Summer Bikini Waxing Risks

With millions of Britons booking long-awaited overseas beach holidays this year, as Covid restrictions on international travel finally ease, many women will be booking bikini and similar waxing treatments at their local beauty salon in order to look their best beside the sea and around the pool.

While waxing treatment safety standards at beauty salons have improved markedly in the past decade or so, there are still a number of unavoidable dangers involved in waxing procedures performed on intimate areas of the skin by poorly trained or inexperienced beauticians, which may result in relatively serious injuries and profound distress.

After the wax product and waxing paper are applied to the required area of skin, the paper should be removed swiftly in the direction of the hair growth, which will normally cause short-lived pain and redness. However, the sensitivity of the skin around the vagina and inner thighs means that if the waxing strips are removed incorrectly, for example, too quickly, too forcefully, or at the wrong angle, they may tear the skin, potentially resulting in bleeding, scarring, damage to hair follicles, and both physical and emotional suffering. 

A woman’s skin may also be burned if the wax is overheated when applied or spilled accidentally onto exposed areas, which can result in redness, blistering, scarring and infection. The most serious risk is the possibility of an allergic reaction to a waxing product, which properly conducted skin patch tests (at least 48 hours before a waxing treatment appointment) are supposed to prevent. An adverse reaction of this kind can cause burning skin rashes, blistering and potential hospitalisation depending on the severity of the reaction.

While the negative outcomes from bikini and similar waxing treatments outlined here are thankfully rare, our solicitors have represented hundreds of women in claims against beauty salons for these types of injuries over the years. Apart from the physical pain and suffering, there is also the embarrassment that waxing injuries in intimate areas cause, as well as the loss of enjoyment of an impending holiday which may subsequently need to be cancelled. All these factors will be taken into account when calculating the size of the compensation award due to the injured party.

You can find out more about bikini and other types of waxing injuries in the dedicated beauty treatment injuries section on our website:

Tudors Exhibition Liverpool Opening

This Saturday, 21st May, a new blockbuster exhibition, The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics, opens at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. In partnership with the National Portrait Gallery which has lent almost 70 artworks, the exhibition presents the five Tudor monarchs, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I, and explores the dynasty’s reign over England from 1485 to 1603. This was one of the most dramatic periods in British history, encompassing conflict with Scotland, France and Spain, conquest and colonisation in Ireland and America, piracy and trade, the Reformation, and an artistic and literary renaissance.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition features around 100 objects and artworks in total, and it is the first time that so many of the National Portrait Gallery’s renowned Tudor portraits have been lent for exhibition. Apart from the five monarchs, other iconic figures from the period featured include Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Mary Queen of Scots and William Shakespeare. Some historically underrepresented aspects of the period will also be explored, including Black Tudor history and LGBTQ+ history.

Other highlights include a portrait of Jane Seymour, after Hans Holbein the Younger, from around 1537, which is being exhibited outside of London for the first time, the Westminster Tournament Roll, produced in 1511 to celebrate the birth of Henry VIII’s son with Catherine of Aragon, the Bacton Altar Cloth, which is believed to be the only surviving example of Elizabeth I’s clothing, and the Armada Maps, drawings illustrating the dramatic defeat of Spain’s so-called ‘Invincible Armada’ off the south coast of England in 1588.

Sandra Penketh, Executive Director of Galleries and Collections Management at National Museums Liverpool, commented: “This exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery provides an opportunity to see some of the most iconic Tudor portraits in the world, here in Liverpool. It’s difficult to overemphasise what a rare and special moment this will be, and we can’t wait to share it with our visitors”. 

Tickets for The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics are available to book online, priced at £13 for adults, £12 for concessions, £6 for children aged 6-17 and free for younger children. You can find out more about the much-anticipated The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition and book tickets below:

Buy-to-Let Purchasing Advice

Legal advice from conveyancing solicitors with local knowledge and experience can be critically important in safeguarding the interests of a buy-to-let property purchaser. The tenancy agreement will need to be assessed to make sure that the terms are acceptable, and that no unwelcome surprises will impact the buyer over the duration of the lease. Legal paperwork will need to be examined, and searches and enquiries carried out, to check whether, for example, any service charges are due on the property, or whether any restrictive covenants or other obstacles exist limiting the buyer’s intended use of property.

