“A safe pair of hands - professional, reliable and efficient solicitors”

Personal Services

Business Services

Agri Law Services

 twitter-bird-white-on-blue30x30.png   Google+   download.png   f_logo30x30.png 
Bold Legal Logo


Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins Solicitors, Llanidloes, Rhayader, Powys, Mid Wales and Nationwide




If a flood is imminent, certain steps should be taken such as switching off the electricity/gas supplies, moving any vehicles, assuming it is safe to do so, moving pets and animals together with important possessions to safety and keeping breast with the local radio station on a wind-up or battery radio.  Information can be obtained by contacting Floodline on 0345 9881188.  If you are affected by a flood, care needs to be taken to check whether it is safe to return to your property as flood water can cause structural damage and there could also be hidden dangers such as pollution and raised manhole covers. 

It is important to contact the insurance company the first available opportunity.  Usually, a loss adjuster will be instructed by the insurance company to look at the property to establish what repairs and replacements are needed and what the insurance policy covers.  For rented property, the contents insurance company and landlord need to be contacted as soon as possible.  For those who do not have insurance, the advice would be to contact the Local Authority who should be able to give information regarding hardship grants or point you in the direction of which charities may be able to assist.

Drone Laws

There are height limits in place to ensure that drones are used safely.  Drones are restricted from flying above 400 feet (122 metres) and within 1 kilometre of airport boundaries.  Also, owners of drones weighing 250 grams or more are required to register with the Civil Aviation Authority with drone pilots having to take an online safety test.  These requirements come into force on 30th November 2019.  If drone users flout the new height and airport boundary restrictions, they could be charged with recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or any person in an aircraft which could result in an unlimited fine, up to 5 years in prison or both.  Failure to register or sit the competency tests could result in users being fined up to £1,000.00.




Holiday Pay for Overtime

The current legal position in respect of holiday pay calculations in respect of overtime is as follows:

  • Compulsory non-guaranteed overtime – this should always be included in holiday pay calculations.
  • Guaranteed overtime – should always be included
  • Voluntary overtime – if such overtime is sufficiently regular or re-occurring so that it qualifies as “normal”, it should be included.  As there is no definition for what is “normal”, it becomes a matter of fact and degree.  It is possible that voluntary overtime worked every 4 or 5 weeks could be seen as “normal”.


There are two types of apprenticeship:

  • A Contract of Apprenticeship – this covers a traditional apprenticeship arrangement, the primary object being to offer training to an individual rather than to perform work for the employer.  Termination by the employer can only be done in limited circumstances eg closure of the business or severe misconduct.
  • Apprenticeship Agreement – this is entered into under the apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009 which is more akin to a standard employment contract although it is an agreement between three separate parties being the apprentice, employer and a training provider.  Such an agreement makes it clear that the apprentice works for the employer with the training provider giving the training element with the terms of the agreement with the apprentice receiving a recognised qualification at the end of the same.  Termination of an “Apprenticeship Agreement” can be done in the usual way (subject to unfair dismissal) but if the Agreement is for a fixed term, the employer becomes liable to pay the salary for the full term if the Agreement terminates unless the Agreement states otherwise.

Rates Relief for Empty Properties

If business premises are not occupied, liability to pay business rates falls on the “owner” of the property.  Empty business properties are exempt from paying business rates for three months after the property becomes vacant.  For certain types of property or for properties under a set rateable value, there are additional exemptions available which include:


  • Listed Buildings which remain exempt until they become occupied again


  • Buildings with a rateable value below £2,600.00 which are exempt until they become occupied again


  • Properties owned by charities, which are exempt if the property’s next use is likely to be wholly or mainly for charitable purposes


  • Industrial premises eg warehouses, which are exempt for a further three months


  • Community amateur sports club buildings which are exempt if their next use is likely to be wholly or mainly for a sports club


  • A business whose owner is a company in administration (paragraph 1 of Schedule B1, Insolvency Act 1986) or is subject to an Administration Order (Article 3 of the Enterprise Act 2002 (Commencement No 4 and Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2003.


  • A business whose owner is a company which is subject to a winding-up order made under the Insolvency Act 1986 or is being voluntarily wound up under the Act.


  • A business whose owner is entitled to possession in his or her capacity as the personal representative of a person who has died




HM Revenue & Customs change in late payment interest rates


Following the Bank of England interest rate rise to 0.75%, HMRC late payment interest rate has been increased to 3.25% from 21st August 2018 in relation to payment of main taxes and duties.  Repayment interest rates remain unchanged at 0.50%.



Minimum price for alcohol in Wales set to become law


The Public Health (Minimum Price for Alcohol) (Wales) Act 2018 is a new law which will allow Welsh Ministers to introduce a minimum unit price for alcohol supplied in Wales.  This new minimum pricing regime is expected to come into force during the summer of 2019.



Funding to help with costs of school uniform and sports kit in Wales


Some parents across Wales may be entitled to claim £125.00 to help cover the cost of school uniforms, sports kit and kit for sports and activities outside of school eg Scouts and Guides.  PDG Access is a new fund targeted at learners who are eligible for free school meals or children who are looked after and are entering reception class or Year 7 in September and aged 4 or 11 in special schools, special educational needs units or pupil referral units.  Any parents who believe they may be eligible for PDG Access need to contact their local authority.




With more and more people working from home, it is useful to consider whether an application for planning permission needs to be made.  Such an application would need to be made if the overall character of the dwelling will change as a result of the business.  Planning Permission may need to be sought where some of the following situations arise:


  • The home is no longer being used mainly as a private residence
  • The business involves activities which are unusual in  a residential area
  • The business disturbs neighbours at unreasonable hours or creates other forms of nuisance eg smells or noise
  • The business results in a marked increase in the number of people calling or traffic


If in doubt, an application can be made to your local authority for a certificate of Lawful Use for the proposed activity by way of confirmation that it is not a change of use but will be lawful use.




The Change in Company Directors’ address details

Directors of a limited company can in addition to providing the company’s registered address request that one additional address is added to Companies House’s records. This will assist in ensuring that Directors receive all letters and important Notices issued.  In addition, if required, Directors can also request that all their details of their residential address are registered with Companies House for public inspection. This can be done through Companies House’s website at  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house

Inheritance Tax

Personal Representatives of a deceased’s estate are personally liable for paying Inheritance Tax on an estate even in a situation where the beneficiaries confirm that they themselves will do so but fail to comply with the promise.  Whatever agreement is therefore reached between personal representatives and beneficiaries for payment of Inheritance Tax, the ultimate legal responsibility for making such payment rests with the personal representatives.  Personal representatives cannot rely upon ignorance of the legal position as a defence to such a statutory responsibility.  It is therefore important for personal representatives to ensure that Inheritance Tax has been paid before assets are transferred to beneficiaries. 

Refund of fees for registering Powers of Attorney

Just a reminder that for those who registered a Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian between April 2013 and 31st March 2017, an application to reclaim a portion of the fees paid can be made.  This includes for repeat applications and remissions with refunds being between £34.00 and £54.00 per Power, depending upon the date the fee was paid.  If a Donor made the application to register, a rebate can be claimed online or by telephone.  If the Donor has died, their Personal Representative can apply by email or post with the refund being paid to the Donor only (or the Estate).  Applications can be made up to 31st January 2021 and to apply for a rebate, the Power must have been made in England or Wales.



Historic Vehicles

Cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles are no longer required to have an MOT if the vehicle is more than 40 years old and has not been substantially changed in the previous 30 years.  The rules changed on 20 May 2018 and will apply to vehicles from the 40th anniversary of when they were registered.  However, to tax the historic vehicle (even where the vehicle is fee exempt) a declaration has to be made to the effect that it meets the rules for not needing an MOT.  All vehicles must be kept in a road worthy condition.  Failure to do so can result in a fine up to £2,500.00 with three penalty points for using a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

Bereavement Support Payment

Bereavement Support Payment is payable to a surviving husband, wife or civil partner and is paid as a one off, lump sum payment followed up by up to 18 monthly payments.  There are two separate rates being a “standard rate” or the “higher rate” which depends upon your circumstances.  If you are pregnant or have dependent children under the age of 20 you may be eligible for the higher rate which is made up of a lump sum payment of £3,500.00 and up to 18 monthly payments of £350.00.

If you have no dependent children, you would get the standard rate which is made up of a lump sum payment of £2,500.00 and up to 18 monthly payments of £100.00.

To be eligible, you must be below state pension age, you are married to or in a civil partnership with the deceased husband, wife or civil partner having paid enough National Insurance Contributions.  You must also have  ordinarily lived in the UK, a country with which the UK has a reciprocal agreement to pay certain UK payments or a European Union or European Economic area country.

Bereavement Support Payment is tax fee.  More information regarding the Payment is available at www.gov.uk/bereavement-support-payment.  More information is available on the HMRC helpline – 0300 200 3100 with lines being open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on a Saturday.  For anyone with hearing or speech difficulties and prefer to use a text phone, the following number can be used – 0300 200 3103.




Residential Care Savings Limit in Wales

From April 2018, the capital limit increases from £30,000.00 to £40,000.00 in Wales.  The £40,000.00 is the capital limit which determines whether a person is required to pay for the full cost of their residential care or whether financial support is received towards the cost from the local authority.

In England, people with capital and savings above £23,250.00 have to fund all of their own social care and only those with less than £14,250.00 pay nothing. 

Copyright of Photographs on the Internet

Photographs, illustrations and other images on the internet will generally be protected by copyright as artistic works.  It is only advisable to use images if you have specific permission to do so through a licence; or your particular use is specifically permitted in the terms and conditions of the website supplying the image and this is the copyright owner’s website.  Sharing or posting a simple web link to pages where images have been posted publicly online by the copyright owner is usually not restricted by copyright. However, copying images and then hosting them on another website will usually amount to copyright infringement. You should ask permission from the copyright owner before using images in this way

Council Tax Reduction and Discounts

Council Tax is usually paid if you are 18 or over and own or rent a home.  The bill is normally based on two adults living in a property but a discount or reduction can be applied in some circumstances if:

  • you are a student
  • you are mentally impaired
  • you are disabled
  • you live alone
  • you live in a low-income household
  • the property is empty

The Council Tax bill is calculated by your local authority which should be contacted if you think you may qualify for a reduction.



Land Transaction Tax for Welsh Transactions

For transactions completed on or after 1st April 2018, the new Land Transaction Tax applies based on the rates and bands approved by the National Assembly for Wales.  To assist in establishing the tax you need to pay, a calculator can be used online at

https://lttcalculator.wra.gov.wales/.  If, as an individual you already own one or more residential properties, you may need to pay the higher residential rate.  For further information, contact our Adrian Foulkes at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk.

MOT Rule Changes

A new MOT rule comes into force on 20th May 2018.  It includes three new defect categories being dangerous, major and minor.  A dangerous or major defect will result in an MOT fail.  Furthermore, tighter limits on smoke for diesel vehicles are being introduced in order to help improve air quality.  Vehicles more than 40 years old without substantial improvements will be exempt from requiring an MOT.

Single Application Form 2018

The Single Application Form (SAF) for land in Wales that is at your disposal has been available online since 5th March 2018.  The completed SAF and all necessary supporting information must be sent to the Welsh Government no later than midnight on Tuesday 15th May 2018.  Failure to comply with this time limit will result in financial penalties being applied for applications received between 16th May and 11th June 2018.  It will not be possible to submit your SAF after 11th June 2018 deadline.  If you are not already registered with RPW online and do not have an activation code, you will need to contact the Customer Contact Centre whose telephone number is 0300 0625004 (8.30am to 17.00 Monday to Thursday and 08.30 to 16.30 on Friday) or email RPWOnline@gwales.gsi.gov.uk.


Power of Attorney Fee Refund Scheme

For those who may have been charged more than was necessary to apply to register Lasting or Enduring Powers of Attorney between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017, it is now possible to apply for a partial refund.  The Office of the Public Guardian’s operating costs came down during this period as the number of people who applied to register a Power of Attorney and the process for doing so became more efficient.  The application for a refund is a straightforward process will full guidance being offered online or a dedicated refund service helpline (tel: 0300 456 0300 and select option 6) for those who require it.  Telephone lines are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9am to 5pm and Wednesday from 10am to 5pm.

What happens to my title deeds when the property is registered with HMLR?

Title deeds are paper documents showing the change of ownership of property and land.  They can include documents such as conveyances, wills, mortgages and leases.  When a property is registered for the first time with the Land Registry, although they receive the original title deeds, they are not stored with the department.  The Land Registry creates scanned copies of some documents and returns all the original deeds once registration is completed to whoever lodged the application, which is usually a solicitor or conveyancer acting on behalf of a purchaser.  If you are trying to establish the whereabouts of the original title deeds, they could be with the solicitor who acted on your behalf when the property was bought or with the mortgage company, assuming you have a mortgage.  If the property had already been registered with the Land Registry when it was bought, the seller may not have handed over the original deeds as there is no legal requirement for them to do this.  Once a property is registered, the Land Register is the definitive record of land and property ownership in England and Wales and you do not need to have the deeds to confirm your ownership.  We advise that the original deeds be kept because they can hold important information about legal boundaries and who owned the property previously.  If the Land Register refers to deeds being filed, you should be able to have copies of the scanned documents.   

Inheritance Tax

Since 6th April 2017, you have been entitled to add an additional £100,000.00 tax free “family home allowance” which can be used against the value of your property if the same is left to your direct descendants – children or grandchildren.  This additional allowance will increase to £125,000.00 in the tax year 2018/19 and to £150,000.00 in 2019/20 and £175,000.00 in 2020/21.  If this extra allowance has not been used up on your death, it can be moved to your surviving spouse which means that by the tax year 2020/21, a married couple could potentially leave a combined estate of up to £1m without being liable for Inheritance Tax.  For divorced or single people, the maximum threshold will potentially be half of this being £500,000.00.


Land Transaction Tax to be introduced in Wales from 1st April 2018

Stamp Duty Land Tax will be abolished from 1st April 2018 and replaced with the Land Transaction Tax in Wales. This will apply to residential and non-residential transactions. 

If you require any further information regarding this change, please contact our Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166.

Farm Business Grants

The Farm Business Grant scheme in Wales will be transferring to Rural Payments Wales (RPW) for this third round and future rounds of the scheme. Farmers can start applying from 29th January 2018, through RPW online. The scheme provides a 40% contribution towards capital investments, in machinery and equipment and has been pre-identified as offering clear and quantifiable benefits to farm enterprises. A minimum grant will be for £3,000.00 and the maximum £12,000.00.

The Micro Small Business Fund

This is an investment fund targeting eligible capital investment projects in the tourism industry in Wales. Between £25,000.00 and £500,000.00 will be considered in order to;

  • Create and safeguard jobs;
  • Deliver quality, innovation and a sense of place;
  • Realise economic benefit and growth.

It is a fund which is available for micro to small sized businesses employing less than 50 FTE employees.

More information is available from Business Wales, Welsh Government, Government Buildings, Sarn Mynach, Llandudno Junction LL31 9RZ, by email at tiss@wales.gsi.gov.uk or telephone 0845 0108 020.






The National Living Wage for employees aged 25 and over will increase from £7.50 to £7.83 per hour from April 2018.  The National Minimum Wage rates will also increase as follows:

  • From £7.05 per hour to £7.38 per hour for 21 to 24 year olds.
  • From £5.60 per hour to £5.90 per hour for 18 to 20 year olds.
  • From £4.05 per hour to £4.20 per hour for 16 and 17 year olds.
  • From £3.50 per hour to £3,70 per hour for apprentices.

General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)


The GDPR will come into force on 25 May 2018. This has the aim of providing tighter controls and over the collection, storage and processing of personal data.  This will effect in particular the providers of services and goods. It is recommended that 12 steps are taken now in order to plan ahead for when the change is effected:

1.         All decision makers and key people in an organisation need to be made aware that the law is changing to the GDPR.

2.         You should document what personal data is held, where it came from and who it is shared with.         

3.         Client privacy notices should be reviewed with a plan being put in place for making any necessary changes in time for GDPR implementation.         

4.         Procedures should be checked to ensure that all the rights individuals have are covered including how you would delete personal data or provide data electronically and in a commonly used format.

5.         Procedures should be updated to include planning how you will handle requests taking into account the new rules.

6.         The lawful basis for your processing activity in the GDPR should be identified, documented with the privacy notice being updated to explain it.

7.         A review of how you seek, record and manage consent with any changes that need to be made to be undertaken.

8.         Thought needs to be given as to whether systems need to be put in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent for any data processing activity.

9.         The correct procedures must be in place to detect, report and investigate personal data breach.

10.       It is good practice to adopt a “privacy by design” approach with a Privacy Impact Assessment being taken as part of this process.

11.       A data protection officer should be appointed to take responsibility for data protection compliance with thought being given as to where this role lies within the organisation’s structure and governance arrangements.

12.       For organisations operating in more than one EU member state, the lead data protections supervisory authority needs to be determined and documented.

Help to Buy Wales

We are please to announce that our Mr William Ransford is now accredited to deal with Conveyancing matters under the Help to Buy Wales Scheme  If you need any assistance, please contact him on 01686 412166 or at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk







All 2016 and 2017 Capital Works (Glastir Advanced) must be completed by 31st December 2017 with claims being made no later than 28th February 2018.  Such claims are required to be made to the RPW online account.

The expression of interest window for Glastir Small Grants: Carbon will be open until midnight on 13th December 2017. 

New Glastir organic contract holders in 2017 must submit their organic business plans via RPW online by 31st December 2017.  It is only after plans are received that the Glastir organic claims can be processed.


Christmas Holidays

 Christmas Day and Boxing Day fall on a Monday and Tuesday this year which means that these two days will be Bank Holidays.  There is no statutory right for employees to take Bank Holidays off work.  Any right to time off depends on the terms of an employee’s contract of employment.  When an employee works on a Bank Holiday, there is no statutory right to extra pay eg “time and a half” or double pay.  Any right to extra remuneration depends on the terms of an employee’s contract of employment.  A part-time employee has the right not to be treated less favourably than a comparable full-time employee, which includes entitled to bank holidays.  If an employee is required to work on Bank Holidays, under the terms of their contract of employment, the employee cannot refuse to work, even for religious reasons.

Some employers may need to restrict annual lave over the Christmas period.  This must be set out in the contract of employment, implied from practice or custom or incorporated into individual contracts from a collective agreement.

For employees’ absence owing to sickness during the Christmas period, organisations’ usual sickness policy applies and the policy should be operated and managed fairly and consistently for all employees.  Any absence or patterns in absence which have not been authorised could result in formal action being taken.




Employment Tribunal Fee Refund Scheme Launched

 As a result of the Supreme Court’s judgement, the first stage of the phased implementation scheme has started with approximately 1,000 people being contacted individually with a chance to complete applications for a refund of the Employment Tribunal fee paid.  This is before the full scheme is opened in the forthcoming weeks.  In addition to being refunded the original fee, successful applicants to the scheme will also be paid interest at the rate of 0.5% which will be calculated from the date the original payment was made until the refund date.  It is believed that the opening phase of the refund scheme will last for approximately 4 weeks with further details of how the scheme can be accessed being made available when the scheme is fully rolled out.  A pre-registration scheme for those who have paid Employment Tribunal fees but have not been invited to participate in the initial stage, has been set up so as to enable them to register an interest in making an application when the full scheme is rolled out.  Registration can be by email at ethelpwithfees@hmcts.gsi.gov.uk or by post to the following address in England and Wales:

Employment Tribunal Central Office (England & Wales)/Employment

 Appeal Tribunal (EAT) Fees

 PO Box 10218


 LE1 8EG


Welsh Stamp Duty Changes

 Changes in Stamp Duty for a purchaser looking to buy a home in Wales have recently been announced.  From April 2018, Land Transaction Tax will replace Stamp Duty Land Tax and will be payable on the purchase or lease of a building or land I Wales over a certain price.  The rates and bands for the proposed Land Transaction Tax will be made nearer to Spring 2018 and we will provide an update when known.

New Debt Claims Pre-Action Protocol

From 1st October 2017, all debt claims brought by businesses which include sole traders and public bodies, against individuals (including sole traders) are subject to a new pre-action protocol.  The debt protocol set out certain stages which have to be complied with.



What if I lose my Birth Certificate?

For Birth Certificates issued in England and Wales, it is possible to obtain a copy in one of the following ways subject to a fee being paid:

  • By post from the General Register Office., Certificate Services Section, PO Box 2, Southport, Merseyside PR8 2JD (tel: 0300 123 1837 – Monday-Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturday 9am to 4pm).  An application form can be downloaded at www.gro.gov.uk or by sending an email to the General Register Office – certificate.services@ips.gsi.gov.uk.  Payment can be made by credit or debit card or by a cheque made payable to “IPS”.
  • By telephone from the General Register Office being a service is only available to credit and debit card holders.
  • Online from the General Register Office.  You will have to know full details of the birth or the GRO Index Reference Number with payment being made by credit or debit card.
  • By post or personal visit to the Register Office local to the place or birth.

Television Licences

In order to watch or record live television programmes on any channel or to download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer, a television licence is required.  This covers not only a television but a desk top computer, laptop, mobile telephone, tablet, games consul, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

Failure to have a valid licence may result in prosecution with a maximum fine of £1,000.00.  For people aged 75 or over, they qualify for a free licence and for those who have a severe vision impairment, they qualify for a discounted licence (this means if you are registered blind (severely sight impaired), a TV licence will cost half of the usual cost.

A TV licence costs £147.00 (£49.50 for black and white television sets).




Employment Tribunal Fees

The Supreme Court has recently determined that the Employment Tribunal fees regime introduced in 2013 is unlawful because it prevents access to justice.  In addition, the fees regime was found to be indirectly discriminatory against women.  From 26th July 2017, no fees need to be paid in order to make an Employment Tribunal claim.  It will be possible to apply for a refund of such fees but it is unclear at present how this can be done.  In certain situations where someone thought of making a claim between July 2013 and July 2017 but made the decision not to because fees needed to be paid or a previous claim was withdrawn because someone was unable or unwilling to pay the hearing fee, it might still be possible to submit a late claim but in these situations, prompt action needs to be taken.

For further advice, contact our William Ransford on 01686 412166.

Data Protection

The General Data Protection Regulation is due to come into force on 25th May 2018 and provides a major overhaul of data protection rules.  The GDPR will apply to companies by virtue of being “controllers” (they must say how and why personal data is processed) and “processors” (processors act on the controller’s behalf). 

The key points are as follows:


  • The right of an individual to request copies of their personal data in permanent form, as part of a subject access request, (SAR) is expanded to include the “right of erasure” (being the right to be forgotten) and a right of rectification.  This will involve an additional administrative burden for businesses.


