Each Christmas the Hall Reynolds team organise a food collection box at the office in Bidford-upon-Avon. The team are aware that not all families have the money spare for the luxuries most of us take for granted over the Christmas period, and due to the current cost of living crisis, many families are struggling to afford the basics.  

The food collected was donated to the foodbank in Stratford-upon-Avon. The amazing team at the foodbank support around  

  • 480 people each month  
  • 36% of the parcels in 2023 were for children, which is a staggering increase of 47% from 2013 
  • The foodbank is part of  The Trussell Trust’s  network of 428 foodbanks, working to tackle food poverty and hunger in local communities, as well as across the UK 
  • The Foodbank Network was founded in 2004 after four years of developing the original foodbank based in Salisbury. Since then The Trussell Trust has helped communities work together to launch foodbanks nationwide in a wide range of towns and cities 
  • In 2022/23, food banks in the Trussell Trust’s network provided 2,986,203 three-day emergency food supplies and support to UK people in crisis. Of these, 1,139,553 were distributed for children 

“We just wanted to write and thank you so much for organising the food collection for the Foodbank and for bringing it all down to us on  8th January. It was so thoughtful of you to think of us as beneficiaries as a local charity – thank you so much.  

As you can see the foodbank is very much needed so we feel extremely fortunate with all the support we receive from so many businesses, individuals and groups.

We are all facing very difficult times one way or another and are grateful that you have thought of the Foodbank.”

Sarah Crompton, Assistant Manager and Operational Lead

Conchi Palacois delivered the food collection on behalf of the team

Hall Reynolds is an active member of the local community in Bidford-upon-Avon, supporting the Foodbank along with other local charities.

“We appreciate that a food donation box is a small gesture but trying to help make other people’s lives even a little bit better is something which I and my colleagues feel is important.  Helping those in our community when they need it is something we all feel strongly about and are pleased the collection will help to do this.” 

Katy Taylor, Partner, Hall Reynolds

Who are Hall Reynolds?  

The team at Hall Reynolds are experienced and committed to providing first-class legal services. Our clients come back to us time and time again because of the pragmatic advice and the service they know they will receive which is delivered in a friendly and approachable manner.  

We offer a traditional face-to-face service, a contemporary work ethos and modern operating systems which enable the swift progression of your transaction.  

Value for money, speed and efficiency are at the heart of everything we do. Where possible, we minimise the legal jargon. We promise to keep you updated as to the progress of the transaction and we are transparent when it comes to fees.  

To find out more about our community involvement or our legal services, contact the team to make an appointment – email@hallreynolds.co.ukor call us on  01789 772955.  

Molly joined Hall Reynolds on 4th September as a Solicitors Apprentice and will be studying at BPP University Law School.  

  Our apprentice, Molly who is currently 19, has undertaken work experience with us previously and her intention was to study criminology at university and then undertake the solicitor’s conversion course and qualify as a solicitor.  Molly attended Kenilworth Sixth Form and took up a place at Durham University, but due to severe illness in her first term she decided to take a broader look at her options. 

“After falling ill at university, I was no longer able to attend which led me to look at other options for my future. After looking into Law in more depth and seeing the changes made to the route for qualifying as a solicitor, I found that a degree apprenticeship in law was the best option for me because I will still obtain a degree and will also gain 6 years’ experience which will enable me to put my learning into real life training. I felt that this would be more beneficial to my learning and my future as it provides you with everything you need to excel and become a qualified solicitor.”

 

  The entry route to qualify as a solicitor was changed by the SRA in 2021 and a conversion course is no longer the only route to qualification.  A degree and sitting the SQE examinations, along with 2 years qualifying work experience is now the requirement.  After further research, Molly decided that the Solicitors Apprentice route would be preferable and would mean that she could gain her degree,  SQE and gain valuable workplace experience and all without the expense of university fees and then taking professional qualifications.   

  Molly will work four days a week and will have a scheduled day away from the office to study and complete coursework.  The scheme will ensure that at the end of the 6 years she will be a qualified solicitor and will already have 6 years industry experience.  

“The whole Hall Reynolds team is excited about Molly coming on board.  The decision to take on an apprentice was helped by the guidance and advice of BPP and the fact that we can essentially grow and develop our own talent whilst assisting someone achieve their dreams.” Katy Taylor, Partner.

“The whole Hall Reynolds team is excited about Molly coming onboard. The decision to take on an apprentice was helped by the guidance and advice of BPP and the fact that we can essentially grow and develop our own talent whilst assisting someone achieve their dreams.” Katy Taylor, Partner.

