Latest News

Financial Order Set Aside Due to Husband's Bankruptcy

The High Court has ruled that a financial remedies order requiring a husband to transfer his half share of the former matrimonial home to his wife could not stand because he had been made bankrupt by the time it was made. The couple had separated in 2017,...

Application to Modify Restrictive Covenant Succeeds

The Upper Tribunal (UT) has granted a social housing provider's application to modify a restrictive covenant so as to allow it to proceed with a residential property development. The relevant land was sold in 1975 subject to a conveyance limiting its use...

High Court Ruling in Will Forgery Case

An allegation that a will is a forgery can be hard to prove. However, such an allegation was successfully made out in a High Court case concerning an elderly man who died during the COVID-19 pandemic. The man had passed away in February 2021. A firm of...

Court Refuses to Order Girl's Return to Lithuania

When making decisions about where and with whom a child should live, the courts will prioritise the welfare of the child and will take the child's own views into consideration where appropriate. In a recent case, the High Court rejected a father's...

Ruling That LPAs Not Valid Upheld

Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) allow you to appoint someone else to make decisions in respect of your property and financial affairs, and/or your health and welfare, in the event that you lose the capacity to do so yourself. However, an LPA must comply...

Landlord Granted Dispensation from Consultation Requirements

Under Section 20 of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 , landlords must consult with leaseholders before carrying out works on a building that will cost any one leaseholder more than £250, or risk being unable to recover any costs above that amount....

RTM Company Bound by Terms of Existing Lease

The Right to Manage (RTM) is a method by which leasehold property owners can take over the management of the building they live in. However, an RTM company is bound by the terms of leases that existed before it was set up, as demonstrated by a recent case ...

High Court Rules on Costs of Will Dispute

Those responsible for administering an estate are generally entitled to recover the costs properly incurred in doing so from the estate. Recently, the High Court ruled on whether costs concerning a dispute over a will and an application to remove the...

Court of Appeal Reduces Wife's Award in Big Money Divorce

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal in a big money divorce case clarified how the sharing principle should be applied and when assets are subject to it. The couple had married in 2005. The husband had had a successful career in financial services...

Tenants Can Purchase Freehold When Landlord Cannot Be Found

The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 gives qualifying leaseholders the right to join together to buy the freehold of their properties – a process known as collective enfranchisement. A recent case demonstrated that this right...

Leaseholders Not Liable for Replacing Windows

Tenants who are faced with unexpected demands in respect of repair costs would be well advised to seek legal advice. In a recent case, leaseholders of units of student accommodation successfully argued that they were not liable to pay service charges in...

Court Refuses to Set Aside Divorce Order Applied for by Mistake

While the courts have a range of powers to set aside orders, they will only exercise them in limited circumstances. In a somewhat surprising case that has attracted much comment, the High Court declined to set aside a final order of divorce that had been...

Use of Right of Way Not Unreasonable Interference

Disputes about rights of way often arise between owners of neighbouring residential properties, but can also be an issue for property developers. In a recent case, a property company successfully applied for declaratory relief that current and likely future...

Waiting Time for Grants of Probate Falls

Following concerns last year about delays in processing probate applications, recent figures from HM Courts and Tribunals Service show that waiting times for grants of probate are continuing to improve. The average time from submission of a probate...

Varying a Statutory Will - Requirement to Notify Beneficiaries

If a person lacks the capacity to make a will for themselves, it is possible to make a statutory will for them by applying to the Court of Protection. When seeking to vary such a will, however, the Court of Protection Rules 2017 require that beneficiaries...

Tenants Succeed in Rent Repayment Application

Tenants of poorly maintained properties are not powerless and have the ability to apply for rent repayment orders where issues with the property amount to offences committed by the landlord. The First-tier Tribunal (FTT) recently ordered the landlord of an...

Award That Requires Borrowing Made Into Court Order

Disagreements between separating couples all too often result in litigation that substantially reduces the assets available to them, as was illustrated by a case that recently reached the High Court. At issue was whether awards made by arbitrators in...

Inheritance Disputes - Costs Risks Can Be Reduced

Arguments about what someone promised before their death can lead to significant legal costs. However, if faced with a claim against the estate, there may be steps the beneficiaries or executors can take to reduce the risks, as a recent High Court case...

Landlord Counts Cost of Obstructing Collective Enfranchisement

The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 gives leaseholders the right to buy the freehold of their properties in certain circumstances, a process known as collective enfranchisement. While landlords may not welcome leaseholders...

Wife Entitled to Maintenance Until Sale of Family Home

When divorcing couples disagree on how assets should be divided, the courts will seek to arrive at a fair outcome for both parties. In deciding how the proceeds of sale of a former couple's home should be apportioned, the Family Court agreed with the wife...

Removal of Guttering Leads to Costly Court Battle

Disagreements between neighbours over where the boundary between their properties lies can ultimately lead to litigation costs far exceeding the value of the land in question. In a widely reported case, the removal of guttering that allegedly overhung a...

Retired Businessman's Final Will Ruled Invalid

Having your will drawn up professionally by a qualified solicitor is always a sensible precaution, especially in later life. In a recent case, the High Court ruled that a retired businessman lacked testamentary capacity when he made a will less than three...

Wrong Address a Reasonable Excuse for Landlord

Landlords would be well advised to ensure all records regarding their properties are kept up to date. Recently, however, the Upper Tribunal (UT) agreed with a residential landlord that she had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with an Improvement...

Court Sanctions Leg Amputation for Man Lacking Mental Capacity

The courts are often called upon to sanction treatment for patients whose ability to make decisions for themselves is impaired. In a recent case on point , the Court of Protection had to decide whether it was in the best interests of a man with mental...

High Court Grants Parental Order Despite Previous Adoption

In law, adopted children are regarded as having been born to their adoptive parents. The Family Division of the High Court recently considered whether that fact precluded a parental order being granted under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008...
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