  • The length of time in which to respond to an SAR is reduced from 40 days to 30 days with no right to be able to charge a £10.00 fee.


  • The GDPR includes breach notification provisions, applying to both “controllers” and “processors”.  Businesses will be under an obligation to report a breach of security leading to the destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data.


  • When acting as a processor, all breaches must be reported to the “controller” without undue delay.  When acting as the “controller”, breaches must be reported (subject to certain exemptions) to the Information Commissioner’s Office without undue delay and within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.

All businesses/employers should be taking steps to plan for these changes owing to the sheer volume of the same.  Early planning is essential to ensure compliance when the changes are introduced.




As previously set out in our monthly legal updates, all private landlords of residential tenancies in Wales must be registered with the Rent Smart Wales Scheme.  Further details can be access online at https://www.rentsmart.gov.wales/en/.  To apply for a Licence, the Landlord or agent is required to pay a fee, declare that they are a “fit and proper” person and provide proof that they have undertaken appropriate training regarding their rights and responsibilities as a Landlord.  The Licence last for five years and to retain the Licence, the Landlord or agent are obliged to adhere to the requirements of a Code of Practice.  Failure to do so, can result in:-


  • A Fixed Penalty Notice
  • A Rent Stopping Order
  • A Rent Repayment Order


It is extremely important to remember that failure to register or be properly licenced will result in a Section 21 Notice to Quit in respect of an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement, given on or after 23rd November 2016, being ineffective.  This can be beneficial to a tenant but not so much for a Landlord who seeks the eviction of a tenant.



If the holiday company decides to impose a “major increase” to the price of a holiday, there is a legal right to seek a refund or to book a different holiday.  Although there is no specific definition of what amounts to a “major increase”, the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), believe that a percentage increase of 10% or more would constitute a “major increase”.  However, this is not set in stone.



For checked in luggage which gets delayed, lost or damaged, there is the legal right to claim compensation from the airline company.  With cabin baggage, there is only a right to claim for a problem if you can prove that the airline has been at fault. 


If you find yourself in such a this predicament, we would advise you to also check whether you have valid travel or home contents insurance that covers luggage as it may be easier to submit a claim this way.



The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme

This scheme allows anyone who is faced with a payment of an existing Inheritance Tax bill to offer works of art and important heritage objects in part or whole payment of Inheritance Tax.  The Arts Council England manages the scheme on behalf of the Welsh Government.  The Deputy Minister for culture, Sport and Tourism has to approve all offers.  The scheme helps public collections to acquire important items for public enjoyment.


More information is available on the following link: www.artscouncil.org.uk/supporting-collections-and-archives/cultural-property.


Time off work for dependents

All employees are entitled to take time off during working hours for dependents in order to deal with unforeseen matters and emergencies.  Such time off is unpaid unless, under the terms and conditions of employment, an employer is willing to give paid leave.  There is no legal right to be paid.  The right is to take a reasonable amount of time off (generally a day or two) but what is reasonable may depend on the individual circumstances and the time required to deal with an immediate crisis.  Such leave can be taken in order to, eg:

  • deal with a childcare issue
  • to arrange long term care for elderly relatives or children
  • if a dependent falls ill or is hospitalised
  • to arrange or attend a funeral

For further advice, contact William Ransford on 01686 412166.

What to do if I run out of money abroad

Now that we are approaching the summer holiday season, we thought it may be useful to offer some pointers on what to do if you run short of money abroad.

For an independent traveller, it would be sensible to contact your bank, a relative or friend in order to organise a transfer of funds.  The British Consul can offer information to help you contact friends and relatives and how to transfer money eg if you have a debit or credit card, money can be transferred into your UK bank account which should then enable you to withdraw money from abroad.

If it is impossible for anyone to transfer money to you which means that you are stranded abroad, the British Consular Office may arrange for you to be repatriated ie the British Consular Office may be prepared to pay for you to return to the UK.  Depending on the individual circumstances, there is no automatic right for repatriation.  You will be required to guarantee to repay the costs of your return to the UK, if you are repatriated.  On arriving home, the Home Office will retain your passport which will mean that you will not be able to leave the UK until the costs of your repatriation are repaid.  It is only in exceptional circumstances that your passport will be returned before repayment of costs eg if you are required to travel for compassionate or urgent reasons.

If you are on a package holiday and run out of money, you should approach your package organiser’s representative at the resort who may be able to offer help and advice about money transfers.



 Child Maintenance

 If parents separate it may be the responsibility of the parent who does not have the day to care of the children to pay money to the parent looking after the children which is known as Child Maintenance.  Child Maintenance can be arranged in the following ways:-

1.         Through agreement of the parents.  This is the quickest and easiest way to arrange Child Maintenance. However, any agreement reached is not legally binding and if payment is not made, other options may need to be considered:

2.         Payment through the Child Maintenance ServiceThe Child Maintenance Service deals with all new applications for Child Maintenance and to find out details and to calculate what would be expected to be paid, you will need to use their Calculator, which can be accessed through the following GOV.UK Website: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance/

3.         By way of a Court Order.  Only in certain circumstances can the Court assist in dealing with applications for Child Maintenance.  This includes when the paying parent lives out of the UK or has a very high income and would be required to pay more than what the Child Maintenance Service could award or if the parent looking after the children has extra expenses which the Child Maintenance Service do not take into account.  An example would be assistance with a child’s illness or disability.


Advance Decisions

An Advance Decision to refuse medical treatment (also referred to as a “Living Will”) enables you to make a decision, while you have mental capacity, about medical treatment you would want to refuse, should you at some future stage be in a position where you “lack mental capacity” to decide and/or express your wishes when such a decision needs to be made.  Advance Decisions do not have to be in writing unless you wish to refuse live-sustaining treatment in which case, this decision must be in writing, signed and witnessed, stating clearly that you wish it to apply, even if your life is at risk.



Online Auctions

Many Auction Houses now operate online auctions.  The Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges)  Regs 2013 apply to all “distance contracts” and “off-premises contracts” with “consumers”.  A consumer has the right to cancel an order for goods the moment the order is placed and ends fourteen days after taking physical possession of such goods.  The Consumer Rights Act provides that the retailer is responsible for the condition of goods until they are received by you or by someone else who may have been nominated to receive them on your behalf, for example, a neighbour.


The Distance Selling Law is  “consumers” rights that they do not appreciate they have and which must be heeded by auction houses.  For further advice, contact Adrian Foulkes on  adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


Employment Tribunal Decisions

Employment Tribunal’s decisions can now be accessed online  www.gov.uk/employment-tribunal-decisions.  The new database contains a selection of decisions dating back to 2015 and 2016 with all new decisions being added to the database.


Road Accident on Holiday

If you are abroad and are involved in a road accident, the Police should be called out and you need to ask for a copy of the Police Report.  If there is a language barrier, ask for an interpreter.  It is important to make notes as to what happened and to take photographs of the accident (to include the number plates of other vehicles involved and their road positions).  You will need to make a note of names and addresses, arrange to exchange insurance details but do not admit liability or apologise.  We advise that such steps be taken on the assumption that you are physically able to do so.  If the accident happens in Europe, your Insurance Company may have provided you with a European Accident Statement or one may be provided at the scene of the accident.  This is a standard form available throughout Europe in various languages which helps to obtain an agreed statement of fact which can help with an insurance claim.  Do not sign a European Accident Statement unless you clearly understand the situation and ask for a copy of the document.  You will also need to contact your insurer as soon as possible and also seek legal advice, particularly if you are injured.




National Living Wage Hourly Rate Change

The national UK living wage will rise to £7.50 per hour from April 2017. This applies to employees aged 25 or over.  The national minimum wage still applies to employees aged 24 and under.  For workers aged between 21 and 24, the hourly rate will increase to £7.05.  For employees between 18 and 20, the hourly rate will be £5.60 and for those under 18, the hourly rate will be £4.05 with an apprentice earning the minimum wage of £3.50 per hour.  An apprentice is entitled to the apprentice rate if either aged under 19 or aged 19 or over and in the first year of their apprenticeship. 

Skip Licence (England and Wales)

To be able to place a skip on a public road, a Skip Licence is required and this can be obtained from the Highway Authority.  If the intention is to place the skip entirely on private land, a Skip Licence is not required.  A skip cannot be placed on a pavement and it may be necessary to put safety lights and markings on or around the skip if placed on the public road.  Often, skip hire companies are responsible for obtaining Skip Licences (sometimes called Skip Permits).  Sometimes, however, it may be necessary to obtain the licence yourself and we would always advise that the position be checked.

Mortgage Repossession

If your property is repossessed or keys are handed in to the lender, you will still be responsible for paying the mortgage until the property is sold.  This can include any arrears, ongoing mortgage and interest payments, penalty charges for missed payments and buildings insurance.

Selling a property may take some time and the amount owed could substantially increase even though you are no longer living in your home.  It is therefore important that the lender does not delay the sale if doing so means that the debt will increase.  Seek urgent advice if you find yourself in this situation.




New Booster Seat Law Change

From the 1st March 2017, a new law on backless booster car seats (booster cushions) come into force.  Under the new rules, the manufacturers will not be allowed to introduce new models of backless booster seats for children shorter than 125cms or weighing less than 22kg.  Existing booster seats (booster cushions) are not affected by the new rules.


License to play background music

If recorded music is played in public eg a radio music channel or CD on your business premises, a PRS for Music Licence is probably needed.  Such a licence with entitle recorded music to be played in public.  If recorded, copyrighted music is played in public without a licence, it constitutes an infringement of copyright and a person can be sued for damages.

For more information, follow the link below:



 High Street Rates Relief Scheme

 From April 2017, extra support through a targeted relief scheme introduced by the Welsh Government will be afforded to high street businesses across Wales.  There will be two tiers of relief available:

1.         The first tier of relief – this applies to high street retailers with a rateable value between £6,001.00 and £12,000.00 who are already receiving either Small Business Rates Relief or Small Business Rates Relief.

2.         The second tier of relief – this applies to eligible high street retailers with a rateable value of between £12,001.00 and £50,000.00 who will experience a rates increase from 1st April 2017.

The targeted rates relief scheme will be provided through a special grant made to each local authority.  To establish eligibility for the £2017/2018 scheme, retailers need to contact their local authority.


Beware of Property Fraud

Simple steps can be taken to minimise the risk of being affected by property fraud when a fraudster impersonates the owner of a property and mortgages or sells the property.  The steps which can be taken to safeguard the position are the following:

  • The Land Registry offer a tracking service for which no fee is payable but to take advantage of this service, steps have to be taken to sign up to property alerts for up to ten properties on one account.  For anyone owning more than ten properties, more than one account is required.  This service is useful in that the Land Registry can alert an owner if certain applications are made against the property, eg, an application is made to register a mortgage.
  • A restriction can be registered against the property which would require the person registering the restriction to provide a certificate to the Land Registry that the purported borrower or seller is the property owner.

Such simple steps are important to take particularly in situations such as:

  • Where a property is let
  • Where a property is empty
  • Where there is no mortgage
  • Where the owner lives abroad
  • Where the property has not been registered with the Land Registry

If you think that you might be at risk and need assistance to safeguard your position, we would be happy to deal with matters on your behalf.

Tackling Poverty in Wales Together

One in eight customers in Wales consider their water bill is not affordable.  Water companies are offering more assistance than ever before but many customers are unaware that help is available.  Ensuring access to fair and affordable water and sewerage services is a key priority in Wales at the Consumer Council for Water and the Welsh Government, in line with the broader aims of the Welsh Tackling Poverty Action Plan and the Child Poverty Strategy for Wales.  The Consumer Council for Water is hosting a conference on the 28th February 2017 at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff CF11 9XR bringing together utility companies, Government and consumer representatives, regulators and the advice sector in Wales to help raise awareness of help for the financially vulnerable to include opportunities to work together to help reduce poverty in Wales being explored.

The event is free and open to advisory and support organisations from across Wales.  To obtain more information, contact Jade Painter by email jade.painter@ccwater.org.uk or telephone 02920  



Care home placements in Wales

Most people assessed as requiring residential care are expected to pay something (from their income or capital) towards the cost of personal care and accommodation. If the local authority is involved in arranging placement, a means test is undertaken, using nationally set guidelines.

Some people are expected to pay all of the costs involved themselves if their savings or capital assets exceed £24,000 (this may be changing in April 2017).

If a person moves into a nursing home, the NHS is responsible for meeting the cost of care provided by a registered nurse on site.

For further advice, contact our Adrian Foulkes on 01686412166 or email adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


Emergency Assistance Payments (EAPs)

EAPs are part of the Discretionary Assistance Fund which operates throughout Wales.

EAPs are there to help with essential costs after an emergency or the aftermath of a disaster e.g. fire or flood. The level of assistance offered will depend upon the needs which are listed on the application and the current circumstances. The criteria for eligibility is that you or your family`s health or wellbeing will be at risk or damage may occur to your home, if the help which is applied for is not given. Up to three EAP grants within a 12 month period for general living costs can be awarded. To be eligible for an EAP, you do not have to be on any benefits.


Zero hours contracts

These contracts normally mean that there is no obligation for employers to offer work or for workers to accept it, with staff being given `worker` employments status. Such workers are entitled to annual leave, the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage and to receive payment for work-related travel. Although zero hours workers have the same employment rights as regular workers, if they have breaks in their contracts, the rights that may accrue over time may be affected.

For further advice, contact our William Ransford on 01686412166 or email william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk



NEST – the Welsh Government’s Fuel Poverty Scheme

This scheme was introduced to help reduce the number of households in fuel poverty and to make Welsh homes more fuel efficient and warmer places to live.

A whole house assessment is available to people in Wales who receive a means tested benefit and live in the hardest-to-heat homes.  A person may be eligible for home improvements for a property which is owned or privately rented, if it is a home that is not energy efficient (F or G rated) and you or someone who lives with you receives a means tested benefit eg Council Tax Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefit, Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.  Free and impartial help and advice is available from NEST by calling 0808 808 2244 (free from a landline).  For those who are eligible, NEST can offer a full home energy assessment and a range of home improvements (eg loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and solid wall insulation, draught proofing of doors and windows, renewable energy technology, insulation for a hot water cylinder and a new central heating boiler).


What if I receive an unwanted Christmas gift?

With Christmas fast approaching, we thought it may be useful to know what your legal position is if an unwanted Christmas present is received.  Unless the item is faulty, not as described or is unfit for purpose, high street shops are not obliged to accept returns.  Many retailers, however, provide a “goodwill” returns policy, offering an exchange, refund or credit note for most returns and this is particularly the case at Christmas.

If a gift is bought online, over the telephone or by mail order, additional rights are available to return the item under the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which apply to contracts for goods or services (including digital content) of any value ordered from an EU-based business.  For goods, you have the right to cancel your order from the moment you place it until 14 days after you receive the goods.  There are some returns exceptions including sealed, audio, video or computer software if the seal or packaging has been broken, perishable items (including food and flowers) or an item which has been made to order or personalised and newspapers and magazines (unless they are part of a subscription).




23rd November 2016 – Important Deadline

By 23rd November 2016, all landlords operating in Wales must register with Rent Smart Wales.  Registration lasts 5 years, after which time the landlord is required to re-register.  During the registered 5 year period, a landlord must keep information up to date.  Certain changes in information must also be notified. 

Landlords who self-manage their properties in Wales must apply for a licence.  This requirement is in addition to having to register.  Also, a person (whether a company or individual) who is instructed by a landlord in Wales to undertake lettings and management on their behalf, must also apply for a licence.

For further information, follow the link below:


National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage Rates

The hourly rate for the minimum wage depends on age and whether an employee is an apprentice.  To qualify for the national minimum wage, an employee has to be at least school leaving age.  To get the national living wage, an employee has to be aged 25.  The minimum wage applies for workers aged 24 and under.

From 1st October 2016, the rates for the national living wage and the national minimum wage changed and the current hourly rates are as follows:

Age 25 and over       £7.20.

Age 21 to 24              £6.95

Age 18 to 20              £5.55

Age under 18            £4.00

Apprentice                 £3.40

The national minimum wage rates change every October.  The national living wage rates change every April.



Small Business Rates Relief

Non domestic rates (also known as Business Rates) being taxes imposed upon non domestic properties, help pay for local services.  The current scheme (2016/17) provides for 100% relief to business premises with a rateable value of up to £6,000.00.  For business premises with a rateable value of between £6,001.00 and £12,000.00, relief is given on a tapered basis from 100% to zero.  The Welsh Government has recently confirmed that the current arrangements will be extended to 2017/18.

You Can Change Your Name


You can change your name by simply starting to use a new name.  However, to be able to use your new name on certain documents such as a driving licence or passport, evidence of your new name has to be produced.  This can be done by making a Deed Poll.  Your new name can be recorded on public record by “enrolling” it at the Royal Courts of Justice.

To change a minor’s name (a child under the age of 18), different rules apply.  It is necessary to obtain either a Court Order or secure the agreement of everyone who has parental responsibility for the minor.  An agreement should always be attempted before seeking a Court Order.

For advice, please feel free to contact our Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166.  Email: adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk.

Student Housing

Students sometimes encounter problems with the state of their accommodation and in getting landlords to deal with repairs to private rented accommodation.  A landlord is responsible for ensuring that their furnished accommodation which is rented, that it is fit to be lived in on the day it is let to you eg defective drainage or sewerage system, inadequate water supply, the property being unsafe or infested with pests.  As tenant, you are responsible for using the home in a “tenant like” way ie keeping your home reasonably clean, not causing damage to the property, using fixtures and fitting properly and undertaking minor repairs yourself.

If your landlord is responsible for doing repair work, it is up to you as the tenant to report repairs which are needed.  This means that your landlord or agent is entitled to have access to your home to establish what repair work is needed and for the work to be done.  Unless there is an emergency, the landlord or agent must give you at least 24 hours’ notice in writing.

For houses in multiple occupation (generally covers property divided into bed sitting rooms with shared facilities and shared houses/flats that accommodate more than one household), your landlord has extra legal responsibility for fire and general safety, gas and electricity, waste disposal, water supply and drainage together with general upkeep of the property.



Social Services Complaints

Social Services departments within the Local Authority provide support, help and protection to vulnerable people who live in their area.  The Social Services departments provide services to

  • Children in need
  • Children and young people in care
  • Children and young people leaving care
  • Carers
  • People with disabilities
  • People leaving hospital
  • People experiencing family problems
  • Anyone the Local Authority considers vulnerable

“The Social Worker” provides Practice Guidance for Social Workers registered with the Care Council for Wales and has been developed by the Care Council.  The Care Council for Wales website www.ccwales.org.uk has useful guidance setting out what is expected of Social Workers and is particularly useful, as a starting point, if you are unhappy about the service you had from your Local Authority Social Services department.  The Local Authority will have a complaints procedure which is usually effective in dealing with smaller issues or problems.  The complaints procedure may not be as effective for more important issues or urgent action is required or if compensation is sought.  If you find yourself in this situation, you should consult with an experienced adviser.  For advice or assistance, contact our Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166.


Airline Delay

If EU Rules apply (if the flight which is booked departs from Europe or is with a European airline) and if the flight is delayed or cancelled, you might have rights under EU Law.  Essentially, the EU Rules on airline compensation for delay have become strict liability which means liability is imposed on a party without having to find fault (such as negligence).

For advice or assistance, contact our Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166.





The Importance of Making a Will

Making a Will should be at the top of your “To Do” list so that your family and loved ones can have peace of mind.

Although thinking, talking and planning for death may feel uncomfortable, you need to consider who you would want to benefit in the event of your death. Family structures can be complicated.

The legal consequences of dying without a Will depends on whether you are married, in a civil partnership or living together, whether you have children, whether there are other surviving relatives and the value of your estate. There is a simple solution to avoid the unintended consequences of intestacy – make a Will.


Power of Attorney

There may come a time when we are no longer able to make vital decisions about our care and future finances. A Lasting Power of Attorney is one way to plan ahead. A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney is designed to appoint attorneys to make a range of decisions eg buying and selling a house and other assets, dealing with tax affairs, operating bank and building society accounts and claiming benefits. A Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney appoints attorneys to make decisions about your future day to day care if you are no longer able to care for yourself, to include the power to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf.

You can choose to make both types of Lasting Power of Attorney or just one. You may decide to appoint just one or more attorneys. You can have the same attorney for both the Property and Affairs and the Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney or you can appoint different attorneys.

Like Wills, this may be on your “To Do” list and it is vitally important to plan ahead, which gives peace of mind.





Votes from people in Llanidloes have helped the Croco-doco-dile Playgroup secure first place and a £500 donation in Yorkshire Building Society’s Charity Choices campaign.

Wales Air Ambulance came in second place to win £300 and The League of Friends of Llanidloes Hospital came third to collect £200 after the two-week-long public vote where shoppers were asked to decide who they wanted to receive the biggest share of £1,000.

Adrian Foulkes, proprietor of the Yorkshire’s agency in Llanidloes at Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins, said: “We had a brilliant response to the campaign from our members, local shoppers and residents, but of course the real winners here are the charities – all of whom do a fantastic job of providing invaluable support in our local community.

“Because each and every vote helped secure pounds for the charities it felt right that the decision of splitting the money was put in the hands of our members and local people. I can’t thank everyone enough for coming in to our agency during the voting period to make their vote count – I’m sure the money will make a real difference locally.

The Charity Choices campaign was supported by Yorkshire Building Society Charitable Foundation, which is funded by the Small Change, Big Difference® scheme where members donate the pennies from the interest they receive on their accounts, just once a year, to help charities and good causes in their communities.

A total of 157 branches and agencies around the UK took part in the 2016 Charity Choices campaign in May, donating a total of £157,000 to charities which make a difference to their local communities.

For more information about the Small Change Big Difference® scheme and the Charitable Foundation visit www.ybs.co.uk/charitablefoundation


Why use Solicitors for the Elderly’s Lawyers


The decisions and plans you make now will have a huge impact on your later life.  Getting them right is essential.  A Solicitors  for the Elderly,  accredited lawyer is an expert in older client law and will ensure you get the best possible legal advice for your future.


Solicitors for the Elderly:

1.       Know their stuff


Our members are qualified solicitors, barristers and legal executives who specialise in advising older and vulnerable people and their families and carers.

2.       Have years of experience


Solicitors for the Elderly’s lawyers have substantial experience built up over many years of focussing on this area of law.

3.       Are independently accredited


Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyers, have all undertaken additional specialist training in older client law to qualify for the Older Client Care in Practice Award, which is independently accredited.

4.       Follow a strict code of conduct


Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyers, understand the issues affecting older and vulnerable clients and follow a strict code of conduct that has respect and dignity at its heart.

5.       Speak in a language you understand


There is so much jargon in the legal profession. Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyers communicate in clear straightforward language to make sure you understand everything you’re signing.

