21/04/2009

Miscellany

In the continuing absence of anything like actual case law, here are some news items and catch up bits on previous stories.

The Government has announced the availability of its Homeowner Mortgage Support Scheme. This is available for those with mortgages up to £400,000 and savings under £16,000, who have suffered a sudden drop in income. They must currently have mortgages with a limited list of providers (Lloyds Bank Group which includes Halifax and Bank of Scotland, Northern Rock, the Royal Bank of Scotland which includes NatWest and Ulster Bank, Bradford and Bingley, Cumberland Building Society, and the National Australia Bank Group which includes Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank. So, largely those who have significant public ownership/capital injections). The mortgagors who apply will be able to reduce their mortgage payments to 30% for two years. The missing amount will be repayable later, so effectively an arrears to capital scheme, but the lenders are underwritten on the deferred amount by the Government/taxpayer. The amount of underwriting available is estimated to be enough for up to 40,000 mortgagors.

Nearly Legal, we will freely admit, runs the risk of being London-centric. We do our best, yet still most, but not all, of us are London based. So we’re happy to get news of the forthcoming first annual general meeting of the Yorkshire Housing Law Practioners Association on 7 May. A PDF flier with details is here.

Barrister and editor of the employment law updates, Daniel Barnett has broken through his £10,000 charity fund raising target on the 10th anniversary of the email updates within two weeks of announcing it. Excellent work and all further donations are sure to be gratefully received.

And lastly comes news of a participant in one of this blog’s favourite (by number of comments and number of page views) Naughty Step posts. According to the Estates Gazette, Shamim Karim is suing Foxtons. Shamim Karim was, lest we forget, struck off as a solicitor for serious and repeated dishonesty. (Am I alone in thinking we can do with a better term than ‘struck off’. Vicars are defrocked, barristers disbarred, Surely solicitors should be ‘unrolled’. The campaign starts here.)

Now, like an English tourist stumbling into a corrida, this is one of those fights that leaves you unsure who to root for, but watching in horrified fascination. On the one hand, Shamim Karim, found to be responsible for dishonest appropriation of client funds in the hundreds of thousands, or on the other, well, Foxtons, fresh from their latest defeat in the Court of Appeal by the Office of Fair Trading. But the reported claim is as follows…

The Karim house in Esher (oh fragrant Esher) has been repossessed by the Furness Building Society, who instructed Foxtons on the sale. Shamim Karim claims that Foxtons reduced the price of the property against her instructions and is claiming £100,000 in damages in breach of contract and deceit.

As it was apparently the Furness BS that instructed Foxtons on the sale, I must confess myself slightly puzzled as to the privity of contract, but no doubt the report is lacking salient details. Foxtons, meanwhile, claim that Shamim Kaim failed to grant access for viewings or return phone calls ‘within a reasonable time’, thereby deliberately frustrating its efforts to secure an offer, and for this reason it resigned as agent.

You can pick sides if you want, but NL is sitting this one out as a disinterested, but entertained, observer. Always keen on Tauromachia, I’m just trying to work out who is the torero and who the bull.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.

1 Comment

  1. simply wondered

    i’m rooting for ms karim – business before pleasure and all that!

    Reply

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