The Increase of Family Law Fees
The introduction of the Court Fees (Miscellaneous Amendment) Order, will mean an increase in costs, of some Family Court applications, from the 30th September 2021. The fee increase is a result of a Ministry of Justice consultation, which found that court fees only brought in a net income of £724 million in 2019/2020, compared to the £2 billion running costs of HM Courts & Tribunals Service. The government argue these are inflationary increases. This article will explore some of the court fee increases.
Divorce Court Fee Increases
There has been an increase from £550 to £593 for filing a petition for a divorce, nullity or civil partnership dissolution. An increase from £50 to £54 will apply for an application for a Decree Nisi, conditional order, decree of judicial separation or a separation order. There will also be an increase from £50 to £53 for an application for an agreed consent order. An application for a financial remedy order will rise from £255 to £275. An application in existing proceedings on notice has been increased from £155 to £167. Making a request for a copy of a document from the court will rise from £10 to £11. However, there is no fee for a Non-Molestation or Occupation Order application.
Children Court Fee Increases
Under the Children Act 1989, an application for a child arrangements order, specific issues order, prohibited steps order, parental responsibility or financial provision for children, will rise from £215 to £232. An application for a section 8 order, enforcement order, compensation for financial loss, change of a child’s surname or removal from jurisdiction while a child arrangements order is in force, special guardianship order, secure accommodation order, contact with child in care order, education supervision order,variation or discharge of care and supervision order, child assessment order, emergency protection order, and recovery order will all increase from £215 to £232. An application under section 31 of the Children Act 1989, for care and supervision orders, will increase from £2,055 to £2,215. An application under section 22 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, for a placement order, will increase from £455 to £490.
Fee increases could potentially reduce access to legal services but a free initial consultation with MLS, could guide you in the right direction. At MLS we can assist with myriad of family law issues, give us a call to find out more.
This article is for the information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us on 01244 478 730 to speak with one of our excellent family law solicitors.
New Safety Rules for Residential Landlords – April 2021 – What does it mean for Tenants and Landlords? (by Jessie Smith)
The new Electrical Safety Standards in Private Rented Sector (England) Regulations 2020 came into force on the 1st April 2021 and require private sector landlords to monitor the safety of the electrical systems in their properties as well as making any necessary inspections and improvements.
What are the duties of Landlords under the New Safety Rules?
- Electrical instillations to be inspected and tested at least every five years followed by a copy of the safety report to go to the tenant within 28 days.
- Ensure that national standards for electrical safety are met.
- A safety report should also be given to a new tenant before they move in.
- A copy of the report must be sent to any local authority within 7 days of request.
- Complete any remedial or further investigative work shown by the report within 28 days or less if specified by the inspector.
What are the affected properties?
- Regulations apply to all private tenants who pay rent and occupy the property. They also apply to properties which are occupied by multiple parties who share facilities.
Who will enforce the Regulations?
- Local Authorities can enforce the new safety rules if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a landlord is in breach of the rules.
- If this is the case, the Local Authority will serve the landlord with a remedial notice and if this is not complied with the authority can step in to arrange a completion of the necessary work and then they will recover the cost from the landlord.
- Local Authorities also have the power to impose a penalty on the landlord for the breach of regulations ( with a notice of intent ) which the landlord has the right to appeal within 28 days of the notice.
Who can carry out the Inspections?
Inspections must be carried out be a qualified professional. Landlords can choose an inspector who is a member of the Competent Person scheme established by the electrical safety industry however the landlord can also choose a non-member and have them sign a checklist to verify their qualifications. Fixed electrical parts of the property such as wiring, and sockets must be inspected although the new rules do not apply to appliances such as refrigerators or cookers, but these still should be regularly checked.
Issues an inspector would be looking for include:
- Fire hazards
- Electrical shock risks
- Defective electrical work
Here an MLS we are regularly instructed by landlords to advise on compliance and possession claims. If you have any questions please contact us on 01244 478 730 , we will be happy to help.
This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact us for advice.
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