Notes on Common Topics

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Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Scotland

Just to update you. The Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy  confirmed to the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 21 January 2015 that the tax rates and bands for residential property transactions  in Scotland have now … More


A (Non-Comprehensive) To-Do List For New Residential Landlords

Tenancies (like people) come in all shapes and sizes. But when it comes to private sector residential tenancies they are usually either ‘assured’ tenancies or ‘short assured’ tenancies (both fall under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988). The ‘short assured’ tenancy … More


Purchase of Flats etc at ‘Auction’

The usual way of buying a house, or a flat (or other ‘heritable’ property) involves the would-be purchasers having viewed it after it has been publicly advertised; getting their solicitor to put in a written offer to the sellers’ solicitors; … More


Care Home Fees Protection – No Magic Fix

It is not unusual for a client or prospective client to approach us for advice about protecting their assets (usually a house) against possible future long-term residential care costs: they may have seen publicity about such schemes or heard of … More


Can I Pull Out of a House Purchase?

The short answer to the question in the title is one beloved of lawyers namely: it depends. The answer is yes you may pull out before ‘missives are concluded’; but no you may not once ‘missives are concluded’. An explanation … More


Buying a House in Scotland – FAQs

What should I do first?   Not many people can buy a property without getting a loan from a bank or building society. So the first thing is to get an agreement in principle from a lender as to how … More


Divorce & Financial Provision

When it comes to financial provision on divorce it has been said that “…the matter is essentially one of discretion [for the court] aimed at achieving a fair and practicable result in accordance with common-sense…” (per Lord President Hope in … More


Why Should I Make a Will?

There are two main answers to that question. By making a Will you choose (i) who you want to deal with the administration of your affairs on your death, and (ii) who you want to benefit from your estate. It’s … More


Why Should I Make a Power of Attorney?

The Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 (“the Act”) introduced a whole new range of measures to cover decision-making for “Adults with Incapacity” in relation to both property matters and matters of personal welfare. Broadly speaking if a person loses … More


What To Do When Someone Dies

The death of a relative or close friend is a difficult time. And there are also the immediate practical questions about getting a death certificate; registering the death; and arranging the funeral which have to be dealt with in the … More


Outline of Recovery of Possession of Private Sector Residential Tenancies

Tenancies (like people) come in all shapes and sizes. But when it comes to private sector residential tenancies they are usually either ‘assured’ tenancies or ‘short assured’ tenancies (both) under the Housing (Scotland) Act 1988 (‘the 1988 Act’). Introduction  There’s … More


Living Together & Property Rights

The aim of this Note is to outline what the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 (“the Act”) does about property rights for couples who are living together (“cohabiting”). For people who are married, or for same-sex couples in civil partnerships, … More


Inheritance Tax (“IHT”) on Death

Broadly speaking, on death, the market value of everything you own at death is added up. If you made any lifetime gifts within seven years of your death then, in principle, they too are added onto the value of what … More


Debt Recovery: Some Practical Pointers

Is it Really Worth it? Court action to recover a debt may result in a court “decree” saying the debtor must pay – but if he or she has no money the decree may not be worth much in practice: … More


Buying a Home – First Time Buyers

In Scotland – things are not done in quite the same way in England – the buyer’s solicitor makes a written offer to buy and the seller accepts in writing. The solicitors then exchange letters – known as “the missives” … More