The George Ide LLP Blog specialises in providing a host of information regarding personal injury claims, what to do in the event of medical negligence, personal grievances and a wide range of other legal matters. From wills and probate to why you should consider an insurance policy, the George Ide blog is designed to provide helpful advice and insight into a number of legal situations.
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Most commercial leases are drafted to benefit landlords, particularly regarding repair, condition and decoration. Often, leases are fully repairing, obliging a tenant to upkeep, repair, and maintain the property without contribution from the landlord. Generally,... The post Repair of commercial premises – a comprehensive Schedule of Condition is a valuable tool for tenants appeared first on George...
Most commercial leases are drafted to benefit landlords, particularly regarding repair, condition and decoration. Often, leases are fully repairing, obliging a tenant to upkeep, repair, and maintain the property without contribution from the landlord.
Generally, a lease may oblige the tenant to put and keep the property in good and tenantable repair and condition. Depending on the state of repair of the property when the lease is granted, this type of covenant may oblige the tenant to bring the premises up to that level of repair, for example if the premises are in a bad state when the lease is granted.
Tenants can use a tool called a Schedule of Condition to assist them in minimising their obligations. This document’s purpose is to limit the extent of the tenant’s repairing obligation by referencing it to the condition of the premises at the date the lease is granted. This negates the tenant’s obligation to put the premises into any better condition than is evidenced by the schedule.
Such a schedule will go on to identify visible defects in the property, and a professionally-prepared schedule will include a written description of the condition, specifically referencing each defect, with supporting photographs, so that these issues can be identified in the future.
It can be tempting for tenants to try to minimise costs by dispensing with the assistance of a qualified building surveyor in preparing their schedule but tenants should keep in mind that, if there is no schedule or the record of condition at the start of the lease is poor, they will have very little protection when a landlord enforces their repairing obligations at a later date.
As well as providing a record, a Schedule of Condition prepared at the outset can help tenants identify any defects in the premises that might impact on their ability to trade from the premises, allowing them to negotiate further with the landlord to cover the cost of any such defect so that there is no potential for it to cause problems for the tenant in the future.
Investment by a tenant at the outset to ensure there is a proper record of the condition of a property, allowing for proper negotiations by the tenant and their solicitor, can pay dividends and avoid future disputes that may impact on trading.
The post Repair of commercial premises – a comprehensive Schedule of Condition is a valuable tool for tenants appeared first on George Ide.
When buying a property, the standard deposit expected on exchange of contracts is 10 per cent of the purchase price. Of course, the nature of a deposit is to show a buyer’s good intentions and... The post Property purchase deposits – consider your circumstances before agreeing arrangements appeared first on George...
When buying a property, the standard deposit expected on exchange of contracts is 10 per cent of the purchase price. Of course, the nature of a deposit is to show a buyer’s good intentions and allow a seller to rely on the same, as leverage, to ensure their buyer fulfils their obligations under the contract. The deposit therefore acts as adequate security to ensure a buyer will complete. Reduced deposits can be agreed, either to assist cash flow for a buyer or as a tactical tool for a buyer who may not be confident in their ability to fulfil the contract.
Deposits can be held in one of three capacities – by the agent for the buyer, the agent for the seller, or in the capacity of stakeholder.
In the first of these, upon exchange of contracts the buyer’s solicitor hands over the deposit to the seller’s solicitor, who is then able to release the deposit to the seller for use between exchange and completion. This is advantageous to the seller as it provides immediate use of the money. This type of arrangement is common with new-build purchases, especially if the builder needs to fund the building-work. However, such arrangements are not without risk – if a seller defaults without completing the sale, a buyer may face difficulty in recovering a deposit if the seller has already spent the money.
Agent for the buyer is very rarely agreed because, in this case, a deposit remains accessible to the buyer right up until completion. Such an agreement is only likely to be put in place if a seller has no legal representation and the buyer requires reassurance that their deposit will remain intact between exchange and completion.
Stakeholder capacity is the most common, and the safest. The seller’s solicitor acts as a middle-man, holding the deposit monies in a secure client account that is accessible if the buyer defaults. Buyers benefit from the reassurance their deposit is safe and unspent, although the negative for sellers is they do not have access to the money, which may be a problem if the seller has an onward purchase. However, the contract can make provision for the seller to use the stakeholder deposit on their related purchase, so long as their purchase deposit is also held on a similar basis.
