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News & Updates

March is Free Wills Month!

Free Wills Month brings together a group of well-respected charities to offer members of the public aged 55 and over the opportunity to have their simple Wills written or updated free of charge by using participating solicitors in locations across England, Scotland and Wales.

The solicitors have all taken steps to help keep you safe from coronavirus.

An up to date Will written by a solicitor ensures your wishes are respected. It also avoids difficult decisions and legal complications for your loved ones. Free Wills Month allows you to provide for family and friends and leave a gift to your chosen charities too.A gift in your Will costs you nothing now but can make a difference for years to come.To take part in Free Wills Month please scroll down and fill in a few details and click submit, we'll only contact you about this Free Wills Month campaign (unless you choose further contact from the charities), you will then get access to the details of your local participating law firms.

Source: - https://freewillsmonth.org.uk/

GET A FREE WILL

GET A FREE WILL - WILLS & LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

Throughout March 2021 For anyone aged over 55 https://www.saifeesolicitors.com/ #Wills #willsandprobate #willsandtrusts #saifeesolicitors
Landlords & Tenants

We at Saifee Solicitors can assist with your property needs and our specialists

in the following matters: –

Residential:

Commercial:

Landlord and Tenant:

Please contact one of our team on 0330 124 3083 so that we can assist you with any of the above.

National lockdown: Stay at Home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. This will be put in law. The police can take action against you if you leave home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, and issue you with a fine (Fixed Penalty Notice).

You can be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

A ‘reasonable excuse’ includes:

  • Work - you can only leave home for work purposes where it is unreasonable for you to do your job from home, including but not limited to people who work within critical national infrastructure, construction or manufacturing that require in-person attendance
  • Volunteering - you can also leave home to provide voluntary or charitable services.
  • Essential activities - you can leave home to buy things at shops or obtain services. You may also leave your home to do these things on behalf of a disabled or vulnerable person or someone self-isolating.
  • Education and childcare - You can only leave home for education, registered childcare, and supervised activities for children where they are eligible to attend. Access to education and children’s activities for school-aged pupils is restricted. See further information on education and childcare. People can continue existing arrangements for contact between parents and children where they live apart. This includes childcare bubbles.
  • Meeting others and care - You can leave home to visit people in your support bubble ( if you are legally permitted to form one), to provide informal childcare for children under 14 as part of a childcare bubble (for example, to enable parents to work, and not to enable social contact between adults), to provide care for disabled or vulnerable people, to provide emergency assistance, to attend a support group (of up to 15 people), or for respite care where that care is being provided to a vulnerable person or a person with a disability, or is a short break in respect of a looked-after child.
  • Exercise - You can continue to exercise alone, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.You should maintain social distancing. See exercising and meeting other people.
  • Medical reasons - You can leave home for a medical reason, including to get a COVID-19 test, for medical appointments and emergencies.
  • Harm and compassionate visits - you can leave home to be with someone who is giving birth, to avoid injury or illness or to escape risk of harm (such as domestic abuse). You can also leave home to visit someone who is dying or someone in a care home (if permitted under care home guidance), hospice, or hospital, or to accompany them to a medical appointment.
  • Animal welfare reasons – you can leave home for animal welfare reasons, such as to attend veterinary services for advice or treatment.
  • Communal worship and life events - You can leave home to attend or visit a place of worship for communal worship, a funeral or event related to a death, a burial ground or a remembrance garden, or to attend a wedding ceremony. You should follow the guidance on the safe use of places of worship and must not mingle with anyone outside of your household or support bubble when attending a place of worship.Weddings, funerals and religious, belief-based or commemorative events linked to someone’s death are all subject to limits on the numbers that can attend, and weddings and civil ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances.

There are further reasonable excuses. For example, you may leave home to fulfil legal obligations or to carry out activities related to buying, selling, letting or renting a residential property, or where it is reasonably necessary for voting in an election or referendum.

source: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae#detailed-guidance-on-the-national-lockdown

Immigration Solicitor

Are you looking for a Immigration Solicitor,  do you need guidance or assistance with VISA applications,  if so get in touch using any of the details below:-

Leicester:

37 Beaumont Street,

Oadby, LE2 4DA

0116 243 8852

 

Hounslow:

Office 3, Duke of Cambridge House,

1-3 Kingsley Road, TW3 1PA

020 3621 4545

General – 03301243083

 

Immigration: Visa applications open under UK's post-Brexit system

New immigration rules will be "simple and flexible", ministers have promised, as the UK's points-based post-Brexit system prepares to go live.

