Sunday, January 20, 2019

New Charter Homes and Aksa Homes; part of Jigsaw Homes Group have been awarded a gold rating for its environmental performance, after being assessed by a national environmental benchmarking group, SHIFT (Sustainable Homes Index for Tomorrow).

The accreditation measures the environmental work of organisations in the housing sector and assesses key areas that they need to deliver in.

According to the report, the organisations were recognised for their sustainability projects such as carbon literacy training for all staff and installing electric vehicle charging points at offices.

Different categories have looked at the environmental impact of all of the housing associations’ work, including new build and day to day office practices, existing property works and future plans for remaining environmentally friendly.

Danny Vose, Head of Asset Management for Jigsaw Group said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to gain the gold rating from SHIFT and are really pleased to be recognised so highly for our awareness of the environment that we work in.

“We understand that, now more than ever, all companies need to recognise the impact that they have on the environment but particularly so in the case of building work. We work hard to have only a positive impact on the communities that we work and develop in, so we’re delighted to be recognised so highly by a national body.”

For more information, visit or Twitter @JigsawHG.



Motiv8, a Greater Manchester programme to help people overcome barriers to get back on track, has won the ‘Care and Support Provider of the Year’ category at this year’s national, prestigious 24 Housing Awards for the work they do to support people across Greater Manchester.

Motiv8 supports some of the most vulnerable people in Greater Manchester to improve their health and well-being, self-confidence and employability skills and move them closer to employment.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund and supports people to overcome multiple, complex needs and move them closer to training and work.  The programme has already supported over 2,000 people to get back on track.

New Charter Homes, part of the newly formed Jigsaw Group, is leading the Motiv8 programme with support from four other Manchester Athena housing providers – Stockport Homes, ForViva, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group and Bolton at Home. Manchester Athena is a partnership of 15 social landlords across Greater Manchester, who work together to deliver employment and health programmes across the region.

The 24 Housing Awards were founded in 2013 with the aim of celebrating the very best that the housing sector has to offer and the Awards have become a celebration, reflection and recognition of the UK housing sector and its professionals whose job it is to provide a vital resource to some of the most vulnerable people in the country.

Kerrie Pryde, Assistant Director of Commercial Services for Jigsaw Group, said: “We were up against some strong competition at this prestigious event which was attended by over 500 UK housing professionals. We are absolutely thrilled that the work that we are doing has been recognised and follows success in the Housing Heroes Awards earlier this year. This is a very much a team effort with our partners delivering the service locally across Greater Manchester.  Our approach, through Motiv8, is a tailored, personal one that is adapted to suit the needs of our clients and it is very rewarding to see the difference we can make when people are supported to receive the help they need.”

To qualify for Motiv8 support you need to be aged 25 or over, live in Greater Manchester and have the right to remain and work in the UK. You must also not be involved with any other training or employment. You can either contact Motiv8 direct or be referred through an agency.  The programme encourages referrals from people who are under-represented in the labour-market such as ex-offenders, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups, ethnic minorities and migrant communities as well as people who have, for a variety of reasons, lost their way.

To find out more about Motiv8 and the eligibility criteria for the programme, please visit their website or call 0161 331 2048 or email  You can also follow them on Twitter @Motiv8GM.


A new residential nil rate band (RNRB) was introduced on April 6 2017 enabling you to pass, on your death, an additional allowance to be used against the value of property passing to direct dependents on top of the individual inheritance tax allowance of £325,000.

The starting allowance was £100,000 and this increases incrementally by £25,000 each year in April up to £175,000 in 2020 and thereafter in line with the Consumer Prices Index.

Currently, anything under £325,000 is exempt from inheritance tax. Anything above this figure is subject to a 40 per cent tax bill. This will depend however, on any lifetime gifting and planning you may have in place.

This figure can effectively be doubled for couples, as two people’s allowances are available. This means they can currently pass on death, property & assets to the value of £900,000 without incurring inheritance tax. The sum will rise incrementally to £1m by 2020/21.

To qualify for the new residential nil rate band, individuals will need to ensure their residence goes to direct descendants – children, step-children, adopted children, grandchildren or foster children.

It is important for anyone affected by these new provisions to review their wills, particularly if their current ones include discretionary trusts, as a significant number of wealthier families will lose out on the benefit.

At present, it is possible to effect a Deed of Variation, which must be done within two years of the date of death, although this can only be used if none of the beneficiaries are minors.