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In 1944 a spinal injury centre dedicated solely to the treatment of severely disabled people was opened by the Ministry of Health at the former Ministry of Pensions Hospital, now the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, under... The post Where it all started for modern-day treatment of catastrophic spinal injuries appeared first on George...
In 1944 a spinal injury centre dedicated solely to the treatment of severely disabled people was opened by the Ministry of Health at the former Ministry of Pensions Hospital, now the Stoke Mandeville Hospital, under the direction of Dr Ludwig Guttmann – it was the first time systematic treatment and rehabilitation was planned and put into place.
Before the new methods of treatment were put in place, people who were paralysed through a spinal injury or disease were, in the majority of cases, written off because their life expectancy was at best seldom longer than two years. During this time they were completely dependent upon others.
The new medical centre opened with just one patient on 1 February 1944 and was originally designed to deal with spinal cord injuries suffered by casualties of war. British Army mortality rates among war-wounded paraplegics from the First World War were 80 per cent within a few weeks or months of injury.
A spinal cord injury is the result of damage to any portion of the spinal cord or the nerves at the base of the spine. The spinal cord is a bundle of nerve fibres which lies within the spine forming the brain’s connection to the body. Damage to any part of the spinal cord can impact sensory, motor and reflex capabilities if the brain is unable to send information past the location of the injury. The higher the injury occurs, the more severe the damage.
The UK’s National Spinal Injuries Centre is now one of the oldest and largest in the world. Dr Guttmann believed the only appropriate way to treat spinal injuries was in specialist centres that could provide a medical team with the knowledge and skills specific to each patient’s needs.
Because of the complexity of spinal injuries and the numerous different ways in which they can affect patients, as well as the need for simultaneous management of both the medical and non-medical effects of such injuries, Dr Guttmann’s vision was to create a specialist centre that could provide a treatment system built on a multidisciplinary approach, both holistic and surgical.
This modern-day approach has transformed patients’ functional recovery and their readjustment to permanent disability, helping them to achieve a much-improved post-injury quality of life.
The post Where it all started for modern-day treatment of catastrophic spinal injuries appeared first on George Ide.
Many of us know that, if we have an accident in the UK that to some extent was the fault of another driver, we may be able to make a claim against the insurer of... The post Brexit and accidents abroad appeared first on George Ide.
Many of us know that, if we have an accident in the UK that to some extent was the fault of another driver, we may be able to make a claim against the insurer of that vehicle or driver. But what is the current process for making such a claim if we have an accident abroad, and will that change if we leave the EU as planned on 31 October?
Currently, if you have an accident in another EU or European Economic Area (EEA) country and wish to make claim, you can do so in the UK, under English law. If or when the UK leaves the EU on 31 October we will almost certainly be withdrawn from the ‘Fourth Directive’, which allows victims of road traffic collisions in EU or EEA countries other than their own country of residence to make compensation claims in their own country and in their own language. If we leave this system, UK victims of accidents abroad may have to approach the foreign insurer directly with any claim; in the event of an accident with an uninsured or hit-and-run driver, they may need to apply directly to the foreign equivalent of UK’s Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB). This would make bringing such claims far more difficult and time-consuming than is currently the case. Each member country obviously has its own laws and, crucially, different time-limits for bringing claims may apply. Understanding those laws and any rules specific to compensation claims is likely to prove difficult.
In some EU and EEA countries the MIB equivalent only pays compensation to its own residents, EU residents or nationals of other EEA countries. To enable continued access to compensation for UK victims, the UK MIB is working to sign agreements with other EU and EEA countries but these will not replace the current system. The agreements require other countries to confirm they will continue to pay compensation to UK residents after the UK leaves the EU. Depending on which countries sign these agreements and the local rules in those countries, access to compensation could vary from country to country.
Anyone thinking of driving abroad after we have left the EU would be well-advised to ensure they understand the prevailing accident claims legislation and any cross-border agreements that are applicable at that time.
