News & Updates
What's the aim?Mr Johnson said the government and the public want to see "stronger enforcement of the rules". In order to do this, he said marshals would be introduced and a register of environmental health officers - who councils could use for support - would be set up. He added that: However, the plans have been criticised. Conservative MP Steve Baker, for example, said it would "turn every public space in Britain into the equivalent of going through airport security".
Who will the marshals be?The government said marshals can either be volunteers or existing members of council staff. The Local Government Association (LGA) said "any new responsibilities for councils in this area will have to be fully funded", but there has been no funding announced by government. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government told the BBC that some areas of the country had already introduced marshals - including Leeds and Cornwall - and it would see where else they were needed. Leeds City Council told the BBC it had introduced six night marshals "who were in place over four weeks and who did not have any enforcement powers". It said these marshals "were positively welcomed by our businesses as necessary and effective in supporting the evening and night-time economy to reopen safely". In Cornwall, street marshals were introduced in Camborne, Helston, Newquay, Redruth, St Austell, St Ives and Truro in July. The council said they would be present during the busiest times of the day to "give friendly help and guidance to those visiting and working" in the area.
What powers will they have?The government has still to set out details of what marshals will do, and says those decisions will be a matter for local authorities. In areas where marshals have already been introduced, they have done things like giving out hand sanitiser and face coverings, answered questions and explained social distancing guidelines to members of the public. Marshals do not have the power to enforce social distancing or to issue fines to anyone who breaks the rules. But the government says they can call the police if enforcement action is needed.
Who will enforce the rules for hospitality venues?Mr Johnson spoke about the need for stricter enforcement of the rules for hospitality venues like pubs and restaurants. Regulation of these premises is a role for local authorities and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), but there have been concerns about a lack of resources. Data provided by the HSE shows that between the beginning of the pandemic in March and 6 September: To bolster this work, the government announced it would set up a register of environmental health officers that councils could call upon - but it is yet to release further details. The LGA said "given the shortage of environmental health officers, it is positive that the government has committed to a register".
What is stamp duty?
What has changed?
How much stamp duty will I pay now?
What about Scotland and Wales?
How much does stamp duty raise?
Funds you’ll need
FeesWho you’re applying for Apply (outside the UK) Extend or switch (in the UK) You £1,021 £1,277 You (if you’re from Turkey or Macedonia) £966 £1,222 All dependants £1,021 each person £1,277 each person
If you’re applying to extend or switch in the UK
How long you can stay
If your endorsement is withdrawn
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For a will to be legally valid, as the law stands you must:
Reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply for residential properties purchased from 8 July 2020 until 31 March 2021 inclusive.
Published 8 July 2020 From:
Residential Rates on purchases from 8 July 2020 to 31 March 2021Property or lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate Up to £500,000 Zero The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000) 5% The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 10% The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 12%
Higher rates for additional propertiesProperty or lease premium or transfer value SDLT rate Up to £500,000 3% The next £425,000 (the portion from £500,001 to £925,000) 8% The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million) 13% The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million) 15%
New leasehold sales and transfersNet Present Value of any Rent SDLT rate Up to £500,000 Zero Over £500,000 1% Published 8 July 2020
An estimate of the number of illegal immigrants in the UK has not been produced for 15 years, the National Audit Office says.
An up-to-date estimate of the number of illegal immigrants in the United Kingdom has not been produced for 15 years, according to a report.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said the last estimate in 2005 suggested there were around 430,000 people in the country with no right to remain.
But independent research since has put the figure at more than one million, Whitehall's spending watchdog said.
The NAO's report into the Home Office's immigration enforcement directorate said the department had estimated demand for immigration enforcement activity.
This was put at between 240,000 and 320,000 cases a year.
But the report said there was no baseline given against which progress can be measured or to demonstrate whether demand is rising or falling.
The watchdog concluded that despite collecting information around its mission and objectives, the Home Office often cannot demonstrate whether its measures are working.
