Recent Posts by Frank Smith

Update on IHT

The only certainty is uncertainty. With Labour leading in the polls and a general election around the corner on 4th July 2024, landowners are unclear what changes in inheritance tax policy a change in government could bring. The Shadow Chancellor pledged several years ago that Labour would consider every tax relief when in power; more…
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APR – A welcome extension?

Agricultural Property Relief (APR) is a relief from inheritance tax. As long as the provisions for the relief are met, APR reduces the tax liability of gifts of agricultural property by reducing its agricultural value. Regardless of whether the gift is made inter vivos or on death, the rate of relief is usually 100% of…
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Update on HM Land Registry Direct Services

A new direct service courtesy of HM Land Registry is hoping to save both clients and conveyancers hours by directly updating lenders about applications. The service allows lenders to monitor the progress of their mortgage registration. Currently, HM Land Registry answers 20,000 calls a month from lenders checking on applications, so this new development should…
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Think! before you use the post for serving documents

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge that local authorities can set on certain new developments in order to raise funds to help infrastructure such as schools and transport improvements. The liability for payment of CIL arises on the commencement of a qualifying development under a planning permission. Thus, a Liability Notice specifying the amount…
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Proposals for Property in the 2023/24 Parliamentary Session

On the 7th of November, the King delivered his first King's Speech setting out the Government's planned legislative agenda for the 2023/24 parliamentary session. While once again, not receiving the attention the well-documented housing crisis requires, there was at least a commitment to reform some areas of the housing and property sector. The King announced…
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Frank Smith & Co Solicitors – The Autumn Statement 2023

This week, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, announced the November budget. From a property perspective, one of the promises made by the Chancellor is to reform the planning system. He argued that it takes too long to approve infrastructure projects and business planning applications. As such, from next year councils will be able to…
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The MEES Trap

Expiry dates of MEES exemptions in commercial property Landlords beware!  You will no doubt remember that from 1st April 2018 the MEES Regulations came into force, making it unlawful for landlords to grant any new lease or renewal of a property that is deemed “sub-standard” under the MEES Regulations (i.e. where the EPC rating falls…
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Whose tree is it anyway?

A tree may be on your land including your back garden, and you may think that it is your property, therefore you can do with it whatever you wish. However, if that tree is subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO), this limits what you can do, because the tree has been protected by the…
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Agricultural change of use – The importance of descriptive words

In a recent appeal, the form of words used in the description of a development allowed Dorset Council to refuse granting a certificate of lawful use and development.  The appeal concerned using an existing rural dwelling without any agricultural occupancy restrictions. Records of the original 1973 outline planning permission did not exist on the Council’s…
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My first experience in an office/law firm

By Emily Knowles My experience over the last few days has not only given me a view of what an office is like but has also changed my view of solicitors and people in the law industry. I have always had an interest in law but mainly the criminal side of it, as before coming here,…
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Agricultural Property Relief – is planting trees the best option for your estate?

For those farmers engaging in succession planning, it’s well known that farmland in the UK is eligible for Agricultural Property Relief (APR) which provides 100% relief from Inheritance Tax (IHT) and that Tenancies under the 1986 Agricultural Holdings Act, are afforded 50% Inheritance Tax relief.   What remains less-well known is that land which is turned…
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Meet the MD – Cotswold Life

Frank Smith, Managing Partner of Frank Smith & Co Solicitors reveals what it is he loves about his job. I am the managing partner of Frank Smith & Co Solicitors in Cheltenham.  I set the business up on 2016 to deal with a range of legal matters. We cover all legal matters from agriculture to…
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Join Us! We are recruiting a Paralegal with a keen interest in Agricultural Law

➡The roleWe’re offering a friendly supportive environment, with super career progression for an ambitious and talented Paralegal. Surrounded by people you will learn from, you will be involved in a wide range of legal transactions within Commercial Property/Agriculture, becoming thoroughly engaged with our business and have a caseload working with clients ranging from local businesses,…
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Monday 19th September 2022

Her Majesty the Queen’s Funeral will be taking place on Monday, 19th September and the Government has declared the day a national Bank Holiday to allow people the chance to pay their respects and commemorate the Queen’s reign.  Our firm will be closed for business on that day.
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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

We express our deepest condolences for His Majesty King Charles, the Queen Consort and the Royal Family on the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. We are thankful for the great legacy left behind as a result of the Queen's profound sense of public duty and service to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth…
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The Renters Reform Bill 2022 – How Will It Affect Private Tenants?

The Government have now published the much anticipated ‘Fairer Private Rented Sector’ White Paper setting out the reforms to be brought into law by the Renters Reform Bill 2022. The Bill aims to provide greater security for tenants renting in the private sector in numerous ways. The Renters Reform Bill creates a ‘blanket ban’ on…
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HM Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee

We wish to join the nation in congratulating HM The Queen on an unprecedented 70 year reign of duty and service to all her peoples.  From all at Frank Smith & Co Solicitors we hope that you and your loved ones enjoy the long weekend of Jubilee celebrations.  
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Rights of Way

In mid-February, DEFRA announced that it was repealing the 2026 cut-off date for adding unrecorded rights of way to the definitive map in England and Wales. The cut off was a provision in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 that offered a line in the sand and a degree of certainty for landowners…
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