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Tenants Win Greater Influence Over Optional Improvement Costs

In a ruling that will be required reading for landlords and tenants, the Court of Appeal has given authoritative guidance on the distinction between ‘repairs’ and ‘optional improvements’. The decision means that tenants’ views will in future be far more influential when it comes to paying for the costs of the latter. The case concerned a 1960s-built...

Bankrupt Handed 15-Year Ban

Following an investigation by Insolvency Service (IS) specialists, a director has been given the maximum bankruptcy restriction order of 15 years after he was found to be acting as a director of a limited company despite having previously agreed to a 10-year disqualification order and that order still being in force. The undertaking, which was given in 2008,...

Immigration Skills Charge About to Come Into Force

Employers who sponsor employees from outside the European Economic Area under a Tier 2 visa will have to pay the ‘immigration skills charge’ from 6 April 2017. The charge will be levied at £1,000 per employee per year, but small organisations and charities will pay a reduced rate of £364 per year. Surprisingly for such a significant change, the...

Insolvency – Court Delves Into Alleged ‘Spinning Top’ Tax Avoidance Scheme

Insolvency professionals are familiar with so-called ‘spinning top’ schemes, whereby money is moved in a perpetual circle to create an illusion of loss or investment with the sole objective of avoiding tax. The High Court delved into one such alleged scheme but rejected claims that it was unconscionable or in breach of trust. The case concerned an insolvent...

High Court Green Lights 377-Home Greenfield Development

Housebuilding on green fields can be intensely controversial but objections often have to give way before the ever-widening gap between supply and demand. In one case that illustrated the point, the High Court opened the way for construction of 377 new homes close to an area of outstanding natural beauty. The local authority acknowledged that it did not have a...

Rules May Be Rules but Blanket Policies Are Unwise

Some forms of misconduct may appear so serious that dismissal is the only option. However, one case in which a hospital radiographer was sacked for mishandling confidential patient information showed that blanket policies are rarely a good idea and that room should be left for considering each case on its own facts. The woman had used confidential information in...