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keeping pets in  managed property

At Howells Solicitors we receive a lot of legal questions from the public, so we decided to put together a series of FAQs to help answer some of them. Our latest instalment discusses your rights regarding keeping pets in properties with management companies.

Q: I have recently bought a maisonette flat in an old converted Victorian house. I thought this would be the perfect place for me as I have a small dog and the property has a little courtyard that would be perfect for him to run around in.

However, I have recently been told by one of the other residents that the property management company does not allow dogs to be kept in the building. I haven’t fully looked into this, but could it be true? If it is, what can I do?

A: You will need to carefully examine the terms of your lease by the management company in order to find out whether there is a clause that prohibits animals or pets being kept. Often if this clause is included, it is followed by saying that you may be able to ask for consent of the landlord which cannot be unreasonably withheld. More...

who moves out in a divorce

There are a lot of legal questions that crop up surrounding divorce, but one of the most common ones that is asked is: in a separation, who moves out? The next in our series of FAQs answers this for you:

Q: My wife and I are having problems and we are planning on getting a divorce. However, today I received a letter from her solicitor telling me to leave the marital home immediately otherwise she is going to take me to court.

While I understand we cannot stay living together, is she allowed to kick me out of my house before the divorce proceeding have even begun? Who should move out of the marital home? The house is under a joint mortgage so surely I have the same rights as her?

A: One of the first steps in progressing a divorce is deciding who should move out and when this move should be done by. Normally this is a move that is discussed between the two parties and then decided on together. More...

The next frequently asked question that our expert solicitors will be answering is whether you are able to recover a deposit after losing the property reservation fee after failing to exchange contracts.

Q: I paid a reservation fee of £2,000 to the developer of a flat in order to secure the purchase price. The terms agreed to exchange contracts within 28 days of receipt by my solicitors of the draft contract papers. It was understood that failure to exchange within this timeframe would result in the retention of the fee by the developer towards administrative costs.

My solicitors had advised me that if I didn't exchange contracts within these 28 days that my reservation fee would be forfeited. However, the estate agent told me not to worry about the date and arranged my lender's valuation for the day after the contracts were due.

The valuer was denied access to the property and therefore was unable to carry out a valuation. The developer then withdrew from the deal and retained my reservation fee. I have also found out that the company providing the new home warranty is not a participator in the Consumer Code for New Home Builders. What can I do? More...

can you force access into a house

In our FAQ series, our expert solicitors advise a new house buyer who has lost contact with the seller at the last moment.

Q: We’ve bought a house, exchanged contracts and agreed on completion – so we’re all set to move in. However, we haven't been able to contact the seller.

So long as we achieve completion, if we turn up at our new place could we force access to the property? Could we use a locksmith? Is it legal to force our way into a property we essentially own?

A: If the sellers haven’t completely vacated the property and still have possessions in the property, entering into the property could put you at risk of liability.

If another party can get hold of the sellers then the sale should be able to be completed relatively easily. The solicitor of the sellers must get in contact with them to ascertain whether they want to complete the sale, or if they’re now refusing to do so. More...


Should Women Get Paid the Same as Men

The issue of sex equality and pay in the workplace has been a major issue for decades. In fact, the UK has had laws governing this for nearly half a century; but with new regulations set to come into force on the 1st October 2014, could there be a huge step in the right direction?

What Are These New Regulations?

For years many have been petitioning for equal pay, in other words for male and female staff to get paid the same for doing the same job.

The changes that will now be in place are an amendment to the Equality Act 2010. These state that if an employer loses a case of equal pay they are legally obligated to undertake an equal pay audit (EPA) of their entire company. More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes