Figures show that over half of UK adults do not have a Will. Many say that they plan to make a Will later in life because they feel that it will be too complex and costly. This is particularly common for those with step families. As a result, over 31 million run the risk of dying intestate and having their estate distributed solely according to Intestacy Law.Law of Intestacy Flowchart - The Law Practice

Recent studies have shown that people aged 55 and over are 3 times more likely to have a Will than those aged 18 to 34. The 35 to 54 age bracket isn’t much better. Only a quarter of those aged 35 to 54 have a Will, despite having dependents and major financial commitments.

To help convince those who are delaying or even having doubts about writing or updating a Will, we’ve listed 10 very good reasons why you should.

  • If you do not leave a Will, the law decides how your estate is passed on and this may not be in line with your wishes. This may lead to your spouse having to share your estate with your children whom you may not have intended to benefit straight away. This leads us onto point 2…
  • In England and Wales, if you are married with children, you might assume that all your assets would go to your spouse. However, if you die without a valid Will and your estate is worth more than £250,000, your partner will only get the first £250,000. If you do not leave a Will, your spouse will get one half of the remainder of the estate and your children, the other half between them. If your assets are worth less than £250,000, your children will get nothing.
  • If you are not married, your partner is not legally entitled to any of your estates when you die. At present, the intestacy rules do not recognise cohabitees. If you live with your partner and die without having made a Will, your partner will not automatically inherit any of your estates – there is no such thing as a “common law wife”. Your partner may have a claim on the estate, but this is expensive and a situation that should be avoided.
  • A Will permits you to appoint guardians to look after your children if they are under 18 and you can also make financial arrangements for their benefit in the event of your death.
  • Writing a Will can ensure Inheritance Tax (IHT) is kept to a minimum. A properly drafted Trust in your Will could enable someone to manage the inheritance you leave to a disabled or vulnerable person and may ensure the intended beneficiary does not lose his/her means-tested benefits.
  • A Will allows you to choose your own Executors. If you die without a Will, your closest relatives will need to apply for ‘Letters of Administration’. The Executors chosen on your behalf may not be in line with your wishes.
  • A Will allows you to leave specific sums or items to individuals. These can range from items of jewellery to sums of money.
  • A Will also makes it much easier for your family or friends to sort everything out when you die. Without a Will, the process can be more time consuming and stressful.
  • It is possible to write your own Will; however homemade Wills should only be used in the most straightforward of circumstances. i.e. leaving your entire estate to 1 person. At The Law Practice (UK) Ltd, we do not recommend that you write your own Will as without legal assistance, mistakes can be made which can be disastrous, leading to invalid Wills, or the wrong beneficiaries benefitting. Homemade Wills are unregulated and do not offer the consumer protection that a solicitor does as we are backed by Professional Indemnity Insurance and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
  • Once you have a valid Will, you should review it every 5 years and after any major change in your life such as marriage or divorce, moving home, having a baby or if the executor dies. It is important to note that your Will is automatically revoked on marriage.

Don’t leave anything to chance – get in touch with The Law Practice (UK) Ltd today for further information regarding our Will writing service. Our team of expert solicitors can professionally draft your Will for you or aid you in reviewing your Will as it stands.

To make an appointment, or simply to speak to a member of the team, please contact us.

For many people, buying a property with a friend, group of friends or partner is the only option because of property prices, tight lending restrictions and the need for a large deposit. If you are going into a mortgage jointly, make sure you are both aware of your rights and obligations.

Types of Ownership

You can own property as either ‘joint tenants’ or ‘tenants in common’. The type of ownership affects what you can do with the property if your relationship with a joint owner breaks down, or if one owner dies.

As joint tenants, you have equal rights to the whole property and the property is automatically passed to the other owners if you die. This means individual owners can’t pass what they consider ‘their share’ of the property to a beneficiary in their will. Joint tenants must act as one in the eyes of the law. For example, individual tenants would not have the option of only mortgaging their share of the property. All of the tenants have to take out a joint mortgage.