6.       Are part of a community of experts


Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyers have a community of more than 1,500 members to draw on, so no matter how complex or sensitive your case, you will receive the best possible legal advice.

7.       Safeguard your interests


A Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyer is committed to providing affordable, high quality legal advice, and will ensure any decisions are your own.

8.       Understand the bigger picture


Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyers understand the wider, and often sensitive, issues around health, care and family that might affect your plans later in life.

9.       Offer the best possible care and support


Solicitors for the Elderly’s  lawyers care. They go above and beyond to provide support that is tailored to your needs and individual circumstances.

10.   Get you the best possible outcome


Ultimately, choosing an SFE lawyer means you’ll be guided through this complex and sensitive area of law and will enable you to lay solid foundations to protect you and your loved ones later in life.


Our Adrian Foulkes is an accredited Solicitors for the Elderly Lawyer and will be able to assist you.



A Reminder to Residential Landlords

All landlords and agents of private residential property are required by law to be registered or licensed.  Even if you do not manage the rental property on a day to day basis with an agent managing on your behalf, as the legal landlord of the property there is an obligation on you to register.  An agent cannot register on behalf of the landlord.  If as a landlord you self-manage your rental property, you have to apply for a licence online at rentsmart.gov.wales or you can telephone 03000 133344 to request a paper form to complete and return.  Landlords have twelve months from 23rd November 2015 to register.  After this time, failure to register renders a person guilty of an offence and can be issued with a fixed penalty of £150.00 or, if taken to court, can be fined up to £1,000.00.

Japanese Knotweed

Although having Japanese Knotweed is not an offence, the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 is relevant.  Guidance has been issued to the effect that the Act covers unreasonably failing to control or prevent the growth of Japanese Knotweed.  Local councils and police have powers to issue a Community Protection Notice after a written warning.  A breach constitutes a criminal offence (up to a £2,500 fine for an individual and £20,000 for an organisation). 


Every company registered in England and Wales has a duty to maintain a register of persons with significant control (PSC).  One of these five tests has to be satisfied to constitute a PSC being a person who:


  • Directly or indirectly controls more than 25% of voting rights
  • Directly or indirectly holds more than 25% of nominal share capital
  • Directly or indirectly is able to control the appointment or removal of a majority of the Board
  • Actually exercises or has the power to exercise, significant influence or control over the company or
  • Actually exercise, or has the right to exercise, significant influence or control over a Trust or firm that meets one of the above conditions

At present, the rules do not apply to overseas companies operating in the United Kingdom.




Individual Voluntary Arrangements (“IVA”)

An IVA is an agreement reached with creditors to pay all or part of your debts.  This involves an agreement to make regular payments to an insolvency practitioner, who divides the money between creditors.  An IVA can give more control over your assets than bankruptcy.


Bankruptcy is an option for individuals (it does not apply to companies or partnerships) to deal with debts which they are unable to repay.  A bankruptcy order can be made for one of three reasons:

  • An insolvency practitioner makes you bankrupt because you have broken the terms of an IVA
  • You are unable to pay what is owed and decide to declare yourself bankrupt
  • Creditors can apply to make you bankrupt because you owe them £5,000 or more

If there are debts of less than £20,000 with no assets, a person may be able to obtain a Debt Relief Order.

Debt Relief Order (“DRO”)

This is another way to deal with debts if the amount owed is less than £20,000, you have little spare income and do not own your home.  If a DRO is obtained, creditors cannot recover their money without the court’s permission and the debtor usually freed (“discharged”) from debts after 12 months.

Generally speaking, a person is eligible if all the following criteria are met:

  • Less than £20,000 is owed
  • There is less than £50 a month spare income
  • There is less than £1,000 worth of assets
  • A person has lived or worked in England and Wales within the last 3 years
  • No application for a DRO has been made within the last 6 years

There are certain “restrictions” which have to be complied with in the event of a DRO being granted:

  • You will not be able to act as the Director of a company
  • You will not be able to create, manage or promote a company without the court’s permission
  • You will not be able to manage a business without telling those you do business with about the DRO
  • You will not be able to borrow more than £500 without informing the lender about the DRO
  • To open a bank account, you may also have to inform the bank or building society about the existence of the DRO

Health and Safety on-farm

For the agricultural industry in Wales, on-farm health and safety is a priority issue.  A bilingual first aid mobile phone app, targeted at agricultural workers, has been developed by St John Cymru Wales.  The app can be downloaded by visiting the St John Cymru-Wales website www.stjohnwales.org.uk.

Such a tool could be valuable to help farmers deal with on-farm accidents.



Water Companies’ Social Tariffs

Section 44 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 enables water and sewerage undertakers in England and Wales to include social tariffs in their charges scheme which enables undertakers to reduce charges for individuals who would otherwise have difficulty paying their bill in full.  A number of companies in England and Wales have introduced social tariffs aimed at assisting customers.  The following is a list of companies who currently offer assistance:

Affinity Water            (www.affinitywater.co.uk)

Bournemouth Water (www.bournemouthwater.co.uk)

Bristol Water (www.bristolwater.co.uk)

Cambridge Water (www.cambridge-water.co.uk)

Chorlderton Water (www.chorldertonwater.co.uk)

Dee Water (www.deevalleywater.co.uk)

Essex and Suffolk Water (www.eswater.co.uk)

Hartlepool Water (www.hartlepoolwater.co.uk)

Portsmouth Water (www.portsmouthwater.co.uk)

South East Water (www.southeastwater.co.uk)

South Staffordshire Water (www.south-staffs-water.co.uk)

Sutton and East Surrey Water (www.waterplc.com)


Plants that need control

The Weeds Act 1959 covers five species being Common Ragwort, Spear Thistle, Creeping or Field Thistle, Curled Dock and Broad-Leaved Dock.  Although it is not illegal to have such weeds growing on your land, enforcement notices can be issued to landowners or occupiers to prevent their spread onto agricultural land, especially land used for grazing or production of hay or silage.  The Welsh Government has produced a Code of Practice to prevent and control the spread of Ragwort (http://gov.wales/topics/environmentcountryside/farmingandcountryside/plantsseedsbiotechnology)

It is an offence to plant or cause to grow in the wild any species listed in Schedule 9 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.  These non-native invasive plants are species which have become established in the wild after they were introduced to Britain eg as ornamental garden plants.  An example of the most common and widespread non-native invasive plant includes Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed and Himalayan Balsam.  It is important to identify such weeds so that steps can be taken to appropriately control them so that they do not spread onto neighbouring land and cause a nuisance.

Rhayader Branch Office

We are very pleased to announce that on 22nd April 2016, we opened our first branch office in Rhayader at Glan Wye House, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AD, telephone number: 01597 810533


Tips on how to avoid Property Fraud and Email Hacking

The legal community has been aware of these issues for some time now and the majority of firms drum it into their employees that no matter how safe the firm’s property firewalls/anti-virus or spam filters are, those of the public will probably be less so.

The Bold Legal Group has over 420 member firms throughout England and Wales and I have been highlighting these issues to my members, on a regular basis, for the last year or two. We have a compiled a few pointers for the public:

  • If you receive the solicitor/conveyancer firm’s bank details by email, and don’t also receive the same details by post, phone the firm to make sure they are correct (using a verified landline telephone number).
  • Do not send your bank details by email (to anyone), either phone them through or take them in.
  • Make sure the firm acting for you is genuine by checking with the lists compiled by the Law Society or the Council for Licensed Conveyancers. Carry out a law firm search via the Solicitors Regulation Authority website. Read carefully anything sent to you by your conveyancers carefully. Many firms provide clients with their bank details at the outset (by post) and stress that those details will not change.  Always telephone to check if the bank details provided appear to have changed.
  • Read anything sent to you by your conveyancers carefully. Many firms provide clients with their bank details at the outset (by post) and stress that those details will not change.
  • If you are being pushed to proceed very quickly be careful, fraudsters often use this tactic so that emails are used and corners are cut.
  • If you are buying an empty or tenanted property, tell your conveyancer and make sure they are 100% sure the seller is who they say they are.
  • Ask the firm you are thinking of instructing what anti-fraud and cybercrime measures they have in place.
  • Ask them what checks they carry out to ensure the buyers/sellers firm is genuine. Do they use services like Lawyer Checker/Lender Exchange/The Safe Move Scheme?
  • If you have to send sensitive information by email do not give a clue to what that information might be in the emails subject line.
  • Test your conveyancers account details by sending a nominal amount, say between £1.00 and £10.00 first, and then phone to make sure it has arrived safely.
  • Do not post any updates on social media as to the progress of your transaction – this is how some fraudsters identify when to send the scam email requesting your money.
  • Working with your conveyancer is a two way street. No matter how good and safe they are, if you are not as vigilant you may end up having your emails hacked or becoming involved in property fraud.
  • Above all, remember that buying or selling a property is one of the most important and complicated things you will ever do. Do not instruct the cheapest firm to act for you. Visit the firm if possible. Certainly speak to the person who will be handling your transaction (or the Head of Department or Team Leader) and make sure you feel confident in them and their ability.

Rob Hailstone (Founder and CEO)                                                                                                               May 2016

Bold Legal Group                                                                                                                        www.boldgroup.co.uk




Countdown to the 2016 Micro chipping Regulations

As a reminder, these Regulations governing the compulsory micro chipping of dogs in the UK will come into effect on 6th April 2016.  The Regulations will affect not only the owners of adult dogs and privately owned dogs but also litters of puppies produced by professional and hobbyist breeders.  It becomes compulsory in England and Wales to microchip all dogs by the time they are 8 weeks old.

Historic Environment (Wales) Act

This new Act became law in Wales on 21st March 2016.  Farmers and landowners with scheduled monuments on their land need to be aware that the Act makes it more difficult for individuals who damage protected monuments to avoid prosecution by pleading ignorance of the monument’s location or status.  New powers have been introduced to allow authorities to take urgent action to prevent historic buildings from falling into disrepair and to stop unauthorised work to historic sites.

Some basic reminders about Landlords’ Responsibilities for renting out a property

A landlord must:

  • Provide an Energy Performance Certificate (in fact, this is required whenever a property is built, sold or rented).  An EPC must be ordered before the property is marketed for rent and contains information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs together with recommendations as to how to reduce energy use and costs.  An EPC gives an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
  • Protect your tenants’ deposit – the deposit must be placed in a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme if the home is rented out on an Assured Shorthold Tenancy which commenced after 6th April 2007.  In England and Wales the schemes are:

(a)       Deposit Protection Service (Custodial and Insured) www.depositprotection.com

(b)       MyDeposits www.mydeposits.co.uk

(c)        Tenancy Deposit Scheme www.tds.gb.com

  • The rented property must be safe and free from health hazard
  • All gas and electrical equipment must be safely installed and maintained.


A Landlord must also check that a tenant or lodger can legally rent a residential property in England.

Also all Landlords in Wales (or their letting agents) by 23 November 2016 be an authorised under the Rent Smart Wales Scheme 


New Law for improving the wellbeing of people who need care and support and carers who need support

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act comes into force on the 5th April 2016.  From this date, Wales will have its own framework for social services.  It will give individuals more control and support if needed, giving individuals a stronger voice.  Amongst other things, the Act encourages a renewed focus on prevention and early intervention.



Beware of Property Fraud

When a property is empty, rented out, mortgage free or when owners are absent (eg abroad, in hospital or a care home) or having relationship issues there is an increased risk of fraud.

Steps can be taken to reduce the risk of being a property fraud victim by:

•    Registering your property with the Land Registry

•    Keeping your contact details up to date with the Land Registry

•    Using the Land Registry Property Alert service.  This is a free service where you can monitor up to ten registered properties.  The Land Registry will notify you of significant applications to change the register (eg a new mortgage or change of ownership)

•    Applying for a restriction to help prevent forgery

If your property is already registered with the Land Registry and you are concerned that you may already have been the victim of property fraud, you can contact the Land Registry Property Fraud line on 0300 006 7030 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm).  If your property is not registered with the Land Registry and you would like to receive further professional advice, call us on 01686 412166.

Reminders Regarding Changes in Employment Law

•    From 1st April 2016 the compulsory National Living Wage is being introduced for all working people aged 25 and over and will be set at £7.20 per hour.

•    Statutory maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental pay rates have been frozen.  These will remain at the rate of £139.50 per week.

•    From 6th April 2016, the personal allowance increases to £11,000.00 per annum and the higher rate tax threshold will increase to £43,000.00

New EU-wide Online Dispute Resolution Platform

From 15th February 2016, a new web-based platform came into operation in all EU languages.  It provides an easy, fast and cost effective way to assist in resolving disputes between online buyers and traders.  The platform is managed by the European Commission.  The aim of the platform is to assist consumers who are faced with a problem with something they have bought online and are faced with cross-border disputes, having bought from traders in different EU jurisdictions.  The platform can be used to try to reach an out-of-court settlement.  The platform can be accessed on http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/.



New National Living Wage

From 1st April 2016, all employees aged 25 and over (and not in the first year of an apprenticeship) are legally entitled to be paid at least £7.20 per hour.  The National Living Wage will be enforced in the same way as the current National Minimum Wage. For further information, please contact our Mr William Ransford (william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk, tel: 01686 412166).


The New State Pension

On 6th April 2016, the State Pension will be changing.  For anyone who reaches State Pension age on or after this date, they will receive the new State Pension under the new Rules.  For a woman born before 6th April 1953 or a man born before 6th April 1951, the State Pension will be paid under the current system.  For a woman born on or after 6th April 1953 or a man born on or after 6th April 1951, they will receive the new State Pension.  The earnings-related part of the current system for people who are employed (called the Additional State Pension) is being abolished.  The new State Pension will be based on an individual’s National Insurance record alone.  35 years National Insurance contributions are required to be paid to receive the maximum new State Pension which will be £155.65 per week from April 2016.

The system is complicated and information is available on the gov.uk website (https://www.gov.uk/new-state-pension/eligibility).  It may also be worth you taking advice from a retirement adviser authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (https://directory.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en).



Stamp Duty Land Tax (“SDLT”)

SDLT is to be increased for most purchases of a buy-to-let property or the purchase of a second home costing more than £40,000.00, from 1st April 2016.  Such properties will be subject to a 3% surcharge.  As an example, if the rate of SDLT would have been 1%, it will be 4% under the new rules and if the rate would be 3% now, it will be 6% after 1st April 2016.  There will be a transitional relief from the higher charge in respect of contracts exchanged on or before 25th November 2015 where completion takes place on or after 1st April 2016. For further information, please contact our Mr Adrian Foulkes (adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk, tel: 01686 412166).



Our Adrian Foulkes is a accredited member of Solicitors for the Elderly.  Solicitors for the Elderly have recently given ten reasons to use an SFE accredited lawyer.  This is becuase the decisions and plans you make now will have a huge impact on your later life. Getting them right is essential. An SFE accredited lawyer is an expert in older client law and will ensure you get the best possible legal advice for your future.

 Solicitors for the Elderly Members:

1. Know their stuff

Our members are qualified solicitors, barristers and legal executives who specialise in advising older and vulnerable people and their families and carers.

2. Have years of experience

SFE lawyers have substantial experience built up over many years of focussing on this area of law.

3. Are independently accredited

SFE lawyers have all undertaken additional specialist training in older client law to qualify for the Older Client Care in Practice Award, which is independently accredited.

4. Follow a strict code of conduct

SFE lawyers understand the issues affecting older and vulnerable clients and follow a strict code of practice that has respect and dignity at its heart.

5. Speak in a language you understand

There is so much jargon in the legal profession. SFE lawyers communicate in clear straightforward language to make sure you understand everything you’re signing.

6. Are part of a community of experts

SFE lawyers have a community of more than 1,500 members to draw on, so no matter how complex or sensitive your case, you will receive the best possible legal advice.

7. Safeguard your interests

An SFE lawyer is committed to providing affordable, high quality legal advice, and will ensure any decisions are your own.

8. Understand the bigger picture

SFE lawyers understand the wider, and often sensitive, issues around health, care and family that might affect your plans for later life.

9. Offer the best possible care and support

SFE lawyers care. They go above and beyond to provide support that is tailored to your needs and individual circumstances.

10. Get you the best possible outcome

Ultimately, choosing an SFE lawyer means you’ll be guided through this complex and sensitive area of law and will enable you to lay solid foundations to protect you and your loved ones in later life.


Knowing Your Consumer Rights

Now that Christmas is over, it may be useful to be aware of certain legal rights.

•    The Consumer Rights Act 2015 states that goods must be as described, fit fir purpose and of satisfactory quality.  During the expected lifespan of the product bought, a consumer is entitled to obtain an immediate refund for up to 30 days if the goods are faulty.  For up to six months from the date of purchase, you can be offered a repair or replacement but if an item cannot be repaired or replaced, you are entitled to a full refund in most cases.  If the goods do not last a reasonable length of time, for up to six years you may be entitled to some money back.

•    For goods ordered at home, the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 apply and state that for up to 14 days after receiving your goods, in most cases, you have a right to change your mind and to obtain a full refund.

•    If something is bought on line, over the telephone or from a catalogue mail order service, there are extended rights.  There is a 14 days cooling off period so that if you change your mind, the item can be returned within this period.  If the item is not faulty, you may be required to pay return postage but this depends upon the trader’s terms and conditions.

•    You may have received or given a gift over Christmas.  It is always important to obtain a gift receipt when buying.  Shops are not obliged to accept the return of any item and to give a refund just because you have changed your mind or the recipient of the gift does not like the same.  It is always wise to check with the shop it’s policy as many agree to extend their refund time over the Christmas period.

•    These consumer rights also apply to services paid for in a shop or ordered at home.  As an example, if you have a meal in a restaurant, it should be of satisfactory quality and of a similar price to a comparable establishment.  If you are not happy with it, you need to explain this giving your reason for refusing to eat the meal and if the issue cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, it may be sensible for you to consider taking photographic evidence as proof.

The above are examples of issues which can arise: there may be other.  For detailed advice, please call our Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166.

New Fire Sprinkler Systems

From 1st January 2016, fire sprinkler systems will be installed in all new and converted single family dwellings including houses and flats.  



New Law for Landlords and Letting Agents

From 23rd November 2015, the Housing (Wales) Act 2014 introduced a system of compulsory registration and licensing for the domestic private rented sector.  All private landlords who have a rental property in Wales will have to register.  Furthermore, landlords or their agents who carry out management activities (eg collect rent, attend to maintenance, arrange lettings etc) will have to be licensed.  Rent Smart Wales is the brand name for the new registration and licensing requirements and the website www.rentsmart.gov.wales will be live and landlords who need to register and landlords and agents who need to become licensed have 12 months from 23rd November 2015 within which to comply with the new legislation.

Compulsory Microchipping for Dogs

The Microchipping of dogs (Wales) Regulations 2015 will be introduced on 6th April 2016 in Wales.  All dogs over 8 years old are required to be microchipped from this date with keepers’ details being registered on an approved database.


Once a dog has been microchipped, it is important for the owner to notify the microchip database of any new contact details eg change of address or telephone numbers.  To do this, the owner needs to know which microchipping database applies to the registered pet.  If such details are not updated, the microchip can prove to be ineffective.


Changes to Current Grandfather’s Rights for Pesticide Users

From 26th November 2015, everyone who uses plant protection products for professional use, to include those using knapsack sprayers, must hold a certificate of competence.  From this date, it will be an offence for anyone to purchase plant protection products authorised for professional use unless they have ensured that the intended end user has a certificate.  Further details regarding this can be accessed on www.pesticides.gov.uk.




 Matrimonial Matters

The Supreme Court has recently granted landmark decisions in two court cases which were similar and involved two women who had reached divorce settlements with their husbands only to find out later that their husbands had misrepresented their finances.  In the one case (Sharland), the husband’s non-disclosure was deliberate and dishonest and in the second case (Gohil), an appeal was made to the Supreme Court by the wife concerning the setting aside of a financial order made in financial remedy/ancillary relief proceedings on the basis that there had been material non-disclosure by the husband.  These two court decisions provide a clear message that people should fully disclose their financial position.  The decision leaves the door open for other recently divorced people to push for their cases to be reopened if they have reason to suspect that their former partner has concealed assets.


Surface Water Drainage

Surface water is rain water which falls onto a property and drains into a public sewer.  The cost of removing and treating surface water in included, for most customers, in their sewerage charge.  Sometimes, surface water does not drain into a public sewer eg rain water may drain to a soakaway, river or stream via a private sewer.  In this type of situation, the customer may be able to claim a Surface Water Rebate.  To be able to apply for a reduction in charges, the property must be connected to the public sewer and a customer currently pays sewerage charges.  If you are unsure, it is always worth checking the position. 

If you have any further queries, please contact our Adrian Foulkes on adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk.


The Consumer Rights Act 2015

This Act came into force on 1st October 2015 which makes the law clearer and easier to understand.  Most of the changes introduced by the Act were important updates to existing law.  In addition, two new areas of law have been introduced:


1.         Rights on digital content – the Act gives consumers a clear right for the repair or replacement of faulty digital content eg online games and film, e-books and music downloads.


2.         New and clear rules setting out what should happen if a service is not provided with reasonable care and skill or as agreed.


Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is now available to all businesses to assist in the resolution of a dispute with a consumer.  Where there is a dispute between a business and a consumer, the business needs to make the consumer aware of a relevant certified ADR provider.  The consumer also needs to be told whether or not the business is prepared to use the ADR provider to deal with the dispute.  However, unless a business operates in a sector where existing legislation makes it mandatory (eg financial services), a business does not have to use ADR.




Discounted Bus Travel for Young People in Wales

The Mytravelpass Scheme introduced from 1st September 2015 in Wales entitled young people aged 16 to 18 to a third off bus fare prices anywhere in Wales.  The scheme is funded by the Welsh Government and has been developed in partnership with the bus industry and local authorities.  Mytravelpass expires on a young person’s 19th birthday.  Being a pilot scheme, it runs from 1st September 2015 until 31st March 2017.  An application can be made online at www.gov.wales/mytravelpass, by post or by telephone.


Students and TV Licensing

All college or university students living away from home, in halls of residence or in a shared house, need to obtain a TV licence to watch or record television.  The requirement for a licence applies not only to TV sets and video or DVD recorders but also to mobile telephones, set-top boxes, personal computers or laptops to receive or record television programmes.  For a student living in a hall of residence and watching or recording television in his/her room, a TV licence is required.  If a student lives in a shared house with a shared tenancy agreement with everyone in the house signing the same contract, usually only one licence is required to cover all the TV sets in the house.  In a situation where each tenant signs an individual tenancy agreement with the landlord, each will need to obtain his/her own licence to use a TV set in the student’s own room but only one licence is required if the only television being used is in a communal area.


