Legal News

Interpreting Wills That May Be Ambiguous - High Court Guidance

Even with the most careful drafting, there is always a risk that a will may be capable of bearing more than one meaning. In resolving a family inheritance dispute, the High Court considered the extent to which extraneous evidence of a will-maker's...

Overlooked Homeowners Fall Foul of Ambiguity in Planning Permission

Finding your way around the intricacies of the planning system without professional advice is, for most people, a near impossibility. The point was powerfully made by the case of a couple whose intimate living space was overlooked by a skylight fitted to a...

Rugby Club's Expansion Plans Not Inhibited by 1922 Restrictive Covenant

Land is often sold subject to restrictive covenants that inhibit the use to which it can be put. As a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed , however, the distinction between restrictions that provide a personal benefit to the vendor alone and those that...

Judges Have No Power to Rewrite Valid Wills - Guideline High Court Ruling

Judges have no power to rewrite your will after your death so as to achieve a result which, in their view, better reflects your wishes. The High Court made that point in upholding the validity of a Parkinson's disease sufferer's will although, at least in...

Empty Cinema Blaze Triggers Landmark Court of Appeal Ruling

When marketing commercial premises, they obviously have to be made available for inspection by prospective buyers, tenants or their representatives – but to what extent, if any, do such visitors owe the property owner a duty of care? The Court of...

Judge Laments Heavy Cost of Suburban Boundary Dispute

Apparently trifling neighbours' disputes over a few inches of land have a nasty habit of taking on the proportions of a state trial, with legal costs to match. That was sadly so in a case concerning the positioning of a fence between two suburban gardens. ...

Think Hard Before Changing Your Will - High Court Cautionary Tale

Keeping your will up to date is a very good idea, but making changes that are likely to disappoint members of your family who might expect to inherit can be a recipe for dispute after you are gone. That was certainly so in a High Court case concerning a...

Companies and the Concealment of Land Ownership - High Court Ruling

A bewildering array of corporate structures is all too commonly used to conceal the real ownership of property. However, as a High Court case showed, judges are well versed at finding their way through the maze and uncovering the true position. The case...

Absentee Tenant Pays High Price for Failing to Leave Forwarding Address

Absentee or non-resident tenants who do not leave their landlords with a forwarding address place themselves in acute legal danger. In one case, a tenant who failed to take that sensible step suffered forfeiture of her 140-year lease due to her non-payment...

High Court Declares 'Illiterate' Business Tycoon's £100 Million Will Invalid

Your assets are your own and, when making your will, you have complete freedom to leave them to whomever you choose. As a case concerning a business tycoon's £100 million estate showed , however, a will signed without the testator having knowledge and...

Affordable Housing Shortage Proves Decisive in High Court Planning Case

The chronic shortage of affordable homes is a powerful driver in favour of permitting building projects that might otherwise be considered objectionable. The High Court made that point in upholding planning permission for residential development of a...

Houses in Multiple Occupation - Landlords Overturn Rent Repayment Order

Landlords who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) without a required licence are exposed to the double whammy of criminal prosecution and the prospect of having to repay rent to their tenants. As an unusual Upper Tribunal (UT) ruling showed ,...

Moral and Legal Obligations are Different - Family Inheritance Dispute

There can be a world of difference between a moral obligation and a legal one. The High Court made that point in rejecting a daughter's claim that part of her deceased mother's stake in a residential property was held on trust for her. By the unequivocal...

The Legal Status of Property Guardians - Court of Appeal Clarifies the Law

The practice of permitting so-called property guardians to occupy premises in order to protect them against trespassers and vandals is now widespread – but what is their status in law? The Court of Appeal considered that issue in a guideline case . ...

Do You Object to a Neighbour's Development Plans? Consult a Solicitor

If a neighbour has been granted planning permission for a development to which you object, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is nothing more you can do about it. As one case showed, however, with the benefit of expert legal advice that is by no...
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