As tenants in common, you can own different shares of the property and the property does not automatically go to the other owners if you die. Owners can pass ‘their share’ of the property to a beneficiary in their will or the rule of intestacy can apply.  Up to 4 people can jointly be registered as tenants in common for an individual property. This is a popular choice for friends or relatives who are buying together.

Joint owners have a legal right to stay in their home unless a court order rules otherwise. If one of the owners wants to sell the property or take a loan out against its value all of the owners have to give their consent, unless a court order rules otherwise.

How can I protect the money I put in?

You may wish to have a Declaration of Trust drawn up when purchasing a property to reflect that one of you holds a greater interest in the property over the other, such as where one party has put a greater deposit down or intends to contribute more towards the mortgage. Creating this declaration of trust when purchasing is important when the property is sold as it ensures that each homeowner gets a fair portion of what they put into the property.

What happens if I’m a joint tenant or a tenant in common and the other tenants stop meeting the mortgage payments?

A mortgage lender will always insist that borrowers are ‘jointly and severally’ liable. This means that if one of you stops paying his or her part of the mortgage the other (or others) will have to pay the full amount.

Who must pay off the mortgage if you decide to go your separate ways?

A cohabitation agreement can specify who should contribute what, including what proportion should be paid towards the mortgage. This can provide certainty to the individuals about where they stand in the event of a relationship breakdown. There is a common misconception that a cohabitation agreement, much like a prenuptial agreement, is legally binding. This is not the case, at least not in the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Whilst they are lawful, they are governed by the ordinary rule of a contract which means the individual terms or agreement can be challenged in court.

If you jointly own your home, you have several options about what to do with it when you separate. You might decide to:

  • Sell the home and both of you move out. You could use the money you’ve raised to put towards buying another home for each of you if you can afford to do this.
  • Arrange for one of you to buy the other out.
  • Keep the home and not change who owns it. One partner could continue to live in it, perhaps until your children are 18 or leave school.
  • Transfer part of the value of the property from one partner to the other so that your children have somewhere to live. The partner who gave up a share of their ownership rights would keep a stake or ‘interest’ in the home. This means that when it is sold he or she will receive a percentage of its value.

If you would like to discuss jointly purchasing a property in further detail, please contact the team via our main switchboard number 0121 778 2371 or alternatively email info@lplawfirm.com.

Countless homeowners may be completely unaware that their area is affected by Radon gas. The first time that many people hear about Radon is if they are planning to buy or sell a home and it is located in a designated radon affected area.

This guide is intended to help you understand Radon gas and the potential risks it might have if you end up living in a designated radon affected area, sometimes known as a Radon gas postcode.

What is Radon Gas?

Radon gas is a naturally occurring radioactive gas which is colourless and odourless, therefore it cannot be detected without specialist Radon testing equipment. Radon gas is formed by the radioactive decay of the small amounts of uranium that occur naturally in all rocks and soils. As this element decays, Radon gas is formed, which then rises to the surface. It is always at safe levels outdoors, however, it can be at dangerously high levels in buildings, depending on the part of the country, and the type of ground the building is on. For instance, levels may be higher in parts of the country rich in granite, such as Dartmoor in Devon and Cornwall. Many parts of Sussex, such as Shoreham-by-Sea, Hove and Brighton, also have higher levels of Radon gas as properties are built into hillsides. These properties are automatically at higher risk of radon as there are extra surfaces in contact with the ground through which the gas can permeate into the building.

Radon Gas House - The Law Practice UK

How can Radon gas affect your health?

If high levels of Radon gas are breathed in over a long period of time, this exposure can lead to damage to the sensitive cells of our lungs which increases the risk of lung cancer. Radon causes about 1,000 lung cancer deaths in the UK every year.

Property Searches Flagging Radon Gas

Property searches are one of the key parts of the conveyancing process. When buying a property, your solicitor will carry out property searches to find out more information about the property and, crucially, what the area around it also looks like.  The main searches when purchasing a property are:

  • Local authority search (LAS): This search is requested by your mortgage lender and applied for by a solicitor once you have made an offer on a property. It consists of several smaller search and requests information on any nearby contaminations, road schemes or planning works along with a number of other searches.
  • Drainage and water search: This search will reveal exactly where all drainage systems are around a property and show if these are at risk of affecting the property in the future. The search will reveal if any planning restrictions are in place relating to drains.
  • Environmental search: This search will cover you for any environmental issues within 500 metres of the property. An environmental search looks at everything from flood risk, Radon gas, to subsidence and is carried out by a company that maintains detailed information about previous land uses within the vicinity of a property.

Buying a House in a High-Risk Radon Area?

If the property search reports show that the property you looking to purchase is in a radon affected area, don’t panic! A large part of Great Britain is considered to be in a Radon gas-affected area but that doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t be buying your house there. Just like you would be cautious if a structural report came back with some warning signs, if a Radon gas risk report comes back high it simply means that you have been made aware of any potential risks and which you should try to resolve before continuing any further.

It is recommended that you ask the vendor whether any Radon testing has been carried out within the property and if so, request to see a copy of the results report. If testing has not been carried out, it would be a sensible precaution to arrange for the property to be tested. Testing for radon is simple and inexpensive. It involves placing small Radon testing devices in the home for at least ten days. This will ensure that an accurate reading is gathered. Radon is measured in units called becquerels, and these are calculated per cubic metre. A level below 100 Bq/m³ is considered low risk, and the UK average is far below this at 20 Bq/m³.

If the results show that there are dangerous levels of radon in the property, there are actions you can take to lower them to within the safe limits. High levels of radon can be reduced by carrying out remedial works to the property. The two most common methods are either the installation of a positive pressure fan inside the property or the excavation of a small hole beneath the property (called a radon sump) that is connected to an exhaust pipe and fan on the outside of the building. Every property is individual and so the remediation system needs to be designed for that particular property and then cost by a specialist.

If you are thinking of selling, re-mortgaging or buying a property, contact our specialist conveyancing departments today in Walsall, Great Barr Birmingham, London and Shoreham-by-Sea.

The Law Practice (UK) Ltd is fortunate to have offices based in prestigious and historic locations around the United Kingdom, one of which in Elstree, Hertfordshire. Elstree is a village in the Hertsmere borough of Hertfordshire. It is approximately 13 miles northwest of central London.

Elstree is perhaps best known for the Elstree Film Studios, where several famous British films were made. Studios have been located here since film production began in the area during 1914. Known as the birthplace of Star Wars, some of the most famous films in the world have been produced at Elstree Studios; the Indiana Jones and Star Wars trilogies, Superman, The Shining and Labyrinth to name just a few from an endless list. Elstree Studios is home to some of the top shows on British television today; The Crown, Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother, The Voice, Celebrity Juice, A League of Their Own, The Chase, Pointless, Room 101 and many more.

Despite being called “Elstree Studios”, only one studio has ever been located in Elstree itself, the remainder residing in the adjacent town of Borehamwood. When the studios were being established, Elstree was significantly larger than Borehamwood. Nowadays, Borehamwood is the larger, but the old names have remained in use. Borehamwood is predominantly a post-war town, which in recent years has seen a bit of a boom in development due to its affordability. Neighbouring Elstree, on the other hand, owes its growth to the 1868 arrival of the Midland Railway station but has a history that can be traced back to the 5th Century and the Battle of Ailestreu.

Our Elstree office is located in the heart of Elstree, a stone’s throw from the A41, providing links to the M1, M25 and A1. Our experienced team all live in Elstree and surrounding areas and are part of the community, so they have extensive knowledge of the area. The Elstree team provide the following legal services:

  • Residential and Commercial Conveyancing
  • New Build Conveyancing
  • Civil Litigation
  • Family Law
  • Debt Recovery
  • Personal Injury
  • Employment Law
  • Wills & Probate
  • Landlords & Tenant
  • Regulatory Advice

The Law Practice (UK) Ltd is unique in the services we offer and the way we operate our firm as a whole. We offer a FREE home call service where we help our clients with the initial paperwork and can organise the meeting and greeting clients for ID purposes to limit the client making unnecessary journeys to the office. We believe in being proactive and not reactive.

Please feel free to pop in and see the team to discuss any legal requirements you may have, alternatively call us on 0207 167 4899 or email info@lplawfirm.com

Japanese Knotweed is prevalent in many areas of the UK. What should you do if you discover Japanese Knotweed on your property? How do you make sure a property you are buying isn’t affected?  Here are some helpful pointers to make sure you are clear on how to handle this inconvenient invader.

What is Japanese Knotweed and why is it such a problem?

When Victorian engineers were designing our railways, they imported Japanese Knotweed into Britain to hide, or possibly even stabilise, railway embankments. Japanese Knotweed is typically known for colonising volcanoes in Japan and is now known to be a significant problem across the country.

It spreads quickly and can grow up to 10cm a day between April and October with the roots extending up to three metres deep and up to seven metres laterally.  It is strong enough to crack tarmac, block drains, undermine foundations and invade homes. Its presence can be enough to cut a property’s value by up to 20% or prevent a mortgage lender approving a loan. It is estimated to be the cause of circa £170 million of home repairs every year and the government estimates that the costs of eradicating it across the UK would be £2.6 billion.

How do I identify Japanese Knotweed?

Mature Japanese Knotweed canes can be identified by their distinctive purple speckle and stand as high as three metres tall. This is when they are fully grown by early summer. Towards the end of summer clusters of small white flowers appear, which are loved by insects for their nectar. In Autumn, the leaves wither and fall off and the canes die and go brown. The rhizome is the part of the plant that is submerged under the soil. It has a dark brown bark and under this external layer, is orange or yellow.

How close is it to me?

Five years ago, the Environment Agency commissioned a new app to track Japanese Knotweed, using the crowd-sourcing principle. More than 20,000 people have now downloaded it, and their data has pinpointed over 6,000 knotweed locations. View the full map at http://www.planttracker.org.uk/map/knotweed where you can zoom into your area. So far, the results show a particular concentration in South Wales, Midlands, London, Scotland’s central belt and Cornwall – where the plant was also introduced by Victorians into ornamental gardens.

What should I do if I have Japanese Knotweed on my property?

Japanese Knotweed is extremely difficult to treat because the roots or rhizomes spread rapidly underground and can regenerate from tiny amounts of material. There are strict regulations which control the its disposal. The Knotweed must be treated at the root and by cutting it down.

Digging it out of the ground can just spread it terribly,” warns Stephen Hodgson, the chief executive of the Property Care Association (PCA).”If you’ve got it in your garden, either leave it alone, or treat it properly.

The advice is as follows:

  • Do not try to dig it up: Tiny root fragments can regenerate into another plant
  • If you cut down the branches, dispose of them on-site. Compost separately, preferably on plastic sheets
  • Do not take it to your local council dump. It needs specialist waste management
  • Do not dispose of it in the countryside. This is against the law
  • Do not spread the soil – earth within seven horizontal metres of a plant can be contaminated
  • Take advice from the Invasive Non-Native Specialists Association (INNSA) or the Property Care Association (PCA) on local removal contractors. Many treatments don’t work

In an experiment being conducted in South Wales, thousands of plant lice were released in the summer of 2016, in the hopes that they would help destroy some of the knotweed along river banks. Scientists hope the insects, brought from Japan will stunt the super weed, allowing native species to flourish. However, it is still recommended to seek professional advice on how to eradicate it to ensure that the plant does not get out of control or spread to adjoining properties. Professional knotweed treatment involves injecting the plant with industrial-strength weed killer -Glyphosate.

David Layland, the joint managing director of Japanese Knotweed Control, based in Stockport, says it is the only thing that works. “Once we inject into it, it transfers into the root system pretty quickly, and then it binds with the roots. Over time, it rots away into the subsoil.”

