RSL Blog

Does the Common Law Marriage really exist?

Many people in England and Wales believe in a ‘common law marriage‘. This suggests that they believe that just because you are essentially living ‘as man and wife’ you assume the rights afforded to married couples. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’, meaning that cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights as married couples. For example, if a cohabitee was to die without a will, their partner would not automatically be entitled

UK Immigration Update Spring-Summer 2019

We thought that the UK was going to leave the EU at the end of March but, because of some “political difficulties”, Brexit has been postponed. The question that some people ask is – is Brexit going to happen at all? But not the Home Office, which has confidently ploughed ahead with the new “Pre-Settled” and “Settled” EU immigration statuses. These applications are remarkably straightforward by Home Office standards and large numbers have successfully applied. What, we wonder, will happen if

New laws for short-hold tenancy fees in England

The Tenant Fees Act 2019, which came into force on 1 June 2019, has made some very significant changes in the law regarding assured shorthold tenancy fees. The Act will apply to all tenancies and tenancy renewals in England from that date, but it will not apply to periodic tenancies where the fixed-term tenancy began before 1 June 2019. As its name suggests, the new Act governs fees and payments that tenants pay to landlords (or their letting agents). The Act

London house prices: spring surge fails to boost market

The annual spring housing surge has done little to boost London’s flatlining property market, according to Rightmove. The latest figures from the property website reveal house prices in the capital remain down year-on-year, driven by a slump in inner city sales. Compared to 12 months ago, homes in outer London are 0.9% cheaper, whereas prices in inner London have fallen by 3.8%. Overall, homes in Greater London were worth 2.5% less than a year ago, meaning the average cost of a house

UK-based Poles call for revolt against having to apply for settled status

A Polish chef who has worked with Mary Berry and Jamie Oliver is leading a revolt by UK-based Poles against the Home Office’s requirement that EU citizens apply for settled status as part of Brexit. More than 7,000 people have signed a petition launched this week by Damian Wawrzyniak on the UK government and parliament website to change the wording of the settlement status process from “application” to “registration”. At 10,000 signatures, the government must respond. Wawrzyniak, a former chef at Noma

Entrepreneur visas – update

As we recently reported, the Home Office has introduced two new entrepreneur visas: the Start-Up visa and the Innovator visa. These visas came live on 29 March: but rather prematurely it might appear, because there was no policy guidance available and the relevant immigration rules looked rather sparse. However, we are pleased to say that both policy guidance documents have now become available and we are also pleased that it seems right to say that the rules for both these visas are

New Tier 1 rules – Innovators and Start-Ups

In its latest Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules the Home Office has announced various changes to Tier 1 of the points-based system. As previously indicated, the Tier 1 Entrepreneur and Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas are going to be abolished. The Tier 1 Entrepreneur route will be abolished on 28 March 2019 and no applications will be possible after that date. Two new visa schemes, the Start-Up visa and the Innovator visa, are being created and they will come

Right to rent – is it legal?

We are tempted to feel sorry for Prime Minister Theresa May. In the course of her Brexit struggles she is clearly experiencing a “hostile environment” in Parliament and she is finding it very difficult to persuade and cajole unwilling parliamentarians. But a few years ago, when she was Home Secretary, the boot was on the other foot and it was she who was creating such a hostile environment. Under her watch Parliament passed various items of legislation to make life difficult

Immigration Judge tries to change his mind – unsuccessfully

As those who spend their time hanging around the First-Tier Immigration Tribunal will know, sometimes the Immigration Judge gives a verbal decision at the end of the hearing. In such cases it seems, in practice, that the Judge will only do so when the decision is positive (ie when the migrant is successful). And – highly presumably – only when they are sure that the migrant’s case should succeed. If the case is complicated or requires further analysis then they

Could you be deprived of your British citizenship?

This is a question that recently came to the fore in the media with the case of Shamima Begum, the teenager from London who went to join Islamic State (deemed to be a terrorist organisation) in Syria. She is – or rather was – a British citizen and the Home Secretary has stripped her of her British citizenship. Or at any rate he thinks he has but she is going to appeal. Whatever the facts of this particular case certainly the