It may all sound complicated, but a specialist trusts & estates solicitor will be able to work out exactly how much of a person’s estate is exempt from inheritance tax.

If you need any advice in relation to the above, or any other family matters, please contact us on: 0161 330 6821

NB.The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

It is currently a legal requirement that prior to the sale or letting of a residential or commercial property that an Energy Performance Certificate (“EPC”) be made available to the prospective buyer/tenant.

An EPC should also be commissioned where a new property is built; an existing property is significantly altered, if a property is subject to a Green Deal and for certain public buildings (where it is mandatory for a copy of the EPC to be displayed).

An EPC is “valid” for a period of 10 years and where a new EPC is registered for the same property, the previous EPC becomes redundant.

The obligations on a property owner when selling or letting a property requiring an EPC are as follows:

  • to commission an EPC before marketing if there is no existing valid EPC;
  • to put the EPC rating in any advertisements of the property for sale or letting;
  • to make available to the prospective buyer or tenant a valid EPC for the property.

It is also the property owner’s responsibility to commission the EPC and the property owner should not look to reclaim the cost of commissioning an EPC from a prospective buyer or tenant.

As a general rule, most residential and commercial properties being sold/let are subject to the requirement to have a valid EPC in place. However, the following properties are exempt from the requirement to have a valid EPC:

  • Properties which do not have a roof or do not have walls;
  • Properties which use no energy to control the indoor climate;
  • Properties which are not designed or altered to be used separately;
  • Religious properties;
  • Temporary properties;
  • Industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural properties with a low energy demand;
  • Non-residential agricultural properties;
  • Residential properties which are not used for much of the year;
  • Stand-alone properties;
  • Buildings earmarked for demolition;
  • Listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas, but only in certain circumstances.

In circumstances where an EPC should have been put in place but it transpires that it was not, penalties can be imposed by the local weights and measures authority. The current legislation sets those penalties as:

  • Residential properties – £200 for a dwelling;
  • Commercial properties – 12.5% of the rateable value of the building, with a minimum penalty of £500 and a maximum £5,000.

A useful table detailing the possible penalty charges can be found at

It is therefore important to ensure that an EPC is provided to a prospective buyer or tenant as early as possible in any property transaction so as to avoid being fined by the local weights and measures authority.

Should you need advice relating to the legal requirements relating to EPC’s or indeed any other property law matters, please contact:

Paul Westwell at or

Martin Blaylock at or

by telephone on 0161 330 6821.

Alternatively, you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries – no appointment necessary.


It is no surprise, given today’s housing market that many young people are so stuck in their financial situations that they turn to their family to help them get on the property ladder.

These days, with all the pressures of modern living, parents and grandparents are increasingly being called on to step in to help younger family members buy their first home. In 2017 it was predicted that parents would be involved in 25% of all UK property transactions with average lending rising from £17,000 in 2016 to £21,600 in 2017 and this figure expected to rise again for 2018.

As we’ve seen from research, the bank of Mum and Dad is very generous, but what happens if things go wrong? What if your child and their spouse divorce or they are declared bankrupt? What if there is a family feud?

Prevention is better than cure and simple solutions are available to deal with these problems such as a declaration of trust. We can advise you on all aspects of lending money to help children get on the property ladder.

Article of interest – Here’s a link to an article in a recent published in the Daily Mail highlighting why you shouldn’t transfer property to children without taking very detailed advice.

If you are about to enter into a similar arrangement, then speaking to Bromleys can help

Contact Laura Stansfield, Sue Darlington or Susanne Furness in their Wills, Probate & Planning for the Future department to discuss how one of our team of experts can help guide you through this process.


Tel: 0161 330 6821


A new initiative to redistribute leftover paint is being launched in the social enterprise at homelessness charity Emmaus Mossley.

Emmaus Mossley is now stocking ReColour, a quality water-based emulsion, which is produced by the Community RePaint network. Managed by non-profit organisation Resources Futures, Community RePaint – which is sponsored by Dulux – will provide the paint in a number of colours to be sold at affordable prices in the Emmaus Mossley Second hand Superstore in Tameside.

Martin Pearse, Community RePaint Network Manager, said: “We are really proud of our ReColour paint. It allows the network to divert even more leftover paint from the waste stream and provides more paint to help brighten local communities, which are the two core aims of the network. It’s great to be teaming up with Emmaus Mossley to make ReColour available to residents in Greater Manchester.”