Apart from examining and advising on the lease terms and related legal documents, a conveyancing solicitor will also be able to advise landlords on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) issues. Since April 2016, individuals, companies and trusts are obliged to pay a higher rate (currently 3% extra) on the purchase of additional residential properties. However, there are certain exemptions and methods of reducing a landlord’s exposure to SDLT. The purchaser will also need to decide on whether to buy a property as an individual or through a company or trust, which can have important consequences for their annual tax liability.

Further issues arise when a landlord buys a tenanted property and takes on the existing tenancy agreement. The legal validity of the agreement will need to be confirmed, safety checks carried out to make sure the property is suitable for renting, and documents examined to ensure compliance with regulations on landlords and identify possible debts on the property, such as financial liability for past breaches of covenants. The deposit will also need to be transferred to the new landlord and protected in a government-approved tenancy deposit scheme, and H.M Landlord Registry’s register updated with the appropriate registrations of interest.

Our firm has decades of experience of buying and selling residential properties in the city of Liverpool and across Merseyside. We offer competitive fixed fees, no obligation free quotations and no hidden costs. Get in touch with our conveyancing team for legal advice on buy-to-let property transactions that you can trust:

Number of LPAs Continues to Rise

The number of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) arrangements in England and Wales continues to rise, with 691,746 applications to register received in 2020/21 according to the Office of the Public Guardian. While this represents a substantial decrease from the 917,553 applications received in 2019/20, it is worth remembering that only 43,113 LPAs were registered in the year 2008/09. Furthermore, in August 2014 the total number of registered LPAs was just over one million, while there are now over 5.3 million registered in England and Wales.  

The dramatic rise in LPA registrations over the last decade is in large part due to the increasing number of people affected by dementia and related conditions (including Alzheimer’s disease), which account for roughly 70,000 deaths in the UK every year – the country’s leading cause of death. The mortality rate has more than doubled since 2010, with reasons including the ageing population, more effective treatment of other conditions such as heart disease and the growing dementia diagnosis rate. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are currently around 900,000 people living with dementia, a figure which is projected to rise to almost 1.6 million by 2040.

When a person loses their mental capacity after developing a dementia condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, another person, normally a family member, will need to make decisions on their behalf. For this reason, many people choose to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney following a dementia diagnosis to ensure that their best interests are safeguarded as the condition progresses. Once mental capacity is lost, it can be a costly and complicated process for a third party to assume responsibility for a person’s finance and property and/or health and welfare affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney arrangement therefore represents a sensible, practical and cost-effective means of planning ahead.

Find out more about our fixed fee LPA legal service:

Remortgaging With a New Lender

Remortgaging with a new lender will require the services of a conveyancing solicitor to assist with the legal issues and paperwork involved in paying off an individual’s existing mortgage loan and arranging a new one. Legal assistance is important to ensure a person gets the right deal, whether the purpose of the remortgage is to reduce their monthly payments, release equity, borrow more money or adjust their finances in another way. A solicitor can help evaluate whether a new mortgage deal meets an individual’s medium and long-term financial expectations, as well as minimise the potentially high costs that the process can entail.

The first step that a conveyancing solicitor will take will be to confirm an individual’s identity and undertake the necessary anti-money laundering checks. Title deeds to the property in question will need to be checked and lease terms examined, and the details of a person’s current mortgage will be obtained from their existing lender along with a redemption statement, which will confirm the exact amount required to fully repay the mortgage, as well as the existence of any extra charges and fees due for early repayment. Searches requested by the new lender (e.g. local land charge and local authority searches) will also need to be carried out and any related enquiries answered. Once a formal mortgage offer is made by the new lender a conveyancing solicitor will assess the terms, highlight any issues that need to be raised and prepare the necessary documents for signing.

After the mortgage documents have been signed a conveyancing solicitor will then be able to arrange a completion date with the new lender. On the day of completion the new lender will transfer the mortgage funds to the conveyancing solicitor, who will then pay off their client’s existing mortgage, settle any outstanding fees and remit the remaining funds to the client. The new mortgage will need to be registered with the Land Registry and the legal title to the property will subsequently be updated to reflect this. The remortgaging process will take 4-8 weeks in normal circumstances.

Bartletts Solicitors offers a transparent fixed fee remortgaging service. For remortgage transactions up to £200,000 our fees for freehold properties are £300.00 plus VAT and disbursements:

Power of Attorney Process Shakeup

The Government is looking at proposals to digitalise the Lasting Power of Attorney process in what would be the biggest shakeup of the system for over 30 years. Demand for digital services has increased dramatically in recent times, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current paperwork-heavy system is viewed by many as outdated, with people having to wait at least 12 weeks (and sometimes months longer) to register an LPA.

The new proposals to modernise the process could make setting up Power of Attorney easier, quicker and more affordable, although there are concerns about the risks a digitalised system may pose to older and vulnerable people. Many either do not own a smartphone or computer, or else are unfamiliar with making digital applications over the internet, making mistakes in applications highly likely. These ‘donors’ may also become targets for fraud or abuse of the powers that an LPA confers on the ‘attorneys’ who are appointed to handle their financial affairs. Robust safeguards will therefore need to be in place to protect the elderly and vulnerable, including advanced donor identity checks to protect against identity theft.

One of the proposals which the Government will examine is setting up a dedicated fast-track service for those who need an LPA urgently, often because a relative’s health has suddenly worsened, leaving them incapable of making important decisions on their own behalf during the sometimes lengthy period it currently takes to register Power of Attorney. However, this is not the Government’s preferred option, as it does not believe it is possible to create a faster and simpler fast-track service with the necessary safeguards to protect donors.

Removing the requirement for a witness could also help simplify the process, although an LPA could potentially be witnessed remotely. The Government appears to favour abolishing the role of the witness altogether and replacing it with new, as yet unspecified safeguards that serve the same purpose. A further proposal involves making the application process faster and more efficient by implementing a digital checking service. This would involve applications being digitally checked as they are made and sending them for registration as soon as they are completed, thereby significantly reducing the current delay between executing and registering Power of Attorney, as well as the possibility of an LPA being rejected.

New safeguards against fraud will also be considered, including enhancing the power of the Office of the Public Guardian to take more robust measures to verify the identity of both donors and attorneys, deal with complaints against the latter and make it easier for concerned parties to object to an LPA.

Demand for Power of Attorney has increased dramatically in recent years, with roughly five million LPAs registered in the UK, and there now appears to be agreement among legal professionals and the relevant Government authorities that the current system is not fit for purpose in the digital age and is ripe for reform.

Find out more about our fixed fee LPA legal service:

British Attitudes Towards Wills & Bequests

Research by wealth management company Charles Stanley provides some interesting insights into British attitudes towards making wills and receiving bequests. Slightly more than two thirds (68%) of UK adults intended to divide their assets evenly among their children, however, 16% said they would not do so, while a further 16% remained undecided. Reasons given for not splitting wealth equally included the differing personal circumstances of children, and how close relations were between parents and children later in life.

The research also revealed the family problems and distress that result when an inheritance is not split equally between children. Roughly half of the baby boomer generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) said they would be upset by an uneven split, and more than a third of all UK adults felt the same.

British people are surprisingly shy about discussing inheritances, with only one in five respondents stating that they had talked openly about the subject with their family. This means that the majority of UK families are failing to plan ahead, which can have a negative financial impact and lead to family disputes that are often only resolved after lengthy and expensive court proceedings.

If a person dies without making a will they will have died intestate, and their estate will be divided according to the rules of intestacy, which are arbitrary and may not reflect the wishes of the deceased. To avoid family conflicts and ensure that the intended beneficiaries receive the correct share of an estate, the testator (the person making a will) should carefully consider their legacy and seek legal advice from a law firm like Bartletts Solicitors. Find out more:

New Liverpool Exhibitions Opening in May

As the winter draws to a close, two new exhibitions at the Walker Art Gallery and World Museum are set to become highlights of Liverpool’s cultural agenda over the summer months, offering very different but equally mesmerising experiences for visitors.

