Hylton-Potts Law Blog

Legal Issues and Opinions affecting people from across the UK


Unlawful Subletting – Are you at Risk of Prosecution?

Anyone who has had to deal with their local authority in connection with social housing will be well aware of the loops that you are forced to jump through and the time and effort it takes simply to get a suitable roof over your head.
The trouble is, demand is greater than supply. There barely seems to be a day that goes by without some new development project shouting from the rooftops that a proportion of its new builds will be social housing, but the truth is that for all the noise, the number actually being built cannot keep up with

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Brexit and the NHS – It’s not too late to save our Doctors

A few months ago, I published a piece about the impact of Brexit on NHS staffing throughout the UK. Now, we all know that Brexit can be a divisive subject, but it was interesting at the time to see the comments left by readers – whether you think Brexit is the best thing that has ever happened or a complete disaster for the country, we are all in agreement that we need to make sure the NHS and the wonderful doctors and nurses who come from all across Europe, are protected.
The decision on Brexit has been made and is yesterday’s

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Being together and living apart – a new dynamic for the 21st century

What is the typical family unit today? Mum, Dad and 2.4 children? A single Mum with kids? A cohabiting couple? The answer is yes to all of these, and in many cases, you can also throw in additional factors such as stepchildren, new partners, same-sex couples and numerous variations on and combinations of the above themes.
In other words, there is really no such thing as a typical family unit. We all have our own individual circumstances, and in many cases, they are on the complicated side.
Apart-ners
As if that wasn’t complex enough, the most recent census data has shown a new

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Is marriage going permanently out of fashion?

UK divorce rates are in decline. You might be surprised to hear that, given the increasingly fractured nature of the typical family unit these days, but it is true. Divorces actually peaked in 1993 at 165,000, and have been steadily dropping year on year – the figure for 2016 was just under 107,000.
You just know that there is a “but” coming though, don’t you? A major factor behind this trend is that there are fewer married couples out there to get divorced. To compare apples with apples, we need to note that in 1993 there were around 300,000 marriages, whereas

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Should You Consider a Cohabitation Agreement?

Family units come in a broader variety of types, shapes and sizes than they did a generation or two ago. Yet the wheels of family law turn slowly, and it is common to find ourselves in a position where the legal system is poorly equipped to handle the modern family dynamic.
Cohabiting couples are a case in point. According to figures from the Office of National Statistics, the number of couples who live together but are not married has risen by more than 100 percent over the past 20 years, from around 1.5 million in the mid 90s to almost 3.5

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Universal Credit – The Controversy Continues

I have spent some time on these pages discussing the roll out of the government’s controversial Universal Credit payment system, as judging by the calls, emails and comments we receive online, it is the single largest concern facing our clients.
And it is not just you who feel that universal credit will bring misery and hardship in the run up to Christmas. Most recently, we touched on the parliamentary debate in which labour MPs called on the government to pause any further roll out. As we predicted, Conservative MPs abstained from the vote, so the resulting landslide of 299 votes to

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Universal Credit Roll Out Continues to Cause Chaos and Misery

We have covered the roll out of universal credit in a number of articles over recent months, and it looks like we will continue to do so, as the government’s “six in one” benefits package continues to roll out unabated. This is in spite of increasing sounds of alarm across media outlets and from every corner of the country.
Who is against it?
If only we had enough time and space to answer that question! A better question might be who is in favour of it. The government is sticking by it, but there are even those among their number who are

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Are “No Fault” Divorces a Step Closer?

 The question of whether the UK should change the fault based system for filing for divorce is one that has raised its head on numerous occasions, but a campaign launched by one of the UK’s most prominent divorce lawyers could lead to it becoming a reality.
Ayesha Vardag has picked up the nickname “Diva of the Divorce Courts,” having represented numerous celebrities, footballers and even members of the Royal Family in some of the most high-profile divorce cases. Earlier this year, she represented Pauline Chai, the former Malaysian beauty queen, and helped her secure a £64 million settlement in her divorce

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Benefits Claimant Facing Fraud Charges – After he’d paid the money back!

We recently discussed the shocking case of senior officers in a number of councils across London who had masterminded a £1 million fraud by inventing a host of bogus claimants, used forged identity documents to set up bogus bank accounts and then siphoned off the money for themselves.
The matter was referred to Southwark Crown Court, and we will keep a close eye on proceedings and provide an update on sentencing when we hear more.
In the meantime, it is interesting to note that while officers who steal millions from within the system await their day in court, a man who tried

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Council Workers Masterminded £1 Million Fraud

The media is never shy when it comes to publishing sensationalist articles about individuals playing the system to claim more benefits that their entitlements allow. Typically, they are shown as criminal fraudsters who are too lazy to make a living and are trying to live off the hard work of others.
In most cases, the real story behind the headlines is quite different and has nothing to do with greed or criminal masterminds. The people are typically everyday individuals who have been pushed into desperate measures in order to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. Their

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