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The Importance of Having a Will

The Importance of Having a Will

Do you know the importance of having a Will?

If not, why not? Do the reasons include:

  • not knowing what a Will does
  • the possible cost
  • that you don't have time
  • that you don't think you need one
  • that you think you're too young!

Let's address these possible concerns:

Don't know what a Will actually does

A Will is a document which takes effect on your death , identifies who is to have responsibility for administering your estate (the executor ) and ensures that what

I'M PERFECTLY CAPABLE! I don't need a Power of Attorney!

I'M PERFECTLY CAPABLE! I don't need a Power of Attorney!

!'m perfectly capable! I can manage, don't worry. I don't need a Power of Attorney.

None of us likes to think that there will come a time when we cannot manage our own affairs. Despite reminders from our families, it is not always easy to admit that we may require a little help.

Contrary to popular belief, should you lose capacity for any reason and be unable to attend to your own affairs, your family cannot simply step in and take control for you. There

Are you ready for the GDPR?

Are you ready for the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force on 25th May 2018 replacing the Data Protection Act 1998. Every public and private organisation in the UK, including RSLs, will have to comply with the regulations which relate to how organisations process and handle personal data.

What are some of the main changes?

  • Notice of purpose of processing data

There will be an emphasis on giving notice prior to collecting personal data explaining exactly what you are doing with the data you are

Do I really need a Will?

Do I really need a Will?

It's ok, don't worry. My wife will get everything.

These words are uttered more than any other when someone dies without a Will. It is a common misconception that should you die without having made a Will that your spouse will receive your entire estate. Indeed, it doesn't matter if you have only been married for one year, ten years or thirty years, your spouse does not automatically inherit your whole estate. Surprisingly, your spouse is not the only person who can inherit your estate

Evictions under the Private Residential Tenancy in Scotland

Evictions under the Private Residential Tenancy in Scotland

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 came into force on 1st December 2017. It introduced the new Private Residential Tenancy which replaced Assured and Short Assured Tenancies in Scotland from that date. Existing Assured and Short Assured tenancies will continue unaffected.

The new Private Residential Tenancy (PRT) offers significant security of tenure to tenants. The no-fault eviction basis available under the Short Assured Tenancy regime will not apply. PRTs will not have an end date and cannot be terminated at the landlord's instigation

Paying for Care - What is deliberate deprivation of capital?

Paying for Care - What is deliberate deprivation of capital?

With one in four of us likely to need care in our old age, the issue of paying for care home fees has never been more common. Exploring options to reduce capital/savings/assets has become popular, including placing property into trust. Is this an attractive way of avoiding care fees?

For example, take a lady who is 78 who has mobility issues and is struggling with day to day living. After much deliberation, it is decided that a care home is the most sensible move for

Fair Rent appeal success for Housing Association Tenant

Fair Rent appeal success for Housing Association Tenant

Many housing associations still have a number of tenants who benefit from the protection of the Fair Rent regime. They are tenants who have been with the housing association since before 2nd January 1989 and have not moved home voluntarily since 30th September 2002.

When fixing a rent for one of these houses, housing associations must be aware that their decision on the rent can be appealed to the Rent Registration Officer and thereafter to the First-tier Tribunal (Housing and Property Chamber) ,

A new servitude? The servitude of parking...

A new servitude?  The servitude of parking...

Some years ago the House of Lords decided in a case Moncrieff -v- Jamieson that parking could be implied as a right running alongside a servitude right of way. Given this acceptance that parking could be an adjunct to a servitude right of way that seemed to lead on to the possibility that parking could be deemed a servitude in its own right. To legal academics this was the logical conclusion!

The majority of their Lordships when considering the facts in the Moncrieff case thought

Re-introduction of Pursuers? offers in Scotland

Re-introduction of Pursuers? offers in Scotland

In Scotland, if you have raised a court action against another person for recovery of a sum of money then you are known as the "Pursuer" and the person you have taken to court becomes known as the "Defender". What does the re-introduction of "Pursuers" offers in Scotland mean for settlements?

Defenders in court actions have been able to take advantage of formal offers of settlement for some time, offers known as "tenders". However, as of 3rd April 2017, Pursuers are able to make

The Abolition of Employment Tribunal Fees

The Abolition of Employment Tribunal Fees

Following the abolition of employment tribunal fees, many questions remain. We will aim to clarify the situation as it currently stands.

When were tribunal fees abolished?

They were abolished on 26 July 2017, following a ruling by the Supreme Court that they were unlawful.

I have already paid tribunal fees - can I reclaim them?

Yes.

