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EHL team raise over £325 for charity

EHL staff based at City Gate House, Leicester raised over £325 for a variety of charities including Genetic Disorder UK, Macmillan Cancer Support, LOROS, Breast Cancer Now and Children in Need by taking part in national charity campaigns proving that the small things can make a big difference.

#JeansforGenesDay

On Friday 21st September, the Leicester team wore an item of denim for #JeansforGenesDay which is the annual fundraising campaign for Genetic Disorders UK and most of the team opted for the classic jeans and some were brave enough to own the double denim look.

Donations were made to the charity, which will make a big difference to the lives of children and families living with genetic disorders. Monies raised on Jeans for Genes Day fund the work of the charity and provide grants to organisations for projects that aim to transform the lives of children with genetic disorders.

https://www.jeansforgenesday.org/

Jeans for Genes Day 2

#MacmillanCoffeeMorning

A week later the Leicester team took part in The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning and hosted their own coffee morning. Staff either baked it or faked it and everyone enjoyed buying cakes and treats. Freshly baked homemade scones made by a member of staff from the IT department were in high demand and proved to be the most popular choice!

The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning is Macmillan’s biggest fundraising event. One in two people will face cancer, and the money raised at the EHL Coffee Morning will help support everyone with cancer to live life as fully as they can.

https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/

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#YellowDay

On Friday 12th October, staff wore an item of yellow for #YellowDay and donated money to local charity LOROS. The vision of yellow brightened up the office however, one conveyancer outshone everyone by wearing a Pikachu onesie all day!

LOROS Hospice is a local charity and every year care for over 2,500 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and provide free, high-quality, compassionate care and support to terminally ill adult patients, their family and carers.

https://www.loros.co.uk/

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#WearItPink

Breast Cancer Now’s national #WearItPink day took place on Friday 29th October and you guessed it the team swapped their work attire for pink to show their support for Breast Cancer Now and the money raised will help to make life-saving research happen.

Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink day is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK. Taking place during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, thousands of wear it pink in their communities, schools or work places for the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now.

https://www.wearitpink.org/

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#ChildreninNeed

The EHL team took part in BBC Children in Need 2018 by wearing yellow or spots whilst donating money to the charity.

BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity and their vision is that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure. The charity provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. Children in Need is local to people in all corners of the UK and support small and large organisations which empower children and extend their life choices.

https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/fundraisinghub

children in need 16.11.18

Proving that small donations add up to an impressive amount, the EHL team is incredibly proud to have raised over £325 to support these charities. There is a positive attitude in the workplace and a great level of enthusiasm to support inspiring charities.

In addition to this, EHL Group has donated almost £7000 to its chosen charity of the year, Leicester Charity Link, a registered charity which works throughout Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire to help improve the lives of local people facing hardship.

EHL Group will continue to take part in fundraising activities, which not only bring the team together, but make a difference to important causes that affect people’s lives.

Look out for the next article about the latest activities the team have been getting involved in!

Receptionist – Melbourne

Our staff and culture is our biggest asset by far, we are Investors in People with a passion in staff development. We encourage our staff to be creative, innovative, and implement new ideas and processes within their areas. This is an amazing opportunity to join a strong growing company with an outstanding record of awards and a string of staff benefits. Being part of the company you will be entitled to 2 days community leave per annum to work with charities or get involved in local community projects.

 We are offering brilliant training schemes from support staff to Solicitors and Managers and have made sure training is at the core of what we do.

Salary: £16,000 (dependent upon experience)

Hours: Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00

Holiday: 30 days (including bank holidays)

Main Purpose of Job

The prime role of the Receptionist is to be front of house welcoming clients and visitors to the office. Other duties will include providing administrative support to the office to enable it to operate at optimum efficiency.