For more information and further advice on making claims for road traffic accident compensation please contact the George Ide team on 01243 78668 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Lewis. Partner and Head of Accident Management
Benjamin Franklin said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. However, taxes can be minimised with better organisation, the full use of allowances and taking appropriate professional advice. There is a... The post A Taxing Problem appeared first on George...
Benjamin Franklin said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.
However, taxes can be minimised with better organisation, the full use of allowances and taking appropriate professional advice.
There is a personal income tax allowance of £12,500 and further allowances against income from shares and savings. Those in a marriage or civil partnership can tax plan effectively for income, capital gains and Inheritance tax by transferring assets between themselves to optimise their respective tax bands.
Most people are also aware that paying into a pension is not only a sensible thing to do for retirement but is also income tax efficient as relief is given on pension contributions.
The rent a room scheme is a useful way to earn up to £7,500 a year tax free.
If you own a business, it pays to take professional advice on the best way to organise your business affairs. The Inland Revenue have sweeping powers to levy penalties for poor record keeping.
Joint owners of capital assets are each entitled to a Capital Gains Tax exemption, currently £12,000. Accordingly, if a second property is sold by joint owners there is a total CGT exemption of £24,000 before tax becomes payable.
Landlords should take advice on the difference between improvements and repairs, which ones are allowable for which taxes and when the relief can be claimed.
For Inheritance Tax everyone is entitled to give away £3,000 each year and carry forward any unused portion for one year. If no gifts were made in the last tax year then £6,000 can be given this year. There are further IHT allowances and exemptions available.
The lifetime Inheritance tax allowance is £325,000 per person. Transfers between spouses or civil partners are exempt so equalisation of assets is sensible planning.
If you wish to pass assets to the next generation but are concerned about security you might consider a Trust, of which there are various types. A Discretionary Trust, where trustees have discretion over distributions from the trust fund, can provide protection of the assets against some of the life problems the beneficiaries may encounter.
Tax need not be a problem, provided you are organised and take good advice.
John Atkinson. Chartered Wealth Manager
The recent trial of a cyclist who faces a £100,000 bill for costs after injuring a pedestrian is one that is of great interest to me, a personal injury lawyer and keen cyclist. Among those... The post As road users, cyclists must expect the unexpected – failure to do so could land you with a hefty bill appeared first on George...
The recent trial of a cyclist who faces a £100,000 bill for costs after injuring a pedestrian is one that is of great interest to me, a personal injury lawyer and keen cyclist.
Among those expressing sympathy for cyclist Robert Hazeldean is broadcaster and safe cycling campaigner Jeremy Vine, who said: “I feel very sorry for this fellow. I haven’t met anyone who thinks he could have done more to avoid hitting the pedestrian.” Well, Mr. Vine has clearly not met District Judge Mauger of the Central London County Court. The judge considered all the evidence and decided that Mr. Hazeldean and the pedestrian, Gemma Brushett, should share the blame equally: the cyclist for not allowing the pedestrian to cross safely in front of him, and the pedestrian for not paying attention and looking at her phone as she walked across the road. As the judge said, cyclists as road users are under a duty to expect the unexpected.
Interestingly, Ms. Brushett’s key witness was another cyclist who, in his evidence, was highly critical of Mr. Hazeldean as he ‘accelerated’ towards a group of pedestrians crossing a busy road in the evening rush hour. Three other pedestrians gave statements to the police and all put the blame squarely on Ms. Brushett for not looking where she was going.
The following facts were established in court: Mr. Hazeldean rode through a green light and approached the pedestrian crossing at 10-15 miles per hour. He was accelerating slightly uphill. He shouted and sounded his air-horn as he approached pedestrians who were still crossing the road. Ms. Brushett had almost made it across the road when the cyclist crashed into her, having braked only at the last moment. It is unfortunate that when she finally realised the cyclist was approaching he was almost upon her and she was startled into taking a step back, which put her directly in his path. She was knocked out by the impact and sustained a minor concussive head injury.
The case also serves as a stark reminder to all cyclists to ensure they are adequately insured against personal liability, either through household or cycle insurance, and that uninsured defendants should take legal advice before entering a defence – in this case, the cyclist could have counter-claimed for his own injury and loss.
The post As road users, cyclists must expect the unexpected – failure to do so could land you with a hefty bill appeared first on George Ide.
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