BPP University Law School has delivered market-leading paralegal and solicitor apprenticeships since 2016, when the new Trailblazer Legal Apprenticeship Standards first became available. The growth of apprenticeships and the introduction of the Solicitors Qualification Examination (SQE) in 2021 has created opportunities for law firms to shape the future education and training of their early talent, introduce new career pathways and diversify their talent pools. It has also created opportunities for us to develop programmes for apprentices and graduates that will meet the rigours of the proposed new assessments and meet the demands of law firms for their future lawyers to be even better prepared for practice. We are able to offer apprenticeship models for both post A-Level and graduate entry, alongside non-apprenticeship graduate pathways, all of which enable employers to utilise the apprenticeship levy. 

If you’d like to find out more about how you could be the next Hall Reynolds Apprentice (not the TV programme!) contact us on 01789 772955 or email@hallreynolds.co.uk

The office is closed from 4.45pm Friday 25th August 2023

and

will reopen 8.30am Wednesday 30th August 2023.

The importance of understanding the contents of your Will has recently been highlighted by a case involving an illiterate property tycoon whose estate was worth £100 million.

We take a look at what happened after a surprise Will left the bulk of his estate to his ‘manipulative’ daughter, cutting out his son and the son’s two nephews….

Read more: The importance of understanding the contents of your Will

As a member of The National Will Register we can now register your Will for you.

Why should I register my Will?

In a survey commissioned by The National Will Register, two thirds of children would not know where to locate their parents’ Wills. The passage of time, house moves, and new relationships are all contributing factors to this statistic.

Writing a Will and regularly reviewing it is one of the most important things you can do for your loved ones. Ensuring that your family can therefore find it when you have passed on is essential. If a Will cannot be found after your death then your assets will be distributed in accordance with the intestacy rules, not necessarily in the way you would have wished.

We hold your Will safely, but we record its location with The National Will Register so that beneficiaries can always locate it when the time comes.

Contact us to Register your Will with The National Will Register.

https://www.nationalwillregister.co.uk/

The office will be closed for Easter from

5pm Thursday 6th April and will reopen

9am Wednesday 12th April 2023.

For all the mothers out there…..

Please note that as a mark of respect to Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II this office will be closed on Monday 19th September 2022 and will re-open on Tuesday20th September 2022 at 8.30 am

If you are selling a commercial property, it’s important that you reply accurately and truthfully to enquiries made by the buyer’s solicitor.

In the course of a commercial property sale, the purchaser’s solicitor will pose a range of Commercial Property Enquiries (CPSEs). As a vendor, it’s vital that you supply the answers to the enquiries honestly and provide as much information as possible to the buyer via their solicitor. If circumstances change or arise during the transaction, the onus is on the seller to update the replies.

Sellers must remember that the duty to tell the buyer about disputes, notices etc continues after exchange and up to the point that the transaction completes.

The implications of failing to answer these enquiries honestly and fully are serious. In the case of Greenridge Luton One Limited v Kempton Investments Limited [2016] EWHC 91 (Ch)  that involved the sale of a commercial building, the seller was found to have fraudulently misrepresented the situation as a result of failing to honestly answer a query relating to service charge arrears at any let unit.

A key tenant of the building had started to complain about the level of service charges and was withholding payments. The result of this was that significant service charge arrears has built up. The seller did not disclose this information to the buyer of the property, answering ‘none’ or ‘none so far as the seller is aware’ to a number of relevant queries.

By the time exchange of contracts came, the tenant had written to the seller to state that they considered that a dispute had arisen. The seller did not reveal this to the buyer.

The service charge dispute came to the attention of the buyer and the buyer’s solicitor between exchange and completion and the buyer sought to withdraw from the contract on the basis that the property was worth less as a result of the dispute.

The Court found that the seller had fraudulently misrepresented the situation to the buyer and awarded the buyer the return of the £812,500 deposit paid on exchange, and costs and damages of almost £400,000. The seller was found to have deliberately misled the buyer, as opposed to making an innocent misrepresentation.

The seller is not required to volunteer information if no enquiries are raised. The buyer will have no recourse as, in the absence of relevant enquires, the principle of ‘buyer beware’ (caveat emptor) applies.

Advice for buyers:

Make sure your solicitor carries out a comprehensive range of searches and enquiries when buying a commercial property – which is where our invaluable guidance comes in to safeguard your interests.

We have many years of detailed experience in negotiating commercial leases, so do please contact us if you are considering taking on a new tenant. We can help you minimise the risks.

