Menneer Shuttleworth
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Contact Us

21 Eversley Road
Bexhill on Sea
East Sussex
TN40 1HA

Tel: 01424 730630
Fax: 01424 730313
DX: 8101 Bexhill

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28 & 29 Grand Parade
St Leonards on Sea
East Sussex
TN37 6DR

Tel: 01424 720044
Fax: 01424 722221
DX: 33100 St Leonards on Sea

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Latest News

Bank charges...
In a shock victory for banks and building societies the Supreme Court has overturned rulings in the High Court and Court of Appeal that bank charges were subject to fairness rules under clause 6 of the Unfair Contract Terms and Consumer Regulations. For more information on how this may affect any potential claim you have, contact us.

Age Discrimination update...
The High Court has recently declared that the default retirement age of 65 is lawful. Known as the Heyday challenge, the High court ruled in the Government’s favour. However, the Government have brought forward a review of an important consultation document which will now be heard in 2010. Upon completion of this consultation it is almost certain that default retirement age will either be removed completely or increased over the current age of 65. For more information please contact us.

TUPE Transfers and equal pay claims...
Employers who take on employees under a TUPE transfer can face a claim for equal pay based on comparisons with employees who have not transferred to them following the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Sodexo Limited. For more information contact us.

Hastings and Rother Multiple Sclerosis Society
Menneer Shuttleworth have recently become involved with the Hastings and Rother branch of the Multiple Sclerosis Society who work extremely hard to support members of our local community who suffer with MS. James Mountford has agreed to run the Hastings Half Marathon in support of this excellent charity. For more information on the work of the charity please visit http://www.ms-societyhastingsrother.org.uk/. We look forward to publishing James’ running results in the coming weeks.

Sell to Rent Back Agreements
In the current economic climate sell to rent back agreements have become more and more common. Unfortunately the amount of people being subsequently evicted from their homes is also on the increase.

There have been many problems with people who have entered in the sell-to-rent-back agreements subsequently being evicted from their home. Usually, the rental agreement is an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement which provides no security of tenure. The landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice requiring possession and is entitled to the same. The landlord does not have to show that the tenant has been at fault in any way. Therefore, people are selling their homes at a discount to big companies with the assurance that they can rent it back for life and then find that they are facing a mandatory possession claim.

There is no defence to a Section 21 Notice (unless the landlord has failed to secure a tenancy deposit, which is unlikely in these circumstances) and families are losing their homes through no fault of their own. However, it has been suggested that the doctrine of proprietary estoppel may assist these tenants and allow them to remain in their homes. In order for proprietary estoppel to exist, the tenant must show that there was a promise or assurance given i.e. to remain in the house long-term and that the tenant relied upon this promise and so acted to their detriment i.e. Selling the house at less than market value (which is usually the case with these agreements) for a tenancy affording them no security of tenure.

If estoppel is made out, the relief provided by the Court will be what the tenant expected i.e. Lifetime security. The Courts have acknowledged that the doctrine of estoppel can apply to residential properties although there is not yet any direct authority on the case. It is a point to consider, however, when tenants entering into such agreements are faced with eviction. If you are faced with similar circumstances, or would like to discuss these issues further, please contact our Litigation Department on 01424 720044.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements...
An Appeal court judge recently heard the case of Radmacher and Grantino and made a ruling which means that we are now coming into line with our European neighbours. And courts are finally recognising pre-nuptial agreements. The ruling strengthens the status of prenuptial contracts in British law by ruling that a German heiress' premarital agreement with her former husband should influence how their assets are divided. For more information contact us.

Employment Law...
The Statutory Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures implemented by the government in October 2004 no longer apply to businesses. As of the 6th April 2009 a new ACAS code must be followed by employers. This code is less onerous than the previous regime but employers should consult with their employees to notify them of the change because it may be a contractual right of an employee to insist on using the old procedures. For more details and to obtain assistance with consulting with your employees and any other employment related matter please contact our St Leonards office and speak to Richard Harrison.

Stop press… Stop press…
We recently acted for a landlord who had taken, on the advice of a landlord’s organisation, 2 months’ rent in advance and specified in the AST that there was ‘no deposit’. The tenant sued the landlord for failing to comply with the Act and the tenant WON. Read more here.

 

 
 
     
 

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Menneer Shuttleworth Solicitors are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA NO: 00446809