The government is putting in place a system to reimburse those who have had to pay employment tribunal fees in relation to their claim. The details of the

Buying from a builder

Buying from a builder

Buying from a builder is appealing to home buyers for a number of reasons:

  • Many people like the fact that they will be the first to live in the property
  • Repairs and redecoration costs should be minimal for the first few years
  • Buyers can often select fixtures and fittings to tailor the property finish to their taste
  • New properties usually come with guarantees.
  • Homeowners can enjoy lower running costs and energy bills by living in a more modern, energy efficient home
  • Incentives may be available

Do you know your Knotweed?

Do you know your Knotweed?

In Scotland having Japanese knotweed growing on land belonging to you is not of itself against the law. That said, there is now legislation regarding the spread of Japanese knotweed and requirements on a heritable proprietor not to allow this non-native species to spread. Penalties for ignoring such legislation are significant with fines running into thousands of pounds and with the ultimate sanction of imprisonment.

When considering the sanctions and penalties it is important to note where Japanese knotweed is growing. There is separate legislation

Is Self Directed Support in Scotland working?

Is Self Directed Support in Scotland working?

As reported by BBC News, Audit Scotland issued a new report on the implementation of Self Directed Support in Scotland.

Self Directed Support (SDS) has been available since 2014. It was introduced to offer people more choice on how their support is delivered and managed.

There are four options available:

  1. You receive the money to spend on support how you choose;
  2. You tell the council how to spend the money;
  3. You let the council decide how to spend the money; or
  4. A mix of

Windows and Skylights - What is part of a roof?

Windows and Skylights - What is part of a roof?

Are Velux windows and skylights part of a roof? We explore the interesting case of Waelde -v- Ulloa and ask the question - what is part of a roof?

The Background

A single dwellinghouse in Edinburgh had been converted into three flats - top, middle and bottom. The skylight and velux windows which had later been introduced served only the top floor flat.

  • The top floor owner carried out roof repairs and sought to claim a share of the maintenance costs from his downstairs neighbours.

Recent warning over the risks of granting a Power of Attorney - Don't panic!!

Recent warning over the risks of granting a Power of Attorney - Don't panic!!

A retired senior judge in England issued a warning yesterday over the risks of granting a power of attorney via an article on the BBC news website and on BBC Radio 2.

Our advice to anyone holding a Power of Attorney in Scotland, or considering granting one. Don't panic!

The Scottish system of granting a Power of Attorney differs from England.

Most Powers of Attorney in Scotland are drafted by solicitors following specific instructions from their client, offering an additional level of protection. Solicitors

Texting your Will instructions. Is this a good idea?

Texting your Will instructions. Is this a good idea?

An article from The Telegraph details plans to revolutionise the "outdated" system for having a Will made and suggests allowing new ways to provide Will instructions for your death such as notes, voicemail's, emails and texts.

The current system

A valid Will is signed on all pages by the testator (the person who's Will it is) before an adult independent witness who signs on the last page only. Changes to a Will can be made by either doing a new will or something called a

How should you contract with your subsidiary?

How should you contract with your subsidiary?

In the current economic climate, Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) are looking to make savings in their procurement processes in any way that they can. Many of our RSL clients have subsidiary companies which can carry out work on their behalf and for third parties. Where an RSL and its subsidiary are members of a VAT group, significant savings may be made. So how should you contract with your subsidiary?

Although a subsidiary is a separate entity and, as such, contracts between the parent and the

A new abandonment procedure for private landlords in Scotland

A new abandonment procedure for private landlords in Scotland

There is currently no formal abandonment procedure for the Private Rented Sector under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 (1988 Act).

Despite the property appearing abandoned, generally private landlords have no legal right to recover the property in absence of a court order.

The Private Rented Tenancies (Scotland) Act 2016 (2016 Act) introduced a new type of tenancy called the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT). One of the benefits of the new tenancy is that abandonment by the tenant is a basis upon which the landlord can

Tenancy Deposits Scotland - Frequently Asked Questions

Tenancy Deposits Scotland - Frequently Asked Questions

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. However, our LetLaw team regularly receive queries in relation to the amount of deposit which can legally be requested from tenants. Here are some of our most frequently asked questions about tenancy deposits Scotland.

What is the new Private Residential Tenancy in Scotland?

What is the new Private Residential Tenancy in Scotland?

The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 will introduce a new tenancy regime to Scotland called the Private Residential Tenancy (PRT). This new tenancy is anticipated to take effect sometime in December 2017.

What happens to assured and short assured tenancies when the PRT takes effect?