Houses into Homes Scheme

Schemes are available to bring empty houses or commercial buildings back into use as homes to include splitting a property into flats.  Individuals, charities, companies and businesses can apply for loans of up to £25,000.00 for each property up to a maximum of £150,000.00.  Such interest free loans are secured on the property and once the work is completed, the property must be sold or rented out and not occupied by the owner.  If a loan is given and the work is not carried out, there is a risk of repossession by the local authority.  For more information, contact your local authority.


Credit Rating

When applying for a loan or other form of credit such as a credit card, the lender has to make a decision whether or not to lend.  Creditors use a system of credit scoring to determine how much of a risk it is to lend with each fact about you being given points which are added together to give a score.  The higher the score, the more credit worthy a person is.  To calculate your score, different lenders use different systems.  Although a lender does not disclose what your score is, on being asked they must reveal which credit reference agency they used to obtain the information about you which can then be checked in order to ascertain whether the information stored is accurate.

Credit reference agencies are companies who are allowed to collect and retain information about consumers’ borrowing and financial behaviour.  There are three credit reference agencies being Experian, Equifax and CallCredit.

An application for a copy of your credit reference file can be obtained from any of the credit reference agencies.  A fee of £2.00 is payable to obtain your credit reference file being the statutory credit report and credit reference agencies must provide this to you on request.  More expensive services can be offered by credit reference agencies.

It is advisable to check your credit reference file before applying for credit or a loan in order to establish whether there are any facts about you which might affect your credit score.  Where information is incorrect, you will need to apply for the same to be changed or removed and add a correction notice explaining any special circumstances.




Automatic Pension Enrolment

The auto enrolment scheme is a staged process which runs until the end of 2017 and which requires employers to enrol their eligible employees into a workplace pension if they are not already in one.  Employers have been given a date from which employees are automatically enrolled.  To be enrolled, employees have to be at least 22 years old, not reached State Pension age, earn more than the earnings trigger and work or normally work in the UK.  Once employers have enrolled in the scheme, they have to pay 1% of employees’ qualifying earnings which is either the entire wage before tax or the amount on which employees pay National Insurance contributions.  Employers may decide to exceed the minimum contribution.  An opt out form can be signed by an employee if he decides to leave or opt out of the pension scheme at any time.  The stage reached in the auto enrolment process by 1st September 2015 is for employers employing fewer than 30 with the last two characters in their PAYE reference number BY.


Medical Conditions and the DVLA

A licence holder or licence applicant is under a duty to notify the DVLA of any medical condition which may affect safe driving.  Notifiable conditions can be anything which affects the ability to drive safely and include conditions such as epilepsy, strokes, other neurological and mental health conditions, visual impairment and physical disability.  This is an illustrative rather than an exhaustive list.  The DVLA can impose a fine of up to £1,000 for failure to advise of a condition which might affect the ability to drive safely.  A prosecution can also follow in the event of there being an accident.  If a doctor tells you to stop driving because of a medical condition or if the required standards for driving are not currently met, the driving licence must be surrendered to DVLA.  Once you reach 70, an application to renew the current British driving licence must be made every three years.


Small Business Rates Relief in Wales

This relief has been extended in Wales until 31st March 2016.  For properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less, there is 100% relief available which means that business rates are not payable on such properties.  For properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000, the rate of relief is reduced on a tapered basis from 100% to 0%.


Help with paying water bills

For consumers struggling to pay their water bills and who have not got a water meter, it is worth checking whether having one installed will save money.  Many water companies, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) (website www.ccwater.org.uk) and uSwitch (website www.uswitch.com/water/) have water usage calculators on their websites which enable consumers to establish how much they are likely to pay if a meter is installed. 


It is also a good idea to check that there are no water leaks that make bills higher than they should be and to consider ways of using less water.


Some water companies operate social tariff schemes/hardship schemes/fund independent charitable trusts.  The Watersure scheme is available for people who are on benefits.  To be eligible, you need to:


  • be on certain benefits
  • have a high essential use of water
  • be on a water meter or have applied for one and are waiting for it to be installed


For Welsh Water customers, it is worth checking whether you are eligible for the Welsh Water Help U scheme (website www.dwrcymru.com).  This scheme can help customers of Welsh Water even if they do not have a water meter.


Severn Trent operate a Trust Fund being an independent grant making trust.  It is a registered charity and the Trust helps people out of poverty and debt.  To find out more about this Fund, the contact details are as follows:


Email:             office@sttf.org.uk


Address:        Severn Trent Trust Fund

                        FREEPOST RLZE-EABT-SHSA

                        Sutton Coldfield

                        B72 1TJ


Telephone:    0121 355 7766


Transferring ownership of pumping stations

Legislation was introduced on the 1st July 2011 to address issues regarding the upkeep of private sewers.  Pumping stations are built when the drainage system to a house or housing development is lower than the public sewer to which it has to connect.  The waste water has to be “lifted” by a pump through a pressurised pipe known as a rising main, into the public sewer.  The current owners are responsible for upkeeping and maintaining pumping stations until they are transferred to the relevant sewerage company.  Such companies have been working (and continue to work) in locating such pumping stations to transfer and surveying them to establish their current condition.


Privately owned pumping stations built before 1st July 2011 which serve more than one property and pump to the existing public sewer are eligible for transfer.  Pumping stations serving a single property but sitting outside the curtilage of the property will also transfer in October 2016.  The official transfer date is 1st October 2016. 


For further information, please contact our Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166 email: adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk





In the event of there being a complaint, in the first instance, all consumers should follow their water and sewerage company’s formal complaints procedure details of which are set out on the bill.  If a written (letter or email) complaint is made to a Company, Ofwat’s Guaranteed Standards Scheme requires the company to reply within ten working days of receiving the written complaint. If the company fails to do so, the consumer is entitled to an automatic credit on the account.  A telephone complaint can be made and a company agent can write down what is said and agreed with the consumer.  This is regulated differently to written complaints.  A written complaint is preferable and generally, a consumer is better able to explain the problem and to achieve a resolution if the complaint is made in writing.  If the consumer is not satisfied with the company’s first reply, a company can be asked to review their decision at a higher stage (most companies have a two stage complaint process).  If the consumer remains unsatisfied after this stage, the consumer can contact CC Water about the complaint.  CC Water, upon receipt of the complaint, will check that the company’s internal procedure has been exhausted before a formal investigation is undertaken.


If the company has not had a reasonable opportunity to address the consumer’s complaint, CC Water may advise the consumer to contact the company first.  CC Water can assist in making contact with the company in relation to the complaint and ask the company to tell them how it intends to resolve the same.  CC Water’s services are free to customers.


All customers who remain dissatisfied with the outcome of their complaint (having gone through the water company’s procedure and help has been sought from CC Water) may be eligible to take the concerns to the Water Redress Scheme (WATRS). 


WATRS is a free and independent resolution scheme which is designed to assist the small number of customers who remain unhappy even after CC Water become involved.  WATRS’ decision is binding on the water company.  Decisions made by WATRS are not binding on customers which means that they are still free to pursue legal action against the water company through the courts.  For the consumer, it is an easier and cheaper option to pursue a complaint rather than through the courts.  Disputes relating to the following can be referred to WATRS:


  • Bills, payments, collections and debt recovery
  • Water supply services
  • Waste water/sewerage services
  • Metering
  • Development and new supplies


For household customers, the total award for compensation and/or the cost or value of any action or service is up to £10,000.00.  For non household customers, the figure is £25,000.00.




For any letting of “living accommodation”, smoke and carbon alarms will become compulsory from 1st October 2015.


The specific details are currently unclear but it is likely that the requirement will only apply to tenancies granted on or after 1st October 2015.  A smoke alarm will have to be fitted on each storey of a property where there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation.  For any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and which contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, a carbon monoxide alarm will be required.






Landlords have until 23rd June 2015 to protect deposits taken from tenants before 6th April 2007.  These are tenancies which have continued after the original agreement has passed.  Deposits have to be registered with a scheme such as the Deposit Protection Service, MyDeposits or the Tenancy Deposit Scheme.  Failure to register will result in fines which are unlimited and are calculated at three times the initial deposit.  The change has come about following the Deregulation Act 2015 and it is recommended that landlords and letting agents take independent legal advice in order to understand how this and other changes in the Act affect their particular circumstances.  For advice, contact our William Ransford at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk or on 01686 412166. 


Parental Responsibility means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, a child’s parent has in relation to the child and the child’s property.

A mother automatically has parental responsibility.  If the mother and father are married at the time of a child’s birth, the father also has parental responsibility.  If the father is not married to the mother at the time of birth after December 2003, the father still has parental responsibility if he is named on the Birth Certificate.  Otherwise, father does not have parental responsibility and would need to acquire it either by agreement with the mother or by an order of the court.

Regular payments of child maintenance should be made of an agreed figure which is intended to contribute towards the child’s general living costs.  There are three ways such an agreement can be reached:

  • Private family-based agreements.
  • A court agreement
  • An agreement under the Child Maintenance Service scheme

For advice, contact our Adrian Foulkes at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk or on 01686 412166.


The national speed limits for HGVs over 7.5 tons, travelling on a single carriageway, increased from 6th April 2015 from 40 miles an hour to 50 miles per hour.  For HGVs over 7.5 tons travelling on dual carriageways, the speed limit increased from 50 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour.  The limits in Scotland have remained the same.  Also, European speed limiter requirements remain unchanged and must be set at 56 miles per hour or lower.






On completion of works by a builder, under JCT building and construction contracts it is usual for a final certificate to be is issued by the builder concerned.  It is therefore the case that if the builder’s client  is unhappy with the work done is not happy with the work undertaken, they only have 28 days after the date of the final certificate in which to start proceedings for adjudication against the builder under the terms and procedure set out in the  JCT Contract.  If the client does not comply with this time table, then the certificate will be conclusive evidence in any adjudication that the work has been undertaken satisfactorily




It is now a legal requirement for owners of all non domestic premises to safely manage any Asbestos at their premises.  Under the legislation, all property owners must:


  • take reasonable steps to find out if there are materials containing asbestos in the premises, and if so, its amount, where it is and what condition it is in
  • presume materials contain asbestos unless there is strong evidence that they do not
  • make, and keep up-to-date, a record of the location and condition of the asbestos containing materials or materials which are presumed to contain asbestos
  • assess the risk of anyone being exposed to fibres from the materials identified
  • prepare a plan that sets out in detail how the risks from these materials will be managed
  • take the necessary steps to put the plan into action
  • periodically review and monitor the plan and the arrangements to act on it so that the plan remains relevant and up-to-date
  • provide information on the location and condition of the materials to anyone who is liable to work on or disturb them


If you have not already done so, then we would advise all owners of commercial premises to have an Asbestos Report undertaken on their property.




The Land Registry have now introduced new requirements for the plans to be attached to Leases which require registration.  This means that professionally prepared floor plans are required. The changes relates to Leases of over 7 years or which require registration of an Easement such as a right of way






From 1st October 2015, the threshold for being able to petition for bankruptcy owing to an outstanding debt, will increase from the current figure of £750 to £5,000.00.  This will have an impact upon the number of creditors who will be able to serve a Statutory Demand for payment with less creditors being able to take such action than is currently the case.





We thought that it may be useful to provide a link with this update in relation to the calculation of child maintenance.  This calculator can be accessed by following the link below:- 




This helps people who are in the process or have already separated and who have children.




From 1 January 2015, there is a legal obligation on private landlords with properties situate in Dwr Water/Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water catchment areas to inform the relevant Water Company of relevant details at the commencement of every tenancy:


  • Full name of every occupant
  • Address of the property
  • The occupant(s) date of birth(s) (where known)
  • Date when the occupant moved in

For new tenancies, the above information must be given to the relevant water company within 21 days from when the tenant is entitled to move in.   The “penalty” for not passing on the information within the 21 day period is that Landlords will become jointly and severally liable for water debts.







Life is uncertain and you never know when it may become necessary to rely upon a Power of Attorney.  Such a document is useful in various situations.  For a business person, it can be an essential tool in order to ensure the functioning of a business in the event of incapacity or even something as straight forward as a holiday.  We always advise clients to think ahead as to what may happen.  A Power of Attorney may be useful not only for dealing with business affairs but also personal affairs and health and welfare.




From April 2015, individuals who are at least 55 years of age (being the minimum pensionable age) will be able to access 100% of their pension fund as a cash sum as opposed to what the position is at present being a maximum of 25%.  We always advise clients to take independent financial advice from a fully qualified independent financial adviser in this or other situations involving finances.




An online calculator has been launched by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which can be used for calculating entitlement to maternity, paternity and shared parental leave.  This can be access by following the link below:




  • New entrants to farming need to ensure that certain steps are taken before they can apply for the Welsh Government’s new Basic Payment Scheme.  A Customer Reference Number/County Parish Holding number has to be applied for in order to complete the Customer Details and BACS forms.  An application may also need to be made to the National Reserve.  Furthermore you may also need to register your land or obtain a herd/flock number.  Information is available online by following the link below:




       The Customer Details form is required to complete your registration as a customer and this has   to be returned by 15 March 2015


  • The application to the National Reserve is also available online and the application must be submitted by 15 May 2015.  If you do not have online access, you will need to telephone 0300 0625004





It is likely that the Planning (Wales) Bill will come into force in 2015.  It introduces a new framework for strategic planning together with the preparation of planning policies in Wales.  This constitutes a further step towards there being a distinct planning for Wales





There have been recent changes in legislation dealing with the calculation of holiday pay.   

The key points for employers and employees to consider are as follows:-

  • When an employer is obliged by the contract of employment to offer and pay for an agreed amount of overtime, such overtime payments must be included within the holiday pay entitlement calculation                                                                                                        
  • Where the employer is not contractually obliged to offer overtime but the employee is asked to do overtime, any calculation for holiday pay entitlement must take into account the extra work done. This may have an impact in situations when non-guaranteed overtime is carried out by employees on a regular or consistent basis.                                                                                                     
  •  If the employer pays the employee for time spent travelling to and from work which forms part of the employee’s contractual entitlement, this additional time needs to be included within any calculation for holiday pay entitlement.                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • When an employee takes paid or unpaid sick leave, their entitlement to annual leave will not be affected.  If an employee is unable to take their annual leave owing to sickness, they are able to carry that entitlement on to the following year.



From 6 April 2015 there will be an increase in the current level of statutory sick pay from £87.55 to £88.45.  There will also be an increase for Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Adoption Pay, Statutory Shared Paternity Pay and Statutory Parental Pay from £138.18 to £139.58.  These changes are subject to the usual Parliamentary approval.





If you are required to complete a tax return for the period 2013/14, and you have not as yet sent it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), remember not to do it on paper because you may end up having to pay a £100 late-filing penalty.

The deadline for filing a paper tax return for the tax year ending 5 April 2014 was 31 October 2014. Therefore if your paper return is delivered to HMRC you will be charged a £100 penalty, unless you have a reasonable excuse.

You can still file your tax return online and you have until 31 January to do this. To send an online tax return, you must be registered for HMRC Online Services. This involves HMRC sending you an activation code in the post. You can register for online filing on the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk.


Private Landlords are now obliged to check that someone has the right to live in the UK before letting a property to them.  The requirement to undertake such checks only applies to new agreements starting on or after 1 December 2014. Any adult aged 18 and over living at a property will be subject to the checks.  A civil penalty of up to £3,000 is payable by the Landlord for failing to comply with these requirements



The Welsh Government has made some small changes in respect of eligibility for a Blue Badge which provides the recipient with parking concessions.  The changes to the rules mean that in addition to the people who were previously eligible, you will also be entitled to a badge if either of the following apply:

  • you have been awarded a lump sum benefit from the Armed Forces Compensation scheme at tariff level 6 for a mental disorder
  • as a result of a mental disorder you are unable to follow the route of a familiar journey without the assistance of another person. This applies to people aged over two years of age to include those over 65.


For more information on the Blue Badge Scheme in Wales, please follow this link:-








In the Autumn Statement on 3rd December, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced changes to how Stamp Duty is calculated for residential properties from 4 December 2014.    


If you are in the process of buying a property you will need to reconsider the amount of Stamp Duty payable if the figure you intend to pay for the property is over the sum of £125,000.  The revised rates are set out below:-


Purchase Price of property (£)                           New rates paid on the part                                                                                                                                   of the property price within                                                                                      each tax band


0 – 125,000                                                            0%

125,001 – 250,000                                                   2%


250,001 – 925,000                                                   5%


925,001 – 1,500,000                                                10%


1,500,000 and over                                                  12%   


If you are still unsure what Stamp Duty is payable, please do not hesitate to contact us or alternatively, you can use HM Revenue and Customs’ online calculator which will assist you at: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tools/sdlt/land-and-property.htm


If you have already exchanged contracts on your property and you are completing the purchase on or after 4th December 2014, you will have the choice of whether to apply to apply the old or the news rates.




Winter is upon us leading to issues which employers and employees need to be aware including:


  • If there are adverse weather conditions, employees are not automatically entitled to paid unless the contract of employment states otherwise. 


  • If an employee is feeling unwell, it needs to be made clear when an employee is obliged to contact their employer and to understand what  evidence of sickness needs to be produced to the employer, either completing a self-certificate explaining the illness or by alternatively providing a statement of fitness for work (also known as the doctor’s statement)


  • There is no statutory entitlement to be paid leave for public holidays.  The employer therefore needs to make it clear what holiday entitlement, if any, applies




If a married person (this includes civil partners) dies after 1 October 2014, without a Will, leaving an estate valued at less than £250,000.00, the whole estate is inherited by the surviving spouse.  If the estate exceeds £250,000.00 and there are children of the marriage or civil partnership, the estate is divided as follows:-


  • The first £250,000.00 (to be index linked) to the surviving spouse and personal chattels;
  • Half of the remainder to the surviving spouse; and
  • Half of the remainder to the children equally on reaching the age of eighteen.


The above replaces what the position was before 1 October 2014 being that the surviving spouse received the first £250,000.00 but only a life interest in half of the remainder.

Even though the change has removed some of the hardships which previously existed, relying upon the law as it applies on intestacy is never a substitute to making a Will.  Having a Will ensures future security for spouses/civil partners and their children in the event of death.  A Will enables plans to be put in place to make sure affairs are taken care of after death and helps to prevent disputes and claims.



For parents of children born or matched for adoption on or after 5th April 2015, parents will be able to choose how the care of their child is shared during the first year after the birth.  The mother will still take at least two weeks maternity leave following birth, following which the parents can opt to share the remaining leave as flexible parental leave.







For properties which are not registered with the Land Registry, it may be a good idea to apply for registration.  Once a property is registered, the Land Registry holds a central record of legal ownership, covering registered land and property in England and Wales.  An application for registration can be done on a voluntary basis.  As the Land Registry are encouraging applications, there is a discount of 25% available on the Land Registry Land Registration fee.


The fees are based on the value of the Property as set out below:-


Property Value                                                                    Fee


0                            -           £     80,000.00                        £  30.00


£80,000.00              -           £   100,000.00                       £  60.00


£100,001.00              -           £   200,000.00                       £140.00


£200,001.00              -           £   500,000.00                       £200.00


£500,001.00              -           £1,000,000.00                       £400.00


£1,000,000.00 and over                                                      £680.00


Once registered, the Land Registry holds a digital record of the deeds.  Although the old deeds and documents have little or no value in proving ownership after registration has been completed, they can still sometimes hold invaluable information such as:


  • Boundaries and who is responsible for maintaining the same
  • Plans may be attached to old deeds which shows boundary features and the routes of easements such as water and drainage pipes, septic tank, the position of a well and rights of way together with provisions for maintenance and repair


We always advise clients to ensure that old deeds are safely stored even after land or property has been registered as they can contain such a wealth of information and sometimes may be of historical interest.


Even if you are not interested in applying for registration, you need to check where the deeds are, as sometimes they have never been seen by a legal owner or have simply been overlooked. There may be various reasons for this such as:


  • They are held by a bank or building society who, more often than not, charge for the storage service on a regular basis
  • They may be with a Solicitor (who may or may not charge – Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins do not charge clients for this service)
  • They may have become lost, destroyed or misplaced
  • They may be just lying around in a cupboard or even gathering dust under the bed!


It is a good idea to check your deeds in order to establish, if the property is owned jointly with another person, in what legal way (joint tenants or tenants in common in equal or unequal shares).  Also, if people are aware as to what is set out in the deeds, this can sometimes avoid unnecessary disputes.


 Our Adrian Foulkes has now become a member of the Agricultural Law Association. 

ALA have for almost 40 years, ALA been the UK’s largest inter-professional organisation devoted to the business of the countryside. They focus on the law in a non-partisan, apolitical way in order to promote its knowledge, understanding and development among those who advise rural businesses. For further details about ALA please see link to their website:-







For students about to set off to university, we hope that some reminders of certain issues concerning student housing will be helpful.  Accommodation available to students vary from halls of residence to flats provided by the university or private landlord.  Care needs to be taken, in particular, when deciding to take on a private letting, about certain formalities.  Before signing “on the dotted line”, you need make sure that you carefully read through the tenancy agreement and to take legal advice when in doubt.  If an assured tenancy agreement is being entered into, the landlord or letting agent must use a tenancy deposit protection scheme which safeguards the deposit.  This has to be done within 30 days of the deposit being paid to the Landlord/letting agent which must give certain information about the deposit and the scheme which has been used. 

It is normal for the landlord/letting agent to draw up an inventory of the contents of the accommodation.  This needs to be carefully checked in order to be satisfied as to its accuracy.  If no inventory is produced, before you take up occupation of the property, it is advisable to draw up your own and ask the Landlord to sign it.  It is also advisable to have yours and landlord’s signatures witnessed.

If any problems arise during the term of the tenancy, you will need to ensure that such problems are documented and photographed, as appropriate.  This may become very important at the end of the term of the tenancy to counter any allegation that the property has been left in a poor state of repair and condition.

The above consists of some relevant issues and there will be others.  In the event of there being any queries, please feel free to contact Adrian Foulkes on 01686 412166 or e-mail him at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk  



Apart from checking obvious matters such as ensuring you have a valid passport (if required for your destination) and that it is safe to travel to a particular country, there are other equally important matters which need to be consider.  These include ensuring that there is valid insurance cover in place and the obtaining of an European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which covers the European Union countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstien, Norway and Switzerland.  It is also worth noting that there is a free Travel App available called the ECC-Net:Travel which has been launched by the European Consumer Centres Network which is designed to help consumers cope with difficult situations abroad.  


Our Adrian Foulkes has passed the first stage of his Aberystwyth University Welsh speaking course, Cwrs Mynediad, with flying colours.   Mae Adrian Foulkes newydd basio rhan gyntaf o'r cwrs dysgu Cymraeg gan Phrifysgol Aberystwyth, Cwrs Mynediad, yn arbennig o dda.  