Community RePaint schemes divert leftover paint from the waste stream by collecting and redistributing it into local communities. ReColour is produced from leftover, reusable paint which is remanufactured into 20 standard colours and has social, economic and environmental benefits.

As well as preventing a valuable resource from going to waste, they support those in need by supplying affordable paint for individuals, groups and charities and providing volunteering opportunities and training placements within their local community.

Alison Hill, Director of Emmaus Mossley, said: “We are delighted to become a seller of ReColour and offer our supporters good quality tins of paint at great prices. Emmaus Mossley now stocks five litre tins in a range of 20 colours, all priced between £10 and £12.”


Emmaus Mossley supports 26 formerly homeless people by providing them with a home and work in a community setting. The Emmaus Mossley Secondhand Superstore not only generates an income to help sustain the charity, it also offers work and training opportunities to people supported at Emmaus.

To find out more or support Emmaus Mossley head to If you would like to get involved or donate an item, please call 01457 838608 or visit the store at Longlands Mill, Queen Street, Mossley OL5 9AH.





Lidl is to build a brand new store on Hattersley Retail Park, as part of its ongoing expansion plans in the UK.

The discount supermarket chain announced the news after exchanging contracts with Maple Grove Developments to secure the new site. The multi-million pound investment will result in a 1,794m2 sales area, featuring an in-store bakery and customer toilets. There will also be ample parking for both cars and bicycles.

Robin Monk, Director of Place at Tameside Council, said: “Attracting a retailer of Lidl’s quality to the final phase of the new district centre is a direct result of our commitment, with Onward Homes and other partners, to secure investment for the comprehensive regeneration of Hattersley.”

“This will bring new retail choice and employment opportunities to the local area and will complement the major investment in new housing, transport infrastructure, community facilities and public realm improvements.”

The planned store in Hattersley will add to Lidl’s existing store portfolio of 700, and will form part of the company’s growth plans which will see the chain open up to fifty new stores a year.

Lidl UK’s Regional Head of Property, Nick Harvey, commented: “We are delighted to be opening a new store in Tameside, which marks another milestone in our ambitious store expansion programme. We’ve seen incredible demand for Lidl stores across the country and look forward to offering our quality products and incredible value to shoppers in and around Tameside.”

Bronwen Rapley, CEO of Onward Homes, the local housing provider, said: “The Hattersley area is in and advanced stage of a multi-million pound regeneration programme stimulated by an innovative partnership led by Tameside Council and Onward Homes.

“Onward Homes selected Maple Grove as its preferred development partner in 2016 having secured outline planning consent for the site in February 2015. The Lidl store will be a welcomed addition for local residents.” 

Lidl UK has experienced continued growth over the years as consumers flock to the supermarket. Its ongoing success shows no signs of slowing, with the latest Kantar Worldpanel results highlighting Lidl’s continued growth in the UK with 10.3% increase in sales year on year and market share high of 5.3%.


The excellence of Bromleys’ property team has been recognised with its accreditation under the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme for the seventh year in a row.

The CQS recognises firms which pass a rigorous annual assessment and are shown to provide excellent service to clients during the home buying process.

It is open only to members of the Law Society who meet the demanding standards set by the scheme, which is supported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the Building Societies Association, the Legal Ombudsman and the Association of British Insurers.

Partner Paul Westwell who heads up the property department said: “We are thrilled to receive this accreditation once again. It is a fantastic accolade for the department, and demonstrates to our clients that they can be assured of a professional, reliable and efficient service.”

Meanwhile, Bromleys has also retained its Lexcel quality mark from the Law Society, which recognises high standards in areas such as client care and practice management. The firm has held this accreditation continuously since 2005.

Bromleys also holds Investors in People Gold status, recognising the firm’s commitment to excellence in the workplace, including its management of people, its leadership and culture and its dedication to continuous improvement.


