8,000 properties were repossessed in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first half of this quarter and of those most were on buy to let mortgages than from owner occupied homes.
The buy to let sector is still growing as the buy to let mortgage lending accounted for 13.4 % of the total mortgage market and is up 13% from the previous quarter.
Low interest rates, employment the relaxing of the mortgage lending rules and Government policy were helping the public keep hold of their homes.
Over the next 3 – 4 years the UK economy should see a modest ascent to recovery although by historical standards, this is still quite weak and main risks to the recovery continue to stem from international origins as weak demand from the Eurozone has reflected.
According to figures released on Wednesday which showed the first three months of the year, France fell back into recession while as a whole, the Eurozone economy contracted for the sixth quarter in a row.
Recent figures showed UK unemployment rose in the first three months of this year, however, a separate report showed the number of Britons claiming job seekers allowance steadily fell by 7,300 last month to 1.52 million.
Despite a more positive forecast from the Bank of England – the Banks simply cannot fix the economy and its complicated recovery issues on its own, but one thing is unanimously agreed on, and that is the UK desperately needs an effective, long term economic solution and fast.
The UK water supplier, Severn Trent, have said that investors are interested in buying the company.
Severn Trent provide water to 7.7 million people in the West Midlands and areas in Wales. This news has seen shares in the company jump up by 15%. It has been said that a bid could be worth up to £5.3 billion.
The international investors include the Kuwaiti government investment fund and a Canadian infrastructure company.
New Offices in Spinningfields – Manchester
PLS Solicitors are pleased to announce that they have now moved their firms corporate; commercial property; employment and commercial litigation teams over to Spinngfields in the old Halliwells building.
The move signifies the firms expanding departments in these areas. It is a significant move as the firm receives referrals from banks and barrister chambers therefore Adam Pavey and Aashim Dhand of PLS wanted their departments to be located nearer these areas.
We believe that this will make the firm more accessible for its ever growing commercial client base.
After completion, what items were to remain at a given property frequently proves to be a source of disputes between vendor and purchaser. Hence, it may be useful to set out the following key principles from the law relating to this area.
After exchange of contracts, the vendor of a property is not permitted to remove any items from the property which the law regards as fixtures. If an item is classed as a fixture it must remain at the property. Conversely if an item is classed as a chattel, it may be removed from the property. To avoid arguments later as the whether a particular item is regarded as a fixture the vendor and purchaser should agree exactly which items are to be removed by the vendor and which are to stay prior to the contract.
It appears however that although how the parties choose to describe particular items can have some effect in deciding whether something is a fixture or not, this is not determinative (see 2 below). In answering the question of whether a particular item is a fixture, two issues will be considered by the Court:
- The degree of annexation of the object to the land: As a general rule, unless an item is physically attached (or to use the old fashioned term ‘annexed’) to the land, it will not be considered a fixture. For an item to be physically attached, its removal from the property must result in significant damage to either the property or the object itself.
- The purpose of annexation: The modern tendency is to place considerably more emphasis on this issue rather than the degree of annexation test. The manner in which ornaments have been put up in buildings has changed over the years such that generally less disruption is now necessary to remove a given object than was formerly the case. In the leading case of Leigh v Taylor , a tapestry attached by tacks to a wooden frame was held to be a chattel rather than a fixture as the purpose of its attachment was to enable it to be enjoyed as an ornament rather than to enhance the building.
In a later key case of Berkley v Poulett (1976), the essential question was considered to be whether the purpose of annexation in respect of a picture was for it to be enjoyed as a picture or to enhance the structure of the building. Put another way, the mere fact of how workmen chose to solve the problem of how pictures should be fixed to the walls of a property was not decisive in determining whether they could legitimately be viewed as chattels or fixtures.
The law as stated above can be seen to be far from clear cut in this area. We at PLS would therefore advise both purchasers and vendors to agree in as much detail as possible prior to exchange of contracts,what items are to be included in the agreed fittings and contents list.