No one under school leaving age (young people can leave school on the last Friday of June of the school year in which they are sixteen) can be employed in work other than light work.  A young person who is under school leaving age is not allowed to do work which is likely to be harmful to his/her health, safety, development or indeed work that effects attendance at school or participation in work experience.  Such a young person is not allowed to work in a factory or in construction work, in a mine, in transport or on a registered merchant ship. 

As prospective employer, care needs to be taken to check whether the Local Authority where the business is situate has any extra rules being bye laws which effect the employment of young people in a particular area. 

For sixteen to eighteen year olds, the law provides that such young people cannot work more than eight hours a day or more than forty hours a week.  Also, they must have twelve hours’ rest between each working day and forty eight hours’ rest per working week.  Minimum wage rules apply if a person is over sixteen but not below this age. 



The rates which apply are as follows:

Ages                                             Current      From 1st October 2014


Apprentices (Under 19 or over        £2.68         £2.78                         

19 who are in the first year of



16 to 17 year olds                            £3.72         £3.79


18 to 20 years                                  £5.03          £5.13


21 years and over                            £6.31          £6.50



Every employee from 30 June 2014 has the Statutory Right to request flexible working hours after 26 weeks employment service.  Requests should be written stating the date of the request and whether any previous application has been made and if so, the date of such application.  Within three months of receiving the request the same must be considered and decided upon by the employer.  To reject any request, an employer must have a sound business reason.  Only one request can be made by an employee in any 12 month period.

For further advice or assistance, please feel free to contact William Ransford on 01686 412166 or e-mail him at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk




Before launching into the Legal Update we would like to say a big thank you to all who assisted in ensuring the success of the Tour de Montgomeryshire fun cycle event held on Friday 27th June 2014, with the proceeds going to Marie Curie Cancer Care.   A special thanks to Yorkshire Building Society, Morris Marshall & Poole, Norman Lloyd, Astute Independent Financial Services and Lidl (for donating the water).  Funds in aid of this worthy cause were raised through sponsorship of cyclists and collection buckets outside Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins’s office, Llanidloes.  The total amount raised has yet to be calculated but we soon hope to let you know the figure.   



The final deadline for making a retrospective claim for wrongly paid care home fees in Wales is 31st July 2014.  This is the date by which time a claim for the period 1 April 2013 to 31 July 2013 can be made.  As time is running out, anyone who thinks that they may be eligible, needs to act now! 


Our Angela Davies-Jones is a member of Resolution which has set up an exclusive Client Credit arrangement through Iceberg which offers clients the ability to finance the cost of a divorce/financial proceedings (legal fees and disbursements) for up to 36 months or until the case is completed, if sooner.  This funding option is suitable for people who may have a cash flow problem in funding a case but are expected to secure a financial settlement out of matrimonial assets.  With the demise of “Legal Aid” for many areas of law, this is an important development which ensures clients have access to justice.

As with any finance arrangement, care needs to be taken that a client does not borrow more than can be repaid at completion of the case.  To apply, assuming you are eligible, all you need to do is to ask us to provide you with pre-contract credit information and the credit agreement for signature.   A monthly minimum payment of 1.5% of the outstanding balance has to be paid until the same is cleared.  Early repayment in part or whole at anytime can be made without penalty.


Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins will be offering to draw up FREE Wills to all people who arrange to attend an appointment with us at Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB during June/July. We will then donate 25% of our normal fee to Rhayader & District Community Support for every Will drawn up! Please contact us, or alternatively, Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921 for more details!




The property market is currently buoyant and we thought it may be helpful to give some guidance to sellers regarding steps which can be taken as soon as possible once a decision has been made to sell a property.  By taking certain steps early on in the transaction unnecessary delays can be avoided.  The following comprises a list of the types of issues which need addressing:--

  • Title Deeds – if the property is registered with the Land Registry, we need to have the Land Registry Title Number at the outset so that we can promptly apply for up to date official copies of the Land Registry Register.  If the property is unregistered and we are not already holding the title deeds, arrangements will need to be made to forward these to us before a purchaser is found in order avoid delay.  It maybe that the deeds are held by a bank or building society and in our experience, requests for the deeds can sometimes take a matter of weeks to process.
  • During the conveyancing process, a seller is required to produce certain documentation to the purchaser to include copy planning permission, building regulation approval, FENSA Certificates, NHBC Certificates, Gas Safety Records, together with Central Heating Boiler servicing records, Electrical Inspection Reports and warranties/guarantees where applicable.  It would be helpful if these kinds of documents are gathered together, wherever possible, as soon as a property is placed on the market.
  • Arrangements need to be made before marketing the property for an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).  This is something which the selling agents (if applicable) are able to assist with.  If not, we can refer you to the relevant professional.
  • If the property is subject to a mortgage(s) we need to obtain details of the mortgage company(ies) and the mortgage account number(s) so that we can obtain a figure to repay the borrowing on completion.  If there is a shortfall between the sale price and the repayment amount, it is helpful to establish this early on in the transaction which enables to issue to be addressed.
  • If the property is Leasehold, we need to have the Landlord’s and/or the Management Company/Agents details to include up to date addresses 
  • If the sale is linked to the purchase of another property, we need to know this as soon as possible and in particular, whether a mortgage is required.

For purchasers, steps can be taken to help speed up the conveyancing process, some of which are the following:-

  • Arrange any mortgage at the earliest possible opportunity as, in our experience, some lenders can take as long 5 to 7 weeks to make a decision, even where the situation appears to be straight forward.
  • Consider early on whether you wish a survey to be undertaken and arrange for this to be done
  • Make enquiries with potential insurers in order to be certain that it will be possible effect household buildings insurance cover. 
  • If you are currently living in rented accommodation, establish when the tenancy comes to an end in order to possibly coincide this with the purchase completion date
  • Advise us of any intended adult non-owning occupiers of the property
  • Whether the purchase price is to apportioned in any way e.g. does the purchase price include any chattels?
  • If any incentives to enter into the purchase have been offered, full details are required
  • Where gifts of money are being made, specific details of who is making the gift together with the amount to be gifted are required
  • If the property is being bought by more than one person, a decision needs to be made as to how the property is to be bought, whether as joint tenants or as tenants in common in equal or unequal shares (depending upon the contributions being made).

Early contact with Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins is key in order achieve your desired goal.  This enables us to work with you as a team, offering our support throughout the transaction, always keen to ensure minimal stress and delay to you.






As from 6 May 2014, for any one intending to make an Employment Tribunal Claim, it is a requirement to notify ACAS first.  This is done by completing an “Early Conciliation Notification” form.  Once this form is sent to ACAS, it then will be acknowledged, via e-mail (if an e-mail address is available) or otherwise, by post.  The potential claimant will then be contacted by ACAS within two working days of receiving the form in order to gather basic information regarding the dispute and to provide information about Early Conciliation.  The case is then passed to a conciliator whose aim will be to contact both parties in order to talk through the issues to see if they can be resolved. 

For more information on this matter or any other employment matters, please contact our Mr William Ransford on 01686 412166 or e-mail him at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk



In addition to having an up to date Will, it is equally important to have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.  This enables a person to choose someone to act legally on his or her behalf.  Whoever is appointed can make decisions about property and financial affairs together with also health and personal welfare (depending upon the extent of the powers granted), should, for example, a person become physically or mentally incapacitated. 

The Attorney’s role, once appointed, comes with a great deal of responsibility which means that care should be taken as to who is to be appointed – it all comes down to capability to act but first and foremost that person must be trusted to act in your best interests.

Life is uncertain – physical or mental incapacity can occur at any time, irrespective of age.  The time to address such an important issue is when you are physically and mentally able to make your decisions rather than matters being left to chance when it can be too late to do anything.

As an aside to the Lasting Power of Attorney, an Ordinary Power of Attorney can be set up if a person needs to act on a temporary basis for example, whilst in hospital or away on hospital.  Such a Power of Attorney can only be set up whilst the person has mental capacity.   If an Ordinary Power of Attorney is in place, once the capacity is lost, the powers to make decisions end. 

For any advice on the above matters contact our Adrian Foulkes or Angela Davies-Jones on 01686 412166 or e-mail them at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk or angela@mjjsolicitors.co.uk






If you are concerned about Inheritance Tax, read on… 

With the new tax year almost here, now is a good time to consider whether your Will needs to be reviewed.  The current Inheritance Tax threshold remains at £325,000.00 for the foreseeable future.  Whilst a Will is important, this is only one method of passing of assets.  Another example is the use of trusts which can be used as a mechanism during your lifetime, unlike a Will which only comes into effect on death.  

If there is a concern regarding Inheritance Tax, gifts can be made which, if the person making the gift survives for seven years, is exempt from Inheritance Tax.  Such a gift is regarded as “a potentially exempt transfer”.  However, if the person gifting any assets continues to benefit from the same, it is regarded as a gift with a reservation of benefit and is not exempt from Inheritance Tax.  

Small gifts can be made every year.  By way of an example, if you have children, you may wish to give £3,000.00 away every year.  As we approach the end of the tax year 2013/14, £3,000 can be given away, a further £3,000 for the new tax year 2014/2015 and, if there is an unused element of the allowance for the previous tax year (2012/13), a gift of up to £3,000 can be made for that particular year.  For a married couple, these figures can be doubled.  Furthermore, small gifts of up to £250 per annum can be made to as many people as you like but this exemption cannot be used with the £3,000 annual exemption for the same person. 

When people celebrate a wedding or civil partnership, certain exempt gifts can be given: 

  • Parents of the couple can gift cash or other forms of gift worth up to £5,000.00
  • Grandparents can each give up to £2,500.00
  • Anyone else can give up to £1,000.00 

For this to be effective, the gift, or promise to make it has to be give on or shortly before the date of the wedding or civil partnership ceremony.



The property market seems to have greatly improved during the last few months.  With an increased demand for properties, now may be a good time for land owners and developers alike, to take advice as to the issues which need to be considered when entering into an option agreement.  Such an agreement covers the right to buy a property for a pre-determined price, within a defined timescale.  A properly negotiated and well drafted agreement can be of mutual economic advantage to land owners and developers.  To highlight this point, land may have agricultural value of £50,000.00 but may be worth £500,000.00 with the benefit of planning permission.   

It is always important to take professional advice at the earliest opportunity to ensure all issues are properly considered and addressed from the outset  

For any advice on the above matters contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk 





 There has been increased activity in short-term lets involving shops, cafes, bars, showrooms, art galleries etc whether for one-off events, promotions or for seasonal purposes.  A Landlord considering this arrangement aimed at securing some rent needs to consider the following:- 

  1. Planning – although “pop-up” use is generally permitted for a two year period without obtaining planning permission (unless the gross internal floor area exceeds 150 sq metres), the Local Authority must be told about the temporary change in use.  After the two year period, the premises must revert to the original use.
  1. Business Rates – the Landlord avoids having to pay business rates on the property if the premises are let out.  Another advantage is that when the “pop-up” business vacates, the Landlord is entitled to claim a three month empty rate period but only if the “pop-up” was occupied for at least six weeks.
  1. Insurance – the “pop-up” business should be properly insured against public liability, accidental damage, employers’ liability etc.
  1. Terms of Occupation – although a lease may sound unattractive for a short-term period (the temptation may be to enter into a licence agreement), the advisable option would be to enter into a lease.   This enables parties to have certainty on important issues such as:-
    • Rent
    • Repairing obligations
    • Agreement not to sub-let or assign
    • Termination
    • Duration of occupation
    • Use of the premises


The Land Registry offers a free monitoring service, intended to counter-act fraud.  If you own a property which is empty, it is important to register for this service so that an alert can be sent out if a search or application is submitted to the Land Registry against the property.  Sometimes such searches are entirely appropriate but there have been instances of fraudulent activities e.g. fraudster may attempt and succeed to mortgage or sell a property not owned by him or her!  For more information, follow the link below:-


This service illustrates the importance of registering your property and keeping your contact details with the Land Registry up to date.

For any advice on the above matters contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk






Just a reminder – inheritance tax is usually paid on an estate following death.  It is also sometimes payable on trusts and gifts made during a persons’ lifetime.  The threshold at which there is no inheritance tax to pay remains at £325,000.00 (or £650,000.00 for a married couple or civil partners).  Tax is payable at 40% of assets above these figures unless there are certain exemptions, for example, Business Property Relief, Agricultural Relief, Charity, spouse/civil partner exemption. 

Also, it is worth remembering that an estate can be varied with the agreement of all beneficiaries but this has to be done within two years of the date of death.  This can be a useful tax planning device.


CGT relief for gains on a principal private residence is a valuable tax relief.  It becomes a problem area for owners of more than one private residence.   The Courts look for “permanence” (particularly important if there is only a short period of occupation) where there is a dispute with HM Revenue & Customs.   We advise that evidence be retained to show that the occupation was intended to be permanent.  Examples of how this can be satisfied are as follows:-


  • Contact HMRC to advise of the new address immediately but never say that it is temporary.
  • All banks, insurers, lenders, utility companies etc should be notified of the new address.  A re-direction of the mail can be done through Royal Mail
  • If the new home is to be eventually sold, delay marketing for as long as possible.
  • Collate evidence to prove a degree of permanence (take photographs, invite people to a house warming party etc)


Many people have invested in the buy-to-let market which can produce good financial returns.  However, Landlords have to be vigilant of potential problem areas when letting a property.  This extends beyond whether a potential tenant has the financial means to make the rental payments.   One of the issues relates to use of the property being let.  A Landlord should take precautionary steps by getting to know the neighbours around the property so that they can keep an eye out for anything suspicious.  There is a growing trend of cannabis farms springing up in rented accommodation.  We advise Landlords to carry out quarterly inspections to check on usage and state of repair.  Landlords should look out for a strong odour of air fresheners to disguise the smell of drug production, high humidity and increasingly high electricity usage and evidence of electrical rewiring.

For any advice on the above matters contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166or e-mail us at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


Common Agricultural Policy Reform – Direct Payment to Farmers Decisions

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins are able to confirm that on 14 January 2014 the Minister for Natural Resources and Food in the Welsh Government announced his decisions for reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.  The decisions which have been made will come into force from January 2015.  There are further decisions such as the definition of “active farmer” to be mae and these decisions are expected to be announced later in 2014.  From 2015 a five year transition period will begin introducing a Basic Payment Scheme with additional payment for “greening” which as a package will be known as the Direct Payment Scheme.

During 2014, the Single Farm Payment Scheme will continue, however, the Single Farm Payment will be reduced for 2014 as a result of the reduction in the CAP Budget for 2014.  The National Farmers Union, state “payments to farmers will generally be a reduction of around 14.5% as compared to the 2013 payment using current prices as there will be no modulation deducted from the payment in 2014”.   Farmers are expected to be advised by the Welsh Government of their entitlements for 2014 in February 2014.

The key features from the decision of the Minister were:- 

  • A minimum claim size of 5 hectare may be applied.
  • To be eligible for the first allocation of new entitlements a person must have received a Single Farm Payment Scheme payment in 2013 or instead be able to provide evidence, such as receipts or accounts, to prove that they were farming in 2013.
  • A National Reserve will be established from 2015 as a source of entitlements for persons in particular circumstances. New entrants to farming and young farmers will have priority.
  • A three land region model will be used in Wales: Moorland; Severely Disadvantaged Areas; Disadvantaged Areas and Lowland combined.
  • Nominal payment rate values for the three land regions will be weighted in the ratio of 1:10:12 between Moorland: Severely Disadvantaged Areas: Disadvantaged Areas/Lowland. NFU “state” In indicative terms this ratio might mean payment rates by 2019 in the region of:
    • Moorland around €20 a hectare;
    • Severely Disadvantaged Areas around €200 a hectare; and the
    • Disadvantaged Areas and Lowland (combined) around €240 a hectare.
  • Moorland will be classified as land over 400m within the existing 1992 Moorland Map.
  • Transition to wholly area based payments will be a five year period.
  • Farms claiming over €300,000 will have a  mandatory 100% cap on claims.
  • There will be no Areas of Natural Constraint scheme in Wales.
  • The EU’s original greening proposals will be applied in Wales.
  • There will be a transfer of 15% from Pillar 1 to Pillar 2 in 2014.
  • There will be no Small Farmer Scheme in Wales.
  • There will be a Young Farmer top-up in Wales.
  • There will be no form of coupled support.


The Welsh Government will be deciding further on the issue of eligibility for payments.  Such matters to be considered are as follows:-

·         Who are the “active farmers”.   

·         What is to be the minimum size of the holding

·         Entitlements and the National Reserve.   

The Welsh Government has confirmed that Rural Payments Wales will be contacting Farmers in July 2014 with your land regions based on current land declarations.  These regions will be applied to the new payment rates for the May 2015 application period.  Any enquiries or subsequent appeals against the classification of land as Moorland will begin at that time. 

If you require and advice or assistance with regards the decisions made and to be made by the Minister, please contact us by telephoning us on 01686 412166 or alternatively e-mailing us Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


The Help to Buy Scheme assisting purchasers of newly built properties has been launched by the Welsh Government today (2nd January 2014). The scheme will allow buyers of newly constructed properties of a value of up to £300,000.00 who have a 5% deposit to apply for a loan from the Government of 20% of the purchase price. For more information see the link below to BBC News Website:-




The recent and ongoing wet and windy weather helps focus minds on storm damage to properties.   Adequate buildings insurance needs to be in place covering damage to the structure of a property which includes the roof, walls, floors ceilings doors and windows.  Such insurance can be extended to include accidental damage to the inside of a property.  A buildings insurance policy should also cover the cost of alternative accommodation up to a certain limit if you have to leave your home while repairs are undertaken.   Always read the small print of the policy to ensure that there are no exclusion which you are unaware of.   If you are unfortunate enough to suffer damage to your property as a result of bad weather, storms and flooding and are having difficulty with your insurance company and require advice, contact us.


From 25 November 2013, the Child Support Agency (CSA) no longer takes on new cases but will still handle existing cases.

The Child Maintenance Service, being a statutory child maintenance service, calculates how much should be paid and can also and can also collect payments.  To access the child maintenance calculator, to establish what payments might be, use the following link: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-your-child-maintenance



From 29 March 2014, same-sex weddings inEnglandandWalescan take place.  This change is as a result of the passing of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 following the successful completion of its journey through Parliament in July 2013.



As we write this update, Christmas day is in 24 hours!  Just a reminder - if an item is bought from a trader, this must be of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and should match any description given.  If any items are not, you can usually ask for a repair, replacement or full or part refund. 

If you have a Christmas Present which is in the wrong size or is an unwanted gift, there is no legal right to demand a replacement.  As a compromise, it may be possible to negotiate a credit note.

All that remains for us to do is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.






We are pleased to announce that we have secured the national Law Society’s law management quality mark, Lexcel.

Lexcel is developed specifically for the legal profession. It is an optional, recognised accreditation scheme for law firms and in-house legal departments which gives assurance that a practice meets high client care and business management standards.

To gain and retain Lexcel accreditation, a practice must undergo a rigorous initial then annual application and assessment process. This includes conducting background checks and an on-site visit from an experienced, trained Lexcel assessor. 

Angela Davies-Jones, Director, within the practice said: “While we are proud to have secured Lexcel, it is our clients and staff who are the main beneficiaries. They can be assured that the way we manage the practice has their interests at heart and runs efficiently. There is a lot of choice in the legal services market, but being Lexcel accredited demonstrates our commitment to client care and best practice.”


Nicholas Fluck, President of the Law Society of England and Wales, said: “Gaining and maintaining Lexcel is no mean feat. There are many facets of being a Lexcel accredited law firm, including client care. A commitment to customer service in today’s evermore competitive legal services market is vital.  By undergoing the rigorous Lexcel application and assessment process practices can show the positive steps they are taking to help clients in the increasingly diverse, complicated legal services market. The scheme is a beacon of quality to clients and potential clients alike”. 

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins joins more than 1500 other legal practices in England & Wales with Lexcel accreditation. The practice management accolade has also gone international, with firms in Scotland, the Middle East, Poland and the Republic of Ireland having gained accreditation.

This Lexcel accreditation builds upon our other accreditations.  We were one of the first firms in Wales to be accredited with the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme. The scheme is designed to improve transparency of transactions, raise service levels and provide better communication and a more efficient process. 

The firm is also Investors in People accredited. In adopting the ethos of Investors in People, we believe that people’s strengths, ambitions and ideas are the engine of success. 

All in all it has been a busy year for the practice with the launch of our Specialist Conflict Management Service.  This department is operated by Angela Davies-Jones and Adrian Foulkes.   In addition, we have recently launched our new specialist website dedicated to Agricultural and related legal services at  http://mjjagriculturalsolicitors.co.uk/

This year although busy, has been enjoyable and rewarding as we trust has been the case for all our clients.  We look forward to working with our past, current and future clients in 2014 and beyond.  In the meantime, we would like to wish all our clients, contacts and visitors to this website a happy and peaceful Christmas. 

Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!




The Green Deal was introduced by the Energy Act 2011.  Its aim is to improve the energy efficiency of homes and businesses.  This can be done by having new insulation, double glazing, boilers, solar panels and heat pumps installed by a specialist Green Deal provider.  The cost is recovered through the electricity bills.  If you decide to undertake such works through this scheme, you will need to be aware that on the sale or letting of a Green Deal property, there is a legal obligation to disclose the existence of the Green Deal to a purchaser or tenant and to obtain a written acknowledgement that they are aware of the charge and that they will be bound by the terms of the scheme.  It is important to retain all documentation for future reference.



The Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 has made its way through the National Assembly forWalesand has been given Royal Assent.  It is a Welsh law making it easier for people to walk and cycle inWaleswith Local Authorities inWalesbeing legally required to map and create fully integrated transport networks that consider the needs for walkers and cyclists. 



Making a Will is not a bad omen!  Statistically, people shy away from making a Will even where there are complex family situations.  If a person cohabits with another person but they are neither married nor have entered into a Civil Partnership, there is no automatic entitlement of rights on intestacy.  The survivor, following death, has to apply for financial provision to the Court in absence of an agreement being reached.  This can cause stress, expense and delay at an emotional time with an uncertain outcome.  Making a valid Will can avoid such a dilemma.  Also, where there are children, it is important to ensure that their best interests are secured in event of death.  Such security can be financial, physical and emotional.  In addition to making reasonable financial provision for children in the event of death, it is also important to appoint a guardian for minor children.  This can be done within a Will.   Contrary to popular belief, Solicitors are not always expensive and as a practice, we offer fixed fees from the outset which gives certainty to the client and peace of mind once a Will has been made.  As part of the process, we offer inheritance tax planning.

For any advice on the above matters, contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


Most people would prefer to remain and receive care in their own home irrespective of any physical or mental infirmity.  This is a principle objective of community care.  However, in practice how much assistance you receive from your local authority social services department will depend on the extent of your needs for services and their eligibility criteria.  Commonly, many older people, their family and carers consider whether to move into a care home as an option.