Common questions answered around family and children’s law during the Covid-19 outbreak
Q. How is the outbreak affecting domestic abuse victims and their ability to access the help they need?
Q. If I have a shared custody agreement, can I still take my child to see their other parent?
Q. How will the Covid-19 pandemic affect those going through the divorce process?
Q. How is the Covid-19 lockdown affecting children’s care proceedings?
We can draft a will which allows you to set out exactly how you would like your assets distributed in the event of your death. This ensures that your wishes are adhered to when you pass on
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’). There are two different powers – one for health and one for finance /property
People living in rented accommodation in England and Wales who have received an eviction notice have been urged not to move out.
The government announced a three month ban on evictions as part of emergency coronavirus legislation.
But the ban only covered new eviction proceedings, not people already in the court system.
Last week, ministers caved in to pressure from Labour and charities and announced a complete ban on evictions.
The courts in England and Wales have been instructed to "suspend all ongoing housing possession action", the government said in a statement.
The suspension "will initially last for 90 days, but this can be extended if needed", the statement added, with all private and social renters, as well those with mortgages, to be protected.
The move is thought likely to affect about 20,000 people who had been facing repossession.
In Scotland, MSPs are planning introduce a temporary ban on evictions in their emergency coronavirus legislation, but it will only covers new evictions, not people already facing court proceedings.
Housing charity Shelter fears some people in England and Wales, who might not be aware of their rights, are still being forced out of their homes by their landlords.
Shelter chief executive Polly Neate said: "The government's blanket ban on evictions is good news for millions of renters who can now safely remain in their homes.
"It's crucial people know they're protected and that no legal action can be taken to evict them for at least the next three months.
"Even if they receive an eviction notice from their landlord in the coming weeks they should not feel any pressure to leave until this crisis is over, and should stay where they are."
The charity's advice for private rented, council or housing association tenants is:
- It is illegal if your landlord makes you leave without notice or a court order - or locks you out of your home, even temporarily
- If you have had an eviction notice from your landlord you should stay in your home
- In most cases, if an eviction notice is issued between 27 March and 30 September, the landlord must wait three months before they can apply to court
- If your landlord has already applied to court then your case will be put off for 90 days
- The court will tell you when any new hearing is but this may take some time
The government is advising people to continue paying their rent - and for those struggling financially to speak to their landlords about setting up a payment plan or to seek help through the benefit system.
It says lenders will support struggling landlords, and those with buy-to-let mortgages will be entitled to a three month payment holiday.
But campaign group the London Renters Union is calling on the government to suspend all rent payments - and to protect people from having to pay big arrears when the crisis has eased.
The group says thousands of people are continuing to have to go to work because of pressure from landlords, meaning they are unable to follow the government's social distancing guidelines.
In a letter to Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, the group said: "Urging landlords to 'show compassion' does nothing in reality to protect renters. The government has left renters to fend for themselves.
"As the government's recent guidance clearly states, tenants are still legally obliged to pay rent and landlords are still able to issue eviction notices to renters who enter into rent debt.
"The eviction process will begin as soon as the temporary ban on evictions is lifted."
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has been contacted for a response.
'More help needed'
The government is temporarily making the housing benefit system more generous to help people struggling to meet rent payments, by increasing it to cover 30% of the market average rent in each area.Image copyright Shelter Image caption
The move was welcomed by Shelter, but the charity is urging the government to go further and increase the Local Housing Allowance - the housing component of Universal Credit for private renters - to more of local market rates, and to end the five-week wait for new claimants.
The charity says there has been a surge in people applying for benefits, in many cases for the first time.
Ms Neate said: "At Shelter we're receiving daily calls from people up and down the country who are worried about how they'll pay the rent, keep the lights on and put food in the fridge in the coming weeks and months.
"That's why we're urging the government to go even further on its welfare measures to help people through the financial shock created by this pandemic.
"To prevent households slipping into poverty and debt, the government should temporarily increase housing benefit so that it covers the average cost of local rents.
"And to make sure help is available from day one it must end the five-week wait for universal credit, by turning advance payments into a grant instead of a loan."