There has been an increase in the number of approvals for mortgages on house purchases compared to the beginning of the year with help from homebuying schemes.
Bank of Scotland figures show a total of 53,504 home loans were approved for house purchases during March, up from February’s five-year low of 51,947. However, the figure remained below the 55,415 approvals registered in December.
Since the start of the year lenders have continued to cut interest rates on loans for borrowers with large amounts of equity.
The Bank’s figures showed total lending to individuals increased by £0.9bn in March, compared to the average monthly increase of £1bn over the previous six months.
Consumer borrowing through loans, credit cards, overdrafts and other forms of consumer credit remained muted, with March’s increase of £0.5bn only fractionally higher than the previous six-month average of £0.4bn. Credit card lending was up by £0.2bn while other unsecured borrowing increased by £0.3bn
On the 28th April the online version of the Daily Mail published an article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316261/Neil-IQ-125-runs-business-So-wont-secret-court-let-spend-money.html?ICO=most_read_module ) about a “secret court” that controls the assets of thousands of the country’s most vulnerable people.
The Court of Protection (“CoP”) is a court of record that appoints people, known as deputies, to look after the financial interests and welfare of those that, through injury or illness cannot make these decisions for themselves and have not already made provision for such circumstances. It is primarily concerned with protecting these vulnerable people from potential financial, physical or emotional abuse, however, it has recently received heavy criticism from a number of corners for being slow, expensive to use and seemingly unmoved by the feelings and sensitivities of those who it is there to serve and their families.
An application to the CoP would normally cost a minimum of £825.00 in solicitors’ fees. There are also Court fees, appointment fees and annual insurance premiums that all must be paid before a deputy is allowed to take control of the patient’s affairs. These will often bring the total paid to approaching the £2,000 mark.
The number of applicants in recent times has meant that the CoP is just not able to progress matters in a timely manner and as such has left patients and their carers frustrated at a lack of movement at a time when in strict legal terms a vacuum exists as to who is to care for the patient and how this is to be funded.
The requirement to return to the Court in order to seek approval for the payment of costs not strictly for the use and benefit of the patient, for example tuition fees for children of university age or private education can cause unnecessary distress and further costs.
Dealings with the CoP can be avoided and as is usual prevention is better than cure. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) now while you have the capacity to do so you can have a say over who is to control your finances in the event that you are ever unable to do so. An LPA can also be used to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about your health and wellbeing including the ability to maintain or refuse life sustaining treatment.
Without a valid LPA you leave yourself and your loved ones at the mercy of what has been dubbed in the media as “Britain’s most secret court”.
The SRA has decided not to impose a special one off fee on solicitors to pay for the increased cost of intervening in failed firms, but prefers the bill to fall on the compensation fund instead which is dwindling fast.
By October the funds will be £45m and the SRA has advised that there will be an increase in fees this year to cover the cost of the fund in 2014.
It may have to intervene in about 50 more firms that cannot find a buyer but that have client files open.
It was the failure of bigger firms at the start of 2013, Cobbetts, Atteys and Blakemores , that increased the SRA’s exposure to exceptional intervention costs.
Help to Buy is the latest scheme which has been introduced by the Government to help First time buyers onto the property ladder. With a 5% deposit, Buyers will be able to purchase properties for £600,000 or less as the long as the Property is your main home and it will be fully owned by you. You do not have to be a first time buyer and there is no limit on your level of income. PLS Solicitors are extremely encouraged by this latest scheme and believe that this will lead to an upsurge in house sales over the next 12 months.
PLS Solicitors are pleased to announce that they have now launched their corporate department. We would be grateful if anyone looking to sell or acquire any business or is even thinking of selling or buying and wishes to obtain advice prior to selling or acquiring speaks to Glyn Baker and Jack Medlicott in our corporate team who will be pleased to have a free one hour no obligation chat to see what initial advice they can supply.