Thursday, 22 November 2012


Are you a Council House or Housing Association Tenant?  Are you aware that from April 2013 our housing benefit could be affected if you have a spare unoccupied room in your house?.

Putting it as simply as possible if your Local Authority decides that your home is too big for your needs your housing benefit will be reduced.  This has been called the under occupancy rule.

If your Local authority decide that you have one extra bedroom that is unoccupied then your housing benefit will be cut by a fixed percentage amount of 14%, if you have two or more extra bedrooms then that figure increases to 25%


So the question is will YOU be affected by this new rule, below is a list of the rooms you can rent without your housing benefit being affected.

1. If you are a couple and you have one bedroom.

2. If you have one bedroom for two children under the age of 10 (boys and girls are expected to share bedrooms up until that age)

3. If you have one bedroom for two children up to the age of 16 who are of the same sex.

4.  If you have an extra bedroom if you or your partner needs an overnight carer.

IF  YOU HAVE A CHILD WITH SEVERE SPECIAL NEEDS you may be able to justify their having their own room but you will needs to obtain assistance from your welfare benefit adviser in regard to this.

The circumstances in which you will NOT be able to claim housing benefit for an extra room are as follows:- 

1.  If you are a foster carer you will not be able to claim housing benefit if you provide your foster child with their own room.

2.  If you or your partners use separate rooms due to illness.

3.  If there is  disabled adult living in the home.

4. If you are divorced or separated and your children come to visit 

If you have a specially adapted home, your benefits may be cut despite however as it would be expensive and impractical to move you if your housing benefits are cut then you can apply for assistance under the discretionary housing benefit scheme further details of which can be obtained from

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Okay it is Christmas, a time when we give presents to each other.    We are sure, quite a few of you will be shopping online and in the stores this weekend for toys for your children and grandchildren.  When Christmas morning comes no doubt you will be able to sharing the joy and excitement on your children’s and grandchildren’s face as they open their toys.

Toys are meant to provide enjoyment and education for children of all ages, however they can also provide a great deal of danger. Small children, when left unsupervised, can sustain injuries to their eyes, mouth, throat, ears, arms, or legs, depending on the toy.

There are vigorous and essential safety requirements that manufacturers must make sure they undertake before they sell toys and  those warning signs and instructions are not attached to toys and packaging for fun.

Most children’s toys are actually very safe. However, every year, over 35,000 children under 15 go to A&E after tripping over, swallowing, or otherwise injuring themselves with a toy or part of a toy. Most of these accidents happen to toddlers between one and five.

One of the ways you can ensure that the toy you are purchasing for your child/grandchild this Christmas are safe is to look for toy labels - the most important one being the European Community (CE) symbol. A toy with this label is certified as meeting the requirements of the EC Toy Safety Directive.

So what do you do if your child is injured this year while playing with a toy? Your  first priority is to get your child medical attention.  Once you have ensured that your child is in safe hands, take a good look at the toy that caused the accident, is it defective or was it poorly designed, could something have been missed in the testing and quality control process, and, is this the reason that your child was hurt?.  If it is you may have a claim for personal injury.  Do not throw the toy away, if you still have the packaging keep it and take photographs of your child’s injuries.  

If you think you may have a claim and you need help as a litigant in person please ring us and we will do all we can to help you prepare your claim.

Don’t forget if you are concerned about the safety of any toy, you can report it straight away to your local trading standards office, who have a responsibility in law to protect consumers from unsafe products - and could prosecute the suppliers if a toy turns out to be unsafe.

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations.



Wednesday, 14 November 2012


Its Christmas and the office party is looming.  Its a time when everyone should be having a good time while the boss says thank you for your year's hard work by arranging the party.  However unfortunately it also a time when employees over indulge with the alcohol and this can result in office punch ups, threatening behaviour, inappropriate comment, incidents of harrassment and bullying and discrimination on the grounds of sex, race, sexuality, religion, disability or age.

Well you might be surprised to find out that you as an employer are responsible for your employees acts if they are carried in the course of their employment, and attending the Christmas Party is in the course of their employment

Employers you need to think about what you can do to minimise risks of your employers acting inappropriately at the Christmas Party

You need to be aware that when arranging a party  you may have employees who are of different religions and cultures.  As Christmas is  Christian celebration, not everyone may want to attend a Christmas party but you need to make sure that you invite everyone even people who are off work due to holidays or maternity/paternity leave.  Don't push people to attend the party and do remember that you may need to request vegetarian or halal food etc and not everyone drinks alcohol, so make sure that there are alternative beverages.

Try to make sure that you  avoid clashes with other religious dates, such as Jewish Hanukkah or the Islamic New Year, which tend to fall around the same time as Christmas

If you have employees who are disabled make sure that the venue has appropriate facilities and if partners are invited that invitation should include same sex partners,

Employers owe employees a ‘duty of care' and therefore you should also give some thought to ensuring that employees get home safely.  If you are aware employees are drinking don't allow them to drive home after the party.

Remind employees that inappropriate behaviour at the party and non attendance at work the following day may result in  their being disciplined in accordance with the companies Code of Conduct Policy.

Make sure you have clear and unambiguous policies in place, this will assist in defending any possible claims that you may receive. Make sure that if there are any complaints after the Christmas party that you investigate them fully and adhere to fair procedures . Follow the ACAS Code of Practice on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures or your own internal disciplinary procedures.  Any failure to act promptly could result in claims for discrimination at an Employment Tribunal.

Remember that as an employer you are liable for the actions and conduct of employees but also for third parties, i.e. entertainers or after dinner speakers!

One final thing employers owe employees a ‘duty of care' and therefore you should also give some thought to ensuring that employees get home safely if you are aware that they are drinking. In particular, make sure that they do not drink and drive after a party.

Why not provide contact numbers of local taxis and encourage staff to use them.

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations


Cyber bullying is defined as the use of ICT deliberately to upset someone.  It is a particularly nasty and upsetting form of bullying and there are things you can do if you are a victim of this form of bullying.  The effects of cyber bullying can be serious causing stress, a sense of isolation and at its worse can make you have suicidal thoughts.

Cyber bullying can take the form of malicious texts, facebook messages, malicious e-mails from anonymous senders and photographs and video footage of you used inappropriately over social network sites.

If you are the victim of Cyber bullying through malicious texts and e-mails at work block the caller/sender and report the incident to your Manager or HR Department immediately.If your child is a victim of cyber-bullying and you think you may know who the perpetrator is contact your child’s school immediately, as they normally have an established anti-bullying policy.

Under no circumstances reply to any inappropriate messages and Don’t forget to SAVE any emails/IMs/text messages or print out/take a screen shot of the content on the internet as evidence.  GET IN CONTACT WITH YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER to report the user and ask them to remove the content.  If you feel threatened or in fear of your life contact the Police IMMEDIATELY.

While there is no specific criminal offence called cyber bullying, these acts can be criminal offences under a range of different laws to include the Malicious Communications Act 1988, the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 and Public Order Act 1986

Cyber-bullying is being taken very seriously by the Courts and Facebook were recently ordered to provide the identity of cyber bullies for more information

If u have been or are a victim of cyber bullying you can bring criminal charges and a claim for personal injuries against the perpetrator

Affordable Law For You do not provide assistance in respect of criminal matters but do feel   very strongly about this matter and if need to get in contact with a Criminal Firm of Lawyers because you wish to bring charges against anyone who has committed such an act against you contact the Law Society and ask them for details of Criminal Solicitors in your area.