From Tuesday all foreign nationals, including from the European Union, who want to work in the UK from 1 January will have to apply online for a visa.

Those seeking a skilled worker visa will need a job offer, to be proficient in English and earn at least £25,600.

Free movement from and to the EU will come to an end on 31 December.

EU citizens already living in the UK by 31 December and their families do not have to go through the new system but instead can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, and have until 30 June 2021 to do so.

If they are successful, they will be able to remain in the UK and claim the same benefits as UK citizens if they become unemployed.

Irish citizens do not need to apply to the scheme and will not require permission to come to the UK, as the UK and Ireland are both part of a Common Travel Area.

The UK left the EU on 31 January but has been largely following its rules during the subsequent 11-month transition period, as the two sides try to reach agreement over a trade deal.

As talks continue in London, the UK is stepping up its preparations for leaving the EU's single market and customs union at the end of the year.

The government has announced it is setting up a new Border Operations Centre, which it says will ensure round-the-clock surveillance of goods and passengers coming in and out of British ports for the first time.

Border preparations stepped up

Cutting-edge software will be used to gather information about the flow of goods and passengers in the hope of minimising the amount of "short-term" disruption at the border in the days and weeks after 1 January.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the new system, which will be manned 24/7, would enable the authorities to identify and get on top of bottlenecks "quickly and decisively".

Business groups have said delays at the border are inevitable given the looming changes to customs procedures while Labour said "glaring questions" remained unanswered about what businesses needed to do.

"The government is putting the burden on businesses to prepare for the end of the transition period when it has not explained what it is those businesses are getting ready for," said shadow minister Rachel Reeves.

"The government is re-badging a basic element of preparation but still can't tell us how many customs agents are recruited or trained or whether crucial IT is ready."

 

To tackle what the Cabinet Office calls the "challenges" of potential disruption at the UK border next year, a Border Operations Centre will use big data technology to try to "identify the root causes" of hold-ups to passengers and freight.

The software system is produced by the controversial US tech firm Palantir and will pull together information from different government computers to monitor the flow of people and vehicles across the UK border.

Palantir has courted controversy in the United States, where its systems are used by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

This has led the human rights organisation Amnesty International to warn of "a high risk that Palantir is contributing to serious human rights violations of migrants and asylum-seekers".

The company denies the suggestion and says it remains extremely concerned about protecting human rights, privacy rights, and civil liberties in general.

The UK government has stressed that Palantir will only process data in Britain and that strict measures are in place to protect personal information.

 

What is changing in immigration?

The UK's new immigration system will determine who can work in the country from 1 January.

Online applications for visas via a range of new "routes" will open on Tuesday.

Applications for skilled worker visas will be judged on the basis of a points system, which is modelled on the system in place in Australia for many years.

Points will be awarded for a job offer at the appropriate skill level in an eligible occupation, knowledge of English and whether applicants meet a salary threshold - which will typically be at least £25,600.

The cost of applying will be between £610 to £1,408 and people will have to show they have enough money to support themselves as well as having proof of identity.

Applicants will have to wait about three weeks to find out whether they have been successful.

Route for 'exceptional talent'

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the system would be "simple, effective and flexible" and enable employers to fill skills gaps while also placing a greater onus on firms to train and invest in British workers.

Ms Patel and other critics of free movement have long argued it has left British firms overly reliant on low-skilled workers from the continent and put applicants from the rest of the rest of the world at a disadvantage.

But unions have warned of a looming crisis over the recruitment of social care staff under the new rules and says action is also needed to support those foreign-born NHS workers whose visas are expiring.

Applications also opened on Tuesday for Global Talent, Innovator and Start-Up visas designed to attract "those who have an exceptional talent or show exceptional promise in the fields of engineering, science, tech or culture".

New rules for international students came into force in October.

The rights of the more than three million EU citizens already working in the UK are protected under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement signed by the UK and EU earlier this year.

As of 30 September, 2.1 million people had been granted settled status and 1.6 million pre-settled status - ensuring they can remain in the UK.

