Homebuyers are being warned to send financial details to their solicitor by post, rather than email, to avoid falling victim to a new scam. Criminals are posing as solicitors to steal huge sums of money by hacking into the buyer’s email account and monitoring any information about cash transactions before intercepting the communications and requesting funds to be sent to a false account. The Conveyancing Association has now said buyers should avoid communicating with lawyers via email where possible.

Daily Mail, Page: 34, 35

Posted 18/o5/2016

Up to 100,000 UK investors who lost money when the Spanish property market collapsed could be in line for payouts, Spanish Legal Reclaims (SLR) has estimated. “Property developers should have put the money in a specific account with a bank warranty, so in the event of failure, that money was protected. The Supreme Court said that financial institutions are obliged to repay that money to buyers, if a developer disappears or is bankrupt,” according to Luis Cuervo, chief executive of SLR.

Independent i, Page: 42

Posted 17/05/2106

 

 

 

A report by the Financial Conduct Authority says thousands of self-employed people have been wrongly denied mortgages due to miscalculations by providers. It said a number of lenders have been accidentally deducting tax and NICs twice from people’s salaries when performing affordability checks on them, reducing how much they can lend. As a result, typical self-employed borrowers could have been offered “maximum” mortgages 30% smaller than they can actually afford, according to calculations by Smith & Williamson.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2

Posted 17/05/2016

 

 

Campaigners battling to stop the council house selloff by David Cameron have had to admit defeat. Ministers pushed through his Housing Bill hours before it would have had to be shelved when Parliament’s year ended. Former Government housing chief Bob Kerslake warned that the Bill was an “attack” that would wipe out affordable homes. He gave in after the Prime Minister blasted him for blocking manifesto commitments in the Lords. Lord Kerslake told peers: “It’s clear some commitments come ahead of others. It’s also abundantly clear the sums simply do not add up.” The Lords had inflicted 19 defeats on the Bill. Meanwhile, the Conservatives are considering legislation to grant powers to councils to seize land and approve largescale housebuilding, in a bid to create a new generation of garden towns.

Daily Mirror, Page: 7  

Posted 12/05/2016

 

 

The business appetite of Britain’s new banks is creating better prices for consumers, according to industry analysts. The average interest on a standard variable rate mortgage fell by 10 basis points to 4.57% in March while at the same time, rates on new two-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by six points to 1.87%, while five-year fixes dipped seven points to 2.71%. Bernstein analyst Chirantan Barua attributes the change to competition from the likes of RBS and HSBC, but also to the rise of challenger banks shaking up high street banking. OneSavings Bank and Paragon Bank being two such lenders, whose products include loans for landlords, developers and companies. Meanwhile, interest rates on credit cards are coming down, thanks to competition from new lenders like Virgin Money, and personal loan interest rates have also fallen to a new historical low of 8.12%.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 07/05/2016

 

 

A father is seeking to make UK legal history by suing his daughter’s school for the cost of sending her to self-defence classes to help protect her from bullies. The unnamed parent is taking Thorns Community College in Stourbridge, West Midlands, to a small claims court in a bid to win back £57.35 for the weekly martial arts lessons. The father’s case is backed by community group Parents Against Bullying at Thorns after figures revealed the school had dealt with more than 400 incidents of bullying in the last two years. A spokesman for the group said: “This is thought to be the first case of its kind anywhere in the United Kingdom where a parent has been forced to take such drastic action due to the inability of the school’s leadership to deal with a case of bullying.”

Daily Mail   Daily Mirror, Page: 11

Posted 06/05/2016

A builder has won £50,000 from his ex-girlfriend in a court case involving a property she purchased and he renovated. Gareth Powell refurbished the £315,000 flat in London, insisting he and Chloe Thomas had an agreement they would divide the profits if they broke up – a deal he says she went back on when their relationship ended. A county court judge has awarded Mr Powell a third of the profits from the flat – almost £50,000 – and ordered Ms Thomas to pay the legal costs, taking her total bill to about £200,000.

The Times, Page: 13   Evening Standard, Page: 11   Daily Express, Page: 17

Posted 05/05/2016

 

 

Barclays Mortgages is to launch a deal that will enable first-time buyers to get on to the property ladder without needing any deposit. The “family springboard” mortgage revamp removes the need for first-time buyers and home movers to put down any deposit at all when buying a home, as long as a “helper” – often a buyer’s parents – puts cash equating to 10% of the purchase price into a savings account linked to the mortgage.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1   The Times, Page: 4   Financial Times, Page: 1   Independent I, Page: 42   The Sun, Page: 24   The Scotsman, Page: 20  

Posted 04/05/16

 

 

The TUC has warned that workers’ rights, including limits on hours, compensation for discrimination and protection for agency workers, would come under threat if Britain votes to leave the EU. It published a report by GQ Employment Law, which claims Brexit would mean “all the social rights in employment currently required by EU law would be potentially vulnerable”. The report concluded that rights would be at risk even if the UK negotiated a Norwegian-style deal under which the country still has access to the single market. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “A lot of the debate has focused on how many people might lose their job because of Brexit. But even people whose jobs are not a risk would still face the threat of losing hard-won rights at work.” Separately, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands has backed warnings by PwC that up to 100,000 jobs will be lost if Britain leaves the EU.

Independent i, Page: 6   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 4

Posted 03/05/16

A report by Citizens Advice indicates pregnant women and new mothers are suffering increasing levels of unfair treatment at work. There has been a 25% increase in people seeking advice from the organisation on pregnancy and maternity issues in the past year, with more than 22,000 visits to its website. Frequently raised issues by pregnant women and new mothers included cuts to working hours, being put on zero-hours contracts or even being forced out of their job. Meanwhile, a study by the Centre for Social Justice suggests military spouses should be given the same legal protection as pregnant women from discrimination in job applications. The think tank says wives and husbands of service personnel can find it hard to gain steady jobs.

The Guardian, Page: 6   The Daily Telegraph, Page: 12

Posted 02/04/16