June 2013 Archive

Guidelines to be published on lending to women

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and the Building Societies Association are to produce guidance for lenders to ensure they are not treating pregnant women or women on maternity unfairly when they apply for a mortgage. This follows a government review which found no evidence of actual discrimination by lenders, but nonetheless found a long-standing perception that banks discriminate against women, which could act as a deterrent for women in accessing finance from banks.

Scope of valuer’s duty on buy-to-let valuations

Scullion v Bank of Scotland Plc concerned valuers’ liability to buy to let investors. Valuers and their insurers have watched carefully as the case progressed from the High Court to the Court of Appeal and then to be heard in the Supreme Court. However, in a turn of events that may have left buy to let investors and lenders perplexed, Mr Scullion withdrew the appeal on the very morning that it was due to be heard in the Supreme Court.

Compensation from FSCS for negligent mortgage advice

In Emptage v Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) the FSCS was ordered by the court to reconsider the compensation payable following bad mortgage advice. The FSCS had argued they were not bound to compensate a borrower for investment advice on a foreign property, despite that advice being linked directly to regulated mortgage advice. At appeal in June the first court decision was confirmed. Extra funds are therefore available to repay the loan.

Charities and Empty Property Relief

With landlords no longer able to claim empty property relief, various schemes have been devised with the purpose of reducing empty property rate liability. One such scheme is for the landlord to agree with a charity that it can occupy their premises since a charity in occupation “wholly or mainly for charitable purposes” is entitled to an 80% rebate of the business rates.

Dissolution of civil partnerships

The last twelve months has seen the courts getting to grips with defining the principles governing the dissolution of civil partnerships. A landmark case in March 2012 has helped to clarify what couples seeking to dissolve their civil partnership can expect when it comes to asset division between partners of unequal financial standing.
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