About us

Greene & Greene is a long established firm of solicitors based in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Our lawyers advise individuals and businesses based all over the UK.

We regularly attract new clients who have been using firms in London, but now receive a more cost efficient and more personal service from us here in Bury St Edmunds.

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Monthly Archives

Entries in Property (17)


Is your property at risk from fraudsters?

Fraud is an ever growing problem and it can affect all areas of our lives. Jemma Jones, a Solicitor, in Greene & Greene’s residential conveyancing team tells us why property fraud is no exception.

Property fraud can be committed in several different ways. The most frequently reported cases involve a fraudster using your identity to sell your property or securing a mortgage over your property.  You may have no idea that the fraud has taken place until a sold sign is put up outside the property or you receive requests for payment of the mortgage.

There are several groups of people who are more at risk of being a victim of property fraud and these include people who:

  • Have had their identity stolen;
  • Rent out their property;
  • Live overseas but have a property in the UK;
  • Have an empty property;
  • Have an un-mortgaged property; and
  • Own a property that is not registered at the Land Registry.

However, there are a number of ways that you can protect yourself against property fraud:

  • Having your property registered at the Land Registry -   By doing this they will have your contact details and can contact you if they are concerned that a fraudulent transaction is occurring.  When registering the property, you can provide up to three addresses that will enable them to contact you.  You can also include an e-mail address.
  • Sign up to the Land Registry Property Alert Scheme – This is a free service that notifies you if there is significant activity in respect of a property you are monitoring.  You can monitor up to 10 properties. Details of the Property Alert Service can be found at the following link:


  • Keep your contact details up to date with the Land Registry – The Land Registry can only contact you if they have the correct details for you.
  • Adding a restriction to your title – If your property is registered or you are purchasing a property that you will not be living in, a restriction can be added to the title so that if the property is sold or mortgaged, a certificate has to be provided to confirm that the person who is selling the property is who they say they are. 

If you would like any assistance with registering your property or adding a restriction to your title please contact Jemma Jones in our Conveyancing Department at jemmajones@greene-greene.com or by calling 01284 717522 (Direct).

For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


Free Residential Property Law Update


Join our expert lawyers, Jonathan Mathers (Agriculture & Residential Property), Ansa Khan (Residential Property) and Natalie Stoter (Private Client & Taxation) on Thursday 16th March at Denny Bros Conference Suite, Bury St. Edmunds for this informative seminar updating you on the latest property law issues.

Areas to be covered include:

  • A review of the last 12 months;
  • Property Fraud;
  • Incoming energy efficiency rules;
  • Issues for buy-to-let investors;
  • Stamp duty exemptions & reliefs; and
  • Looking forward to 2017/18.

You will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers on any property law issues that may be of specific interest to you.

Denny Bros Conference Suite, Kempson Way, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, IP32 7AR

8.30am                Registration & Continental Breakfast

9.00am                Seminar followed by Q & A session

10.30am              Refreshments & Close

To book your free place(s) at the seminar please email joolswindermere@greene-greene.com.

Please contact us if you are unable to attend this seminar but would be interested in joining us on an alternative date or running an in-house property update for your leadership team.

For more information on the services offered by Greene & Greene Solicitors please visit www.greene-greene.com and follow on Twitter @GreeneGreeneLaw.


New Partner at Greene & Greene Solicitors

Tim Mendes da Costa, a member of the Commercial Property team has been promoted to Partner having joined Greene & Greene Solicitors who are based in Bury St. Edmunds in 2014.

Tim qualified as a solicitor in 2006 and was previously a Partner with a firm in London.  Clients have been impressed with Tim’s “diligence, thoroughness and sound advice”.  He specialises in both commercial and high-value residential property transactions and acts for a broad range of clients, from individual purchasers and sellers, to developers, landlords, lenders and investors.

Chris Thomson, Senior Partner at Greene & Greene, said:

When Tim Mendes da Costa joined us two years ago, we quickly realised that he would be a valuable member of the Commercial Property team.  Greene & Greene has a long standing reputation for delivering the service our clients expect and deserve and Tim’s new role as Partner will only strengthen that.”

For further information please telephone Jools Windermere on 01284 717430, visit www.greene-greene.com and follow @greenegreenelaw.


Flooding: An Act of God?

The dreadful effects of flooding have been graphically illustrated once again by the events in Cumbria, Lancashire, Yorkshire and areas of Scotland over the course of the past few weeks. In legal terms flooding is often described as an act of God: in other words it is something for which no person can be held responsible. This is not always true for, on occasions, those affected by flooding can have a legal remedy.

If the way in which a landowner or occupier uses or manages his land generates flooding that would otherwise not have occurred or makes flooding worse, he may be liable for those consequences on a number of grounds, including negligence and nuisance.

We have successfully pursued flooding claims for a number of clients. Two examples include: -

  1. Recovering compensation for a client whose house was repeatedly flooded following a change of use of the adjoining farmland by its owners, which resulted in water run off whenever it rained heavily.
  2. Establishing liability against a landowner who mismanaged the repair and maintenance of, and the drainage associated with, a large pond on her land with the result that it overflowed during periods of heavy rain and flooded our client’s property. Our client’s compensation ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you have been affected by flooding or are worried about your responsibilities as a landowner or occupier please contact Michael Batty (michaelbatty@greene-greene.com / Telephone 01284 717414) or Andrea Nicholls (andreanicholls@greene-greene.com / Telephone 01284 717531) in our Dispute Resolution Team.  For more information please visit http://www.greene-greene.com/energy.html and follow @greenegreenelaw.