Residential and nursing homes usually charge on a weekly basis.  The amount of the fee will depend on the nature and level of care provided, the location and facilities of the home.

In the event that you decide to move into a care home, important decisions need to be made.  Such decisions may have unintended ramifications and so the important of early, specialist legal advice, such as from a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, can prevent or mitigate problems arising at a later date, leaving you in the best position to plan your care.


The legal issues 

Legal issues relating to long-term care are expanding.  Laws and regulations are rapidly evolving and becoming more complex.

There are occasions when the NHS is responsible for the cost of care.  The Department of Health in England and National Assembly in Wales has set a national framework to assess and determine eligibility.  If a person meets the criteria, then their personal, health and accommodation care costs (which, may be provided in a nursing home or your own home), will be funded by the NHS regardless of the person’s own financial position.

The NHS is responsible for the cost of nursing care in a nursing home provided by a registered nurse irrespective of the individual’s own means.  It is a paid at a flat rate.

Depending on your resources the local authority may assist in the funding of care.  How much and when are based on complex guidance. Whether you fund all, part or none of your care costs is not always clear and early advice is recommended.

You may need advice on the following: 

  • Should I be charged and how much should I pay?
  • Is the care contract reasonable and should you try to amend the terms?
  • Will your spouse or partner be expected to pay towards your care?
  • Will your spouse, partner or other relative be able to continue to live in your family home?
  • What assets do you need to sell?
  • How should the assets be valued?
  • Can you take out insurance to pay for your care?
  • Are there any welfare benefits you may be entitled to?
  • Should you make an advance decision, setting out your health care wishes in the event that you become unable to communicate them?
  • ternatively should you prepare a health and welfare lasting power of attorney, so that others can assist you if you are unable to tell others your wishes
  • Should you update your will and how can you pass on assets to your family?
  • Can you continue to financially manage your own affairs and should you appoint another to act on your behalf, particularly in the event you become mentally incapable?


If you require any assistance, please telephone our Mr Adrian Foulkes who is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly by telephoning on 01686 42166.



Evans v Lloyd [2013] EWHC 1725
High Court of Justice (Chancery Division)

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins acted for the successful Defendants in this recorded case and the following article was published by Solicitors for the Elderly

This case involved the estate of W, a farm worker. Prior to his death, W had made a gift of two agricultural holdings he had inherited from his brother to the proprietors (together ‘L’) of a farm for whom he had worked for his entire working life.

The first claimant, H, was W’s brother, and entitled to his estate in the event that W was intestate. H was unable to manage his property and affairs. The second claimant (‘B’) was a cousin of H and he and the third claimant, his wife, were together due to be jointly entitled to H’s estate on his death under his will.
The claimants claimed rescission of the gifts of the agricultural holdings to L on the grounds (a) of undue influence on the part of L and (b) on the grounds that the gifts amounted to unconscionable transactions. L denied that either cause of action was made out and counterclaimed that W had made a last will, which had been lost, in their favour.On the law, after reciting the familiar principles of undue influence, the court considered the principles relating to unconscionable transactions. The court cited a passage in Snell’s Equity, in which it was stated that the doctrine applies where (1) the complainant was suffering from certain kinds of disability or disadvantage (e.g. educational deficiency) (2) the bargain was oppressive to the complainant and (3) the other party acted unconscionably in that he or she knowingly took advantage of the complainant. Where these three requirements are satisfied, the burden passes to the other party to satisfy the court that the transaction was ‘fair, just and reasonable’. The court rejected a submission by L that the doctrine only applied to bargains, and not gifts.

As to the undue influence claim, the key findings were as follows:

1. There was no relationship of trust and confidence. W was regarded by L as part of their family and he regarded them in the same way. They had cared for him in the last years of his life when he had become ill. He admired them for the way they had looked after him. It was a relationship characterised by mutual love and trust. L had not managed W’s finances or told him how to manage them. Furthermore, there were examples of W showing independent judgment when dealing with L.
2. Furthermore, there was no transaction which called for an explanation. W and L were bound by the strongest ties of affection. W wanted the holdings to remain with farmers such as L. The fact that the holdings constituted nearly all of W’s wealth did not matter; W had no interest in owning property and had inherited them only just over a decade earlier. Furthermore, the gifts had no impact on W continuing to live the life he wanted to live, and were made in the context of a concern that recourse might be had to the assets should he need to go into residential care.

3. Thirdly, even if the two above requirements had been made out, such that the burden was on L to show that the gifts were not procured by undue influence, the court would have held that that burden would have been discharged. The gift was the product of W’s independent will; he had initiated it. L were decent people who had not sought to influence the matter in any way. Advice was given to W by a firm of solicitors who had been instructed by L and who were being paid by L. However, there was no reason to believe that the solicitors had not been conscientious towards W or unmindful of his duty towards him. The solicitors would have taken steps to investigate whether W was subject to undue influence. The evidence would have been ‘just about’ sufficient to discharge the burden.
As to the allegation that the gifts amounted to unconscionable transactions, the court held as follows. W was poorly educated and the gifts were disadvantageous to him, in the sense that they divested him of practically all his assets and were unnecessary. However, there was no basis for finding, given the facts outlined above, that L had acted unconscionably. Furthermore, the claimants had delayed in bringing their claim such that the doctrine of laches applied.

Although it was strictly unnecessary to consider it, the Court considered the question of whether W had made a will in L’s favour. It was held that the most likely position was that a draft will had been produced after W consulted solicitors, but that no final will was executed.

The court therefore dismissed the claims made by the claimants.



Dare we mention Christmas!  Now may be a good time to reinforce some statutory rights which consumers have when purchasing any items.  If  faulty, any item needs to be returned as quickly as possible.  Generally, if returned within a four week period, a refund is likely but if there is any delay, only an exchange, repair or part refund may be offered.  If an item is not returned for a period in excess of six months, the consumer must prove that the item was faulty when purchased.  If an item is bought as a gift, it is sensible to ask the seller to endorse the word “gift” on the receipt with the shop also being asked to keep a copy.   If an item is bought which is in the wrong size, there is no legal right to demand a replacement.  As a compromise, a credit note may be an option to negotiate for.

If a credit card is used to buy goods or services for more than £100.00, the credit card company will be jointly liable with the seller for any defect or late supply.   

If you need further advice with any consumer issue, contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins for advice on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


Just a reminder – for those whose Capital Works formed part of a Glastir 2012 Entry (All Wales Element), contracts must be completed by 31st December 2013.

The Common Agricultural Policy consultation document requires responses by the closing date of 8th November 2013.  This is available online at the following link:-


The Young Entrants Support Scheme remains open until 22nd November 2013.  Eligible formers need to be under the age of forty when submitting an expression of interest and must either be setting up as head of the holding for the first time or have set up as head of holding within the previous twelve months.

For agricultural advice contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at angela@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


For new non-domestic properties completed after 1st October 2013 (but before 30th September 2016) there is an eighteen month period of rates relief.  Such properties, however, must remain unoccupied for the first eighteen months after completion.  The relief is not always available and is at the discretion of the Local Authority.

For agricultural advice contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk



Most people would prefer to remain and receive care in their own home irrespective of any physical or mental infirmity.  This is a principle objective of community care.  However, in practice how much assistance you receive from your local authority social services department will depend on the extent of your needs for services and their eligibility criteria.  Commonly, many older people, their family and carers consider whether to move into a care home as an option.

Residential and nursing homes usually charge on a weekly basis.  The amount of the fee will depend on the nature and level of care provided, the location and facilities of the home.

In the event that you decide to move into a care home, important decisions need to be made.  Such decisions may have unintended ramifications and so the important of early, specialist legal advice, such as from a member of Solicitors for the Elderly which includes our Adrian Foulkes, can prevent or mitigate problems arising at a later date, leaving you in the best position to plan your care.

The legal issues relating to long-term care are expanding.  Laws and regulations are rapidly evolving and becoming more complex.

There are occasions when the NHS is responsible for the cost of care.  The Department of Health in England and National Assembly in Wales has set a national framework to assess and determine eligibility.  If a person meets the criteria, then their personal, health and accommodation care costs (which, may be provided in a nursing home or your own home), will be funded by the NHS regardless of the person’s own financial position.

The NHS is responsible for the cost of nursing care in a nursing home provided by a registered nurse irrespective of the individual’s own means.  It is a paid at a flat rate.

Depending on your resources the local authority may assist in the funding of care.  How much and when are based on complex guidance. Whether you fund all, part or none of your care costs is not always clear and early advice is recommended.

You may need advice on the following:

•    Should I be charged and how much should I pay?
•    Is the care contract reasonable and should you try to amend the
•    Will your spouse or partner be expected to pay towards your care?
•    Will your spouse, partner or other relative be able to continue to live in
    your family home?
•    What assets do you need to sell?
•    How should the assets be valued?
•    Can you take out insurance to pay for your care?
•    Are there any welfare benefits you may be entitled to?
•    Should you make an advance decision, setting out your health care
    Wishes in the event that you become unable to communicate them?
•    Alternatively should you prepare a health and welfare lasting power of attorney, so that others  can assist you if you are unable to tell others your wishes
•    Should you update your will and how can you pass on assets to your family?
•    Can you continue to financially manage your own affairs and should you appoint another to act on your behalf, particularly in the event you become mentally incapable?

Our specialist lawyers at Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins Solicitors will be happy to advise and assist you without obligation in plain English and will be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have with regards Long Term Care. Telephone us now for a free initial discussion on 01686 412166 




An advance medical decision, often referred to as an 'advance directive' or 'living will', is a written statement of your wished about medical treatment if you become terminally ill or incapacitated. An advance medical decision allows a person to refuse specified treatment in specified circumstances such as:

  • Physical illness which is so serious that life is nearing an end and there is no likelihood of recovery;
  • Permanent serious mental impairment with physical illness and/or 
  • Permanent unconsciousness.

You are completely free to refuse to undergo medical treatment even if, as a result it brings about your death. However, you must have the mental capacity to make that decision. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 gives clear legal Status to advance medical decisions, which means that health professionals must follow them, if they are valid and applicable to the specified treatment and circumstances.

It is important that an advance medical decision is well drafted so it is valid and applicable to the specified treatment and circumstances. You should discuss your wished with your immediate family. The document is not intended to be a substitute for discussion with medical staff and it is always recommended that you talk fully with your doctor about your treatment. An advance medical decision does not ask a doctor to do anything against existing law, but it is useful when decisions have to be made on prolonging an individual’s life.

An advance medial decision will be valid if:

  • You have the mental capacity to make the decision to refuse treatment:
  • Your refusal was intended to apply in the kind of situation which later arose;
  • You understood fully the consequences of such decision in that kind of situation and,
  • There was no undue influence made by anyone else on your decision.

If you change your mind at a later date, an advance medical decision is not final and irrevocable and can therefore be changed by telling your doctor. However, it is sensible to destroy the document and all copies of it.

Our specialist lawyers at Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins Solicitors will be happy to advise and assist you without obligation in plain English and will be happy to answer any questions or queries you may have with regards Advance Directives and Living Wills. Telephone us now for a free initial discussion on 01686 412166 




Milwyn Jenkins and Jenkins Solicitors were delighted at the result of their two day Lexcel accreditation audit, which resulted in a recommendation that they should be accredited to the coveted Law Society standard. The audit is a rigorous check by an independent auditing organisation against the stringent Law Society Lexcel Quality Standard.

“We have always tried to have the best customer care and quality procedures, but decided we should further demonstrate their effectiveness by achieving Lexcel Accreditation,” said Angela Davies-Jones, Director.

“We have previously shown our commitment to quality by achieving and retaining the Investors in People Standard and the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme, but felt this wasn’t enough to demonstrate how serious we are about continuous improvement as an organisation,” said William Ransford, Solicitor.

“The Lexcel standard requires a legal firm’s people to continuously improve client services. And that’s the operative word – people – and ours always challenge our processes to improve them for our clients,” said Mark Harvey, Director.

 “Although we have demonstrated our commitment to quality, we are by no means complacent, and will continue to strive for the best practices that give our clients the first rate service they expect,” said Adrian Foulkes, Chartered Legal Executive.

The practice is now waiting for its accreditation to be confirmed officially by the Law Society.



From the 30th September 2013 changes come into force (to bring Wales in line with England) to allow property owners to build a larger range of extensions and garden buildings without submitting a planning application.    People living within sensitive areas such as Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest need be aware that their position is different.  Contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins for advice on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk



Changes are afoot – if a property which has already been registered with the Land Registry changes hands for full market value after 12th October 2013, the Church loses its ability to register its interest.  If a property is received post 12th October 2013 by gift, transaction at an under value, inheritance or on divorce, it may still be affected by Chancel Repair Liability.  If the property has not been registered with the Land Registry the Church can continue to enforce any repair liability.  For advice contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail us at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk



The fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian to register a Lasting Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Attorney is being reduced from £130 to £110 from 1st October 2013.  This may now be a good time to think about making a Lasting Power of Attorney which entails you choosing one person or more to make decisions about:

1.         Money and Property include:

    • paying bills
    • collecting benefits
    • selling your home

 2.         Health and Welfare to include: 

  • your daily routine (eg eating and what to wear)
  • medical care
  • moving into a care home
  • refusing life-sustaining treatment

Contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166 or e-mail for a fixed fee quote at angela@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


Help to Buy: Home Ownership Schemes

The Government have confirmed that they are bringing forward the start date of the Help to Buy: Home Ownership Schemes. For guidance on how the scheme works, please see link:-



Most workers in the UK over school leaving age are entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage (“NMW”) and the NMW rates are reviewed each year by the Low Pay commission.

The current NMW rates which came into force on 1 October 2012 are as follows:

•    £6.19 for workers 21 and over
•    £4.98 18 - 20 yrs
•    £3.68 for 16-17 yrs, who are above school leaving age but under 18
•  £2.65 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

However, employers and employees need to be aware that the NMW rates from 1 October 2013 will be as follows:

•    £6.31 for workers 21 and over
•    £5.03 18 - 20 yrs
•    £3.72 for 16-17 yrs, who are above school leaving age but under 18
•    £2.68 for apprentices under 19 or 19 or over who are in the first year of apprenticeship.

There are a number of people who will not be entitled to the NMW these include:
•    self-employed people
•    volunteers
•    voluntary workers
•    company directors.

All other workers including pieceworkers, home workers, agency workers, commission workers, part-time workers and casual workers must receive at least the NMW. There are no exemptions according to size of business or by sector, job or region.

For advice on any employment issues, please contact our William Ransford at Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins by calling 01686 412166 or e-mailing at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk




From 1 October 2013 the agricultural minimum wage is to be abolished in England - The National Minimum Wages will now apply as well as the normal working time regulations apply. The Welsh Government in July of this year decided against removing the minimum agricultural wage so there will be no changes to terms of agricultural employees in Wales.


Our Adrian Foulkes is a member of Solicitors for the Elderly, the UK association of solicitors, legal executives and barristers who provide specialist advice for older, ill, infirm and disabled adults.  To be a member you must be a highly trained, experienced regulated professional who provides independent, impartial advice, which is in the client’s best interests. All members are dementia aware, and able to support you make important decisions. Solicitors for the Elderly’s and Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins’ aim is to provide you with advice and information on all of your options in order to protect you, those you care about, and your estate; to avoid problems and prevent unnecessary costs, losses or expense being incurred.

Making Plans

By making a will you can decide what happens to your property and possessions after your death, and set out your funeral wishes. For example, you may like to request no flowers at your funeral but make a request for charitable donations instead. Without a will, your assets may be distributed according to ‘the intestacy rules’ rather than your wishes. Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins can advise and draft your will to be tax and administratively efficient and reduce the risk of a claim being made against your estate after your death.

By making a power of attorney, others can make financial and/ or health and welfare decisions for you, if you are unable. In the event you become mentally incapable of making a decision a financial Ordinary Power of Attorney is automatically cancelled, whereas a Property and Financial Affairs /Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney will be valid, provided it is registered with the Public Guardian. Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins can advise on the suitability of the power and safeguards to protect you from the misuse of the power, and draft the power to your particular circumstances and needs.

Without a power of attorney, if you lose mental capacity to make decisions, it may be necessary to get an order from The Court of Protection. Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins can advise on the appropriate order, draft court documents and handle the application. This is more expensive, cumbersome and time consuming than making a power of attorney.

By making an advance decision you can set out details of any medical treatment you do not want in the event you are later unable to communicate your wishes. Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins can draft the document and advise on how it applies in practice.

Seek advice on arranging and funding long-term care. Whether you plan to remain in your own home, move into sheltered or care home accommodation, you may qualify for state support. This may be by way of welfare benefits, social funding, or equipment from social services and health care, funded by the NHS. The rules are complex but Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins are able to navigate these and provide advice to maximise what you receive from the state and avoid using your own assets unnecessarily.

By making timely gifts or putting assets into trust during your lifetime, you can pass on your estate before you die.     Any proposed gift needs careful consideration of the benefits, risks and implications on tax, your financial security and any future liability for care. It is dangerous to make a gift without getting the right advice as you may find that you are denied state funding at the time you most need it.

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins adopt Solicitors for the Elderly’s Code of Practice so you can be sure
•    You will be treated with dignity and respect.
•   Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins will ensure all practicable steps are taken to maximise decision making potential, particularly if you are compromised by physical, emotional and mental difficulties. If you have hearing and visual difficulties they will take this into account when communicating, for example correspondence and documents can be produced in large print or Braille.
•    We will endeavour to follow a plain English policy and communicate in easy, understandable language, avoiding legal terminology unless necessary.
•    Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins will provide written details of charges.
•    We will try to ensure ease of access and parking if you are less mobile.
•    We will offer home visits as an alternative to a visit to the office.  Any arrangement will be at a mutually agreed time and cost.
•    In the interest of your personal security, Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins will operate appropriate measures, such as identification passes or passwords.
•    We will provide written details of how to complain.


Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins are on the British Free Range Egg Producers Association's national list of legal advisors.



At Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins, our trained mediators (Angela Davies-Jones and Adrian Foulkes) wear two hats!  They are both trained mediators and litigators.  Different disciplines apply depending upon the circumstances.  When asked to mediate, they deal with parties experiencing unresolved conflict in order to assist in resolution of such conflict.  Mediation is a voluntary, non binding private dispute resolution where parties are encouraged to seek their own solutions to conflict which involves identifying key issues as part of the process of enabling parties to resolve their situation in a constructive and positive manner.  This approach to mediation, being a tried and tested method, is effective in that the parties maintain ownership of the dispute with the mediator being tasked to facilitate a neutral and non-confrontational environment for the parties to discuss issues aimed at seeking a resolution. 

With litigation, a different approach is called upon and our litigators at Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins (Angela Davies-Jones, William Ransford and Adrian Foulkes) are familiar with navigating the Court process which includes adopting pre-action protocols, where applicable.  Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins have a history of success across a wide range of litigious matters.  They handle a wide variety of cases with varying complexities in terms of issues, parties and claim values.   They offer various funding options, tailored to the client’s needs.


The two approaches outlined above are diverse.  The benefits of mediation are as follows:  

  • The parties maintain control
  • Issues are usually fairly quickly reduced or clarified
  • Parties usually “win something”
  • Solutions can be flexible
  • Outcomes are kept private
  • The process is usually cheaper than going to Court
  • A quicker outcome is usually secured


 With litigation, there are advantages:  

  • the process is open, transparent and public
  • it is based on the strict, uniform compliance with the law of the land
  • resolution is final and binding (subject possibly to appeal to a higher court) 
  • Outcomes are enforceable


Both approaches to dispute resolution have potential disadvantages (mediation calls for co-operation on both sides which may be lacking; litigation can be expensive and slow with a decision being imposed upon the parties).  At Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins we adopt a holistic approach to dispute resolution, with a focus on our clients’ best interests.  When considering the options, we also have at the forefront of our minds other forms of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution), which may be more appropriate e.g. negotiation and arbitration





Increases will be made to the National Minimum Wage as follows:

21 plus:           £6.31 an hour

18 – 20:           £5.03 an hour

Under 18:         £3.72 an hour

Apprentice:       £2.68 an hour

If you require advice on employment matters generally, contact William Ransford on 01686 412166.


Many businesses are run by family members (e.g. parents and children). Often there is no formal partnership agreement in place with people preferring to base their agreement on unwritten understandings. This can pose difficulties when a partner dies, becomes seriously ill or retires. Without a written formal agreement, partnerships are governed by the Partnership Act (1890) which is somewhat inflexible. It is always advisable in a partnership situation to enter into a written agreement so that the requirements of the partners can be met. A well worded Partnership Agreement can be invaluable in the context of succession planning and in defining each partners` share or role in the business and to avoid a partnership being brought to an end in certain circumstances.

Contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166


Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a “common law wife or husband”. Where a person dies leaving no valid Will, the Intestacy rules apply which make no provision for a surviving cohabitee. If a deceased cohabitee fails to make sufficient financial provision for the surviving cohabitee, this can cause additional stress on family relationships particularly when the survivor has to resort to court for reasonable financial provision from the deceased’s estate. Such stress and costs can be avoided by making a Will.

Avoid delaying making a will by contacting Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins on 01686 412166


On the 4th October 2013, our client Dean Taylor will be cycling from Lands End to John O'Groats - the purpose of the cycle is to raise money for Huntingdons Disease Association from which one of his friends has suffered for a number of years.  He says that, as the disease is quite debilitating and not easy to live with, the challenge of such a long bike ride will seem like nothing in comparison. He knows lots of people request sponsorship throughout the year for various good causes and it is hard to support everything.  However, if you would like to join us in sponsoring Dean and his friend Andrew then please click on the following link and follow the instructions. 



Our Mr William Ransford (Solicitor and Notary Public) presented a shearing trophy donated by Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins for the Trefeglwys Show held on Saturday 3rd August 2013.






Mediation is a voluntary, impartial and confidential process where parties who experience unresolved conflict agree to appoint a neutral third party to assist in their resolution of conflict.  Our mediators at Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins, being Angela Davies-Jones and Adrian Foulkes offer expert guidance to assist in the resolution of disputes such as:-

•    Work place disputes
•    Difficulties between family members
•    Neighbour and boundary disputes
•    Farming and agricultural related disputes
•    Eldercare complaints
•    Landlord and tenant issues
•    Contract disputes
•    Disputes with tradesmen
•    Debt and consumer disputes
•    Environmental and planning issues
•    Disputes over Wills and Estates
•    Business and partnership disputes
•   Community, sporting and other bodies to include not for profit organisations      issues
•    Issues between students and/or colleges and universities

Our mediators at Milwyn Jenkins will explain all you need to know about the process, will listen to your view of the situation and will assist and support you in the process of achieving the best outcome.

Contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins by telephone on: 01686 412166 or complete our online enquiry form.


Where a property is being sold under a power of sale, a mortgagee who has repossessed a property owes a duty to take reasonable precautions to obtain the best price reasonably obtainable.  Care therefore needs to be taken by mortgagees in possession to ensure that they do not set a very low asking price simply to generate interest and just to cover the debt owed.  If you find yourself in this position and are concerned that the mortgagee has set an asking price which is too low for your property, contact Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins by telephone on: 01686 412166 or complete our online enquiry form.


From 29th July 2013, fees will be charged for making a claim to the Employment Tribunal.  A fee has to be paid when starting the claim and a further fee is payable before the final hearing when the outcome of your case is decided.  For advice, contact William Ransford of Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins by telephone on: 01686 412166 or complete our online enquiry form.


Evans and others v Lloyd and another

[2013] All ER D 264 (Jun)


A Mid Wales farm hand gave almost everything he owned to the farm-owning family that he grew up and worked with for more than 60 years. In the case of Evans v Lloyd heard in The High Court in Cardiff where judgment was delivered this week, disaffected members of Wynne Evans family had judgement given against them as the judge, Andrew Kesyer QC, ruled in favour of Mr & Mrs David and Elizabeth Lloyd of Cefnbarrach farm Trefeglwys represented by Geraint Jones QC and Gwydion Hughes both instructed by Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins Solicitors of Llanidloes.


Up to his death in 2006 aged 79, Wynne Evans, had spent his entire life from the age of 14 living on at Cefnbarrach Llanidloes working for David and Elizabeth Lloyd (and before that, their parents). Wynne was not related to Mr and Mrs Lloyd in any way but over the years had developed an extremely close relationship with the Lloyds and was in effect accepted as a member of the family.


Being the only member of the family with a farming background, Wynne was left a farmhouse and some surrounding land on the death of his older brother, Ieuan, in 1985 which he later gifted to Mr and Mrs Lloyd free of charge. Following Wynne’s death, his cousin Bernard Evans and his wife Brenda sought to have these gifts set aside on the grounds that they were unconscionable transactions and that Mr and Mrs Lloyd had unduly influenced Wynne to make them.


The judge rejected these claims “without any regret” preferring the evidence of Mr & Mrs Lloyd whom he referred to as “thoroughly decent people” to that of the claimants. Although Wynne enjoyed a simple life, he was, nevertheless, “independently minded” with his own views in areas such as politics. The Court rejected claims of undue influence as the gift could be explained as “ordinary motives by which people are accustomed to act” and the judge agreed with Geraint Jones QC that Wynne Evans “would be turning in his grave” if he knew that his generosity was being challenged in Court.


William Ransford of Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins said following release of the judgment “This is a case that should never have been brought in the first place. The Lloyds view of events was consistent from the outset and they feel thoroughly vindicated by Judge Keyser’s decision and especially his comments about their motivation and character. My clients deserve credit for bringing this matter through to a successful conclusion in what has been an enormously anxious time. They would like to thank Geraint Jones QC and Gwydion Hughes for their hard work and skill in ensuring that this opportunistic claim was roundly dismissed.”







With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to make the appropriate preparations.  We would advise you to have adequate holiday insurance covering eventualities such as sickness or accident.  Always shop around for quotes and never forget to read the small print!  In particular, you need to check whether there are any additional conditions to the policy (e.g. if your flight is delayed, how long does the delay have to be before the insurance company will pay out any compensation).  Also, check whether there are any exclusions to the cover provided (e.g. dangerous sports and activities, existing medical conditions and age limits).  It is also worth making sure that the policy does not have too high of an excess for your needs.  

If expensive personal items are being taken on holiday, check that you have adequate insurance to cover against any loss or damage.  It is worthwhile checking your household contents insurance policy to make sure that you are covered for any loss or damage to personal belongings whilst you are on holiday whether in this country or abroad.



You may have been watching BBC 3’s television programme based on a call centre in Swansea.  We thought it might be worth highlighting what you can do if you are fed up with receiving cold calls similar to those featured in the programme!   You can register free with the Telephone Preference Service by calling 0845 0700707.  Please note that it can take up to a month for your registration to take effect, but after this, the problem should be resolved. 


This is quite a popular way of buying property whether for residential, commercial or investment purposes.  We act for many clients who have bought or sold by auction and it can be effective process by eliminating many delays with a successful outcome.  

If you are a potential buyer, you will need to fully investigate the property by personally inspecting the property (we would suggest at different times of the day and night and on random days) and getting a surveyor to thoroughly check over the property for any potential defects or problem areas which may be expensive to rectify and which may not be readily apparent from your own inspection.  Also, you will need to ask your Solicitor to carefully go through the auction pack in order to be sure that the title to property is in order and to advise you fully on any issues.


The important point to remember is that once the gavel falls, there is a binding contract and buyer and seller committed to proceeding to complete the transaction.  

If you are considering buying or selling at auction, we have vast experience of handling such transactions and would be happy to advise and assist. 









Our Conveyancing department has been exceptionally busy since the beginning of 2013 with a continuing steady increase in the number of transactions proceeding to a successful completion.  We feel that all the signs are positive for a recovery in the housing market which can only be good news for the local economy and beyond.



Landlords of residential property must ensure that deposits paid by new tenants are paid into a government-backed scheme within 30 days of receipt.  This gives protection to tenants and prevents Landlords from merely taking the money rather than retaining it as security for any damage to the property.  It also protects the tenant in a situation where the Landlord becomes insolvent.  It also offers protection to the Landlord by giving financial certainty and a mechanism which assists in resolving disputes.  If a Landlord fails to comply with this strict requirement, Court proceedings can be taken against the Landlord with a potential penalty of between one and three times the value of the deposit being awarded to the tenant. 



Landlords must not forget to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before renting out a residential and most commercial properties.  Once issued the Certificate is valid for up to ten years.  Failure to obtain such a Certificate, can incur a fine of up to £5,000.00. 



Just a reminder  -  all new recruits (with a few exceptions - pregnancy or maternity leave, trades union membership, whistle blowing, reporting health and safety risks or assertion of statutory rights) who commenced work on or after 6 April 2012, have to work for two years to qualify for unfair dismissal.    However,  from June, this two year qualifying period will be removed where the dismissal is due to the employees political opinion or affiliation.   



Rhayader Free Legal Surgery - 6th June 2013

Our Mr Adrian Foulkes and Mr Liam Davies-Jones will both be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on Thursday 6th June 2013 between 11.00am and 12.30pm. For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921


Liam Davies-Jones LLB, Trainee Solicitor




The Government has confirmed that it has refused to regulate Will Writers which could place consumers and clients at a real risk. Will writers without the appropriate regulation do not have the following:-

1. A Code of Conduct or any professional governing body
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance
3. Appropriate training
4. To be clear on the level of costs to be charged; and
5. A complaints procedure.

A petition asking the government to reverse its decision has been put in place and can be accessed at the following link:-




Our Sian Mills was recently made Llanidloes' Deputy Mayor at a Ceremony held at Llanidloes Town Hall on Friday 10th May 2013, which our Adrian Foulkes also attended representing the Llanidloes & District Chamber of Trade.  Below is a photograph of Sian in her Robes outside the Town Hall during the Mayor's Sunday parade which took place on Sunday 12th May 2013





Our Mr Adrian Foulkes will be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on the 14th May 2013 between 11.00am and 12.30pm.  For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921




Facebook is a powerful form of social media which can have its advantages and disadvantages. Caution has to be exercised when posting photographs and messages. Employers cannot be criticised for checking Facebook entries in respect of employees. If for example, an employee is absent from work on sick leave and messages/photographs have been posted showing the employee appears to be fit and healthy, such posting can be used as evidence in an Employment Tribunal, in the event of there being a dispute. There is no right of privacy in this type of situation.



If unsolicited electronic marketing (e.g. e-mail or text) is undertaken, whoever is responsible for such messaging can be fined. The reason for this is that under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, there is a prohibition against sending messages without the recipient’s consent. Also, the sender has to identify itself. This law has been a long time coming and the Information Commissioner has powers to enforce the 2003 Regulations.



The Agricultural Wages Board could be abolished from October 2013. If this happens, employees will still be protected under the Minimum Wage and the Working Time Regulations together with discrimination laws. We shall keep you posted. 



Changes to the system were introduced on 10 December 2012.  New applicants for child support who have four or more children with the same non resident parent are able to enter the new scheme. Further changes are in the pipeline to include families where there are two children, the intention to, eventually include all new cases.  If you think you are affected by the changes and seek clarification on any matters, please contact us.





Our Mr William Ransford will be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on the 4th April 2013 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921




Congratulations to Ali Smith for being placed first Yorkshire Building Society in our Easter Card-Making Competition. She was last week presented her Easter Egg and cup by our Alison Brown and Julie Evans Well done Ali!




Even though the weather may be inclement, now is the time to put your house in order (or more particularly, your holiday letting property).  Owners of properties which are let for holidays may assume that, on death, they will be able to claim business property relief from inheritance tax.  However, beware!  It has recently been decided that holiday lets are held as an investment and in consequence, do not qualify for business property relief.  The only way an owner can claim inheritance tax relief is if it can be proved that the service element being offered is substantial.  Even if cleaning, heating, hot water, television and a welcome pack were offered to holiday makers, this is not sufficient for the “services” element to outweigh the “investment” reason for the let, for the reason that such services are considered to be “relatively standard”.


As we still appear to be in the throes of winter, we thought it may be useful to include some guidance regarding a landlord’s duty where rented premises include an open fire or wood-burning stove.  As a stove and chimney are part of the structure of the property, a Landlord is obliged to keep them in good repair.  For any fuel-burning appliance installed post October 2010, it has to comply with Building Regulations.  Furthermore, a carbon monoxide detector has to be installed which must be kept in good condition.  The position pre October 2010 is that although there are no specific regulations, a landlord is still under a general duty to ensure that they are safe.


This was something we hoped could have waited until next winter but alas not!  With the ongoing snow and icy conditions, we see no harm in reminding owners and occupiers of commercial premises that are open to the public of their obligation to take reasonable steps to ensure that visitors are kept reasonably safe when visiting their premises.  There is no defence to say that as snow and ice is a natural occurrence, there is no responsibility.  As all premises differ, what constitutes reasonable steps will vary from case to case.  The longer snow and ice is left untreated, the greater the risk will be for liability.  Therefore, if premises cannot be made reasonably safe by taking some positive action a decision may need to be made to discourage visitors.





Congratulations to Sam Fine for being placed third in Yorkshire Building Society’s Easter Card-Making Competition.

Well done Sam!




It may not be the most romantic of gestures, however, it may not be a bad idea (for all sorts of reasons) to enter into a pre-nuptial agreement before getting hitched.  In certain situations, there may be compelling reasons for considering entering into such an agreement e.g. where there are children of previous relationships, second and subsequent marriages, or to protect inherited or otherwise accumulated wealth.  With changes in society and general attitudes, people are increasingly becoming more pragmatic and less romantic when considering marriage and there is no reason why a contract cannot be entered into aimed at regularising what is to happen in the event of the relationship ending.  

If you are thinking about drawing one up, we would advise you to take legal advice aimed at making an agreement that lays out how you and your partner would divide things fairly. To be legally enforceable in the UK, such an agreement has to be carefully thought through and properly drawn up, following certain procedures.


A pre-nuptial agreement is not the only form of contract we would like to draw your attention to.  If, for example, you are a farmer and you decide to hire out machinery and equipment, we would advise you to enter into a formal written hire agreement setting out the terms and conditions of the hiring arrangement.  Do not leave it to chance as this could prove to be an expensive experience – what if a tractor is hired out but is not returned by a certain date? Who is responsible for insuring the tractor’s (and operator’s) use? What payment is to be made and at what frequency?  These are just some examples of issues which arise and need to be addressed.  For further advice, we are happy to assist.


With spring just around the corner, you may be in the mood for putting those green fingers to good use!  If you were wondering whether Planning Permission or Building Regulation approval is required for sheds and greenhouses, so long as they: Do not cover more than half of the garden area (not including the area occupied by the house); contain no sleeping accommodation; the floor area does not exceed 15 square metres; no point is less than one metre from a boundary; it is not more than three metres high (for a flat roof) or four metre with a ridged roof; no part projects beyond any wall of the house that faces a road; and the outbuilding is for use only by those who occupy the house then they do not require permission/approval.



Our Mr William Ransford will be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on the 13th February 2013 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921




If a person dies and is still involved (even if it is to a lesser extent than was previously the case) in, for example, a farming or indeed another business activity, when registering the death, care has to be taken to ensure that the deceased is not recorded on the death certificate as being retired.  The word “retired” could prove to be a costly one from an inheritance tax point of view as tax reliefs may be lost with inheritance tax becoming payable.


Beware of the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953!  Under this Act, any owner of a dog or the person in charge of the animal is liable under the Act if the dog worries livestock on agricultural land.  Livestock is defined as including sheep, cattle, horses, goats, pigs and poultry.   A farmer is entitled to protect livestock that belongs to him, or is on land which belongs to him or where he acts under an express or implied authority of a third party

If you decide to take your dog for a walk near livestock, you need to ensure that your animal is kept on a short lead and under your control. 

All existing buildings have a defined use under planning laws, that is, a house, a number of flats, office, shop, factory etc.  If it is intended to change the use of a building from one type of usage to another, an application needs to be made for Planning Permission even if the intention is to sub-divide a building.  In addition, building regulations approval is required to ensure that the regulations applicable to the new use are met. If in doubt, contact us for advice.  


We have recently experienced a taste of poor weather (snow with a threat of floods).  Employees are not automatically entitled to be paid if the weather is so bad that it prevents them from getting to work.  Having said this, sometimes there may be a contractual entitlement to be paid.  It is always worth reviewing contracts of employment and checking the legal position.




Our Mr Mark Harvey will be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on the 9th January 2013 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921



Bear in mind that if, as an airline passenger, your flight is cancelled or delayed you may be entitled to compensation from the airline company.  It has recently been confirmed that a delay of three hours or more will (subject to some exceptions) give rise to a right to compensation.  The criteria on “delay” is whether the arrival time is delayed at the passenger’s “final destination”.  You have, under UK law, a right to make a claim for up to six years.

Continuing with the theme of holidays, you need to make sure that you have adequate insurance cover - although a typical travel insurance policy will not cover any claim which arises from being under the influence of drink or drugs or where there has been exposure to unnecessary risk.


Well, roots to be specific!  If there is tree root subsidence, a person who seeks to make a claim against, for example, a neighbour will need, to prove by way of expert evidence, that it was reasonably foreseeable that there would be damage to a specific property.  Liability turns on the risks involved and the steps which could have been taken to reduce the risk. A person defending a potential claim may be able to successfully argue that the only way of avoiding damage would be to remove all problem trees as pruning makes no difference but to require all offending trees goes against the principle of “social utility”.  Please contact us.


The New Year is a good time to focus on the important things in life. If you have young children, have you appointed a guardian to act in the event of your death?  This can easily be done by Will.  If a guardian is not appointed for your minor children then the decision as to who should care for your children will be made by the Courts.  Only those with “parental responsibility” can make the appointment.  Anyone can be appointed as guardian but it is crucial to give careful consideration to the identity of that person (or persons) taking into account the potential guardian’s:

•    Work commitments
•    Age and general health
•    Location
•    Relationship with the child or children
•    General family situation.

If you require further advice or any other matters, please feel free to contact us by telephoning on 01686 412166.



Our office will be closed for the Christmas Holidays from 12 noon on Christmas Eve until 9.00am on 2nd January 2013.






An employee can take one or two weeks of Ordinary Paternity Leave and up to 26 weeks Additional Paternity Leave, if the child’s mother has returned to work.   Please note that Ordinary Paternity Leave must start and end within 56 days of birth.

If you have any further queries on this or any other employment issues, please contact William Ransford


You need to be aware that manorial rights will cease to be overidding interests on 12 October 2013.  In addition, the deadline for registering and protecting chancel repair rights is also the same date. 

At the moment, manorial rights bind purchasers, whether the property is registered with the Land Registry or not.  From October 2013, this will change and anyone who thinks that they are entitled to any such rights should take steps to register now with the Land Registry. 

With chancel repair, it is important for parochial church councils to protect such rights before the deadline.  Failure to do so will mean that any future purchaser who pays “valuable consideration” for a property will take it free of the chancel repair liability.  In the meantime, until such a transfer takes place, the chancel repair remains in force and is still capable of being protected by registration.  For the sake of avoiding uncertainty, we would urge you to take advice on registration sooner rather than later, if this is an issue which affects you.


Where steps are taken to replace glazing in windows and doors, although planning permission is usually not required as this is regarded as “permitted development”, it will be necessary to ensure that building regulations approval or a FENSA Certificate is issued.  So many problems can arise when the time comes to sell a property if this is not properly dealt with.  Also, the situation may be a bit more complex if a property is Listed or is situated within a conservation area. For further advice, contact us.




Our Mrs Angela Davies-Jones will be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on the 12th December 2012 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921



Angela Davies-Jones was a panel member at the POLICY FORUM FOR WALES KEY NOTE SEMINAR: "The way forward for sustainability in Wales"on 22nd November 2012 at The Marriot Hotel, Cardiff when she gave a presentation expressing her view as to whether the Sustainable Development Bill should include a legal definition of the term “Sustainable Development”.  The transcript of her speech can be read on the "RESOURCES" page of our website or by clicking the "Resources" link below:-






As from October 2012, wide ranging work-based pension reforms have been phased in.  The employers who are currently affected are those with 250 or more employees.  Employers with 50-249 employees will have to implement the changes between April 2014 and April 2015 with smaller businesses – employing less than 49 members of staff expected to be brought into process between June 2015 and April 2017.

The reforms require employers to automatically enrol employees into pension schemes.  If there is no existing staff pension scheme, employers are required to either set up an appropriate “qualifying scheme” or find one in the market place.  Employers are responsible for enrolling employees into the chosen scheme(s) and for collecting and paying over contributions.


This can be a difficult issue to tackle and all too often, problems can arise with delay.  The sooner consideration can be given regarding the future of a farming business from a succession point of view, the better.  Sometimes uncomfortable decisions have to be made involving family members.  You should not be put off by the fear of incurring legal costs.  To do nothing is, in our experience, not really an option.  For expert advice on how to address various issues including the transfer of land, property and other business assets along with other matters such as Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorneys, contact us.


Where there is an attached or integral garage for residential properties, planning permission is not usually required unless there is a change of use.  The reason for this is because the garage and living accommodation are both ancillary to the residential use of the property.  However, you may need to check whether any specific planning conditions are in place which prevents such a change.  Always check planning documents before embarking upon any change!   Further buildings regulation approval will need to be obtained.  If you are thinking of selling your property and you are unsure about any change which may already have been made to your property, to avoid any delay and unnecessary costs, check the position at the earliest opportunity.

If you require any further information regarding any of the above, we shall be pleased to assist and would invite you to contact us.



Our Mr Mark Harvey will be attending a free legal surgery at the offices of Rhayader & District Community Support, The Arches, West Street, Rhayader, Powys LD6 5AB on the 14th November 2012 between 10.30am and 12.30pm.  For a free appointment contact us or alternatively contact Alison Thomas (Transport & Wellbeing Coordinator) on 01597 810921



Angela Davies-Jones today (10th October 2012) gave a talk to the Friendship Group at the Weslyan Chapel, Longbridge Street, Llanidloes.  She discussed Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorneys and Long Term Care.

If you have a group which would be interested in having a presentation by this firm then please contact us.



Land Registry provides top tips to help owners protect their property from fraudsters

Property is usually the most valuable asset people own. It can be sold and mortgaged to raise money and is therefore an attractive target for fraudsters. The properties most vulnerable to fraud are usually empty, tenanted or mortgage-free. Individuals at a higher risk of fraud include owners who are absent for whatever reason; for example because the owner may live abroad, buy to let landlords, the elderly not living in their properties because they may be in long term hospital or residential care, and where a relationship has broken down.

Land Registry’s top tips to help owners protect their property from fraudsters are:

First of all make sure the property is registered. If the owner becomes an innocent victim of fraud and suffers a financial loss as a consequence, they will be compensated. Once registered make sure the contact details are up-to-date.  You can have up to three addresses on the register; email addresses or an address abroad can be used. The more information provided, the more chance the land registry has of contacting the owner if needed.

Owners who feel their property might be at risk can have a restriction entered on their property which is designed to help prevent forgery by requiring a solicitor or conveyancer to certify they are satisfied that the person selling or mortgaging the property is the true owner.  There is no Land Registry fee for home owners to register this restriction, as long as they do not live in the property they wish to protect. Owner occupiers will continue to pay.




It would appear that the “take up” on the Powys “Lend a Hand Scheme” is making slow progress.   To qualify, you need to contact Lloyds TSB Bank PLC who will be able to provide further information.  As there is a cap on funding, anyone thinking about buying a property for the first time, who may interested in the scheme should contact their nearest Branch for information in order to get the ball rolling.  If you require any further details regarding this scheme, we would welcome your enquiries.


From 1st October 2012, the National Minimum Wage hourly rates have increased and are as follows:-

?    Employees aged 21 and over - £6.19
?    Employees aged 18 – 20 - £4.98
?    Employees aged 16 – 17 - £3.68
?   Apprentice rate (for a apprentices under 19 or 19 or over and in the first year of apprenticeship) - £2.65

Please note that for anyone of compulsory school age, the National Minimum Wage rates do not apply.


Also, from 1st October 2012, it will be an offence clamp or tow on private land under the Protection of Freedom Act 2012.  This only applies to private land.  Public Authorities will still be able to clamp or tow vehicles on their land.  However, if you find someone has parked on your drive without your consent, your only course of action will be to seek a Court Order for trespass.


Owing to an erosion in the eligibility of criminal legal aid, a criminal legal insurance policy has been devised, providing cover for the financial shortfall in contributions to criminal defence costs.   Further information regarding the scheme can be obtained by following the link below:-


If you require any further information regarding any of the above, we shall be pleased to assist and would invite you to contact us.


Angela Davies-Jones will be giving a talk about Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorneys and Long Term Care to the Friendship Club at the Methodist Church, Longbridge Street, Llanidloes on 10th October 2012 at 2pm



Solicitors for the Elderly Call For Urgent Regulation of Will Writing.

Solicitors for the Elderly fears thousands of people are putting themselves at risk of being cheated by unscrupulous salesmen who offer to write their wills but who are not adequately qualified, trained or insured.

Last month the UK’s Legal Ombudsman highlighted dangers of using Will writing companies to Make Wills. This week The One Show also called for Will writing to be regulated to protect the public. A recent survey showed that 67% of consumers wrongly believe that all Will writers are solicitors and 82% of the 1,000 people polled thoughts that training and qualifications are required before someone can become a Will writer. In fact anyone can write a Will for payment.

David Sinclair, a Director of Solicitors for the Elderly said, “Will writers need no training and they aren’t regulated so if you choose a Will writing company to do your Will you are taking a huge risk. I have heard horror stories of clients who have used Will writers and then paid the price.” “It can be very costly to sort out after you have gone, leaving your family to pick up the pieces as problems generally only come to light when you have died.

Many people make Wills when they enter their senior years and are targeted by Will-writing companies who often apply high-pressure selling techniques, offering wills for a low or discounted fee, then recommend themselves to be appointed as executors, selling other services without full advice, such as transferring the home into a trust in an attempt to avoid care fees. Terms and conditions can be poorly worded and difficult to understand.

Will writers often claim they are significantly cheaper than solicitors but recent research carried out by Which? Magazine found on average the price of a Will from a Solicitor is £130 and from a Will writer is £107. Professionals, such as solicitors and legal executives are regulated, have relevant qualifications, undergo continual training, must be insured and provide redress if things were to go wrong. Given the protection you get by making a Will with a regulated professional the small difference in price is well worth it.

David went on to say, “We need new regulations to help protect the consumer, particularly older and vulnerable people. I recommend using a local member of Solicitors for the Elderly which you can find by calling 0844 567 6173 or via www.solicitorsfortheelderly.com




Being able to obtain Mortgages which only require a 5% deposit and with preferential terms, has been very difficult for First Time Buyers over the last few years.  We are therefore pleased to confirm that Lloyds TSB Bank plc and Powys County Council have joined forces to establish the new 'Local Lend a Hand Scheme' which was launched on 14th August 2012. This scheme enables First Time Buyers to only provide a 5% deposit (subject to fulfilling normal lending requirements) and Powys County Council will then guarantee or indemnify the balance of the deposit.  Lloyds TSB are the only mortgage company running the scheme details of which can be seen on the following link:-


Please note that it is a requirement that a First Time Buyer must apply for the scheme in person - so they must make an appointment at their nearest Lloyds TSB branch. Funding is given on a 'first come, first served' basis and it is only available for as long as local authority allocated funding lasts. The allocation by Powys County Council £1,000,000.00 and Powys County Council have stipulated that they will only consider loans up to a maximum of £175,000.00.  The property must also be within a postcode that is entirely within the borders of Powys.

If you need any free assistance or need further details about the scheme, then please do not hesitate to contact our Adrian Foulkes by telephone on 01686 412166 alternatively, you can e-mail him on adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk


We are very pleased to announce that we have recently become members of Solicitors for the Elderly after passing a rigorous application.

Solicitors for the Elderly is an independent, national organisation of lawyers, such as solicitors, barristers, and legal executives who provide specialist legal advice for older and vulnerable people, their families and carers.

The main areas of law members cover are:

•    Estate and tax planning using wills, trusts and lifetime giving
•    Powers of attorney and Court of Protection work
•    Probate and the administration of estates
•    Trusts administration
•    Living Wills
•    Information on home care
•    Preserving assets in the event of long term residential or nursing care
•    Care home contracts
•    Advice on financial responsibility and funding criteria for long term care
•    State benefits
•    Home equity release plans
•    Mental Health legislation
•    Elder abuse
•    Mediation
•    Deprivation of Liberty

We are very happy to meet with you at home or at some other suitable venue and at a time convenient to you should you wish to discuss any of the above matters.




Now that we have had a bit of sunshine, you may be considering installing solar panels.  Fixing solar panels to the roof of your house is likely to be regarded as “permitted development” under planning law with no need to apply for planning permission.  Sometimes, however, the position is not straight forward.  If you lease premises, you may need to get permission from your Landlord, the owner of the building or Management Company; if you have a mortgage you will need to obtain the permission of your lender (see below). 

If your property is within a Conservation Area, you will need to have planning consent.  If it is a Listed Building you will also need to obtain Listed Buildings Consent which will only be granted if the panels are inconspicuous or are mounted on an adjacent unlisted building or structure.  On any other building, panels should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise:-

•    The effect on the appearance of the building;
•    The effect on the amenity of the area.

Building regulations will normally apply not only to the installation of the panel but also to the electrical installation.  You will also need to check the ability of the existing roof to carry the weight of the panel.  Some strengthening work may even be needed.

Many utility companies require a 25 year lease of the home owner’s roof space to install solar panels.  Great care needs to be taken if you intend to enter into such an arrangement:  The terms of the lease need to be carefully considered and if you have a mortgage, not only does the lease have to be satisfactory to yourself but also to your mortgage company who will need to consent you entering into the lease.  This is a complex area of law. Therefore, please contact us for specialist advice.  


We are experienced in dealing with accident claims and are happy to provide you an initial review following an accident to ensure that you are not faced with unnecessary legal costs.  We regularly liaise with medical experts, insurers and/or their legal representatives.  Contact us to ensure a stress free and successful conclusion to your claim.



Angela Davies-Jones has been invited to speak on a panel at the "Policy Forum for Wales keynote seminar: The way forward for sustainability in Wales" at a central Cardiff location on Thursday 22nd November 2012.  Further details will be posted when they become available.



Alison Brown, our receptionist, is busy supporting her husband, Kevin Brown, Procurement Manager at Randall Parker Foods who is in training to row across the English Channel in support of the AHOY Centre Charity who mainly work with disadvantaged and disabled children.  The event takes place on 20 October 2012, leaving Dover at 6.30am, weather permitting.  Kevin is part of a team of 7 in his boat, of which there are 4 boats in total.  Kevin's boat is sponsored mainly by Randall Parker Foods.   Watch out for his team "Lamb Lubbers".  If you would like to donate, please view the following website:-






We have recently become members of Certainty.  This is the electronic National Wills Register, which provides a Will registration and Will search service.  We consider it important, not only to make a Will but to ensure that it can be found after death.  This ensures that assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the last Will made instead of under intestacy rules which may not necessarily be the way you would have wished.  To find out more, please contact us.


Japanese Knotweed was introduced to Britain as an ornamental plant in the nineteenth century.  However, do not be taken in by its appearance – the plant has spread to such an extent that it has become a real nuisance.  If you have Knotweed at your property, beware as it may cause a legal nuisance which could give rise to problems.  A landowner is obliged to control the plant to prevent further spreading and liability.  For legal advice, please contact us or see the link below for further guidance:   



With the level of rainfall experienced recently with little hope of dry weather on the horizon, now may be a good time for you to check whether your property is at risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.   If you have not already done so, check whether your property is within a flood plain.  This can be done by looking at the Environment Agency’s Flood Map which can be done through this link: http://maps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/wiybyController.  Anyone can have access to the same information that is available to insurance companies and if you are finding it difficult to get or renew insurance, you need to be aware at the first available opportunity and to take specialist advice.






Homeowners have until the end of June 2012 to complete and return a form to register their septic tank or cesspit with the Environment Agency.  The registration process is free and can be done on line by going to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/sewagedischarge or by telephoning 03708 506506.



Where employment commenced on or after 6th April, the qualifying period for unfair dismissal increased from one to two years with the maximum award costs increasing from £10,000 to £20,000. 

If it is considered that your claim or any part of it has “little reasonable prospect of success” an applicant can be ordered at a pre-hearing review before the Employment Tribunal to pay a deposit of £1,000, an increase of £500 from 6th April.

Employers beware – you may need to review your policies and procedures.  

Whatever your concerns, we are here to help – contact William Ransford at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk or telephone 01686 412166 with your queries.


The Welsh Government has outlined changes designed to tackle homelessness by providing more housing and improving conditions in private rented homes.  Under its proposals, Landlords and agents will be expected to sign a compulsory register and pass a “fit and proper person” test in order to be able to rent a home. 

The proposals include a pledge to deal with empty properties by giving Councils the ability to increase Council Tax on properties which are empty for longer than a year.

We shall endeavour to provide updates on this important development as and when they become available


We have been closely liaising with Powys County Council in an attempt bringing you news of any developments.  There has been some delay owing to political changes following the recent elections.  We expect the scheme to be launched in the very near future.  Watch this space!




16 May 2012


The Law Society and HSBC have announced an agreement whereby HSBC will amend its conveyancing approach to enable all Solicitors accredited with the Law Society's Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) home-buying quality mark to act for HSBC as well as its mortgage customers.

This firm is CQS accredited and will be able to act for HSBC as well as clients which was the case previously.

This decision ensures a much wider choice of Solicitor with high professional standards as recognised in the CQS scheme.

We would welcome any queries you may have regarding this development.





At this time of year we often act in the sale of property – residential, commercial and agricultural by public auction.  
Some of the advantages of an auction include:

•    The competitive bidding process, which makes an auction especially effective when selling an unusual or very desirable property, which may be difficult to put a price on.  

•    Certainty.  If successful, a definite sale is made with completion usually twenty eight days of the date of the auction.

•    The set date for the auction and the public way in which the property is sold helps to focus minds and in our experience, encourages potential buyers to act quickly.


We are finding that more and more people are facing uncertain futures, particularly with their job security and impact of financial strain.  Even if you have not been made redundant but fear that this may happen or are simply unhappy in your work, we are here to help.  You may need advice for:-

•    Redundancy
•    Unfair or constructive dismissal
•    Maternity and paternity rights
•    Discrimination and harassment
•    Breach of Contract and Restrictive Covenants
•    Compromise Agreements
•    Representation at Tribunal and Court
•    Unlawful deduction of wages
•    Debt advice
•    Mortgage advice

We offer an initial free consultation of up to 30 minutes whether in person or by telephone at which time we can discuss your case and the funding options available to you.

For further advice or information, please feel free to contact us by e-mail (web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk), telephone (01686 412166), fax (01686 413580) or by calling into our office (Mid Wales House, Great Oak Street, Llanidloes, Powys SY18 6BN) when our helpful team will be pleased to assist.



Our Adrian Foulkes managed to complete his half marathon run at Reading on 1 April 2012, achieving a respectable time of 1 hour 31 minutes 25 seconds.  It was an enjoyable (but painful!) experience.  Many thanks to all those who sponsored his run, which was in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support.



Traditionally Easter is one of the high points in the housing market calendar. Recent changes in legislation and practice mean that the following points must be considered when buying or selling residential property.

Sewers & Drains

In October 2011 water utility companies were obliged to adopt sewers and lateral drains and they sent out explanatory leaflets advising householders of the effect of the adoption provisions at that time. However, most utility companies do not have a clear database showing exactly what sewers and drains have now become adopted. It is entirely possible, therefore, that some conservatories, garages, car ports and other buildings may currently be constructed over an adopted sewer or drain by virtue of this legislation. This will inevitably cause problems upon a later sale of the property. If you feel that your property may be affected by this change of circumstance then please contact us.

Septic Tanks

New regulations came into force at the end of 2011 which require owners of septic tanks and waste disposal plants to register with the Environment Agency. If this provision affects your property then you should arrange to do so as quickly as possible - the reason being that more and more purchasers’ solicitors are insisting upon seeing a registration certificate for a septic tank before advising their clients to proceed with the purchase. Registration is quite straightforward by going online to the Environment Agency’s website.

Solar Panels

Many householders have been approached by companies offering to install solar panels on the roof. Normally such arrangements involve the solar panel company leasing the roof usually for a period of around 25 years. What a lot of householders do not realise is that such an arrangement constitutes a Business Tenancy under the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 (Part II) and could give rise to unwelcome consequences. We have already been made aware of one case where the sale of a property fell through because one of the high street lenders would not accept a house with a business tenancy on its roof. Contact us if you need to discuss any issues to do with solar panels.


Finally, please visit our new Facebook page for information of a more informal nature.  If you “LIKE” it, then click please click the link!




Mortgage Indemnity Scheme for New Builds in England

To find out more information about the New Builds Scheme which relates to new build properties in England, please see the following link:-


Powys County Council Local Authority Mortgage Scheme

We have recently heard from Powys County Council that the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme which could assist many first time buyers purchasing properties in Policy will no longer commence in April. It has now been put back until after the May local elections. If you are interested in the scheme, you can register that interest with Elaine Jones at Powys County Council at Elaine.jones@powys.gov.uk

We will keep you informed of any other developments in relation to the scheme and if you have any questions please contact Adrian Foulkes at adrian@mjjsolicitors.co.uk

New Build Scheme (England)

The Government`s announcement to assist people in England to climb onto or up the housing ladder is a welcome boost to the housing market and the construction industry. The NewBuy scheme is available on houses and flats up to a maximum value of £500,000 in England only. It will enable banks or building societies to lend up to 95% of the sale price which means that purchasers may only need to provide a deposit of 5%. 



IMPORTANT REMINDER: First-Time Buyers' Stamp Duty Concession to end

First-time buyers will no longer be able to receive an exemption from paying stamp duty from 24 March 2012.  At present, first-time buyers are free from paying stamp duty on properties costing below £250,000. This is an important change.  If you wish to take advantage of this exemption it is not too late but you do need to act fast.  Please feel free to pass on this information and to contact us if you require any more advice.


Powys County Council Local Authority Mortgage Scheme

Since providing information regarding this scheme, we have received a number of enquiries from potentially interested clients and others.  We are keeping a close eye on developments. Recent indications received by us from Powys County Council are to the effect that full details of the qualifying criteria in respect of this scheme will hopefully be published in the next month or so, with a view to the scheme being introduced in April 2012. We shall keep you informed of any developments as and when they filter through.

Are you thinking of buying a property with your partner?

To avoid any future potential problems on separation, it is wise to consider certain important issues.   To avoid conflict further down the line, take advice from your conveyancing Solicitor about the different ways you can own your property and in particular, whether you wish to own the same on a 50/50 basis.  The transfer document will need to record how you own the property and in what shares.  You may also wish to draw up a Cohabitation Agreement, setting out what should happen to any other assets, debts and income in the event of your separation.  

We are experienced in advising clients in this area of law and if you need anymore advice, we would invite you to contact us.

What is a Notary Public and how can we help you?

Along with Barristers and Solicitors, Notaries Public form the third and oldest branch of the legal profession in this country.  In simple terms a Notary Public is qualified to witness or certify documents that have often been prepared abroad so that those documents can take legal effect in the country in which they were prepared.  For example, a Notary Public may witness a signature to a Power of Attorney that has been prepared in Spain, so that the document in question can be used in order to buy or sell a Spanish property.  Other examples of notarial services include the authentication of academic qualifications obtained in this country for use overseas and the witnessing and certifying of court documents for use in overseas proceedings, including the adoption of foreign children.

For further information concerning notarial services, please email William Ransford who is a Notary Public and Solicitor at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk  or telephone 01686 412166.

Please note that for the purposes of his notarial practice, William Ransford operates independently of Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins Limited.



Adrian Foulkes will be running the Reading Half Marathon on 1 April 2012 in support of the MacMillan Cancer Support charity.  Donations to this worthy cause are very welcome and can be made by clicking the below link



Please see the attached important notice regarding developments with HSBC Bank PLC

Click Here



As more and more people move away from high street shopping to do online shopping, it is always good to be aware that internet sellers can be based anywhere in the world.  Do not assume that just because a web address includes reference to "UK" that the business is based in the UK.  If you deal with a trader from the European Union, you have many of the same rights as you would for a business from the UK.  It could, however, be problematical to enforce your consumer rights  if a business is based elsewhere in the world.


You may have come accross this issue in the media.  We would advise all women with PIP implants to seek medical advice as soon as possible, unless they have already done so.  If you are unsure about your rights and need to take legal advice, contact us



What happens if you die without a Will?

Without a valid Will, the rules of intestacy determine how the property (called the “Estate”) of the the deceased will be shared out.  Unfortunately, this may not accord with their wishes.  Only spouses or civil partners and some other close relatives can inherit under the rules of intestacy which were established under the Administration of Estates Act 1925.  If you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you cannot inherit under the rules of intestacy.

Many people believe that if they die leaving a husband or wife still living, that person will inherit the whole of the deceased’s Estate.  However, under the intestacy rules, if there are surviving children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of the deceased and the value of the Estate is more than £250,000.00, the surviving partner will only inherit all the personal property and belongings of the deceased, the first £250,000.00 of the Estate and a life interest in half of the remaining Estate.  This could mean that a substantial part of the Estate would be tied up in inconvenient and expensive statutory trusts set up under the rules of intestacy.  “Common law” husbands and wives will receive nothing unless they are able to apply to court for financial provision from the Estate.  This can create unnecessary delay, expense and worry.
There is a strict “pecking order” under the 1925 Act for deciding who gets what.  Such rules belong to a different era and are arguably inconsistent with today’s modern family life.

Making a Will is therefore essential as failure to do so leaves too much to chance and risks considerable disappointment on the part of some family members.

We do not charge clients for storing Wills and other documents in our safe system unlike Banks and some other solicitors.

Please feel free to contact us if there are matters arising that are personal to you for which you would like to receive further legal advice.

Powys County Council Local Authority Mortgage Scheme

Powys County Council have yet to publish their qualifying criteria required for taking advantage of the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme.  The scheme is intended to assist first-time buyers entering the housing market.  The Scheme will enable the Council to provide a cash-backed indemnity of up to 20% of the purchase price of a residential property.  Qualifying buyers may therefore only need to provide a 5% deposit coupled with a 75% mortgage.  We shall keep you informed of developments as they have filter through



Yorkshire Building Society have announced that from the 27th January 2012, a Charity of the Year campaign will be held throughout 2012. The charity partner for the year will be the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). Further details are available by linking to the YBS website.


On 23rd January 2012 our Yorkshire Building Society agency staff presented cheques each of £100.00 to ten local charities and organisations for Yorkshire Building Society's make a difference week project.




The charities and organisations who benefited included the following:-


Llanidloes St Idloes mother and toddler group

Maesyrhandir School, Newtown

Owainglyndwr Centre, Machynlleth

Llanidloes pensioners lub

Llanidloes Friendship Club

Dial-a-Ride, Llanidloes

Celf o gwmpas, children with learning difficulties, Llandrindod Wells

Llanidloes energy solutions

First Responders, Llanidloes

Llanidloes Leg club





County Times Editorial - 19 January 2012

Providing you have been married for at least 1 year and are certain that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, divorce proceedings can be taken if one of the following can be established against your spouse: 

Adultery; “Unreasonable behaviour”; Desertion for at least 2 years; 2 years separation with consent; 5 years separation

Although the process is relatively straightforward making it tempting to deal with it yourself, advice needs to be taken from an experience divorce lawyer who will guide you through the process thereby minimising stress and upset, ensuring your rights are fully protected

Angela Davies-Jones LLB LLM (Member of Resolution).




20 JANUARY 2012

First-Time Buyers' Stamp Duty Concession to end

From 24 March 2012, first-time buyers will no longer be able to receive an exemption from paying stamp duty. At present, first-time buyers are free from paying stamp duty on properties costing under £250,000. This is an important change - please feel free to pass on this information. If you need to know any more about this issue, we are happy to advise.





FAMILY LAW – New Year, New Resolutions

Did you know that couples who cohabit have significantly fewer rights and responsibilities than people who are married or who have formed a civil partnership? There is no such thing as a "common law husband and wife" who have the same rights as married couples once they have lived together for a few years.

There are steps you can take to protect yourself and your partner to minimise the financial and legal problems which may arise if one of you dies or you decide to separate if you are living together as a couple.

Even if you have little to leave, it is important to make a will as, without one, your property and assets will not pass to your partner but will pass automatically to your blood relatives.

You should also consider making an agreement regarding the terms of your cohabitation which may make it easier for any possible separation to be amicably dealt with.

If you are an unmarried father or a step-parent, you may need to check whether you have parental responsibility for your children.

If you decide to buy a home together you need to carefully consider how you wish to own it or, if you rent, whose name is or should be on the tenancy agreement.

Another area which is sometimes overlooked is pensions. Check the rules of your pension scheme to see whether your unmarried partner will receive any of your pension. It may be that you need to nominate your partner to make sure that this happens.

If any of these important issues relate to you or a family member, why not make it your new years resolution to deal with them?  If you wish to know more, we are happy to assist.




16 DECEMBER 2011 

First-Time Buyers Mortgage Scheme in Powys

Powys County Council has introduced the Local Authority Mortgage Scheme which is intended to assist first-time buyers entering the housing market.  The Scheme enables the Council to provide a cash-backed indemnity of up to 20% of the purchase price of a residential property.  Qualifying buyers may therefore only need to provide a 5% deposit coupled with a 75% mortgage.  

The qualifying criteria have yet to be published by the Council. When these are available we will inform you.


If you, or someone you know, is interested in this Scheme, please contact us:

E-mail web@mjjsolicitors.co.uk or telephone 01686 412166


The following brief notes are by way of an update relating to employment matters which are of interest for both employers and employees

Qualification period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim

From 1st April 2012 the qualification period for bringing an unfair dismissal claim will be extended from one year to two years.  It is, however, expected that there could be challenges to this change. We will monitor the progress of this legislation. 

Claiming holiday entitlements when on long term sick leave

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has recently held in the case of Fraser v Southwest London St George’s Mental Heath Trust that an employee on long term sick leave must request annual leave during the year in question in order to be paid for it.  The request must be made by notice in accordance with regulation 15 of the Working Time Regulations 1998

Flexible working statistics

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, following a Freedom of Information Act request concerning the number of claims in the Employment Tribunal relating to employees right to request flexible working, have suggested that (from the figures collected) the fears expressed about the impact of extending the right to request flexible working hours are grossly exaggerated (clarkslegal.com).  They do not agree that an extension of the law to all employees would lead to an avalanche of requests from employees.  The Institute believe that this is the case because most employers already recognise that flexible working arrangements are a vital part of the modern work place.

Christmas bonuses

Whether or not an employer decides if an employee qualifies for a Christmas bonus is at the employer’s discretion.  It would be good practice for an employer, where problems are likely to arise, to implement a policy regarding the specific requirements that employees must satisfy in order to qualify for a Christmas bonus.


If you have any queries concerning Employment issues then please e-mail Mr William Ransford at william@mjjsolicitors.co.uk or telephone 01686 412166



Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins
Llanidloes Office
Mid Wales House
Great Oak Street
SY18 6BN

T: 01686 412 166
F: 01686 413 580

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins
Rhayader Office
Glan Wye House
West Street

T: 01597 810 533

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins
Machynlleth Office
2 Heol Maengwyn,
SY20 8AE

T: 01654 554000

See Map

  • Testimonials

Milwyn Jenkins & Jenkins have handled various transactions for me for over 35 years. Indeed, the firm also acted for my late father since the 1950s. I have always found the service to be excellent and second to none.

Garth Williams, formerly of Dolhafren, Caersws