 

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55133506

 

#Solicitors #Leicester #Hounslow #Immigration #Wills&Probate #LegalAdvice #FamilyLaw #PropertyLaw #Matrimonial #SaifeeSolicitors

Solicitors Leicester

Are you looking for a solicitor in Leicester or Hounslow? why not drop us a call an see how we can help you,  we provide the following services:-

Family & Matrimonial

Property law

Wills and Probate

Personal Immigration

Business Immigration

Business Law

call us on 0116 243 8852 for Leicester Legal Services and 020 3621 4545 for Hounslow Legal Services

Coronavirus: What powers do police have if people break Covid rules?

The police's role in the coronavirus pandemic is simple: to ensure we follow the new restrictions on our lives.

But in practice, that is a huge challenge for police who are being asked to monitor behaviour that, until March, was perfectly legal.

How do police enforce Covid rules?

Since March, police chiefs have followed a system called "The Four Es". Before fines are issued to rule-breakers, police will first:

  • Engage with people to ask why they appear to be breaking the rules
  • Explain the law, stressing the risks to public health and the NHS
  • Encourage them to change their behaviour
  • Enforce by issuing penalty notices, only as a last resort

Why can you be fined for breaking Covid rules?

The police have a legal duty to make sure the rules are enforced, alongside council environmental health and trading standards officers. And enforcement only works in law if there are fines.

If you break the new England lockdown rules, you could get a fixed penalty notice (FPN), the Covid equivalent of a parking ticket. Since March, almost 20,0000 have been issued.

These now start at £200, rising to £6,400.

Large parties can be shut down by the police - with fines of up to £10,000.

In extreme circumstances, you could be prosecuted and face an even greater fine imposed by a court. Similar rules apply in all parts of the UK.

Can police fine me for being in the street?

Yes. During the England lockdown, you must stay at home unless you have a reasonable excuse to be outside. Your home includes any property associated to it - such as a garden or shed - and also access to it.

The lockdown law sets out in full examples of reasonable excuses.

Police won't fine you for going shopping for essential goods, or to obtain a service from a business that can remain open.

And you're not breaking the law if you go shopping for someone else in your household, or a vulnerable person.

Will police arrest me for exercising?

No. There was enormous confusion in March over how long people could exercise for - and where - leading to Cabinet Minister Michael Gove pronouncing that he thought half an hour was enough.

There are no restrictions in England on how you exercise and for how long - other than you cannot do it in groups.

So you can run or a wander with someone else from your household or, critically, one person you don't live with.

Sitting on park benches is definitely NOT banned. But don't form a gathering if you do because...

Will the police fine me for mingling?

They might. This refers to the ban on "gatherings".

The last version of the restrictions made it a potential crime to "mingle". That language has now gone from the law - but the rules are far, far stricter.

You can no longer meet anyone indoors - other than those in your family, support bubble, people you care for, or for other specific purposes, such as an emergency, or to carry out work.

So, the rules ban social visits - but they do leave wriggle room for lots of the necessities of daily life.

Outside, two people can meet - the law can't really criminalise bumping into someone in the street. Groups larger than that are a no-no for the same social reasons. Again, there are exceptions.

Even if break the rules, how likely am I to be fined?

The Home Office has given the police an extra £30m to pay for specific Covid patrols in England and Wales. Home Secretary Priti Patel met police chiefs on the eve of the new English lockdown - and told them that they now need to "strengthen enforcement" to save lives.

The National Police Chiefs Council hasn't abandoned the Four Es - but expect more fines and more officers asking people what they are doing.

What about the rest of the UK?

The rules differ across the UK - but all forces follow the general principle of the Four Es.

Police will be expected to continue enforcing new rules:

  • Scotland has introduced a five-tier system and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is considering a wider travel ban
  • Wales will leave its so-called "firebreak" lockdown on 9 November - and it is introducing a new system including a general ban on travelling to England, other than for work
  • orthern Ireland might extend its own version of a national lockdown by keeping hospitality closed
  • Can police make me cover my face?

    Yes, and, again, you could face a fixed penalty notice.

    In all parts of the UK you must now wear one in shops. You must also wear them when out in a pub, cafe or restaurant when not sitting at your table.

    Staff and security guards have no formal powers to enforce the wearing of masks. However, they can stop you from entering or demand that you leave their property.

    You must wear a face covering on public transport in all parts of the UK, although some people are exempt. In London, transport officials can issue you with a penalty ticket.

    • What are the rles for face masks or face coverings?
    • Can police check whether I'm isolating?