The 2016 Act provides that a tenancy cannot be an assured or short assured tenancy if it is granted after the effective date. This means that from that date all residential tenancies let to individuals will, by default, constitute

Will tenants be evicted for drugs convictions?

Will tenants be evicted for drugs convictions?

What can landlords do if they discover their property is being used for growing or supplying illegal drugs? Will tenants be automatically be evicted for drugs convictions? Surely if the tenant is convicted a landlord can expect to receive an order from the court allowing them to evict?

However, the case of Glasgow Housing Association v Stuart shows that landlords cannot merely rely on a drugs conviction in order to evict.

If a conviction isn't enough, then what is? Recent cases we have been involved

Additional Dwelling Supplement - one year on...

Additional Dwelling Supplement - one year on...

It has now been over a year since the introduction of the Additional Dwelling Supplement which came into force on 1 April 2016.

The Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) is an additional amount of Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT). The current rate of ADS is 3% on the full purchase price and applies to purchases of:-

  • Additional properties in Scotland, such as buy to let properties and second homes, with a value of £40,000 or more;
  • Where, at the end of the effective date of

Dementia Awareness Week

Dementia Awareness Week

This week is dementia awareness week in Scotland, culminating on Friday with Alzheimer Scotland's flagship annual conference in Edinburgh, where T C Young will be in attendance. There has also been additional press coverage in the last few weeks from politicians as they gear up for the General Election. Rather than kissing babies, it is the older generation who are being thrust into the spotlight as the various parties deliver their strategies for dealing with an aging population.

We pride ourselves on having a number

What is a Letter of Wishes?

What is a Letter of Wishes?

Our earlier blog on Wills spoke of the need for getting professional advice and not relying on a DIY Will. There is a document, however, which we would actively encourage you to DIY and that is a Letter of Wishes. A Letter of Wishes is often stored alongside Wills, and can act as a guide to your executors and trustees as to how the instructions in your Will should be implemented.

They are unlikely to include legal jargon, and will convey the feelings of

Innovative Housing Solution for Vulnerable Adult

Innovative Housing Solution for Vulnerable Adult

We were approached by a housing association client who wanted to help a vulnerable adult to remain living in his deceased parent?s home. Otherwise there would be no option but for the adult to go into care, leaving the home he was comfortable in.

The housing association agreed to purchase a share, just under 50%, of the property in question and entered into an Occupancy Agreement with both the Trustees under the late mother's Will Trust and also with the representatives of the son. This

What's the latest with the Scottish Property Market?

What's the latest with the Scottish Property Market?

Registers of Scotland (RoS) recently released their Annual Market Review 2016 detailing activity in the Scottish residential property market for that year. So what's the latest news for the Scottish Property Market?

The key points highlighted in this report are: 

  • The volume of sales increased by 3.3% on 2015
  • The average price of a residential property fell by 1.9% compared with 2015
  • The value of the residential market in Scotland was in excess of £16.5 billion, an increase of 1.3% on the previous year

Taking

Conditional Performance Bonds v On Demand Performance Bonds

Conditional Performance Bonds v On Demand Performance Bonds

"The name is Bond..."

Employers under construction contracts often try to protect themselves against the risk of loss from a variety of events by asking the contractor for a performance bond.

A performance bond is a form of security provided by a third party, usually a bank or insurance company, guaranteeing the obligations of the contractor under the contract. A bond constitutes a promise that the guarantor (i.e. the bank/insurance company) will make a payment to the employer of a set amount (usually 10% of

Letting Agent Registration - Scottish Government Guidance

Letting Agent Registration - Scottish Government Guidance

Our blog headed 'Letting Agent Registration' (Less than) A Year To Go!' discussed the forthcoming requirements for letting agent registration following the enactment of the Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016.

Anticipated Scottish Government guidance on letting agent registration has since been published and can be found here.

The guidance provides information on:

  • who needs to register
  • what you need to do before you register
  • what training and qualifications you must have in place before you make your application
  • guidance on protecting client money

Top Tips for Selling Your Property in Edinburgh

Top Tips for Selling Your Property in Edinburgh

Top Tips for selling your property in Edinburgh

  1. This is a good time to sell as there is a lack of stock on the market at present and there is a strong demand for many types of properties.
  2. From a selling point of view it is not worth holding off until Easter or better weather. In recent, previous years, partly due to lack of other stock and partly due to the year round nature of the market, many properties marketed in January and February have

What could 'Right to Rent' mean for Scotland?

What could 'Right to Rent' mean for Scotland?

