Firm News

Shared Ownership: A Step on the Property Ladder

There are many advantages and disadvantages to buying a shared ownership home. However, the positives outweigh the negatives by far!

Shared ownership gives buyers who are eligible for a mortgage an opportunity to get their foot on the property ladder by allowing them to buy a percentage share of the equity in a property, depending on their financial capacity, starting from a 25 % share. They would then pay rent to the landlord (which is usually a housing association) on the remaining equity.

Shared ownership schemes also give owners the opportunity to ‘staircase’. This means that the homeowner can buy a further share of the equity in the property which leads to a reduction in the rent they have to pay to the landlord. A homeowner has the opportunity to eventually own 100% of the equity in a property. Therefore, shared ownership schemes offer an alternative way to own a home.  Most shared ownership properties are leasehold which means that the buyer will have to pay service charge to the landlord and also contribute to any works in the building.  However, even with these expenses and mortgage instalments, owning a shared ownership property is still more affordable than buying all of the equity in a property.

It is important to be aware that there are also disadvantages involved in owing a shared ownership property, for example conditions to owing the property may be that you are not allowed to let or sublet the property or make any alternations to the structure without the landlord’s written consent. The process of ‘staircasing’ can also be costly as you would be paying for the additional shares based on the current market value (not the initial purchase price). In addition, you have to pay a surveyor to value the property and pay legal costs. You would also have to pay stamp duty on the extra share that you have purchased when the share goes over 80%  and you may have to increase your mortgage or change lenders.

Here at HPW, we have acted for many shared ownership buyers and sellers and are very familiar with shared ownership transactions. If you are thinking of buying or selling a share in a shared ownership home or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Melanie Chandler Testimonial

Melanie Chandler fell victim to a beauty business that used equipment that had not been tested and staff that lacked due care and attention. The accident left Melanie with depression and anxiety issues, alongside physical markings, not something she was expecting on the back of what she hoped would be a simple procedure. With the help of the team at HPW, we are pleased to share that all efforts ensured the case was a success. We spent time with Melanie discussing her experiences of HPW:

Can you give some background on your case and the services that HPW provided…

 In October 2013 I was halfway through a course of laser hair removal when I suffered partial thickness burns to the backs of my thighs and bikini area. This was as a result of faulty equipment and the therapist’s lack of due care and attention when I told her that the treatment was far more painful than usual. The burns were so severe that I had to end the session early to go directly to Accident & Emergency with blistering and intense pain. It took about a month to recover, which included two weeks off work, huge discomfort, and multiple visits to the hospital to have dressings changed. Once the burns had healed I was left with multiple (around 60), rectangular pale patches from beneath my buttocks to the backs of my knees and all over my bikini area as a result of the melanin having been destroyed by the burn. I was told that the only options to improve the appearance of my legs in the short to medium term in skirts, shorts and bikinis would be to have some pretty drastic plastic surgery, otherwise just to “watch and wait” to see whether it improved over time. This whole episode massively affected my self esteem and confidence, had knock on effects on my relationship with my partner and ultimately contributed to me suffering depression and anxiety for over two years following the incident. The team at HPW ensured that I received the medical attention I needed, going above any beyond to ensure I made a full recovery.

How would you describe your experience of using HPW Solicitors?

I first approached HPW with some trepidation, having developed quite a negative impression of personal injury solicitors from aggressive television advertising I had seen. I had an initial conversation on the phone, and was expecting a “hard sell”, so I was really surprised that the solicitor I spoke to spent more time listening to me than talking. I went to meet him face to face and was taken aback by how “human” he seemed – he expressed concern and sympathy for what had happened which made me feel as if he saw me more than just the next sales opportunity. He also seemed very knowledgeable in my specific area and gave examples of not only the kind of timescales and compensation I might expect, which helped me to set / manage my expectations about what I was getting into; but also the treatment options that HPW could help me to exploit, which really made me feel that pursuing the case was about helping me to recover, rather than just a cynical pursuit of financial compensation. Once I had decided to pursue the case, I was guided through every step of the way with patience, discretion, understanding, and unobtrusive follow-up, which I really appreciated at times when things got on top of me and the last thing I wanted to do was write long, detailed reports about what had happened or submit photographs of my intimate areas.

 Around half way through my case, my solicitor left the firm and my case was reassigned.  I met with Melanie Neale who took over the conduct of my case. I was kept informed throughout the process and had a face-to-face meeting with her. This maintained my sense that I was dealing with a person and that my case was important to her. When it came to settling my case I really appreciated that she took on board my requests and feedback and it felt that she was advocating on my behalf to come to an agreement on my compensation. This was balanced with sound advice about similar cases and the quantum of damages it was reasonable to push for without jeopardising our chance of success.

Would you recommend HPW Solicitors to somebody else who is looking for a Personal Injury Solicitor? If so, why?

I would recommend HPW for all the reason outlined in bold above as follows:

• solicitor I spoke to at my initial enquiry spent more time listening to me than talking

• seemed “human”  – expressed concern and sympathy

• was able to recommend the appropriate medical experts, who were able to help me

• very knowledgeable in my specific area

• helped me to set / manage my expectations about what I was getting into

• made me feel that pursuing the case was about helping me to recover

• patience, discretion, understanding, and unobtrusive follow-up

• kept informed throughout the process

• sense that I was dealing with a person and that my case was important

• took on board my requests and feedback and it felt that she was advocating on my behalf

• sound advice about similar cases and the quantum of damages it was reasonable to push for

We are pleased to confirm that Melanie was successful in her case and that she has managed to move forward positively on the back of the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident or know someone who has, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Personal Injury: Veera Testimonial

Veera suffered a terrible road traffic accident in 2010 whilst visiting the UK prior to entering further education in her native Finland. Her case has taken 5 years to reach its culmination. With the help of the team at HPW, we are pleased to share that all efforts ensured the case was a success. We spent time with Veera discussing her experiences of HPW over the last 5 years:

Can you give some background on your case and the services that HPW provided…

I had a personal injury claim against an insurance company for injuries sustained in a road traffic accident in 2010. The driver was intoxicated and lost control of the car, causing me various injuries to my spine, neck, brain and face.

It was a long process, taking up to five years, to gather all the relevant evidence for the court from medical and other experts, family, friends and eyewitnesses. The entire process of collecting data was organized and handled by the HPW solicitors. They also informed me and arranged all other relevant matters, such as insurances in case of defeat, necessary payments to the court, and mediating between myself and others involved in the case.

How would you describe your experience of using HPW Solicitors?

I am very satisfied with the help given to me by the HPW solicitors. Despite of various sensitive aspects of my case, they handled it very professionally and were always highly considerate towards me.

Would you recommend HPW Solicitors to somebody else who is looking for a Personal Injury Solicitor? If so, why?

I would warmly recommend HPW solicitors to somebody else looking for a Personal Injury Solicitor. The communications were always very warm making the process less burdensome and painful. My case was handled with extreme care and caution in order not to miss any important evidence or facts from the Court. I always felt like my case was in good hands and never had to doubt the sincerity or effort of the solicitors. My case was successful and my losses were compensated to a great extent.

Having been injured in the UK, did you find comfort in the fact HPW have a Finnish lawyer with close links to the Finnish Consul?

I was informed about HPW solicitors by the Finnish embassy in London. In the beginning it felt quite important to have somebody there speaking my native language; however, I felt equally confident using English language.

I would like to thank Charlotte and the rest of the HPW team for their continued support throughout the entirety of the case. They have been extremely understanding and diligent in what have been some difficult circumstances.

We are pleased to confirm that Veera has gone on to complete her education at Malmo University despite her very limiting injuries.

If you have been involved in a road traffic accident or know someone who has, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Outi Hubbard tells her story to Spear

Senior Partner, Outi Hubbard was warmly received on Friday 30th September by Spear when she spoke at St Paul’s Church Hammersmith to a group of youths about her journey from school to HPW solicitors. Outi is a great supporter of Spear , an organisation that has helped over 2,500 young people into employment or education since launching in Hammersmith in 2004.

Spear’s vision is “to ignite a ‘vision of the possible’ in unemployed young people, to build their confidence and ability to effect life-changing choices; and to develop their leadership potential within the local community.” Spear is a project of Resurgo Trust which exists to galvanise neighbourhood transformation in London and beyond.

Outi is delighted to help such an organisation in the Hammersmith community and we are looking forward as a company to the continued relationship with the charity.

For more information on the charity please visit www.spearcourse.org

Work together with our Property Department

Running up to and as a result of the EU Referendum, there seems to be a reluctance in the property market for buying and selling. Despite this, our property department remains busy with other transactions which include re-mortgages, lease extensions, transfers of equity, shared ownership purchases and sales, staircasing, redemption of equity mortgages, deeds of variation, collective enfranchisement, Licences to Assign, Statutory Declarations and Declarations of Trust. We always go the extra mile for our clients, even if it means going beyond what is normally expected in a conveyancing transaction to ensure that transactions are completed efficiently. Having access to highly experienced probate and property litigation colleagues make our work more insightful and enable us to deal with complicated matters. Being added to the panels of Santander, HSBC, Yorkshire Building Society and Accord Mortgages means we can now act for almost all lenders, making our services available to most property transactions.

It is very important to us that we achieve the best possible outcome for our clients and we are always readily available to speak to them should they have any concerns. Working together with all stake holders help achieve the results we target.

HPW Supporting The Mulberry Centre

We are delighted to announce that Hubbard Pegman & Whitney LLP will be supporting The Mulberry Centre, a local registered cancer support charity based at in the grounds of the West Middlesex University Hospital. The charity’s objective is designed to provide support and information for anyone affected by cancer (whether patient, family/friends, carer, bereaved), offering practical ways of enhancing physical, psychological and emotional well-being.

HPW were delighted to attend and support  The Mulberry Saturday Social event which took place on the 24th September 2016.There are a number of activities planned throughout the day, with refreshments provided.

HPW have also agreed to help the cCentre by providing free monthly legal surgeries for their clients and families.  

Melanie Neale of HPW said, “supporting The Mulberry Centre is a fantastic opportunity for us. We are keen to engage with the local community and offer our expertise to those that need it the most. The cCentre needs circa £390,000 in donations every year to continue to keep its doors open and we are keen to help them as much as we can with this vital goal.” 

For more information please visit The Mulberry Centre website: www.themulberrycentre.co.uk