Professional treatment is costly, starting at about £2,500, and going upwards to £30,000 for a major infestation.

Am I liable for knotweed spreading to adjoining properties?

You must deal with Japanese Knotweed straight away.  If you fail to do so, then you could be faced with a substantial claim from any adjoining landowner.  This claim could be not just for the costs of removing the knotweed from the adjoining property but also for the decrease in value of the adjoining property.

In the recent case of Smith v Line where knotweed was found by the Smiths on property they had acquired from Ms Line. When they discovered the knotweed, the Smiths acted to remove the knotweed from their land and, having successfully eradicated it from their property, requested Ms Line to take action to prevent it spreading back onto their property as it was growing close to the boundary.  Ms Line refused, and the judge granted an injunction requiring Ms Line to get a reputable contractor to treat the knotweed on her land and ordered her to pay the Smiths’ costs.

Similarly, in the case Williams v Network Rail, two homeowners in South Wales were awarded £15,000 to compensate them for knotweed which had spread into their gardens.

These cases highlight the possibility of further claims being made more frequently in the future.

What should I do if I am buying a property?

Where sellers of existing properties are aware that the property or garden is, or has been, affected by Japanese Knotweed, they must declare it on the property information form (known as a Form TA6) as part of the conveyancing process.  However, developers and builders are not obliged to complete this property information form and if you are buying from a developer or builder then you should make sure your solicitor requests specific enquiries are written to confirm both the current and the historic knotweed position. A buyer should always get a survey of the property carried out and should ensure that the survey includes the garden and, where possible, gardens of adjoining properties.

Can I get insurance against Japanese Knotweed?

Whilst most buildings insurers don’t ask about Japanese Knotweed, they may not cover any treatment so check your buildings insurance policy carefully to see if it is covered.  A mortgage lender may also not be willing to lend if the buildings insurance policy won’t cover knotweed.

Indemnity insurance cover can be taken out to provide protection for buyers and mortgage lenders if Japanese Knotweed is discovered.  This will generally only be available if no knotweed has been discovered on your property or if it has been successfully treated in the past. This insurance could cover the cost of a survey report to confirm the presence of knotweed, the cost of treatment, repair of any damage caused and could also extend to defending any legal proceedings in the event of any third party being affected.

 

Who is eligible for a Help To Buy ISA?

Only first-time buyers can open a Help to Buy ISA.

How much can I deposit into a Help to Buy ISA per month?

The maximum you can deposit a month is £200, with a one-off the maximum initial deposit of £1,000.

When can I use the money in a Help To Buy ISA?

You can use the money toward the deposit fund or completion funds, but the bonus will not be claimed until completion.

Is there a maximum/minimum property purchase price required to claim the Help to Buy bonus?

There is no minimum amount required. However, if you are purchasing for more than £250,000 outside of London, you will not be able to claim the Help to Buy bonus. The maximum you can buy in London is £450,000 to claim the bonus.

What is the maximum/minimum required to have in my Help To Buy ISA so I can claim the bonus?

The maximum amount you can have in your Help to Buy  ISA in order to claim the government bonus is £12,000. The minimum you must have to qualify for the bonus is £1,600.

How is the bonus calculated?

The bonus is calculated on the total amount that you have saved in your Help to Buy ISA and the bonus will be 25% of the balance. For example, if Rob has £10,000 in his ISA, he will receive a bonus of £2,500. The maximum bonus you can receive is £3,000 and the minimum is £400.

How and when do I close my Help To Buy ISA?

You must close your Help to Buy ISA at least two weeks before you wish to use the funds & claim the bonus, this is so enough time is given to the ISA manager in order for them to transfer the money that’s in your Help to Buy ISA Account and provide you with a closing statement (which can take a few days and is sent in the post usually).

Step 1 – Ask for your ISA to be closed

Step 2 – Request a closing statement

Step 3 – Transfer the money to your normal account

Step 4 – Provide your conveyancer with the closing statement immediately upon receipt

How and who claims the bonus on my behalf?