IMMIGRATION CHECKS DO NOT YET APPLY TO LANDLORDS IN SCOTLAND! We previously blogged about the UK Immigration bill which proposed duties on landlords to carry out immigration checks on prospective tenants - essentially checking if someone has the right to rent.

The bill became law on 1st December 2014 in connection with premises located in specific local authorities in England. On 1st February 2016, the scheme was rolled out to the whole of England.

The UK Government now intends to roll out this

Letting Agent Registration - (Less than) A Year To Go!

Letting Agent Registration - (Less than) A Year To Go!

Regular readers of our blog will be aware that the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 made provisions for the mandatory letting agent registration, regulation and training requirements in Scotland.

The Letting Agent Registration (Scotland) Regulations 2016 were laid before the Scottish Parliament in December 2016 and will come into force on 31st January 2018.

The Regulations require the most senior person in a letting agency business (unless they have no input into the letting agency's day-to-day running) and all persons directly concerned with managing and

Legal Help for living with Dementia

Legal Help for living with Dementia

Our firm was delighted to take part in a Dementia Friends information session which involved staff completing a number of activities with a view to understanding how to interact better with people living with dementia (for example always use the term 'living' with dementia, never 'suffering'). We are often asked about legal help for living with dementia.

Our team regularly find themselves helping people who are experiencing the heartbreaking effects of dementia and this was a great opportunity to learn more about the condition and

Advice for First Time Buyers

Advice for First Time Buyers

Buying your first home is an exciting prospect. In the past few years less people have been able to realise their dream of getting on the property ladder due to lack of sufficient mortgage availability, job uncertainty and the rise in property prices in many areas, particularly in Edinburgh and Glasgow. However the market is now picking up again - what advice for first time buyers should you be looking for?

If you are thinking of purchasing a property one of the first things you

Can I write my own Will? Keep the DIY for your house!

Can I write my own Will? Keep the DIY for your house!

It's inevitable that we will attempt some form of DIY in our lives. In many circumstances there will be that temptation to 'give it a go' whilst thoughts of "what's the worst that can happen?" run through our head but this can often end in disaster. A wobbly shelf or badly painted wall is one thing; but not leaving your hard earned money and possessions to who you want to is another. While on the topic of DIY, we are often asked - can I

Loans and Gifts - The Bank of Mum and Dad

Loans and Gifts - The Bank of Mum and Dad

It is estimated that one in four property transactions will involve a contribution (loans and gifts) from the Bank of Mum and Dad. There are various ways in which that help can be given, for example:

  • Gift or loan of some or all of the deposit
  • Gift or loan of full purchase price
  • Act as guarantor
  • Loans and gifts of some or all of the deposit

If you are considering making a gift you should first seek advice on the tax implications of doing so.

Procurement Strategy ? What RSLs Need to Know

Procurement Strategy ? What RSLs Need to Know

The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 requires all public bodies (including RSLs) to publish a procurement strategy, where their expenditure on regulated procurements for the next financial year will be at least 5m. All eligible public bodies were required to publish their first strategy by 31 December 2016. Public bodies must also notify the Scottish Government of the publication of their strategies.

The Act provides for the matters which must be covered by a procurement strategy, which include:

  • Setting out how the public body will

Handling Subject Access Requests for Employers

Handling Subject Access Requests for Employers

Under the Data Protection Act, employees can ask to see any personal data about them that their employers hold. These are?called a Subject Access Requests (SAR), and can create potential legal problems for employers. What are the risks around SARs? And how employers should handle them?

The Risks

A SAR will likely be time-consuming and costly to an employer. They may need to look through a lot of data in order to find all of the information required.

SAR?s can also be risky for employers

What are the current Edinburgh property market conditions?

What are the current Edinburgh property market conditions?

2016 has been a mixed year for property purchasers and sellers in Edinburgh and the Lothians. What are the current Edinburgh property market conditions? Some sellers have done very well in terms of attracting interest in their properties and achieving prices over their asking prices and home report values; but not everyone has benefited from what, generally speaking, was a positive year on the property market. The main problem for buyers and sellers is a lack of real choice on the market. Most people have

Scottish Land Fund for Community Ownership in Scotland

Scottish Land Fund for Community Ownership in Scotland

On 22 April 2016, further legislation augmenting and transforming rights and responsibilities governing land ownership in Scotland entered into force. Furthering the Scottish Government's aim of bringing an intended million acres of land into community ownership, the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 makes further provisions designed to engage communities in decision making and facilitate community ownership. How can Scottish Land Fund help community ownership?

