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FreeWills2015We helped raised £5,500 for St Peter & St James Hospice in their Free Wills Scheme, well done and thank you to everyone who participated.

As a result of recent case law, Parliament has changed the rules for landlords who let properties on Assured Shorthold Tenancies.  Before this, a tenant’s deposit payable under some tenancies made before 6 April 2007 did not have to be registered with an approved deposit scheme.    However it has been decided to protect all deposits and if you still have a tenancy starting before that date, the deposit will now need to be registered with a Tenant Deposit Scheme before 23 June 2015


Failure to do this will mean that the landlord:


     -  Must refund the deposit to the tenant

                -  Will have difficulty in regaining possession if it wants to terminate the tenancy

                -  Faces the risk that significant financial penalties will be imposed by the Court.


christosOur Christos Christou is the new president of Eastbourne Law Society, pictured here with the outgoing president, Robin Bates.

“More and more commercial tenants nowadays, given the economic uncertainty of our times, ask the landlord to insert a break clause in their leases so that the tenant can terminate the lease early if the new venture turns out to be less successful than hoped for.

However in a difficult market, landlords are reluctant to lose a tenant who has a good payment record and may find any excuse to hang on to reliable tenants.  It is common for landlords to pick holes in tenants’ break notices in an attempt to keep them on the hook for rest of the lease.  Typically the landlord will claim that the break notice was not validly served or it contains errors.   

nadine runningWell done to Nadine who raised £930 for SASBAH (Sussex Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus) by running the Brighton Marathon in 3 hours 40 minutes.

It is not uncommon for Tenants who want to sell or transfer (‘assign’) their Leases to someone else, to allow that third party to take over the premises before the legal formalities have been completed.  Sometimes they do not even bother with the legal formalities.


This happened in Lankester & Son Limited v R D Rennie & A Rennie.  The Tenant (T) took a Lease of a car showroom in 2007 but the following year decided that it wanted to pass the Lease on to a third party (A).  As is common with most commercial Leases, T needed the Landlord’s (L) permission which would only be forthcoming if certain conditions were met (mainly relating to guarantees for payment of the rent etc).  

The High Court has recently decided the case of Ali v Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which has provided fresh warning for Landlords who wish to ensure that Rights of Way are not created on their land by way of implied dedication.

Under the Section 31 of the Highways Act 1980 there may be presumed dedication where the public has enjoyed a way over land as of right and without interruption for 20 years. This is subject to the landowner being able to provide sufficient evidence that there was no intention to dedicate it as highway.

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