If you want to bring a claim for personal injuries we would be more than happy to help you with this.  Please contact us at   

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations


Friday, 9 November 2012

Believe us when we say that Christmas lights can result in your homes being consumed by fires caused by Christmas lights and candles.   Every year around 350 people a year are injured by Christmas tree lights, according to RoSPA.
Not only are there injuries when people fall due to using inadequate furniture to put up lights rather than a proper stepladders but many people end up with burns from faulty lights or even their home catching fire.   Further there are the injuries that are caused by children swallowing the Christmas light bulbs and people getting electric shocks.
To avoid an injury this Christmas purchase lights which have a British Safety Standard mark e.g. BS Kitemark.
We know you want to make your home look gorgeous this Christmas but don't overload plugs only fit 1 plug per socket unless u have a bar adaptor lead and make sure that cables aren't anywhere that they could cause a tripping accident.   Ensure that this Christmas you keep your Christmas lights well clear of decorations and other flammable materials and yes  Christmas lights are pretty but always switch the lights off before you go to bed and when you leave the house
With so many people round the house at Christmas  we know it may be a little difficult but don't allow young children to play with your Christmas lights and definitely do not let the dog chew the lights or the wires..
Finally don’t  forget to test your lights and the wiring before you put them up, as they can deteriorate over the years and finally check whether your lights can be used internally or externally

When Christmas lights are supplied to you the manufacturers have a responsibility to make sure that they are safe and the heaviest burden of responsibility lies with the manufacturer of the goods, but retailers and wholesalers that distribute the products also have a legal responsibilities.

If Christmas lights cause damage to your home, or, the contents of your home, keep the lights if they are still in a fit state and ensure that you get them inspected to see if they were defective  

If you are injured by Christmas lights in someone else's home you may be able to claim under the Occupiers Liability Act, but there are certain things you will need to do.
1.      Take photographs of any injuries
2.      Try to obtain a statement from  anyone who witnessed the incident.
3.   Obtain copies of any medical notes made if you attended at your GPs or the hospital.

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations

Thursday, 8 November 2012


Many of you will be going away for your Christmas holidays  this year so what can you do if you suffer as a result of food poisoning.   If you are on  package holiday then the The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.  If the food provided is sub-standard or food hygiene inadequate and you believe you have suffered food poisoning as a result of hotel food you will need to prove that the contaminated food came from the hotel.   If you can do this you may be able to argue that the organisers of your package holiday have breached their contract.

If u think you have contracted food poisoning at your hotel this Christmas you should see a doctor for a diagnosis immediately if you do see a doctor ask him to provide you with a medical report and keep any receipts in respect of medical expenses incurred by you.  

Having reported that you have contracted food poisoning to your holiday representative make sure you obtain written confirmation from them of your report also report your illness to hotel staff, and make a note of the name of the person you make the report to.   If other holidaymakers also suffer from food poisoining make sure that you get a note of their names and names, addresses and phone numbers .

If you can, get photographic/camcorder evidence/even evidence on your mobile phone recorder of unhygienic practices  i.e.   food with flies on it, dirty surrounding area etc this will of course help and just be extra cautious make a list of everything you have eaten in the last 48 hours before the attack

As soon as you get home from your holidays visit your own GP and give him/her a copy of the paperwork provided by the medical staff of the country that treated you.

Food poisoning can be very severe and have long term or even permanent effects.  If you need  any help or are thinking of bringing a claim please feel free to  contact us at

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations


Obviously if you are relatively young and you have  young children the last thing you want to think of is becoming seriously ill or dying and what would happen to your children in those circumstances. However,  sadly bad things happen to good people and it is sensible to think about what would happen to your children iin these circumstances.
So what do you need to consider:-
      Well who can appoint a Guardian?  A parent or appointed Guardian can appoint a Guardian.  If your child is legitimate (or has been legitimated or is adopted), then you as their parents (or adopting parents) will each have parental responsibility  and both of you may appoint guardians for your child/children in the event of your  respective deaths.  Where a couple are married or in a permanent and stable relationship it is normally accepted that the parent who survives the death of their spouse/civil partner etc will automatically become the guardian of any children of that marriage/civil partnership etc.The situation changes however if:  

As  parents of your child you were not married to each other at the time of your child’s  birth;
Your child has not been legitimated by your later marriage or adopted, and
Your child’s father’s name is not registered on the birth certificate.