On 21st May, The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition opens at the Walker Art Gallery, featuring a collection of Tudor portraits from the Gallery’s own collection alongside roughly 70 key works from the National Portrait Gallery, many of which have never been seen before outside of London. Apart from portraits, the exhibition will also include several famous Tudor objects such as the Westminster Tournament Roll, the Armada Maps and the Bacton Altar Cloth, which is thought to be the sole surviving dress of Queen Elizabeth I. 

A week later on 27th May, Doctor Who: Worlds of Wonder lands at Liverpool’s World Museum. This thrilling interactive exhibition will explore the world of science within the universe of Doctor Who, allowing visitors to engage with the show’s original artefacts, sets, costumes and props. The exhibition is a must-see for Doctor Who fans and science enthusiasts alike, who will be able to follow the Doctor’s adventures and encounters across space and time, while discovering the science that weaves its way through the history of the longest-running sci-fi TV show in the world.

Further details about these two upcoming exhibitions are available on the National Museums Liverpool website, where you can also book advance tickets:

Renting Warehouses, Fulfilment Units & Kitchens

Many companies nowadays have delivery-only business models which don’t require a high street presence, and instead rely on the rapid, time-limited delivery of orders within a specific area (typically town and city centres). These organisations are often virtual brands taking orders only online and by phone. They may also be so-called dark kitchens, which prepare and deliver food orders to local customers, often on behalf of an established high street brand, or provide order fulfilment services for multiple brands.

Changing customer preferences driven by, among other things, increasingly easy and familiar online ordering systems, the Covid pandemic and fierce competition among operators, has resulted in strong demand for small and medium-sized warehouses, industrial units and kitchens, often located in the suburbs of towns and cities, from where orders can be prepared and delivered within the time frame chosen by the customer (this may be as little as 15-30 mins). These commercial properties offer the advantage of being relatively cheap to rent and staff, allowing small and medium-sized operators to compete in their target market.

Unless the premises is pre-equipped, the tenant will usually need to make alterations to meet the practical needs of their business. This is one area in which a commercial property solicitor can assist the tenant, mainly by ensuring that the lease terms are suitable for the latter’s intended purposes. Leases are normally lengthy documents, sometimes containing unexpected and unwelcome clauses for the unwary. Reliable legal advice is therefore a prerequisite for entering into such agreements to guarantee the smooth operation of a warehousing, fulfilment or dark kitchen business over the duration of the lease.

Our solicitors can help prospective tenants with all aspects of commercial leases, including negotiating terms with the landlord. We also carry out the various searches and enquiries to check, for example, the property’s planning permission status. The commercial property team at Bartletts can advise and support clients in every aspect of getting a warehouse, fulfilment unit or dark kitchen up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible – and with the minimum of fuss.

UK House Prices Surge to Record High

Despite the latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showing that house sales in January fell by 10.6% compared to the same time last year, both average house prices and asking prices continue to hit new heights. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the average price of a UK home increased by 10.8% in December 2021 year on year to reach a record £275,000, while Rightmove reported in January that asking prices across the country have reached a new average high of £348,804.

Even after the temporary stamp duty holiday ended at the start of October, UK housing market demand remains strong and prices have continued to increase. A lack of available properties is a key reason for house prices rising to record levels, with recent research by Savills finding that 90% of prospective buyers believe lack of supply is hindering their ability to find a suitable home. Furthermore, many potential sellers are reluctant to put their properties on the market currently due to concern about their own ability to find a new home.     

Low unemployment (even after the end of the furlough scheme) and low borrowing costs are two other factors driving the UK housing market, although with inflation hitting a 30-year high of 5.5% in January, household finances are likely to deteriorate in the coming months. With real wages remaining flat or declining, applicants are likely to have less money to spend following a mortgage affordability assessment, and this combined with a general rise in the cost of living should at least take some of the heat out of the market. However, while demand continues to outstrip supply, the market’s upward trajectory may easily continue, albeit at a slightly slower pace than in recent months.

Bartletts represents property buyers and sellers in Liverpool and across Merseyside. Louise Nelson is a solicitor with 39 years experience of helping people buy and sell property in the area. Louise heads a friendly team of experienced conveyancers. Our firm is Law Society Accredited for Conveyancing Quality, and offers free no obligation quotations, competitive fixed fees and no hidden costs: