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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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