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EPCs and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

…Landed estates and farming business that rent out property, either residential or commercial, must be aware that the regulations which govern Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are changing. From next year landlords will be unable to let properties that fall below the minimum energy efficiency rating on their EPC. Read more


Owning a share of the freehold

…Things to consider if you own a share of the freehold or are considering whether to purchase a share in the freehold. Read more


Protect your property from fraud

…Make sure you don't fall victim to fraudsters making claims on your property by using simple actions to stop fraudulent claims. Read more


Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards

…The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards will come into effect on 1 April 2018. This standard will be applicable for all properties that require an Energy Performance Certificate including lease properties. Read more


Future-Proofing Your Rural Business

…The vote in favour of Brexit will undoubtedly have significant implications for the UK’s rural and agricultural sector. Read more


Thinking of diversifying?  Be wary of the Inheritance Tax implications

…In this article, Brachers’ Partner Christopher Eriksson-Lee, examines the changes in the traditional farming operation, the associated loss of inheritance tax reliefs and the planning options available to modern farming families to save inheritance tax. Read more


Pushing the boundaries and easing the way

…The Property Boundaries (Resolution of Disputes) Bill 2015-16 is still before the House of Lords, having received its second reading on 11 September 2015. The Bill includes proposals which are aimed at providing an informal alternative to the Court and Tribunal determination of boundary disputes, by introducing the expert determination… Read more


Changes to SDLT from 1 April 2016 - how will they affect you?

…Following the announcement in the 2015 Autumn Statement that an additional surcharge of 3% in Stamp Duty Land Tax will apply to buy-to-let properties from 1 April 2016, further clarification has arisen as to the impact that this will have on prospective homeowners and investors. HM Treasury is consulting on… Read more


Farms and fire safety

…All businesses are subject to legislation designed to protect the safety of their employees. Much of the law in this area can be found in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and regulations made thereunder. Since October 2006 the rules regarding fire safety have been contained in the… Read more


Act fast to avoid higher stamp duty

…The Chancellor of the Exchequer has recently announced a further change to Stamp Duty Land Tax and has confirmed that the government will be introducing an additional surcharge of 3% for buy-to-let properties, holiday homes and ‘’pied-à-terres” which will be applicable from April 2016. Read more


Inheritance Tax Planning

…Solutions which offer inheritance tax relief. Read more. Agricultural Property Relief (APR) and Business Property Relief (BPR) are two of the main reliefs from Inheritance Tax (IHT) and allow the value of certain agricultural assets to be reduced by as much as 100% from an IHT calculation. Read more


Bet on land - prime location investment

…Prime location investment has been spectacularly profitable recently, yet even more spectacular have been the returns made on farm land. Read more


Women in farming - succession planning

…With increasing changes in the way family farms organise themselves and with pressures to diversify, more and more women today are actively involved in farming. Read more


Calling time on defaulting 1986 Act tenants - by forfeiture

…It is well known that bringing an end to a protected 1986 Act agricultural tenancy can be a complex and uncertain process. This article examines the option of forfeiture which is available to a landlord to determine such tenancies. Read more


From barn to bungalow

…From 6 April 2014 two new classes of permitted development have been added to the General Permitted Development Order which will provide the opportunity to change the use of existing retail and agricultural buildings into dwellings. Read more


Flooding - landowner’s overview

…The severity of the weather earlier this year has had huge implications for many farmers in the South East, and has forced the issue of flooding, and the ensuing damage, to the top of their priority list. It has been reported that UK insurers will pay out £1.1bn in flood… Read more


Spotlight on Maidstone’s growth and economic development

…As the county town of Kent, Maidstone has always been economically important to the region, and we can testify to the renewed development in the town in the last few years. Today, 70% of our firm’s work comes from the county. We have operated in the county for over a… Read more


Solar panels - could they stop you selling or mortgaging your house?

…We are all aware of the environmental benefits of renewable energy and in particular solar panels. In recent years, solar panels have become a popular choice with home owners wanting to make their home “greener” and also save themselves some money – a priority in these financially difficult times. However,… Read more