Changes to Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) Agreements

Private landlords may or may not be aware but on 1st October 2015 the law relating to Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST) agreements changed. Just over a year later it is a good time to reflect on those changes and the problems encountered since.

For any AST entered in to as of 1.10.15 there is now a requirement to provide the tenant at the outset with:

  1. The How To Rent document (a copy can be downloaded here)
  2. The Energy Performance Certificate relating to the property (a copy can be downloaded here if it exists)
  3. The Gas Safety Certificate

The above are in addition to ensuring that any deposit is protected within 30 days, and prescribed information is served within 30 days also of the tenant paying the deposit.

Private landlords may well already have held gas safety certificates and energy performance certificates but now if they are not provided at the start of the tenancy then no valid s21 Notice Seeking Possession can be served.

It is important to keep abreast of the ongoing changes in Landlord and Tenant law and you should seek legal advice before taking any steps if you are uncertain. Taking the wrong course of action could expose you to a costs order, meaning a County Court Judgment.

For further information please contact Phillip Coburn, Solicitor and Director, at or 0151 639 8273

Volkswagen emissions scandal update

On 18.10.16 This is Money reported that the Transport Committee released “Volkswagen emissions scandal and vehicle type approval: Government response to the Committee’s Third Report of Session 2016-2017 in which it is reported that the Government promised UK owners it will fight for them to receive compensation from VW.

The Department for Transport suggested that owners continue with their own private legal actions against the car brand and that they will in turn support them.

The standout paragraph in the 13-page report read: ‘The Government will continue to fight for compensation for UK consumers and continue our work to ensure that Volkswagen’s serious action of cheating type approval tests is met with the appropriate consequences.

‘The Government has also made clear in its most recent engagement with VW that in relation to costs incurred by the taxpayer and proposed fixes for affected vehicles, respectively, financial reimbursement and warranties are matters of high and urgent priority.’

With the support of the Department for Transport Solicitors dealing with these cases are now preparing to move forward in the actions, to Court.

We will now be preparing the Letters of Claim for each case to be sent to VW. This will be done in the next few weeks and once sent to them they will have the statutory 3 months to investigate liability and response.

We will keep you abreast of any further developments or responses to the Letter of Claim.

In the meantime if you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us.

Fast payouts for birth injury will avoid courts and ‘improve safety’

This was the headline in the Times paper on 17/10/16 but what does this mean in reality for medical negligence cases?

Parents of babies harmed by the NHS during labour have been promised faster compensation pay-outs without the need to go to Court. Such cases will automatically be investigated and a pay-out made even if negligence is not proven. The Health Secretary – Jeremy Hunt – believes this will discourage hospitals hiding mistakes for the fear of legal action.

The fact that he recognises that hospitals “hide” mistakes is of grave concern. Having been a medical negligence specialist for many years it is no longer a surprise to me when records go missing, documents are changed or we are met with a wall of silence when making enquiries. However, Solicitors and patients are encouraged to inform the NHS as soon as possible that a claim is imminent. But the concern of the Solicitor and the patient, quite rightly it would seem, is that this allows the NHS time to “hide” information, or change it.

It has also recently been reported that in other Medical Negligence cases the NHS settles 70% of them only after Court proceedings have been issued. This highlights the belligerence of the NHS when dealing with Claims. It can take years, a lot of expense and a lot of heartache for the victim to get a claim to a stage whereby you are ready to issue Court Proceedings. It is a big decision for a Claimant to make, to take on the NHS in the hope that they win. Many don’t want to prolong the heartache any further and believe that the NHS would have “owned up by now if they had done something wrong” but this has proven not to be the case.

It would seem that admitting that they have done wrong only becomes necessary when faced with Court action. This is why people need Solicitors advice, expertise, support and experience dealing with the NHS. It is foolish to use a Solicitor that is not experienced in such an area. It would be like using a plumber to plaster your walls.

So if you think you, or someone you know, may have suffered at the hands of the NHS, a Doctor, Dentist or any other medical professional then get in touch with the Experts!

Call 0800 0190 324 and speak with Alisha Butler-Ward or email: