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Three questions every business should ask before signing a commercial lease

Signing a commercial lease is often the first big financial commitment that a business makes. It is a legally binding contractual agreement between a business tenant and a landlord, which gives the tenant the right to use the property for business operations. In return for this, the tenant pays a fee and agrees to comply with certain other obligations. There are many different types of commercial leases and each come with their own costs and responsibilities. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to commercial leases, and each business should negotiate an agreement that best matches their business model. Before any business signs a lease agreement, they should make sure that they’ve asked the following three questions: How long do I need to pay the lease for? You must continue to pay your monthly lease agreement until the contract is ended….

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Sweeney Miller Law advises new ethical venture set to open its doors on Jesmond Road

The eco-conscious initiative started when founder Lauren Wedderburn and her partner watched a documentary which revealed how much waste the nation throws away. After making incremental changes, Lauren founded the business to help others do the same and live more consciously. From packaging-free groceries to bamboo toothbrushes and stainless steel lunch boxes, the brand is offering non-plastic alternatives to encourage people to reduce their carbon footprint. Speaking about the venture, Lauren said, “We decided it was time to do something. We started to make small, everyday changes to reduce our waste, to live a little slower and to lighten our footprints…But we wished it was more accessible, and more desirable, to live a more sustainable lifestyle in our city, and we knew there were many others who felt the same.” Set to open their store on Jesmond Road in Newcastle next…

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North East Landlords Association Meeting – Next meeting Thursday 26th September

About this event The event will help you get to know why NEL is being established, how we see it working and hear what you would like to see it deliver. There are experts on hand during the event to give you advice on Property and Rental legal issues, Tax & Accounts, Landlord and Property Insurance as well as Mortgages. There are also talks too: Tim Frome, Associate Director of Hamilton Fraser – Tim will update Landlords on the Property Redress Scheme. Suzy Hershman, MyDeposits – Suzy will give Landlords guidance on resolving disputes. Landlord Action – Providing tips on avoiding going to Court and dealing with problem Tenants. Bruce Haagensen of NEL – Providing usual update on issues affecting Landlords including legislative changes. There will also be some stalls from companies and people that can help you with your property business. Come along…

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When choosing a Family Law solicitor, why are location and face-to-face interaction a client’s priority?

Sweeney Miller has recognised that this is especially prominent in the Family Law department where people prefer to choose a solicitor that they can visit in person. The reasons for this could be that face-to-face interaction provides the opportunity for the client to fully explain their, often complex, situation. Another reason for the preference towards local solicitors is the frequency of word-of-mouth referrals for Family Law solicitors. Due to the sensitivity of the cases, people tend to go through a solicitor that a friend or family member has had a successful experience with. As people usually live close to their kin, they find themselves approaching a local firm. The YouGov survey also revealed that, when it comes to the delivery of legal services, online channels have replaced postal services while face-to-face offerings have remained relatively stable over the past four…

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If I make a personal injury claim against my employer, will I lose my job?

In this blog post, the Sweeney Miller Personal Injury team takes you through the specifics of making a personal injury claim against your employer, the implications it may have, and the rights you have as an employee to work in a safe environment. I’m planning on making a Personal Injury Claim against my employer… will I lose my job? Put simply, the answer should be no as a successful personal injury claim against your employer means that they have accepted fault for your accident or injury. How will my employer react if I choose to make a Personal Injury claim against them? Unfortunately, choosing to make a Personal Injury claim against your employer can sometimes cause the “atmosphere” at work to turn sour. This can be a disincentive to claim against your employer, especially if you are worried that pressure at work might…

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offices, commercial property

How do I pay stamp duty on commercial property leases?

