GHP Insights

News, Q&As and Press Releases From Our Team

Q&A - Tenant has done a moonlight flit. Can I change the locks and re-let?

Q: I signed up a new tenant on a twelve month shorthold tenancy lease six weeks ago. She paid a month’s rent up front and the same as a deposit, but failed to pay her rent at the start of the second month. She ignored my phone calls so I went round to visit the property and discovered she has moved out, leaving behind a bed, and a trail of damage. She has not returned the keys. Am I legally entitled to go in, remove the items she left, change the locks and re-let the property?

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Q&A - Royal Mail has refused to deliver to me – can they do this?

Q: The Royal Mail has stopped delivering letters to my address and claim that they are able to terminate their service. I have had a few disagreements with our usual postman over the fact that he says my dog is dangerous and scary (Barley is miniature poodle of a calm temperament) and so this wasn’t completely out of the blue. But surely they cannot do this?

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Q&A - Is it legal for my ex-wife to allow my children to drink wine when they stay with her?

Q: My ex-wife is French and when the children stay with her she allows them to drink wine with their dinner. When I spoke to my son on the telephone last week he sounded quite tipsy! My children are only 11 and 12 years old. Is she breaking the law?

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Q&A - What is the Stamp Duty Land Tax liability for purchasing a second property?

Q:  I am a homeowner and I am looking to buy a flat as an investment property to rent out. The flat I am interested in is connected to a shop.  If I buy the shop and the flat, will it be classed as a second home and therefore be charged at the higher rate for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT)?

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Q&A - If tax laws change before I die, could my beneficiaries change my Will to reduce unexpected tax liabilities?

Q: I have been very careful in considering tax liability implications for the beneficiaries of my Will, but I’m concerned that if the law changes before I die my good intentions may be wasted. I am wondering therefore whether it would be possible for my beneficiaries, who are all close family members, to get together and change certain aspects of my Will to appease such liabilities if it becomes necessary?

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Q&A - How can I claim accident injury compensation if driver was uninsured?

Q.  Twelve months ago, I was walking down the street when I was hit by a car. Luckily I was able to get the details of the driver and the incident was reported to the police. My friends say I should make a claim, but as the accident happened a year ago and the driver was driving without insurance, I don’t see that it would do any good. Can you advise me?

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Q&A - Can I get compensation for injury caused by tripping on pub stair-carpet?

Q: I have a prosthetic lower left leg. A few weeks ago I was in a local pub where the toilets were upstairs. After visiting the toilets I caught my right foot in some loose carpet on the way back down the stairs and fell. The result is that I broke my collarbone and shoulder and cannot work.

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Q&A - Can I ask Muslim worker to remove her headscarf when dealing with customers?

Q: I run a small business with a wide-ranging cultural customer base. This means I need to maintain a visible neutral stance regarding religion.  My dilemma is that I want to promote a hard-working young Muslim woman, who wears a headscarf, to a customer facing role. Whether or not she would be willing to remove her headscarf could have a bearing on my decision but I am not sure I can even ask her the question without getting myself into a discrimination dispute. What is the legal position on this? 

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Q&A - If I claim compensation for my accident injuries, what happens about my benefits?

Q:  I have been told that receiving compensation for an injury whilst being on benefits can be complicated. I suffered an injury last month and as a result I am currently in receipt of government benefits. I am not sure what to do. I feel I should be entitled to compensation but I cannot afford to risk losing my benefits. 

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Q&A - County Court Judgment was awarded against me whilst I was travelling abroad. What can I do?

Q: I have just come back home from a 12 month trip to Australia. When I got home I found a number of court documents on my doormat including a County Court Judgement which says that a Judge has awarded against me because I failed to attend a “final hearing”. However, I didn’t even know that I was supposed to be at a hearing and I had no idea that I was being sued! Is there anything I can do about this?

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