Q: I am a small contractor with a whole string of jobs I have been unable to carry out due to coronavirus lockdowns and out-of-stock materials. I cannot give customers a date when they might get their jobs done and the further behind I get, the more likely it is that I will have to pull out of some contracts completely because I won’t ever catch up. Where do I stand regarding my contractual liabilities?Read more
Q: My boyfriend has his own house, and I am considering moving in with him as it has been dreadful having to be apart during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. I am prepared to make contributions but am concerned that the property is just in his name. Is there still such a thing as common law marriage, and would I have any rights in relation to the house because of this?Read more
Q: I applied for a job on a twelve-month contract and, after an online interview last week due to COVID restrictions, I was offered it. The offer was emailed to me and I accepted it by email and was told a contract would follow. On the strength of that I gave notice on my current job.Read more
Q&A - I believe my cousin financially abused our aunt who died during the COVID pandemic what can I do?
Q: My wealthy spinster aunt was bed-ridden for years before dying in September. She had live-in carers and set up LPAs appointing my cousin and I as joint attorneys to manage her financial affairs and health and welfare decisions. We were also joint beneficiaries of her Will. However, I worked abroad and only returned to the UK in February. Coronavirus and her vulnerability meant I could not visit, and she was too ill to speak on the phone.Read more
Q: I own an engineering firm with thirty-four employees. Like every other business, keeping staff gainfully employed during the coronavirus pandemic was not easy, but with the supply chain rolling again we now have orders coming in. The workforce is keen to do whatever it takes to get things back on track, but the worry of the COVID-19-induced hiatus in the business, my poor health and my age, I really want to retire. However, as I do not want to let down my loyal workforce, I was wondering how easy it would be to offer them the opportunity of collectively owning the business?Read more
Q: I left the military at the end of 2019 after serving for six years. In the summer before I came out, I was involved in an accident when the vehicle I was driving came off the road. It was later proven that the vehicle had not undergone service checks when they were due, and the accident could be attributed to a fault that would have been rectified if the check had been carried out. I did not sustain any serious injuries at the time but during the latter part of this year I began to suffer severe pain that has now been diagnosed as resulting from whiplash. Can I make a claim against the MoD?Read more
Q: I own a small building company. What with jobs postponed due to lockdown and others delayed due to supply chain problems, we have struggled to keep going during the COVID-19 crisis. Now, just when we thought we were getting back on track we have had a big extension job cancelled at the last minute, just because the client wanted to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday and move instead! I have ordered materials, taken on extra labour, booked subcontractors, all at costs which I am liable for. And the client is saying he does not have to compensate me as he did not sign anything. Is this right?Read more
Q&A - As if COVID is not bad enough a new construction site is upsetting my livestock can I claim compensation?
Q: A new access road has been built to service a housing development being constructed adjacent to livery stables I have owned and run for 37 years. Heavy machinery and site traffic are going in and out all day and the noise is causing distress to the horses. COVID is already affecting my business and now I’m concerned that I could also lose clients who feel the standard of care I offer is compromised.Read more
Q: I have a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), appointing my neighbour as my attorney. I set it up several years ago when the LPA took over from the old Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Sadly, my neighbour recently contracted COVID-19 and died. It has now occurred to me that her passing has probably rendered my LPA useless. Will I have to prepare a new LPA?Read more
Q: When the government announced the COVID stamp duty holiday on property purchases, values in my area rose and I decided to take advantage of the situation and move. However, when I got a valuation, the estate agent noticed that from my upstairs windows he could see Japanese Knotweed growing on adjoining land.Read more