If you have any questions or require further advice, please contact:

David Hall, 01789 772955 / email@hallreynolds.co.uk

The information, materials and opinions contained on this website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute specific legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. Hall Reynolds LLP does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this website

RENT ARREARS
Not good news — These days £5,000 is the minimum figure for serving a statutory demand and for bankruptcy proceedings against an individual.

The previous figure was a much more reasonable £750 (which remains the minimum for service of such documents where the debtor is a company).

Effectively therefore most landlords will have to pursue in the County Court where the tenant is an individual and the debt is under £5,000. Time consuming, inconvenient and expensive.
N.B. Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery system is only available for recovery of rent, VAT and interest. It doesn’t cover service charges or any other items reserved by a lease and applies only to purely commercial lettings.

IS THE ANSWER RENT DEPOSITS?
A possible option for the landlord could be to insist on a rent deposit of at least £5,000 when dealing with a tenant who is an individual — but is that realistic in the case of a small letting?

When there is a request for consent to assign to an individual, is the answer to insist on a rent deposit of this size in return for consent being given?

The danger is that if no rent deposit is taken individual tenants may simply walk away from outstanding rent liabilities because the landlord does not want the expense and inconvenience of chasing in the County Courts for a small claim.

FORFEITURE OF A LEASE
A cautionary note
A landlord may well have the right to forfeit if a tenant is in breach of covenant.
If the landlord inadvertently commits an act which recognises the continued existence of the lease then he loses his right to forfeit.

An objective test applies, e.g.:

• Issuing and accepting rent for rent due in advance will be a waiver even if it’s done on a “without prejudice” basis.
• Unwittingly confirming the ongoing landlord and tenant relationship, e.g. by merely inspecting the premises or entering into discussions about the surrender of the lease or a possible consent to assign.

In the current market forfeiture is not a frequent occurrence but, in the case of a bad tenant where forfeiture might be required, or if the market picks up again, the above points should be borne in mind.

SCHEDULE OF CONDITION/REPAIR
You will be aware that it’s becoming more common in many commercial leases to see a provision such that “the tenant is not required to put the premises in any better state of repair or condition than they were at the start of the lease as evidenced by a schedule of condition annexed to the lease”.

Great for the tenant but not for the landlord. “No better” means no protection at all for the landlord.

The tenant can wreck the premises and they will be in “no better” condition. This clever wording is to be avoided.
If this clause must be included then you should make sure that the provision is to ensure that the premises are maintained in “no worse” condition than they were at the start of the lease.
Better still, more and more landlords are being advised to resist this and to require that if there is a specific defect then that should be identified and liability for that defect specifically excluded.
So if you are a landlord then the advice is to resist the more general clause if at all possible.

FORFEITURE – TENANT INSOLVENCY
All too frequent an occurrence these days.
Remember that the Insolvency Act 1986 provides that no legal process can be started without the Court’s permission if a tenant is in administration—more cost for the landlord.
Happily, recent decisions have made life easier. If forfeiture doesn’t impede the purpose of the administration then the landlord may well succeed in recovering the premises.

BUSINESS TENANCY OF FORMER AGRICULTURAL BUILDING
A letting for non-agricultural purposes of a building which was an agricultural building will not be a farm business tenancy but a conventional business tenancy under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954—a much more acceptable situation for the landlord.

IMPORTANT

SCHEDULE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY STANDARD
More potential expenditure for landlords, but don’t ignore it. Please read on.

As you will know, minimum energy efficiency standards have been introduced not only into the residential property sector but also into the commercial private property sector as well.
The key dates are as follows:

• April 2016 – from that date residential tenants are able to carry out prescribed energy efficiency improvements with the landlord’s consent, which must not be unreasonably withheld.
• April 2018 – from that date the regulations made it unlawful to grant new leases of residential or commercial property with an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of less than ‘E’.
• April 2020 –from this date this will extend to all residential leases; and
• April 2023 – the provisions will be extended to all commercial leases. This provision could cost the property sector a lot of money.

The number of properties which have an EPC rating of F or G in England and Wales is estimated at
2-300,000!

The advice is therefore to implement a programme of upgrades now, spread the cost possibly by service charges and not leave it all to the last minute.

We have many years of detailed experience in negotiating commercial leases, so do please contact us if you are considering taking on a new tenant. We can help you minimise the risks.

If you have any questions or require further advice, please contact:

David Hall, 01789 772955 / email@hallreynolds.co.uk

The information, materials and opinions contained on this website are for general information purposes only, are not intended to constitute specific legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances. Hall Reynolds LLP does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this website