Good News for Residential Landlords

November 8, 2011

Residential landlords will no doubt welcome a recent decision from the Court of Appeal in the case of Christina Sharples v Places for People Homes Limited.

Ms Sharples held an assured tenancy under the Housing Act 1988. She fell behind with her rent, and the landlords commenced possession proceedings. Five days before the scheduled hearing of the possession proceedings, Ms Sharples filed a bankruptcy petition and was made bankrupt.

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Third Quarter Insolvency Statistics

November 4, 2011

The Insolvency Service has published the official insolvency statistics for the third quarter of 2011. In terms of company failures, the figures show:

Compulsory liquidations: 1,203 (-6.6%)
Creditors’ voluntary liquidations: 3,039 (+3.1%)
Receiverships, administrations and CVAs: 1,253 (+1.7%)

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Claims Under Personal Guarantees

August 17, 2011

The concept of limited liability is, of course, almost always rather illusory for smaller companies in particular. Invariably a bank will require personal guarantees from the directors as well as a charge over the company’s own assets. Directors and others should remember that lenders ask for guarantees for a reason, and that if a guarantee is given it should be assumed that payment will have to be made.

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FREE Seminars for Professional Advisers

August 4, 2011

The recession may have officially ended some time ago, but the UK’s economic recovery is stuttering at best, and some pundits are even speculating that a “double-dip” is not inconceivable. So professionals who are not called upon to advise clients in financial difficulties and facing the prospect of insolvency are likely to be few and far between. Consequently they will need to be alert to the pitfalls that their clients need to avoid if they are to steer clear of sanctions.

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Time to Pay: On the Way?

July 25, 2011

There was a time when it was fairly easy to agree a time to pay arrangement with HMRC. It was simply a matter of ringing up, asking politely, and the answer was “yes” without too many searching questions.

How times change. It’s probably fair to say that, in the early days, HMRC managed to provide a cash flow boost to businesses that had no particular cash flow problems whilst, at the other extreme, putting off the evil day for a number of hopeless basket cases.

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A Reminder for the Committee

July 18, 2011

There’s a cautionary reminder for committee members of clubs and other incorporated associations in the recent Court decision in Davies v Barnes Webster & Sons Limited.

Mr Davies was the president and a member of the management committee of a club. The club wanted some building work done, and entered into a contract with Barnes Webster for that work. The contract was signed by the club’s treasurer on the committee’s authority. In due course, the club failed to pay the money due under the contract. Read more

Public Bodies, Vulnerable Clients and the Disability Discrimination Act

April 18, 2011

Does the decision in the recent case of Haworth v Cartmel have implications far beyond insolvency in terms of the way HMRC (and other public bodies) deal with vulnerable individuals?

Ms Haworth suffered from mental health issues, including a phobia of opening letters. In August 2005, HMRC received an anonymous tip-off that she was trading as a commercial horse breeder, and they subsequently raised a Determination claiming £192,000 in undeclared tax.

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Money woes linked to rise in depression

April 3, 2011

So reads the headline on the BBC News website, over a story that prescriptions for anti-depressant drugs like Prozac have risen by some 43% over the past four years.

The story has been picked up by many newspapers, with headlines like “Economic gloom fuelling rise in depression” (Independent); “Recession linked to huge rise in use of antidepressants” (Telegraph) and “Economic slump fuels 43% rise in use of anti-depressants” (Mail). According to the reports GPs and mental health charities are being contacted increasingly by people struggling with worries over their debts.

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