About this blog

Accessible legal tips, know-how and news for anyone with a complaint or legal issue from Stephen Gold, author of The Return of Breaking Law, the book

Friday, 15 October 2021

Law Watch (episode 4): How to avoid being caught on a home buy or sell

This episode looks at buying and selling your home. I discuss how to cope with problems like GAZUMPING, GAZUNDERING, LIARS and TIME WASTERS. Click the picture below to start watching on YouTube.

sold sign for law watch episode 4

Thursday, 14 October 2021



There is huge backlog of home repossession cases waiting to be heard in the county court. This results from the succession of halts to the cases during the pandemic. As a temporary measure, a review procedure of most cases was introduced when cases started to be dealt with again at which the prospect of an agreement between the parties was to be investigated. Where there was no agreement and the parties were not agreeable to attempt reaching an agreement through mediation, a final hearing was to be fixed.

But the review procedure has been a disappointment. Too few cases have settled. The Master of the Rolls, who is the head of civil justice in England and Wales, has decreed that a review hearing should no longer be standard practice. Similarly, a triage hearing before any final hearing should generally no longer take place. This will be reflected in amended procedural rules which can be expected in the near future. But if local courts want to continue with these interim hearings they will be at liberty to do so. I fancy, however, that there will be little appetite for them unless the case is being defended on genuine and substantial grounds.

The changes will mean earlier final hearing dates for landlord and tenant as well as mortgage possession cases and will come as a relief to many landlords who have felt aggrieved at the long delays in them achieving what they claim is the justice they deserve,


Wednesday, 29 September 2021

HOURS LEFT TO AVOID COURT FEE RISES: and the big legal happenings on 01 Oct 2021


Do take a look at my latest free video in the Law Watch series and see how civil and family court fee increases can be avoided by starting proceedings before 30 September 2021. Yes, that is pretty close. 

And find out about new laws in on 01 October 2021 covering landlord and tenant, compulsory purchase compensation, domestic abuse and solicitors' guideline charging rates.


Wednesday, 22 September 2021

COHABITEES DO HAVE RIGHTS: Free video explains: Do watch it: Another order!

There are some unmarried partners out there who are or were in a relationship which has broken down and are convinced that the law of England and Wales is dead against them. It is perfectly true that had they been married, their legal position would have been stronger. But they may well be able to use the existing law to their advantage.

I have reason to believe that watching my video could have helped YOU and that you have failed to do so.  You can rectify this serious default right now.

Monday, 20 September 2021

FINANCES AFTER DIVORCE: Watch free video - it's an order!


My spies tell me you may not have watched this video. If you are or might become involved in a financial dispute before, during or after divorce or civil partnership, then I urge you to do so.

Friday, 17 September 2021

TENANCY NOTICE PERIODS: in England, old periods are coming back with new forms


01 October 2021. A Friday. Remember it well. It is the day on which residential landlords in England will be screaming in ecstasy. Those temporary notice periods which were brought in to provide some respite for tenants being booted out during the pandemic for defaulting with their rent or other transgressions - at one time, six months' notice! - are coming to an end and the pre-pandemic notice periods are coming back. When? On 01 October 2021, of course. A Friday. I know you have already remembered that. So it's generally back to at least two months to 14 days' notice depending on the type of tenancy (and for much more on that, take a butchers at my latest book what I wrote 'The Return of Breaking Law'). 

Notices already served and proceedings already underway on the strength of them are unaffected. It is only notices that are given to tenants on or after 01 October 2021 - a Friday - that will be governed by the changes. Some landlords who have more recently given notice to their tenants for the longer temporary periods may well be tempted to withdraw those notices and serve fresh notices on or after 01 October 2021. They will need to get out their diaries and calculate whether they will be better off doing so.

So far, then, a boost for landlords. But a trap too. That's because the prescribed notice forms are changing to reflect the reintroduction of the original notice periods. A landlord who serves an old form on or after 01 October 2021- a Friday - does so at their peril.

The actual new regulations with the new forms are waiting for you at the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies) (Amendment and Suspension) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/994). The forms that change are form 3 for notices under section 8 of the Housing Act 1988, form 6A for notices under section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and the part 2 notice under section 83 of the Housing Act 1985 which was given a couple of injections of Botox so very recently (see https://www.breakinglaw.co.uk/2021/08/council-repossessions-in-england-new.html).

I almost forgot. The legislators' right to bring back the longer temporary periods is retained right up to 25 March 2022 just in case too many of you go into Waitrose without a face covering.

COMPULSORY PURCHASE: displacement compensation about to rise in England

There's nothing to beat a nice bit of development - unless you are being thrown out of your home to make way for it. Where you are out because of a compulsory purchase order or public redevelopment, one of the heads of compensation to which you are entitled is for the distress and inconvenience which displacement will cause. There are limits to that compensation which are reviewed annually. The limits are going up for England when you are thrown out on or after 01 October 2021.  You can bless and curse the Home Loss Payments (Prescribed Amounts) (England) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/841).

An owner-occupier can collect 10% of the market value of their property under this head of compensation. The minimum will be £7,100 which is an increase from £6,500 and a maximum of £71,000 which is an increase from £65,000. For a tenant, there is a flat rate which will be set at £7,100 and increases from £6,500.