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Latest News

How to handle a call to pay under a personal guarantee

With many people struggling to get on the property ladder, or to afford a home to rent, it has become increasingly common for mortgage lenders and landlords to ask borrowers and tenants to find someone who is willing to act as a guarantor for them – in other words to settle their debts if they are unable to do so.

A personal guarantee may also be requested to secure a loan, particularly where the applicant has a poor credit history, or even to secure the debts of a private limited company.

Your rights when a house share goes wrong

With an increasing number of people struggling to get on the property ladder, it is not surprising that there has been a corresponding rise in the number of properties being bought by friends who have pooled their resources, or by parents who have agreed to bankroll their child if they agree to take on a lodger to help pay the mortgage.

‘While these sorts of arrangements can work well when everyone knows where they stand, there can be problems if no formal agreement exists to determine the circumstances in which a jointly owned property can be sold or when someone invited to be part of a house share on an occupancy only basis can be asked to leave,’ explains Dawn Kiddy, a dispute resolution lawyer with Petersfields LLP  in Cambridge and Haverhill.

Bloggers beware! A defamatory post could land you in court and cost you dearly

Being able to share ideas and opinions over the internet has many benefits. It enables us to communicate quickly with one another and to relay information easily with the simple click of a button. But what few people realise is that when you post something online which is negative or disparaging – whether via a social media platform, a news outlet, a customer review site or even a special interest forum – you could be falling foul of the rules on defamation and thereby exposing yourself to the risk of being sued for compensation and legal costs.

Could carelessness on social media land you in court?

Did you know that you can be sued for posting something online that is not true or for sharing or endorsing a false post made by someone else?  Did you also know that if you are sued, you could be ordered to pay compensation and legal costs and forced to make a public apology?

If the answer to these questions is ‘no’, then you are not alone, as recent research suggests that nearly 50 per cent of the UK’s 45 million social media users are not aware that they are legally responsible for what they do and say online. 

Inheritance rights of children born outside of marriage

According to the Office for National Statistics, nearly as many children are now born to parents who are not married or in a registered civil partnership as to those who are. But do you have fewer rights where you are born outside of a legally recognised relationship, particularly when one of your parents dies? And what if you have been adopted or co-opted into a blended family? It is not uncommon for households to join forces without formalising the arrangement, so what are your inheritance rights in this scenario?

Solving a boundary dispute without going to court

Homeowners who feel that the boundary at their property is not where it should be, or that a neighbour’s extension goes over an existing boundary line, could go to court to have this dispute determined.  This is usually only viable if you have legal expenses insurance, but sometimes an injunction may be needed to stop building work. 

According to Dawn Kiddy, a solicitor with Petersfields LLP in Cambridge and Haverhill  homeowners will usually be better off using a procedure developed by HM Land Registry to resolve boundary disputes which refers cases to a specialist tribunal.  ‘Not only will this prove to be quicker, but it could also be cheaper, and it will mean that official records at HM Land Registry will be updated directly’.


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