Main Responsibilities (this list is non-exhaustive)

Main Tasks:

List of areas of responsibilities

• Answering the telephone (First recipient);

• Greeting clients;

• Maintaining the reception area and keeping the area welcoming and clean;

• Replenishment of drinks for meeting rooms;

• Replenishment of marketing materials;

• Opening up the office and closing up;

• Audio and copy typing;

• Correspondence and diary management where applicable;

• Assisting the paralegal team with all administration;

• Ensuring the files remain compliant in terms of the file maintenance and form filling;

• Arranging and booking meetings;

• Preparing posting slips for financial activity on the client files;

Where there is no Office Assistant present, you will also be required to carry out the additional duties below.

• Banking (when appropriate);

• Copying of documents;

• Collecting and distribution of post;

• Preparing post for dispatch;

• Replenishment of photocopiers;

Wide reaching responsibilities:-

• To act in the best interest of the firm at all times;

• To adhere to the group policies at all times;

• To act in accordance with reasonable instructions given by senior managers at all times;

• To act in a manner that promotes and protects the firm’s reputation;

• To maintain high standards of client care at all times.

Knowledge, skills and experience required

• Excellent keyboard skills, be computer literate and have a sound knowledge of Microsoft Office packages (word, excel, outlook etc)

• Ability to work under pressure to meet the deadlines;

• Attention to detail;

• Team player;

• Ability to work on your own initiative;

• Good client care skills;

• Excellent communication skills with a good confident telephone manner and the ability to deal with clients and staff at all levels;

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Edward Hands and Lewis Solicitors are expanding their Leicestershire branch network

Yes, that is right, Edward Hands and Lewis Solicitors are expanding their Leicestershire branch network and will soon be opening an office in Syston!

The new office will be ideally located on Melton Road, which is in the town centre and near to the Syston train station.

There will be a wide range of legal services offered at this office including residential conveyancing, family law and Wills, probate and lasting powers of attorney.

EHL Solicitors currently have 11 branches located nationwide, Syston will be the firms 12th branch and will be 1 of 6 branches based in the midlands.

 

Photo Credit: theglobalpanorama via Compfight cc

What will the Tories do for First-Time Buyers?

Like it or not, we now have a majority Conservative government – not a Coalition anymore – so what does that mean for first-time buyers?

If anything, the end of a coalition government should provide more confidence that the majority Tory government will be able to put into practice more of their pre-election promises.

That means the Tory Manifesto is a good reference point for the kinds of things we might be able to expect during the coming five years.

And as it has an entire section entitled ‘Helping you to buy a home of your own’, there’s plenty for first-time buyers to pay attention to.

In summary, there are five pledges made:

  • Low mortgage rates through long-term economic planning.
  • More affordable housing, including 200,000 Starter Homes for FTBs under the age of 40.
  • Help to Buy Equity Loans extended to 2020 and Help to Buy ISAs introduced.
  • Right to Buy extended to allow housing association tenants to buy their home.
  • More local control over planning approvals, with protection for greenbelt land.

“We understand how good it feels when you have worked long hours, saved money for years, and finally take possession of the keys to your first home,” the manifesto states.

“For years, however, people have been finding it harder and harder to get on the housing ladder.”

The manifesto goes on to pledge support not just for FTBs, but for those already on the ladder too, with long-term planning to make sure mortgage rates remain low for homeowners as well as for those buying for the first time.

By Marsh Brown & Co Solicitors

How engagement can empower business shareholders

Many companies are working hard on achieving better levels of shareholder engagement in the wake of the recession – and that gives shareholders even more opportunity to exercise their legal entitlements.

This trend for greater stakeholder engagement is already emerging in the stronger economic cycle since the recession, as firms with forward-thinking corporate governance, look for ways to ensure they are operating in a way that reflects the desires of their investors.

But crucially, this trend is not just a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – shareholders are not simply invited to express their displeasure at an AGM, as may have been the case in the past.

Instead, there is genuine ongoing engagement, allowing institutional investors and those with long-term holdings to have a real say in the medium-term direction of the company into which they have placed their funds.

As a shareholder, you have certain rights anyway, and you should have a shareholder agreement to set out exactly what you are entitled to – and how the views of other shareholders affect your ability to exercise your own wishes.

This is likely to depend to an extent on the size of your stake – the more you own, the more power you’re likely to have, potentially even to the point of being able to remove directors or to change the articles of association of the company.