In the above circumstances only a mother will have the authority to appoint a Guardian.
A father does not have automatic parental responsibility and so will not be able to appoint a guardian of the child on his death. However, a father may acquire parental responsibility (and therefore be able to appoint a guardian) in the following ways:-

(a)  through a court order granting him parental responsibility.
           (b)  by entering into a parental responsibility agreement with the child’s mother;
           (c) by being appointed, either by the mother or by the court, to assume parental responsibility after the mother’s death

          (d) by becoming registered as the child’s father primarily on the birth certificate provided that the child was born after 1 December 2003.  If the child was born before that date, the father will not acquire parental responsibility through this method unless the birth was reregistered after that date with the father’s name then appearing.
     Once you have established whether you have a right to appoint a Guardian on behalf of your children there are matters which you will need to seriously consider when deciding who to appoint as a Guardian e.g. :-

The age of your prospective Guardian.
The health of your prospective Guardian
Does your prospective Guardian have the same beliefs, morals and attitude to child rearing as you do?
If your children are of an age that they can make a decision have you discussed with them whether they would like to live with your prospective Guardian?
Is your prospective Guardian’s lifestyle suitable  for bringing up children?
Have you discussed with your prospective Guardian whether they are willing to take on the responsibility of your children?.
What financial arrangements have you made for the continuing welfare of your children?.
Have you taken out  a life assurance policy written in trust for your children (this may be an effective way of making provision for your children)

The appointment of a Guardian must be made in writing either as part of a Will or in the format of a legal statement, and must be signed by the person appointing the Guardian.
If you wish to appoint a Guardian for your children please do not hesitate to contact us at and we will refer you to our Expert in Wills and Estate Planning.

The information herewith gives general guidance.  It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations


If you are anything like us you love the food at Christmas and we know that many of you will be visiting restaurants for Christmas parties and generally to indulge in Christmas cuisine. We hope you have an amazing meal and that Christmas this year will not be spoilt because of food poisoning suffered at any of the restaurants you visit.

You need to be aware that if you are pregnant, elderly,  already suffering from an illness or a child it is likely that you will be more susceptible to food poisoning.   Symptoms of food poisoning are an upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhoea and in most instances will only last a short period however, food poisoning unfortunately can be more serious and cause prolonged illness and in extreme cases can result in death.   Most cases of food poisoning are caused by Salmonella bacteria but there are many bacteria including E-Coli and Listeria.

If you are unfortunate enough to be affected by one of the more serious forms of bacteria you could end up being hospitalised.

What can you do if you think you have suffered from food poisoning because of food eaten at a particular restaurant this Christmas.    Well on one of the first things that you can do is go to your doctor immediately, he will be able to take a stool sample to check for bacteria.     If you were eating with friends and family members or office colleagues,  it will help if you can find out whether anyone else had similar symptoms.  If you do know anyone else who has also suffered with food poisoning after eating at the same restaurant  ask them if they will provide a  statement confirming that they have also been ill due to food poisoning.

We hope you have an amazing Christmas holiday and that you enjoy every morsel that you eat.

The information herewith gives general guidance. It should not be regarded or relied upon as a complete or authoritative statement of the law or treated as a substitute for specific legal advice concerning individual situations

Saturday, 20 October 2012


Please be careful if you are a Litigant in Person.  In February this year Peter Elliott who claimed he was a  whistle blower managed to successfully persuade a High Court judge to overturn a judgement made against him  in 2010.  His grounds for his request was that that as a litigant in person without legal advice he had been significantly disadvantaged and further at the time that the Judgment was obtained he was suffering with some mental health issues.

In the latest case, Court of Appeal Vice President Lord Justice Kay said that the earlier judge had simply gone “too far” in making allowances for Mr Elliott as a litigant in person, adding that Mr Elliott’s lack of legal experience or understanding would not mean that he would be given “extra indulgence”.

This judgement does not mean that any litigant in person will not be given some level of special consideration – but it is a sign that in doing so, courts will not be overly indulgent in assisting self represented people.

