are your factoring practices robust and ready for upcoming changes to the Property Factor's Code of Conduct?
The Property Factors (Scotland) Act 2011 is 6 years old and created a statutory framework providing protections for homeowners who receive services from a property factor. As part of that framework, a Code of Conduct was introduced which sets minimum standards of practice for registered property factors in their business with homeowners.
The Scottish Government has been active
Earlier this month, Acas issued guidance on age discrimination and information for workplaces outlining important points for businesses to consider including steps to take to avoid age discrimination in the workplace and examples of how age discrimination might occur.
Age is one of the nine protected characteristics within the Equality Act 2010. This means that an employee is protected against discrimination because of age. It is important to remember that this discrimination doesn't only occur when a 'young person' receives better treatment than an 'older