August 2015 Archive

Be aware of void property transactions if seller is insolvent

There is always the risk with any property transaction that the seller could be selling at an under value because they are in financial difficulties and need a quick sale. If a pending winding up or bankruptcy petition is presented against the seller before the sale has completed, and which later results in a winding up or bankruptcy order, then the sale will be void – a fact the buyers are unlikely to know.

Will discontinuance of a claim reverse previous costs orders?

Following the issue of proceedings, a claimant may decide to discontinue their claim if they no longer feel the claim is worth pursuing. The Civil Procedure Rules (“CPR”) provide rules as to who will be liable for the legal costs when a claim is discontinued in all cases other than case in the small claims track, i.e. cases which are below £10,000. CPR Part 38.6 provides:

Unauthorised changes to a listed building can land you in prison

A recent case in Warwickshire highlights how seriously planning authorities view the altering of listed buildings without the required permission. In this particular case the substitution of modern materials landed an architect in court. After pleading guilty to the criminal offence of carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building, Mr Shepherd wound up with a £4,000 fine and an instruction to pay Stratford upon Avon District Council’s legal fees of £10,000.

Grazing agreements for horses

Allowing horse owners to graze their animals on your land can be one way of securing an income on underutilised pasture. Although many such arrangements are organised on a casual basis, it is worth considering whether a more formal approach would be more appropriate, not least to ensure that you do not inadvertently give rise to a tenancy which will affect your control over the land and prevent you from claiming BPS.
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