For full details of the Judgment please go to


Sunday, 30 September 2012


Nowadays we are constantly warned about identity fraud and how to avoid it but how about Property fraud.  You may say I don't think this is very likely after all the deeds of the property are in my name so how could this happen.

Your property is probably the most valuable asset you own. That's why it's important you do whatever you can to protect it from the risk of fraud.

A clever fraudsters will often target people who own properties where there is no mortgage or the owner lives elsewhere. They will  attempt to acquire ownership of a property either by using  forged documents to transfer the property into their own name, or by impersonating the registered owner.

Obviously if you are living in your home then you have greater control, but a fraudster is clever and usually only targets the vunerable.  When reading this you need to consider whether you come under the category of one of the groups who would be considered to be vulnerable to the possibility of property fraud

  • has your relationship broken down
  • Is your property  empty or has been bought to let
  • Are you spending time abroad or are absent
  • Are you becoming infirm or are you or a member of your family in a  nursing or care home
  • Is your property mortgage free
There are things you can do to protect yourself

You can ensure that keep the name and address of the owner of the property up to date.  This is simply done by clicking on
and sending the completed form to :-

Land Registry
Gloucester Office
COA Team
Twyver House
Bruton Way

If your property is not registered and 20% of all properties owned in England and Wales are still not registered then  you may have a bundle of deeds. These form the documents of title. If the land/property is mortgaged, your lender will normally hold these deeds as security for their loan, however some people do choose to keep these documents in their home.  To avoid someone taking them and using them fraudently REGISTER YOUR PROPERTY IMMEDIATELY for full details of how to do this go to 

If you do not live at the property enter a RQ Restriction at the Land Registry   There is no charge for entering this restrict and you get a little more peace of mind.  So just fill in the appropriate form that can be found at    and send it to:-

Land Registry Birkenhead Office
Rosebrae Court
Woodside Ferry Approach
CH41 6DU

Owner occupiers who do live at their premises can also  request a restriction using  form RX1.  The Land Registry have created a special restriction for those who believe they may be at risk. This Form LL restriction makes sure that the Land Registry will not register a sale or a mortgage, unless a solicitor or other conveyancer has certified that the person who has signed the deed is the registered owner.    This is likely to  prevent a fraudster forging a signature. There is a £50 fee for this service and the wording of a restriction is very important and should read as follows:-

"No disposition of the registered estate by the proprietor of the registered estate is to be registered without a certificate signed by a conveyancer that the conveyancer is satisfied that the person who executed the document submitted for registration as disponor is the same person as the proprietor"

We think that £50.00 for peace of mind is a very small price to pay.

For fuller details of how your can prevent property fraud go to


Tuesday, 25 September 2012


If you are the Administrator of a person who had died intestate you may find yourself position of having to value the assets of that person.

Assets are anything that has a value, such as:
  • money in the bank, building society or savings accounts
  • houses and land, including farmland
  • investments such as stocks and shares
  • businesses, or business assets, owned by the deceased to include a business partnership of which they were a member
  • personal belongings to include jewellery, antiques and other collectibles
  • any furniture, fixtures and fittings in a house
  • any motor vehicles
  • any pensions that include a lump sum payment on death
  • payouts from life insurance policies
  • foreign assets held abroad including foreign bank accounts, property or shares
You also need to consider the value of assets held jointly by the deceased.  In the case of joint property you will need to obtain the market value of the property from an estate agent.

You must remember that if the value of the property comes to in excess of £325,000 it is likely that you as the administrator of the estate will have to deal with the payment of inheritance tax.



Sunday, 16 September 2012


We have recently been approached by two clients who are being bullied at work and as a result find themselves under increasing stress levels.

What can you do if you are being bullied at work, well here are a few tips.

1.  Keep a detailed diary of various incidents, what was said, the manner in which it was said and the circumstances in which it was said.

2.  Keep copies of any e-mails or any written evidence of the bullying.

3.  Has there been a culture of bullying in the workplace?  If other members of staff have left as a result of incidents of bullying, try to obtain their details as they may be willing to act as witnesses on your behalf.

