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09 July 2020 News
This is a question we’ve been asked on a number of occasions during the last three months and we’re afraid to say that, normally, the answer is “yes”. Unless there is something very specific in your contract of employment about holiday arrangements, then you need to rely on the terms of The Working Time Regulations 1998. These regulations allow your employer to decide if you’re to take holidays – and that doesn’t matter if you’re on furlough or not. Your employer can instruct you to take any number of days holiday provided they give you double that number of days notice. That means if your employer decided…
09 July 2020 News
During lockdown, many of our clients were surprised to hear we could still look after their legal interests even though our offices were closed and the partners and staff were working from home. Many of our clients contacted us during the lockdown to ask us about preparing a Will or a Power of Attorney and we were delighted to be able to assist them even though we couldn’t meet with them face to face. It became very apparent from the beginning of the lockdown that certain things would have to change to allow us to properly take our clients’ instructions to prepare Wills and Powers of…
09 July 2020 News
Following the Scottish Government’s announcement that the housing market would re-open on 29 June, we were inundated with requests from clients to arrange valuations of their properties and from buyers wanting to view. We had expected this to happen due to the pent-up demand from buyers and sellers to get moving on the property ladder. However, this doesn’t tell the whole story. When the lockdown was ordered on 23 March, the property market came to an abrupt halt. Whilst we could continue with the conveyancing aspects of ongoing transactions, the instructions from the Scottish Government were to postpone the entry dates of all transactions, where possible…
08 July 2020 News
A Settlement Agreement is an agreement between an employer and employee (or former employee) which is used to bring an employment contract or employment relationship to an end in a mutually agreed way. It is not always necessary to use a Settlement Agreement when a Contract of Employment or employment relationship is terminated but a Settlement Agreement does usually provide a quick and dignified end to an employment relationship and can avoid time, cost and stress for all parties When terms are agreed, a formal written Settlement Agreement will be produced by the employer.  For the Settlement Agreement to competently waive an individual’s right to bring legal…
29 June 2020 News
For those looking to buy their first property, the journey ahead may seem quite challenging but also very exciting. Here are some tips which may help you along the way: Start saving: If you save money into a Help to Buy ISA, then the Government can boost your savings by 25%. So, for every £200 you will receive a Government bonus of £50. The minimum government bonus is £400, meaning that you need to have saved at least £1,600 into your Help to Buy ISA before you can claim your bonus. The maximum government bonus you can receive is £3,000 – to receive that, you need…
13 May 2020 News
We advise clients of all ages and stages in life to ensure that they have a Will in place to protect them, and their loved ones, upon their death.  The current Coronavirus pandemic, and the understandable concern that this is causing, has resulted in an increase in queries from clients looking to put in place a Will, or update an existing Will. Whilst we would normally meet with a client face to face (either in the office or their own home) to take instructions and thereafter carry out the signing and witnessing of the Will, the current movement restrictions and physical closure of our offices prohibits us…
28 February 2020 News
A recent report published by the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance is calling for regular inspections, ownership associations and national funds to improve and protect the future of tenement buildings across Scotland. This report can be read in full here; https://www.befs.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Working-Group-on-Maintenance-of-Tenement-Scheme-Property-Final-Recommendations-Report.pdf This issue has slowly been rising up the Scottish Parliamentary agenda and the Scottish Housing Condition Survey 2017 showed that almost a fifth of all pre-1919 housing has disrepair to critical elements. The survey highlighted that this issue must be addressed to ensure a sustainable standard of living for Scotland’s most common type of dwelling. The Scottish Government voted to review existing tenement…
21 February 2020 News
Whilst winter may not seem the best time for buying your next home, there are certain advantages, as you will see first-hand, how well the property will protect you in the harshest weather conditions. Potential issues are more likely to appear and be more recognisable. •    Check for signs of dampness: Be on the lookout for any discolouration, peeling wallpaper or musty damp smells in the property. These may be due to something as simple as a clogged or damaged gutter or down pipe, faulty plumbing or poor ventilation.  If these are present then they should be mentioned in the home report. Your solicitor will be…
14 February 2020 News
In this blog, Fiona Watson, offers advice for landlords and letting agents on serving a Notice to Leave. Fiona draws on a significant recent Upper Tribunal case, which it is important for landlords and letting agents to know about. Having specialised in residential tenancy law for a number of years, Fiona is also a Legal Member of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland, Housing and Property Chamber. Fiona advises clients on a wide range of issues relating to residential leasing, as well as residential conveyancing, private client, and family law. Since the introduction of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 which created the Private Residential Tenancy…
31 January 2020 News
Your house will certainly be more attractive to buyers with some general sprucing up and cleaning. Larger projects such as loft conversions, converting a garage or adding a conservatory may achieve high rewards if you have the time and money, but small things can make a surprising difference too.   Redecorate and complete easy upgrades Redecorating is the most popular home improvement and giving your home a lick of paint and doing some general maintenance can be done at a relatively low cost. Fresh paint in neutral colours can go a long way to giving your home a new lease of life, so do not…

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North Berwick - 01620 892138
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