Chennells Albertyn Attorneys's Monthly Newsletter

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August 2020 NEWSLETTER
Property: Green Shoots, Agent’s Commission and Fidelity Fund Certificates
If you are thinking of buying property, now might well be the perfect time with the pandemic having pushed down both prices and interest rates. 

The other side of the coin of course is that both sellers and estate agents will be looking with hope at the first green shoots of a market recovery, so it’s a good time to remember that an agent’s entitlement to commission is dependent on holding a valid and current fidelity fund certificate. 

What happens though if an agent, having done everything necessary to apply for a valid certificate, fails to get it through an error on the part of the issuing authority? A recent Supreme Court of Appeal decision has answered that question…
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The Pandemic and Business Interruption Cover – Can You Claim?
ArticleImage If yours is one of the many businesses closed down and/or trying to operate with one hand tied behind your back as a result of the lockdown, you will no doubt have checked all your business insurance policies for a “notifiable disease extension” (or the like) clause. If you are fortunate enough to have such cover and your claim for losses has been rejected by the insurers, you will be wondering whether the recent high-profile High Court decision in favour of a restaurant has come to your rescue.

We analyse that judgment with particular emphasis on the two things which you must prove for your claim to be valid, with some thoughts on the importance of the wording of your particular policy, and with a recommendation on complaining to the industry authority if you feel you have been treated unfairly.
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Lockdown Admission of Guilt Fines – The Criminal Record Risk
ArticleImage The lockdown laws we are subject to are many, varied and easily broken, with substantial penalties for contraventions. 

Anyone accused of breaking any of them will probably be offered the option of paying an “admission of guilt” fine. If that happens to you, just be very careful before opting to go that route – tempting as it is to pay up and put the whole thing behind you, it could land you with a criminal record.

And a criminal record is very bad news - we look at why that is and when you are most at risk, and we discuss how difficult it is to get rid of a criminal record once you have one. 
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Property Subsidence: New Law, Strict Liability and Ubuntu
ArticleImage Property subsidence is every homeowner’s nightmare. Perhaps you’ve noticed those cracks in the living room wall widening alarmingly, or perhaps the pool is moving and starting to leak. Suddenly you fear for the integrity of your house and property. 

The neighbour, who is happily excavating next door for a new house or garage or pool, can’t or won’t address your concerns. “It’s your problem” says the neighbour, “I’m building strictly according to plan”.

Where do you stand legally? What can you do to protect your land and house, or to recover your losses if the damage has already been done? We address those questions with reference to a new and “ground-breaking” Supreme Court of Appeal judgment. 
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Websites of the Month: Why and How to Encourage Whistleblowing in Your Workplace
ArticleImage The lockdown and all its business stresses and strains are exposing companies to new and greater risks of unlawful conduct and loss.

With that comes an increased need to protect yourself and your business from those risks, so we’ll refer you to online resources discussing (a) why every company should encourage whistleblowing in the workplace and (b) how you should go about it. 

We’ll end off with links to the websites of two whistleblowing platforms making it easy to encourage effective and anonymous online reporting.  
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The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.

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