4.  Is there anyone who has seen or evidenced the actS of bullying, if so, they may (though it is rare) be willing to act as a witness for you so at least ask.

5.  If the behaviour of your employers is causing your stress levels to raise to untenable levels then you must attend upon your GP and inform them.

6.  Does your firm have a grievance policy?  If it does then follow this precisely however, when putting your grievance in writing do have it checked by someone.  It would be preferable to have it checked by someone unconnected with your workplace.   It really is worth paying a reasonable fee to a lawyer who can review your comments with a view to any possible future claim.    If your grievance policy is not worded well this can work against you at a later date.

7.  Unfortunately anyone in this situation will become distressed and sometimes the most pragmatic of people cannot see situations clearly and may make unsubstantiated allegations which at a later may be the undoing of a reasonable claim.  SO HAVE THE CONTENTS OF YOUR GRIEVANCE POLICY CHECKED BEFORE YOU SUBMIT IT TO YOUR EMPLOYERS.

8.  If your employer states that they want a meeting with you, then if you belong to a Union ask for a representative to attend with you. If you do not belong to a Union confirm that you are willing to attend a meeting but you wish to bring a friend to take notes of the meeting.  There are times when you may not feel confident in your Union Representative, in which case only you can make the decision of whether you want them in attendance, BUT DO TAKE SOMEONE TO THE MEETING WITH YOU.

9.  If you cannot take a friend then ask if you can tape the meeting or alternatively make a full note of the meeting, this will be time consuming obviously as you will have to make a note of each question asked of you and then note your response, but, it is important that you obtain this record.

10.  If you are handed any documentation and asked to comment on it, request a copy of such documentation for your records.



Wednesday, 5 September 2012


The above mentioned regulations apply to unfair terms in contracts between a seller or supplier and a consumer

A standard term (that is one that has not been individually negotiated) in such a contract will be regarded as unfair "if, contrary to the requirements of good faith, it causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations to the detriment of the consumer".

In the case of R (on the application of Khatun) v Newham London Borough Council [2005] EWCA Civ 55; [2005] QB 37. A local authority's policy required homeless people to accept or decline accommodation offered under Housing Act 1996 section 193(2) without being able to view the property in advance.

One aspect of the hearing that the  Court considered was whether expecting homeless people to accept or decline accommodation offered without being able to view such accommodation  in advance was considered to breach of The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

3 questions were considered:

Did the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 apply to contracts relating to land (i.e. contracts for the disposal of an interest in or rights of occupation over land)?

Did the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 apply to public authorities such as the council in this case?

Was the council a "seller or supplier" and were the claimants "consumers" within the meaning of the Regulations?

The Court of Appeal decided that the  Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 did apply to contracts relating to land.

It decided that the main point of the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 was to provide a high level of consumer protection.

As the purchase or lease of a home was a key event in peoples’ lives, it was expected that purchases and leases would fall within the scope of the  Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999

The court  also decided that the  Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 did apply to public authorities such as councils, and that the council was a "seller or supplier" and the tenants were "consumers"  under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999.

Therefore the homeless people offered property without being able to view it prior to accepting or declining were subject to a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations to the detriment of them as  consumers,


The answer is likely to be NO.

Under the Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 a landlord may be not be able to  vary a  tenancy just by giving his/her tenant notice.  A Landord's best course of action would be to  attempt to agree a variation with their tenant. If the tenancy is a long tenancy, a Landlord may wish to consider whether he/she can apply for a variation under Part IV of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987.  Detailed advice in respect of these provisions may need to be obtained.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


Condition of floors and traffic routes

12.—(1) Every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be of a construction such that the floor or surface of the traffic route is suitable for the purpose for which it is used.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (1), the requirements in that paragraph shall include requirements that—

(a)the floor, or surface of the traffic route, shall have no hole or slope, or be uneven or slippery so as, in each case, to expose any person to a risk to his health or safety; and

(b)every such floor shall have effective means of drainage where necessary.

(3) So far as is reasonably practicable, every floor in a workplace and the surface of every traffic route in a workplace shall be kept free from obstructions and from any article or substance which may cause a person to slip, trip or fall.

(4) In considering whether for the purposes of paragraph (2)(a) a hole or slope exposes any person to a risk to his health or safety—

(a)no account shall be taken of a hole where adequate measures have been taken to prevent a person falling; and

(b)account shall be taken of any handrail provided in connection with any slope.

(5) Suitable and sufficient handrails and, if appropriate, guards shall be provided on all traffic routes which are staircases except in circumstances in which a handrail can not be provided without obstructing the traffic route.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012




Maintenance of workplace, and of equipment, devices and systems

5.—(1) The workplace and the equipment, devices and systems to which this regulation applies shall be maintained (including cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.

(2) Where appropriate, the equipment, devices and systems to which this regulation applies shall be subject to a suitable system of maintenance.

(3) The equipment, devices and systems to which this regulation applies are—

(a)equipment and devices a fault in which is liable to result in a failure to comply with any of these Regulations; and

(b)mechanical ventilation systems provided pursuant to regulation 6 (whether or not they include equipment or devices within sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph).

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Monday, 30 July 2012


1.  Read the terms and conditions of any Travel Contract or Agreement signed by you.
2.  Double check if there are any exclusion clauses.
3.  Establish whether excursions are purchased within your package holiday or not.
4.  Make a note of conversations with Travel Operators, Reps etc this could be vital.
5.  Does the country you are holidaying  in come under the Rome Convention.
6.  Have you got adequate insurance, make sure you read the terms and conditions of your insurance, are there any exclusion clauses.
7.  If you are provided with a contract in respect of your excursion, read the small print.
8.  Remember some countries like Ecuador are exciting but you may only be able to bring a claim in the Court of the country where you have sustained an injury through someone else's negligent behaviour.  You need to ensure that you are aware of the limitation periods in those countries and you need to consider the fact that you may have to instruct lawyers in that country.  
UNDER THE CRIMINAL LAW ACT SECTION 7(1) ANY PERSON WHO IS  is on any premises as a trespasser after having
entered as such is guilty of an offence if he fails to leave those
premises on being required to do so by or on behalf of-

(a) a disp...laced residential occupier of the premises ; or
(b) an individual who is a protected intending occupier of
the premises by virtue of subsection (2) or subsection
(4) below.

(2) For the purposes of this section an individual is a protected
intending occupier of any premises at any time if at that

(a) he has in those premises a freehold interest or a leasehold
interest with not less than 21 years still to run
and he acquired that interest as a purchaser for money
or money's worth ; and
(b) he requires the premises for his own occupation as a
residence ; and
(c) he is excluded from occupation of the premises by a
person who entered them, or any access to them, as a
trespasser ; and
(d) he or a person acting on his behalf holds a written
(i) which specifies his interest in the premises ; and
(ii) which states that he requires the premises for
occupation as a residence for himself ; and
(iii) with respect to which the requirements in


The position is set out clearly below in Section 6 of the Criminal Law Act 1977.


6.-(1) Subject to the following provisions of this section, any violence for person who, without lawful authority, uses or threatens violence securing entry.

PART II for the purpose of securing entry into any premises for himself or for any other person is guilty of an offence, provided that-

(a) there is someone present on those premises at the time
who is opposed to the entry which the violence is intended to secure ; and

(b) the person using or threatening the violence knows that
that is the case.

To read the rest of this section of the Criminal Law Act 1977 please go to.

Friday, 27 July 2012

List of Countries in the Berne Convention

  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • CostaRica
  • Coted Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Holy See
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Korea
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Morocco
  • Namibia
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Africa
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Thailand
  • Theformer Yugoslav
  • Togo
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Wednesday, 25 July 2012



(1) The expression “literary and artistic works” shall include every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression, such as books, pamphlets and other writings; lectures, addresses, sermons and other works of the same nature; dramatic or dramatico-musical works; choreographic works and entertainments in dumb show; musical compositions with or without words; cinematographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to cinematography; works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving and lithography; photographic works to which are assimilated works expressed by a process analogous to photography; works of applied art; illustrations, maps, plans, sketches and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Having a family barbecue, don't end up paying out for a claim for damage to property or personal injury

Summer is here (well there are vague signs of it) and if you are anything like the people on the Affordable Law For Team you will be getting the barbecue out.
But did you know that £617m of fire damage has been caused as a result of incidents ocurring whilst people were drunk and  in charge of a barbecue.

In  a recent article by Which magazine we are informed that "An overwhelming 80% of drunk barbecuing incidences were caused by men, with the average cost of damage being £383. Although women are less likely to cause such problems, the cost of damage tends to be higher, at around £525."  This is supported by a government study which you can access at

Whether we like it or not when you light up your barbecue you are playing with fire and with the garden being filled with sheds, which may contain gas containers, wooden decking, etc an out of control barbecue or garden fire can cause thousands of pounds worth or property damage and some very nasty personal injuries.

For tips on how to ensure that friends and family are safe when barbecuing please go to and


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Trampolining is fun but don't get bounced into Court

Trampolines are great fun for children,  but accidents involving trampolines are common and if you invite friends and family around you need to consider their safety and whether you could be liable for any injury  that occurs to them in the course of trampolining on your trampoline.

Research published in the journal Injury Prevention in 2006 found that trampoline-related broken bones accounted for over one in 10 childhood fractures. This supports research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which found that 11,500 people in the UK went to hospital after a trampoline-related accident in 2002 – an increase of over 50% over a five-year period.

About 75% of injuries occur when more than one person is on the trampoline, with the person who weighs less being five times more likely to be injured.   Trampolines are not designed for the safe use of toddlers and babies and however there are trampolines that are specially designed for their age range and they should only be allowed on such a trampoline and should always be supervised. Don't forget head injuries can result in a child being permanently mentally impaired and a broken leg etc can lead to an amputation as can be seen in the unfortunate case of Michelle Hatfield

The overriding approach is set out in the case of Perry & Perry v Harris (a minor) [2008] EWCA Civ 907 referred to in our previous blog. 

Each case will need to be considered individually and what will be considers is

1.  was the injury reasonably foreseeable to the reasonable man and
2.  what precautions should the reasonable parent take to guard against them.

This approach is summarised in the final paragraph of Lord Phillips’s judgment, as follows:

‘ a large extent a case of this nature properly turns on first impressions. The factual scenario is a simple one and the photographs give a very clear picture of the bouncy castle. ... The issue is whether a reasonably careful parent could have acted in the same way as the defendant. The case does not turn on expert evidence or special knowledge. Essentially we have had to place ourselves in the shoes of the defendant and consider the adequacy of her conduct from that viewpoint and with the knowledge that she had. Each of us had the same reaction to the facts. The defendant could not be held at fault for the way that she acted. The manner in which she was supervising activities on the bouncy castle ... accorded with the demands of reasonable care for the children using [it]. The accident was a freak and tragic accident. It occurred without fault.’

So what should you do to ensure that

1.  An Accident does not occur in the course of your own or your child's friends etc using your trampoline.
2.  Or alternatively ensuring that your are not liable in the very unfortunate situation that your child or your child's friend's etc are injured.

  • Don't  allow more than one person on the trampoline at the same time.
  • Children under 6 should use trampolines designed for their age range and size, trampolines and don't forget trampolines are not suitable for very young children and toddlers.
  • Always supervise children, don't presume that because older children are around that supervision is not required this is one area that could result in your being found to be liable for injuries sustained by a child using your trampoline.
  • Do not allow children to do somersaults - there are clubs with qualified people to assist children to undertake somersaults in a relatively safe enviroment

  • For further information on the recommended safety practices when allowing your own or other people's children to use your trampoline please go to:-

    This article is provided for information purposes only