Different classes of shares give you different powers – for instance, management shares will typically come with extra voting powers, and are often used to make sure certain stakeholders can still sway important business decisions.

But whatever class of shares you hold, and whatever the size of your stake, you should receive certain rights when you buy into a company, whether you exercise these rights through ongoing engagement at the director level, or simply by turning up to vote at the AGM.

If you feel like you are not getting everything you are entitled to, or you are interested in drawing up a shareholder agreement to protect your rights and those of your fellow investors, contact us for more information about our shareholder rights services.

By R A Wilkinson & Co Solicitors

Why is a Will so important?

You might think a Will is no big deal – if you pass away, everything goes to your partner or kids, right?

However, there are several factors that can complicate matters, including if you and your partner are not married, if you are a divorcee, if you have stepchildren, if you own assets overseas (such as a holiday home) and so on.

A Will sets out your intentions for your estate – so you’re not left to the specifics of intestacy rules.

It needs to be watertight so there’s no legal reason why your wishes can’t be carried out, but simply by existing, a good Will means you will not be deemed as having died intestate.

You should consider writing a Will if:

  • You co-own property or a business with someone who is not your civil partner, husband or wife.
  • You have a permanent home outside the UK, but are a British citizen.
  • You want to make specific provision for your dependants.
  • You want to leave a charitable legacy (for tax purposes or simply to support a good cause).
  • You have specific high-value possessions you want to leave to a certain individual.

Any other complexities in your estate probably make a Will a good idea – generally speaking, it’s best not to die intestate if you can help it.

It must be legal, and it’s easy to make a mistake, such as having it witnessed by the wrong person (or nobody at all) and inadvertently locking an intended beneficiary out of inheriting anything as a result.

Crucially, your Will must be found  - if nobody knows it exists, you’re likely to be declared intestate.

Leave it in an agreed place, or have your solicitor store it safely for you, and make sure any old Wills are destroyed so there’s no confusion over which is the correct representation of your wishes.

You should update your Will if there’s a major change in your estate, such as selling your home or other property – and it’s often easier (and no more expensive) to write an entirely new one if this occurs, rather than trying to have your existing one changed without invalidating any of it.

By Pricketts Solicitors

Landlord and Tenant

Landlords must Protect Deposits by Today

Clarification of a tenancy law loophole that has stood for two years means that many landlords must now protect their tenants’ deposits before the deadline to do so elapses today.

The Housing Act 2004 came into effect in 2007, and required deposit protection schemes to be used to safeguard tenants’ deposits in the event of a dispute when they moved out.

At the time, there was confusion over whether long-term tenants who had moved into their property before 2007 were subject to the same level of protection.

In 2013, the case Superstrike v Rodrigues ruled that tenancies that began before April 6th 2007, and which then became statutory periodic tenancies, should be treated as new tenancies and the deposit protected accordingly.

Cue two years of vexatious claims from tenants with unprotected deposits, and considerable doubt among landlords and agents as to where they stand.

Finally, the Deregulation Act 2015, which was introduced in March of this year, has clarified that deposits received before April 6th 2007, which have since become statutory periodic tenancies or have been renewed since that date, must be protected under a government-approved scheme.

ARLA, the Association of Residential Letting Agents, welcomed the clarification and the elimination of the legal loophole.

Managing director David Cox said: “Landlords have until June 23rd 2015 to comply with this new provision and we urge all our members to check with their clients whether their existing tenancy agreements will be affected and to act accordingly.

“If landlords fail to comply they could be liable for sanctions, which include a potential claim by the tenant for compensation of up to three times the amount of the deposit paid, or find themselves unable to bring a tenancy to an end through a Section 21 notice.”

By H Pipes & Co Solicitors

What is the purpose of a Rent Review Clause?

A Rent Review Clause serves the purpose of allowing a periodical adjustment of rent to the current market level at the date of review. The clause within the lease will specify the agreed intervals at which these reviews are to take place, typically every three to five years depending on the term of the lease. A well drafted rent review clause should set out when each review will take place, the method of review, assumptions and disregards to be made when valuing the premises for the purpose of rent review, the procedure to be followed and provisions for dealing with disputes if they arise.

