A Continued Focus on Energy Efficiency

Posted: April 22, 2016

It is a legal requirement for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) to be produced when a property is sold or rented out (it should be obtained before the property is marketed). EPCs show the energy efficiency of a building and must also include recommendations for cost-effective improvements that could be made to the property to improve its energy efficiency. The government initiative behind EPCs is to incentivise property owners or occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of their buildings. On... Read More »

FIRST TIME BUYERS – HELP TO BUY: ISA

Posted: January 26, 2016

At Charles French and Co, we realise that buying a house can be stressful for anyone, not least for First Time Buyers and that it is not just about finding that perfect home but, financing it and choosing the best of many schemes that may be available to you. The latest of these schemes that the government has introduced is the “Help to Buy: ISA” specifically for first time buyers.    The scheme has been available since 1st December 2015 and... Read More »

Changes to house buying costs – stamp duty increases from April 2016

Posted: January 18, 2016

Autumn 2015 saw George Osborne make further changes to stamp duty land tax (SDLT), which is payable on the purchase of property in England and Wales. From 1 April 2016, higher rates of stamp duty will be charged on second homes, including buy-to-let properties. The additional tax raised will be used fund affordable housing initiatives, and reflects current government housing policy to encourage first time buyers. The rate of SDLT charged on second homes will vary depending on the purchase price... Read More »

Court warns against leaving things to the last minute

Posted: January 5, 2016

Parties were warned of the risk of leaving things until the last minute when the court dismissed an appeal against an order refusing extension of time for service of the claim form and particulars of claim. The Claimant in Price v Egbert H Taylor & Company Ltd had previously obtained two extensions of time for service of the claim form and particulars of claim.  The Claimant then applied for a third extension five days before the expiry of the extended... Read More »

WARNING: No apportionment of rent

Posted: December 23, 2015

Court of Appeal overturns controversial High Court decision and provides clarity for landlords and tenants The Supreme Court ruled earlier this month in Marks and Spencer plc v BNP Paribas Securities Trust Company (Jersey) Limited and another that there was no implied term that the landlord must recompense a proportionate amount of rent paid in advance if the lease expired mid-quarter following the service of a tenant’s break clause. This was a reversal of the earlier High Court decision to... Read More »

Affordable Housing: Event for Estate Agents

Posted: December 15, 2015

Late last month Charles French & Co, in conjunction with the Council, gave a presentation on the resale of affordable homes. Holly King from the firm’s New Build Department, based in St Austell, and Claire Gummow, based at Mevagissey were among those presenting.  The presentation was well received and dealt with various aspects of the sale and purchase of affordable properties from the various different view points, including Help to Buy SW.  The Charles French & Co team gave an... Read More »

Buyers Beware – are you insuring from exchange of contracts?

Posted: December 10, 2015

If a house a purchased with the aid of a mortgage, the buyer’s conveyancer will act for both the buyer and the lender. The conveyancer will use the Council of Mortgage Lenders Handbook (the Handbook) to determine the requirements of each individual lender. The Handbook’s guidance on buildings insurance was amended on 30 November 2015. Buyers are responsible for insuring the property from exchange of contracts, and should be advised of this by their conveyancer. Once contracts are exchanged, the... Read More »

The new Consumer Rights Legislation: don’t get left on the shelf!

Posted: November 19, 2015

In what is thought to embody the most significant overhaul of consumer law for decades, the Consumer Rights Act (CRA) was brought into force on 1 October 2015. The Act, which has been warmly received by many consumer rights groups, is intended to make it easier for people to understand and make use of their rights, and clearly sets out in one place the rules which govern how consumers buy and businesses sell to them in the UK. The improvements... Read More »

Legal Update: Working Alarms Save Lives

Posted: October 26, 2015

The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015 came into force on 1 October 2015. They require landlords of private residential properties in England to have at least one smoke alarm installed on every storey of their properties, and a carbon monoxide alarm in any room containing a solid fuel burning appliance. The House of Lords have expressed concern that the Regulations are not clear, and landlords have not been well informed of the changes. The regulations apply to... Read More »

Charity Skydive

Posted: October 26, 2015

Jodie Vercoe, an apprentice in our accounts department, has raised an incredible £500.00 for Little Harbour in St Austell. Little Harbour is run by Children’s Hospice South West, and is conveniently situated for families who live in Cornwall and offers a place where each family member can find time and space to feel normal and do the things they enjoy, as a family. Jodie thinks that the work carried out by Little Harbour is brilliant and that doing a skydive offered a... Read More »