      If you have returned from an overseas Covid hotspot, or have been told by the NHS Test and Trace system to stay at home, you must quarantine for 14 days.

      The police can now check the NHS Test and Trace database to investigate a tip-off about a quarantine-breaker. Police won't get to see your personal health records.

Renters: Eviction cases resume after six-month ban

Eviction hearings will now resume in courts in England and Wales - but the most serious cases will be given priority.

A backlog has built up during a six-month ban on proceedings in place during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cases involving domestic violence or anti-social behaviour will be heard first. Restrictions also exist in local lockdown areas and over Christmas.

But Labour and campaigners have called for the ban to be extended.

There have been warnings from charities and health bodies about the dangers during the pandemic of people being made homeless and living in overcrowded conditions.

A recent survey by homelessness charity Shelter suggested that more than 170,000 private tenants had been threatened with eviction by their landlord or letting agent, while 230,000 in England have fallen into arrears since the pandemic started.

However, the government and landlord groups do not expect a wave of eviction notices.


'Future in the balance'

Ian Forest Image captionIan Forest says finances are stretched

Wedding DJ Ian Forest has seen his income "killed for a year" as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

His letting agent allowed him to pay 50% of his rent for a few months, but he now faces demands for full rent again, as well as £3,000 of arrears.

He has claimed all the financial support available, but is concerned that it is insufficient to cover his bills and his tenancy is at risk.

"I feel for the landlord as well, but my future here is in the balance. Who knows what will happen," he said.

Presentational grey line

In England, Wales and Scotland, landlords must now give six months' notice of eviction compared to two months before the pandemic in many areas. In Northern Ireland, it is 12 weeks, but the authorities said notices should not be issued unless "absolutely unavoidable".

Courts in England and Wales will prioritise serious cases, and historic ones where the rent has not been paid for more than a year.

Chris Norris, of the National Residential Landlords Association, said that a switch would not be turned on leading to a sudden spate of evictions.

But he said the last six months had seen "real restrictions" on landlords trying to deal with "nuisance neighbours".

Eviction notice and maskImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that evictions would not be enforced by bailiffs if a local area was in a lockdown that included restrictions on gathering in homes.

Bailiffs have also be told not to enforce possession orders over Christmas, other than in "the most serious circumstances", such as cases involving domestic abuse or anti-social behaviour.

But Labour said there were still unnecessary risks created by the government's policy.

Shadow housing secretary Thangam Debbonaire said: "The government needs to come forward with a credible plan to keep their promise that no renter will lose their home because of coronavirus."


Advice for tenants

  • Anyone under threat of eviction should start gathering evidence, such as receipts for rent paid or any communications with your landlord
  • Landlords have to give you notice before they can apply to court for a possession order. For most tenancy types, this notice must now be at least six months in England, Wales and Scotland, but lodgers may get less notice
  • If a possession order had already been made against you before 27 March 2020, then your landlord may apply for this to be enforced now the ban is at an end. You should receive 14 days' notice of the eviction date
  • Anyone now struggling to pay rent should speak to their landlord and organise a repayment plan to pay off arrears
  • Those receiving housing benefit or Universal Credit and unable to pay rent might be able to get a discretionary housing payment from the local council

Source: Citizens Advice

Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54203447

Coronavirus: Who are the Covid marshals and what powers will they have?
Covid-secure marshals will be introduced in towns and city centres in England to help ensure social distancing rules are followed, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says. However, there are questions over who will pay for them and those already working in some areas have no power to enforce rules.

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:
  • Hospitality venues will be legally required to record the contact details of everyone visiting and to hold them for 21 days
  • Hospitality venues which fail to follow Covid-secure guidelines will be fined
  • Local authorities will be supported to make greater use of existing powers to close venues which break the rules
  • The police will have new powers from 14 September to break up, and fine, groups of more than six people
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. Banner image reading 'more about coronavirus' Banner

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:
  • 14,934 spot checks have been carried out
  • Formal action has been taken in 2,541 cases
  • 2,034 have received verbal advice - and 432 written correspondence and 75 enforcement notices have been issued
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".
Leicester:
37 Beaumont Street,
Oadby, LE2 4DA

0116 243 8852


Hounslow:
Office 3, Duke of Cambridge House,
1-3 Kingsley Road, TW3 1PA

020 3621 4545


General – 03301243083


Email us:info@saifeesolicitors.com

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