The lease will specify the basis for the new rent. In some cases, the new level of rent may be set e.g.  £10,000 per year or it could be based on an index such as the retail price index. More commonly, however, the new rent will be based on the open market rental value i.e. the rent charged for similar properties on similar leases. The lease may also include terms such as an ‘upwards only’ rent review, allowing the rent to increase only.

Rent Reviews are an important factor to consider when negotiating the terms of a lease and should be considered carefully. For further information please do not hesitate to contact our Commercial Property Department on 0166 266 5394.

By Nisha Gorania

Trust

Moving House – You and whose Army?

Although it’s perfectly possible to move house single-handedly, many of us call in friends and family to help us at the very least, particularly if we know somebody with an unusually large car boot.

But there are plenty more people you might want to get involved to help your move go as smoothly as possible, and we’re not just talking about professional removal men.

Cleaners can help make your new home feel shiny and new if it was previously occupied, or get rid of any remaining brick and plaster dust if it’s a new-build or newly refurbished.

They can also whip your old home into shape if you want it looking at its best to place it on the market, or if you’re just embarrassed about the state you’re leaving it in for its new owners.

Gardeners can do the same for your outdoor space, getting wild shrubbery back under control, taming an unkempt lawn, and maximising the kerb appeal of your property if it’s just going up for sale.

Call in a handyman if you need help finishing off any outstanding DIY tasks – when selling a house, even just putting up that missing shelf can help to reduce the number of reasons for viewers to say no.

When you’re moving into a new place meanwhile, a good local handyman is worth getting on the good side of, so get recommendations from the neighbours and find an excuse to have him come round and hang a mirror, install a new TV aerial, or anything else that gives you a chance to introduce yourself.

Finally, if you’re downsizing, consider calling in a property clearance firm to dispose of whatever you leave behind.

This can be much less heart-rending than having to take much-loved possessions to the tip, and you might even make a profit from the sale of your items, while knowing they’re in with a chance of going on to a good home for the future too.

Moving house is stressful, whether you’re buying, selling or both, and you can’t always be 100% certain that there won’t be any little jobs that need doing in your new place.

Get a good support network in place, and you can know that when you do spot that slight imperfection in your new home, or just can’t handle the emotion of having to clean out your old place, you’ve got a professional you can fall back on.

By Pricketts Solicitors

 

Landlord and Tenant

Dealing with Deposit Disputes

This month began with Safeagent Awareness Week, a campaign to make more landlords and tenants aware of whether their letting agent is a member of a Client Money Protection insurance scheme.

Like the deposit protection schemes for direct landlord-tenant relationships, a CMP protects funds given to lettings agents for a range of reasons, including deposits, service charges and rents.

Client moneys are kept separate from the business’s day to day trading accounts, allowing claims to be made if, for example, the lettings agent goes bust.

As of May 27th, all lettings agents in England must advertise the fact of whether or not they are a member of a CMP scheme, giving greater confidence to their customers – whether landlords or tenants.

It’s all part of the ongoing efforts to make things run more smoothly in the rented property sector when a problem arises, and tenancy deposit protection scheme mydeposits has issued a new guide to resolving deposit disputes too.

The guidance recommends the use of photographic evidence to help support any claim, particularly on the part of landlords and agents wanting to prove the existence of damage.

Photographs should not be the sole evidence – there should also be a clear written description of the damage – and landlords should be sure to photograph the property at the beginning of the tenancy too, to show that the damage was not already there.

And it is essential to make sure these photographs are properly dated, ideally by getting the tenant to sign them, or to sign a single document into which the photographs are embedded – remember, if it is possible that newer photographs have been stuck on to the page after it was signed, this may not be acceptable.

Ultimately many of these photographs may never be needed, but you can’t second-guess which ones will be, so comprehensive photographs or even video footage is essential in the first instance.

If a deposit dispute then arises, you can select just the photographs or section of video needed to support your case, making it easier for an adjudicator to come to a decision without having to wade through all of the irrelevant media as well.

By Marsh Brown & Co Solicitors