The solicitor/conveyancer you have instructed to act for you in respect of your purchase will claim the bonus on your behalf and is usually sent to your solicitor/conveyancer on completion. You will need to provide your solicitor/conveyancer with the closing statement as soon as possible so they can apply for the bonus using the online portal, usually a bonus is claimed 7 days prior to completion.

Your conveyancer/solicitor will apply for the bonus via the Help to Buy online portal. They will then receive a notification to let them know the bonus has been approved. This will be paid into your solicitors/conveyancer’s client account on the date they have selected (this is often the day before completion).

What can I use the government bonus towards?

This can be used towards the purchase price of the property you are buying.

 

By now most landlord and letting agents should be aware of the ‘prescribed form’ of Section 21 Notices –which was first introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015. The new prescribed form must be used where an assured shorthold tenancy was granted on or after 1 October 2015 in England. In order to serve a valid notice, there must also be compliance with the prescribed requirement (discussed in more detail at https://www.lplawfirm.com/gas-certificate-rights/).

We still receive a large number of enquiries from landlords who have served notice only to realise several months down the line that they have done so incorrectly and must start the whole process again. We would always advise that any notice served on a tenant should be professionally prepared from a reputable source.

The law in this area continues to evolve and from 1 October 2018, some of the requirements of the Deregulation Act will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies in England even those granted before 1 October 2015;

  • The ‘retaliatory eviction’ provisions will apply to all assured shorthold tenancies in England from 1 October 2018
  • Removal of requirement to expire notice at the end of a period
  • Time limits when section 21 can be served – A section 21 notice cannot be served within the first 4 months and must be used within 6 months of service
  • All Section 21 notices should be in the prescribed form

For further information, guidance or advice please contact Ashley Byrne of The Law Practice Landlord and Tenant team on 0121 778 2371 or email ashley.byrne@lplawfirm.com


The purpose of this blog is to provide information and discussion. Nothing on this blog should be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified solicitor regarding any actual legal issue or dispute. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a solicitor-client relationship. Please note that we cannot give advice on individual’s situations or problems on this blog.

There is a multitude of benefits to buying a New Build home. Buying into such developments can be opting into a lifestyle rather than just purchasing a home, with fitness suites, shopping amenities and communal spaces becoming common features of new build developments. The developers will do solid research on an area and look at proximity to local schools and transport links.

When buying a New Build home, ensure you research the developer that you are purchasing from and ask to see the developer’s portfolio of work. Whether it is a well-known developer or a private developer, it is essential that they have a proven track record and you can see their work stands the test of time. New Build properties are generally built to the highest specifications using high-quality, new materials, which mean that they are more energy efficient, cheaper to maintain and have the latest safety and security measures in place. A 10-year National House Building Council Warranty (NHBC) comes with most new homes and acts as a guarantee.

Construction of the property you plan to purchase may not have started and you may commit to the purchase based on the viewing of a show home. This is what’s known as buying ‘off-plan’. Buying off-plan also gives buyers the opportunity to choose finishes throughout the property so that it is bespoke to the buyer’s personal taste – from flooring to tiles, to worktops and wardrobes. Investors often buy New Build homes off plan as this allows them to focus on generating capital growth without concerning themselves with maintenance costs. New Build homes are often a preferred choice for tenants who are looking for ease, convenience and the great locations that New Build homes typically offer.

There are Help to Buy schemes offered by the government, all aimed at helping buyers with the cost of securing and maintaining a New Build home. Naturally, New Build homes are an attractive option for first-time buyers because of the government Help to Buy schemes available and the convenience of moving into a brand-new property which requires no renovation – something which can be very costly.