The Scottish Government have announced that the Scottish Land Fund will continue until 2020 and have trebled support to £10 million

Requirement for Electrical Installation Condition Report in Scotland

Requirement for Electrical Installation Condition Report in Scotland

Landlords should be aware that the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 introduced the requirement in Scotland for landlords to have an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) carried out on all electrical installations, fixtures and fittings within their rental properties. The requirement has been in place since 1st December 2015 for any new tenancies entered into but from 1st December 2016, all tenancies must have a valid EICR, a copy of which must be provided to the tenant.

The EICR lasts for 5 years and

Raising a Court Action: How Long Have I got?

Raising a Court Action: How Long Have I got?

In Scotland, prescription is the law that regulates the period in which parties can pursue claims. If I was raising a court action - how long have I got?

Most claims in law prescribe after five years, which means that a party wishing to make a claim after that five year period may be prohibited from successfully raising that claim.

There are certain other categories of claim to which specific periods apply, such as product liability, defamation and harassment.

The purpose of allowing this period

Brexit - the end of public procurement rules?

Brexit - the end of public procurement rules?

Following the recent signing of the CETA free trade deal between the EU and Canada, many are asking what the UK has in store in relation to trade and, specifically, public procurement rules, upon withdrawal from the EU.

The public procurement rules which apply in Scotland come from the EU Procurement Directive therefore, once the UK has left the EU, does this mean the end for public procurement law in this country?

The possible scenarios for the UK?s exit from the EU include:

  • The Norway

Judicial Review - A Year on from the Changes

Judicial Review - A Year on from the Changes

There were three significant changes to Judicial Review procedures brought in to effect by the Courts Reform (Scotland) Act 2014. The 2014 Act made provision for wide-ranging reforms to the Scottish civil courts system in Scotland, as well as important reforms to the court procedure associated with judicial review in relation to time bar, permission to raise Judicial Review proceedings and the requirement to "front load" applications for Judicial Review.

Time bar

It is now a requirement that applications for judicial review are made

Driving Employment Rights Forward

Driving Employment Rights Forward

What do you need to know about the Uber Employment Tribunal Case and how will this affect employment rights?

In a landmark decision, an Employment Tribunal has held that Uber, popular smart-phone taxi app, must treat its drivers as 'workers' opposed to self-employed. This gives Uber drivers a range of employment rights whilst placing obligations on Uber to uphold these. However, this case is likely to have wide reaching implications. This blog will look at the key facts of the Uber case and tell

What should I know about hiring students?

What should I know about hiring students?

In 2015, 77% of university students worked to help fund their studies. With the new university year beginning, what do employers, and students, need to know about hiring students?

  1. ' Regulations for Younger Workers '

Most university students are over the age of 18, but some students may be younger. Workers under the age of 18 have additional employment rights. For example 16 & 17 year olds are entitled to a 30 minute rest break if they work more than 4.5 hours. It is

Making Alterations to Your Property

Making Alterations to Your Property

If you are considering making alterations to your property it is important to make sure that you have all necessary permissions before getting started.

Depending on what you are planning to do, you may need Planning Permission, a Building Warrant and/or Listed Building Consent from your local authority. Your architect can assist with this and with the completion of any necessary application forms.

Some alterations can be carried out as "permitted development" and therefore do not need permission but it is always best to check

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - What You Need to Know

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace - What You Need to Know

In August 2016 a TUC survey of 1,500 women found that more than half of women of the women surveyed have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is a key issue in the workplace today that has a severe impact on employers and employees. With this in mind we look at what you need to know about sexual harassment at work.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is a broad term that covers a variety of situations. Both men and women can be

I'm young and healthy, why would I need a Power of Attorney?

I'm young and healthy, why would I need a Power of Attorney?

A power of Attorney is something often associated with the elderly and young people may ask - why would I need a power of attorney? However this important legal document is something everyone should consider putting in place. Accidents or illness can, unfortunately, occur at any age and granting Power of Attorney can ensure that someone you trust is able to manage your affairs and make important decisions about your health and well being if something was to happen to you in the future. In

Notifiable Events Requirement for Charities

Notifiable Events Requirement for Charities

You may be aware of the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) updates that involved a request for 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
  • Substantial financial loss
  • Incidents

Does a Registered Social Landlord need a PSC Register?

Does a Registered Social Landlord need a PSC Register?

You may be aware of developments requiring all UK private companies, including companies limited by guarantee and UK LLPs, to keep a Person of Significant Control (PSC) Register.

This has been introduced by the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015 to increase corporate transparency by creating a full picture of the ownership of businesses.

Registered Social Landlord (RSL) - Co-operative and Community Benefit Society

Most RSLs are societies registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (formerly the Industrial and Provident Societies

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