Farmers Weekly: What to do if escaped stock cause damage by Andrea Nicholls

(This article was first published in Farmers Weekly, 4 December 2015)

Question:               My stock have escaped and damaged my neighbour’s property what should I do and am I liable to pay for damage to their lawn for example?

Answer:                  Yes.  Your liability for damage caused to property by straying livestock (and the legal definition of livestock includes all the usual farm stock species) is a strict liability.  This means that there is no need for the person whose property has been damaged to prove that you were at fault in any way in allowing the animals to stray.

If your stock stray you are liable to pay both for the damage which they cause to property and any costs which the property owner incurs in controlling or looking after the animals. 

You are liable to pay for the damage caused to the lawn and any costs that the lawn owner incurs in looking after the animals. It is best to collect the animals as soon as possible and pay for the damage.

Question:               Who is liable to pay for damage caused to property?

Answer:                  The person in possession of the livestock is liable to pay for any damage to property caused by straying livestock. The person “in possession” includes both the owner of the livestock and the owner of the grazing land from which the stock escaped. Either person can be sued and any savvy property owner would probably sue both. If you are grazing someone else’s stock on your land, you must agree as part of the Grazing Licence how liability for damage for strays is going to be shared.

Click to read more ...


New Rules for terminating Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Today (1st October 2015) a number of new rules come into force that govern how and when a Landlord may seek to end an Assured Shorthold Tenancy (AST,) by serving a notice on the Tenant under Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988.

The new rules apply to all “new” ASTs granted on or after 1st October 2015.  After 1st October 2018 the rules will apply to all AST’s.

The Landlord cannot now draft its own version of a Section 21 Notice.  There is now a specific form that must be used (Form 6A, an example of which is set out in the relevant regulations).

In a Section 21 Notice terminating a periodic AST (a rolling tenancy, e.g. one that renews itself from month to month) there is no longer a need for the Landlord to specify the last day of a period of the tenancy as the date on which the tenancy comes to an end.  The Landlord can choose any date it wishes, provided the minimum (usually 2 months’) notice is given.  The maximum notice that can be given is 6 months (in most cases - see below).

A Section 21 Notice is only valid for 6 months from the date it was given.  That is unless the AST is a contractual periodic tenancy, with a period of more than 2 months, in which case it is valid for 4 months’ from the date for ending the AST given in the Section 21 Notice.

A Section 21 Notice cannot be served within 4 months of the start of the AST (unless it the AST is a direct replacement for a previous AST, and the Tenant has been in occupation for more than 4 months).

Before a Landlord can serve a Section 21 Notice on the Tenant, the Landlord must:-

  1. Protect the Tenant’s deposit by registering it with an authorised Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) provider, and send certain information (called the “prescribed information”) about the deposit and the TDS to the Tenant, within 30 days of receiving the deposit (this has been a requirement since 2007); and
  2. Provide the Tenant with copies of the following documents:
    1. An energy performance certificate for the premises,
    2. A gas safety certificate for the premises, and
    3. A copy of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s booklet entitled “How to Rent: the checklist for renting in England”.

The Landlord (or its agent) must ensure it retains proof that the above have been sent or provided to the Tenant at the start of the AST.  Best practice would be to retain copies which have been signed by the Tenant.

 The new rules also prevent so called “retaliatory evictions” by Landlords.  A Section 21 Notice is now invalid if:

  1. Before the Section 21 Notice is served the Tenant has made a written complaint to the Landlord regarding the condition of the premises or common parts; and
  2. The Landlord has not responded to the Tenant’s complaint, or its response is inadequate, or a Section 21 Notice was served following the complaint; and
  3. In addition the Tenant then complained to the Local Housing Authority about the same, or substantially the same, disrepair as the complaint to the Landlord; and
  4. The Local Housing Authority had then served a “relevant notice” on the Landlord in relation to the Tenant’s complaint.

If the Local Housing Authority serves a “relevant notice”, then the Landlord is also prevented from serving a Section 21 Notice on the Tenant for 6 months from the date that the “relevant notice” is served upon it.  A “relevant notice” is an improvement notice or notice requiring remedial action, sent to the Landlord under the Housing Act 2004.

Importantly, the “retaliatory eviction” restrictions do not apply if:

  1. The Tenant is in breach of its duty to use the premises in a tenant-like manner, or any express provision in the AST to the same effect;
  2. The premises are genuinely on the market for sale;
  3. The Landlord is a private registered provider of social housing; or
  4. Where a mortgagee requires vacant possession to exercise its power of sale under a charge that predates the AST.

It remains to be seen whether some Tenants will try to use these new provisions to delay being evicted from the premises, by making unsubstantiated and unjustified complaints about the premises or common parts.  The result may be that Landlords will serve a Section 21 Notice without giving any prior warning to the Tenant whatsoever. 

Assuming the Landlord has successfully managed to navigate all of the above, if the Tenant leaves of its own accord on or by the date given in the Section 21 Notice, the AST will come to an end on that date.  If Court proceedings are necessary, the AST will end when the Tenant has been evicted.  The Landlord must now reimburse the Tenant for any rent paid in advance that relates to any period falling after the end of the AST.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact Sam Cook at Greene & Greene who specialises in tenancy disputes and all legal aspects of renting property.  Sam can be contacted at samcook@greene-greene.com or 01284 717434.  For more information about Greene & Greene please see www.greene-greene.com and follow @greenegreenelaw.