In this blog post, the Sweeney Miller team takes you through the most common questions people ask us about Stamp Duty Land Tax and commercial leases. Do I have to pay Stamp Duty on a Commercial Property Lease? The simple (and probably disappointing) answer is – it depends. If you are a commercial tenant, SDLT may be payable on any of the following facets of your commercial lease: Grant Assignment Variation Surrender SDLT is not payable on all commercial leases, which makes this area of law particularly complex. To add insult to injury, failure to pay on time often results in additional liability for the overdue payment plus accrued interest, as well as a fine payable to HMRC. Calculating your liabilities wrong can also lead to unintended consequences. If you happen to overpay your SDLT, obtaining a refund from HMRC is not a…

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Legislation changes mean that newlyweds risk £1,000 fine if they don’t register their marriage within one week

Currently, newlyweds are asked to sign a register and certificate during the wedding ceremony but this could all change. The proposed changes, which could come into force by the end of 2019, mean that couples will no longer be presented with this certificate. Instead, they’ll be presented with a “marriage schedule” or “marriage document” which they will have to sign and take to their local register office according to The Faculty Office. Couples will be given one week to officially register the marriage before they face any consequences and one concern for many is that they will be on their honeymoon during this period. In these instances, couples can ask someone else to lodge the document on their behalf but it is their responsibility to ensure that this is done. It’s not only newlyweds who will face the consequences of the…

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What is Japanese Knotweed and why does it pose a problem for homebuyers?

In this article, the Sweeney Miller team explains. What is Japanese knotweed? Japanese knotweed looks a lot like bamboo, featuring long stems, small white flowers, and leaves positioned in a zig-zag pattern near the base. For many years, it was grown as an ornamental flower much like bamboo, but when introduced to Europe it began to grow as an aggressive weed. Because it originates in Japan where the soil is volcanic and dry, Japanese knotweed flourishes in European soil, no matter how poor. Why is it a problem? Japanese knotweed is so strong that it’s been known to grow through pipes, brickwork, roads, and concrete. This means it’s capable of causing damage to buildings, driveways, and gardens – all of which contribute to the overall value of a property. If the property has Japanese knotweed will I be able to get a mortgage? As a rule,…

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How can I prevent a challenge to my Will?

Although a properly drawn Will is legally binding, there are ways to contest or dispute it. This often happens when confusion or dispute arises in the division of your estate between beneficiaries, or if you were not crystal clear about your wishes within the document itself or If the document has been homemade and perhaps not properly signed and/or witnessed.   this is why it is always vitally important to use an experienced and qualified Solicitor at Sweeney Miller Law when making your Will. Unfortunately, there is no way you can completely lock down your Will against any contests or disputes following your death. However, you can take the following steps to help avoid this situation… Plan as early as you can Although this is a morbid thought, it’s important to start considering your Will when you’re still mentally capable enough to write it….

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North East Landlords Association Meeting – Next meeting Wednesday 26th June

CALLING ALL NORTH EAST LANDLORDS – The next NEL meeting will be on the 26th June at Northern Rugby Club, Gosforth from 5.30pm onwards. The highly popular event is a must for any property investors or wannabe property investors. About this Event The event will help you get to know why NEL is being established, how we see it working and hear what you would like to see it deliver. There are experts on hand during the event to give you advice on Property and Rental legal issues, Tax & Accounts, Landlord and Property Insurance as well as Mortgages. There are also talks too: Bruce will be doing his regular update and Quiz David Smith from Sweeney Miller will be covering Inheritance Tax Gwen Smith from Newcastle Council…

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Divorce and the family home

Divorce and the family home When marriages break down and the divorce process is finished, there’s one big question on everyone’s mind: who gets the house? This is particularly complicated for families with children, who are often faced with so many options they don’t know what to do. We at Sweeney Miller understand that it’s important to face the facts in this situation in order to move forward. In this article we cover the general points that tend to emerge when a solicitor is tasked with negotiating the fate of the family home. Children are the priority The welfare of any children caught up in a separation or divorce is paramount. Where possible, the Court will want to achieve stability for the children and it is preferable for the children to live in an owned home. However, this may not always be affordable. In…

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