Things initially move quickly in the world of New Build conveyancing. When you decide that you are ready to make an offer on a prospective property, the developer will require a reservation fee before accepting. Often, this is non-returnable. You should also make sure you have an agreement in principle from the mortgage company before committing to paying the reservation fee. Once this fee has been paid you will have a limited amount of time to exchange contracts – usually around 4 weeks. You should, therefore, have researched experienced New Build conveyancers and be prepared to instruct them as soon as the reservation fee has been paid. Developers can be strict when it comes to deadlines for the exchange of contracts, particularly if there is a lot of interest in the property. If these aren’t met, then you are at risk of losing your would-be home and your reservation deposit. The developers’ conveyancers will give your conveyancing lawyers notice of when the property is ready. Completion must then happen within a specified period.

Due to the strict deadlines and complexities of New Build conveyancing, it’s important that you choose a solicitor who has considerable experience in this field. Our team of expert conveyancing solicitors have decades of collective experience in this specialist area and are committed to delivering a smooth and stress-free service.


If you would like to discuss New Build conveyancing in further detail, call us on 0121 778 2371 to speak with a member of the team. Further, advice can also be found on our dedicated new build conveyancing team page.

What It Means To You


After 4 years of preparation and debate the GDPR was finally approved by the EU Parliament on 14 April 2016. On 25th May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDRP) will come into force. The GDPR replaces the existing Data Protection Act 1998 governing how data is managed. It applies to all businesses in the European Union (EU). The GDPR will form part of UK law following the countries withdrawal from the EU. The GDPR was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe because of developments in internet and cloud technologies. There are now so many ways to collect and store personal data that new measures are required to ensure that personal data is kept safe and is only kept for legitimate purposes.

What Constitutes Personal Data?


Any information related to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address.

GDPR Timeline Of Events


Penalties For Non-Compliance


GDPR places a strong emphasis on accountability and transparency, holding businesses accountable for safeguarding the collection, usage and storage of client personal data. Companies that use 3rd party software such as payroll or accounts packages will need to ensure these systems are GDPR compliant. Businesses are required to identify a lawful basis for processing client personal data fairly, accurately and be kept in a form which permits the identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary. It is advised that businesses ensure that they have detailed procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach. Failure to prevent a data breach can result in fines up to 4% of the total annual worldwide revenue or €20 Million. There is a tiered approach to fines e.g. a company can be fined 2% for not having their records in order, not notifying the supervising authority and data subject about a breach or not conducting impact assessment. It is important to note that these rules apply to both controllers and processors — meaning ‘clouds’ will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement.


TLP has outsourced a professional GDPR audit company to make sure our client have peace of mind that their data is secure. Further guidance in relation to complying with the GDPR requirements can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) website – https://ico.org.uk/

Landlords should now be familiar with the prescribed legal requirements introduced by the Deregulation Act 2015 that must be provided before they are able to serve a Section 21 Notice. These are namely

– The requirement to provide the ‘How to Rent Guide’

-The requirement to provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) to a tenant free of charge;

-The requirement to provide a tenant with a gas safety record.

Landlords should be aware that the three-year transition period is due to end in October 2018 and therefore may affect tenancies granted before 1 October 2015.

Since the introduction of these requirements, there has been question’s about whether a failure to provide a gas safety certificate at the beginning of a tenancy can be rescued by a later certificate. Recent case law has held that it cannot (however there is debate whether this approach is a true reflection of the legal position, see here.

Therefore, it may be that if there is a failure to provide the gas safety record to any new tenant before that tenant occupies the property then this could be an absolute bar on serving a Section 21 Notice. In these circumstances, the landlord would need to rely on one of the grounds for serving a section 8 notice such as rent arrears.

The message to Landlords is clear, fail to comply with the prescribed requirements at your peril as it may leave you with no route to regain possession of your property unless the tenant has broken the terms of their agreement.

For further information, guidance or advice contact Ashley Byrne of The Law Practice Landlord and Tenant team on 0121 778 2371 or email ashley.byrne@lplawfirm.com

The purpose of this blog is to provide information and discussion. Nothing on this blog should be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice from a qualified solicitor regarding any actual legal issue or dispute. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice or perceived as creating a solicitor-client relationship. Please note that we cannot give advice on individual’s situations or problems on this blog.