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By Knight James.

For this month’s article I thought it would be a good idea to have an adviser’s view of MMR, not the Mumps, Measles and Rubella jab but rather the Mortgage Market Review introduced earlier in the year by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and the significant impact that this has had on lending policy.

You can always rely on any amendments in mortgage regulation to hit the front pages of newspapers, but I must admit that the general swathe of articles in both the press and TV was surprising.
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2014 Finance Act - Quick Roundup of the Most Important Changes
Written by Lesley Stalker, tax partner at Surrey accountants RJP LLP

The changes announced by the Chancellor in this year's Budget have now been incorporated into the 2014 Finance Act.
Below are some of the changes which will affect companies and individuals:

Key changes for companies

1. Reduction to corporation tax The main rate of corporation tax (CT) has been reduced to 21% for the financial year commencing on 1st April 2014 and will be further reduced to 20% with effect from 1st April 2015. This will bring it into line with the small companies' rate of 20% so that SMEs and large companies will all pay the same rate of corporation tax.
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Break Clauses
Written by Brian Noble, Partner at Galloway Hughes LLP

Break clauses in commercial leases continue to provide a headache for tenants looking to vacate their property, but who have failed to comply with the conditions included within their lease.

To ensure any exit strategy is successful Tenants should be extremely wary of accepting a conditional break clause requiring it to comply with conditions before a Landlord will accept that the break has been exercised correctly.

Where a Tenant agrees to accept a lease which contains a break subject to such conditions, it should be aware that those conditions must be satisfied, and even a trivial breach could prevent the Tenant from exercising the break. A Tenant who accepts such clauses should be fully aware of the risks.
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Is CRAR a cause for Distress?
Written by Brian Noble, Partner at Galloway Hughes LLP

The previous position…

Distress has long been an established remedy available to landlords, affording them the ability to seize the goods of a tenant where they have failed to comply with lease obligations to make a payment reserved as rent.
Distress not only applied to principal rent but also extended to any other fixed sums which were reserved as rent under the terms of the lease. It was cheap and very effective and could be utilised by Landlords for payments both large and small, with no lower limit of the sums being pursued.
There was also no requirement to notify the tenant of the landlord's intention to seize goods and therefore a landlord had an element of surprise, denying the tenant the opportunity to place its goods out of reach.
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