For further information, please contact: Bromleys Solicitors LLP

A:   50 Wellington Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, OL6 6XL

DX: 25616, Ashton-under-Lyne

DD: 0161 330 6821 T: 0161 330 6821  F: 0161 343 1719


‘Moving in together’ can cover various situations, including the exciting prospect of buying your first home with your partner or friend, gifts from parents or grandparents to help with the purchase, the purchase of a ‘granny flat’ (or annex), and even elderly parents or grandparents moving in with their children. However, some may not realise how risky their situation can be from a legal point of view until it is too late…

Implications to consider:-

  • Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) there could be a 3% surcharge on the purchase of a granny flat or annex which could be classed as an additional residential property. The surcharge applies to the whole of the property and not just the annex.
  • Parents/grandparents providing gifted deposits and the future inheritance tax implications. Inheritance tax may be payable if the donor dies within 7 years of making the gift.
  • The type of ownership of the property i.e. joint tenants or tenants in common in unequal shares. You may need to consider making your position more secure should the relationship break down in the future. For example, has one party contributed more towards the purchase price of a property? If so, a Declaration of Trust setting out the terms to protect their interest would be advisable.

Practical difficulties including aging and future social care of elderly parents/grandparents living with children. Will the elderly family member contribute financially towards their living and household expenses? It may be that they have paid for alterations to accommodate their needs and that they require a form of guarantee such as a “life interest” in the property so that they have the legal right to live there for as long as they require. A more complex trust arrangement may need to be put in place.

Should you need legal advice regarding any of the above or other residential property matters, please do not hesitate to contact Anna Curran at, Beverley Pretl at or Martin Blaylock at

Alternatively, telephone our Property team on 0161 330 6821 or you are welcome to attend any of our free legal surgeries. Please click here for dates and times – No appointment necessary.


During the February half term, many children across Greater Manchester will be spending more time in the kitchen.

But whether they’re lending a hand or simply seeking a snack, it’s important to make sure that they know the hazards of a hot hob and the dangers that come with being in a kitchen.

As part of the national fire safety campaign, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is encouraging parents and carers to make any kitchen activities a chance for children to learn about cooking safety.

Alison McDonald, Prevention Service Support Manager at GMFRS said: “There are lots of creative and fun ways to teach children about cooking fire safety. It’s vital that they know what to do if the worst should ever happen.

“Why not take the chance to pass on some tips and guidance on fire safety in the kitchen? Testing your smoke alarms is a great way to show children the correct way to minimise the risks from fires in your home.

“Young children are admitted to hospital every day because they’ve been burned or scalded in the home; a hot drink can scald a small child or baby even 15 minutes after it’s been made, so keep them out of reach of children”

“In Greater Manchester between 2014/15 and 2016/17, 67 per cent of all accidental dwelling fires in Greater Manchester started in the kitchen. The top three sources of ignition for those accidental fires are the cooker (51 per cent), the grill/toaster (14 per cent and a separate ring/hot plate (11 per cent).

“It is essential that we reduce this amount even lower and make sure that cooking in the home is done safely. It is crucial to remember to never leave anything unattended when in the kitchen, whether that’s your food or your children!”

A recent report from the Home Office similarly concluded that: “Cooking appliances were the source of ignition in 49 per cent of accidental dwelling fires and 50 per cent of non-fatal casualties in accidental dwelling fires in 2016/17, and was by far the largest ignition category. In contrast, in 2016/17, there were only 9 per cent of accidental dwelling fire-related fatalities where the source of ignition was cooking appliances.”

Safe and Well visits are FREE home visits delivered by Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service staff to prevent fires and improve wellbeing for householders. Visits might include the fitting of free smoke detection and fire risk reduction equipment, fire safety advice, or signposting to other help and advice. To book a visit, call 0800 555815 or book online.

Here are some top tips for staying safe in the kitchen:

  • Take care if you need to leave the kitchen whilst cooking. Take pans off the heat or turn them down to avoid risk.
  • If a pan catches fire, don’t take any risks – Get Out, Stay Out, and Call 999.
  • Double check the hob is off when you’ve finished cooking.
  • Keep tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob.
  • Take care if you’re wearing loose clothing – this can easily catch fire.
  • Avoid leaving children in the kitchen alone when cooking.  Keep matches and saucepan handles out of their reach to keep them safe.
  • Take care with electrics – keep leads and appliances away from water and place grills and toasters away from curtains and kitchen rolls.
  • Keep your equipment clean and in good working order.  A build-up of fat and grease can ignite a fire.
  • Don’t cook after drinking alcohol.
  • Hot oil can catch fire easily – be careful that it doesn’t overheat.
  • Never throw water on a chip pan fire.
  • In the event of a fire, have an escape plan in place.
  • Don’t take risks by tackling a fire. Get out, stay out and call 999.
  • Make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and test them regularly.