Ask the Expert


There is an enduring myth that there is such a phrase in the English Legal System as common law marriage.

Such a term is not recognised by the English Courts. It remains the case that the law relating to the breakdown of a marriage, and the various orders one spouse may have against the other upon divorce, is very different to the law relating to cohabiting couples.


Hypnosis and High Blood Pressure

Do you or someone you know have high blood pressure?

Your blood pressure is a measure of the pressure in your arteries as your heart pumps blood around your body. It naturally changes throughout the day, depending on your emotional state and physical activity levels, but when it stays consistently too high over time it is known as high blood pressure or ‘hypertension’, which literally means ‘over pressure’.


Planning for the Future – Lasting Powers of Attorney

When a person begins to lose their ability to manage their affairs and care, it can be a very distressing and difficult time. The benefits of creating a Will to determine how your affairs will be managed after death is widely recognised, but in many cases little thought is given to making provision for the managing of those affairs during your lifetime. A Lasting Power of Attorney can provide the certainty required and give you peace of mind so that in the event that you can no longer manage your personal affairs, a trusted family member, friend or advisor can act on your behalf.

Williams Thompson

Renting a Business Premises

If you own a business then a key decision is whether to buy or rent property. Renting business premises ties up less capital than buying which means you can invest it in the business instead. It can also give you flexibility to relocate easily should you need to.

The type of premises you rent and the location will be partly dictated by the type of business you are running. The amount you can afford - taking into account extra costs such as business and utility rates, and building insurance - will also be a deciding factor.

You can rent business premises by leasing them. If you require premises for a short term then consider a licence rather than a lease.

Countdown Clock

Why do I need to extend my lease?

The need for a lease extension arises because as your lease gets shorter the value of your flat will go down compared to a similar flat which has a long lease of, say, 100 years or more. This reduction in value is a particular issue when the length of your lease gets to less than 80 years.


Being More Confident

What is confidence? What does being confident mean?

It means being able to remain relaxed in situations that, for you, are potentially stressful. By remaining calm and in control in these situations, we can fully engage with others and feel and be confident.

In my Bournemouth Hypnotherapy practice, probably the common situation I help clients with is building their confidence and self esteem.


Overcoming Exam Nerves

It's the time of year when students of all ages are starting to prepare for their exams.For many people, the nerves that build up in the anticipation of a test or an exam, can be just as bad as the test or exam itself.

Thoughts of what might happen, or what might go wrong, or what questions they might get asked, can add to the anxiety and stress.

This stress can build, and as the exam draws ever closer, the anxiety builds to such an extent, that the student feels that all their newly-learned skills and knowledge will just vanish right at the moment they'll need them the most.

They might 'know' that they are competent in their subject, but feel, and sometimes actually find, that their skills desert them just as soon as the test or exam begins.

The stresses and strains that a test or exam can bring, can be especially frustrating to a student who usually performs well in class or with coursework.

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Property Abandonment

Q . We think our tenants have left without saying anything. They are still in a Tenancy Agreement, are two months in arrears and we have not been able to make contact with them. Unfortunately we do not live locally, but the neighbours who are friends of ours say they have not seen them around and having peeped through a window it looks as if most of the furniture has gone. Where do we stand legally?

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Shared Accommodation Rate for Under 35s


We currently rent out a one-bedroom flat to a single person. We have always received the rent on time and the gentleman looks after the property well. Unfortunately, he was made redundant recently and will have to claim Housing Benefit whist looking for another job. My concern is that he is 31 years of age and I have been told there have been changes to the legislation on single people under the age of 35. Can you tell me what those changes are and how they will affect my tenant and us? Many thanks.


I’m a Hypnotherapist

'I'm a Hypnotherapist' - I reply, when I am asked what I do. And then I wait for the reaction!

There are a few standard ones!

'I'm not looking into your eyes then!'

'You won't be able to hypnotise me'

'Can you make me cluck like a chicken?'

'Please make me stop liking chocolate'

'I want my husband to stop smoking, can I book him an appointment now?'

There are a lot more, but let's deal with these for now…

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Taxman to Target Buy-to-let Landlords

HMRC have launched 12 task forces aimed at targeting landlords with 3 or more properties in 2011/12 and more in 2012/13.

The buy-to-let taskforce will specifically target tax evasion among buy-to-let landlords who own or rent out more than three properties. HMRC taskforces form part of the government's aim to raise an additional £7bn a year by 2014/15 through tackling tax evasion, avoidance and fraud.

Mike Wells director of risk and intelligence at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is quite clear: "If you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you'll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well."

The Task forces will gain information from:

Banks Mortgage applications
Land registry Electoral rolls
Council tax records Letting agents


New Year Resolutions

Are you making any New Year resolutions this year? If you are, Fantastic! I wish you well in achieving your goals. What are your goals by the way? Do they happen to be the same or very similar to the ones you made last year?

Hmm, I thought so! New Year Resolutions can be a fantastic way of helping us to reduce weight, stop smoking, learn a new skill, exercise more, etc… but be honest, how long does that resolve last? Often it's not very long, is it?

So how can you help yourself keep those resolutions in 2012? Well, I am going to suggest two ways: one you may think quite strange, the other is a very practical solution.

Move On Rentals

Deposit Schemes

I am going through a dispute with tenants who recently moved out of a rented property I own. They have caused quite a bit of damage and I have retained their deposit. Although I have provided an in depth detail of the damage along with photographic evidence of before they moved in and after, they have sought advice from the CAB. The CAB has advised them to seek confirmation of how the Deposit was protected. Unfortunately, I was not aware I had to protect the Deposit and am concerned at what this may mean. Obviously going forward I will ensure the deposit from the new tenants is protected but can you advise me on my rights with this particular case as I genuinely didn't know?


Fears & Phobias

Imagine a typical day. You get out of bed, go to the bathroom, wash, dress, eat breakfast, go to work, school or spend the day leisurely. Perhaps you drive or take a bus. On your route you see a dog, some balloons in a shop; you might see a bird or an insect, think about the party you are going to or your winter sun holiday. Sounds good, doesn't it? For some people though, every one of those activities causes real fear, a panic or phobia.


Fertility Hypnosis

When I am asked what issues and conditions hypnotherapy can help to deal with, the subject that creates the most surprise is fertility. It may seem incredible that using hypnosis can help you conceive, whether you have explained or unexplained infertility - it really is true!

There are many different reasons that you, (or your partner of course!) may not be able to become pregnant. Stress has been found to be a big factor in this; stress comes from all directions - work, home, financial. Or it may be that the deep stress levels brought on by an infertility diagnosis are affecting you to the degree that infertility treatment is just not working for you... yet. Have you heard stories of couples who after years of not conceiving, go on to adopt a child - and then fall pregnant naturally? This is because they have let go of the stress and worry about their 'infertility'.


Hypnosis and Birth

Hypnobirthing is a term used in the hypnotherapy and medical professions for the use of hypnosis or hypnotherapy in childbirth. Recently there has been a lot of publicity around Hypnobirthing, with several celebrities reporting having had fantastic experiences of childbirth while using the technique. In fact, there is evidence that women were 'Hypnobirthing' at least as far back as ancient Egyptian times!

So what is a Hypnobirth? Put simply, it's a method of using hypnosis to remain calm, relaxed and in control during childbirth. You won't be asleep or in a trance, you'll be able to chat, move about, and do what your body needs to do to safely deliver your child into the world. You'll be fully aware of everything going on around you.

As medicine has developed over the centuries, childbirth has become 'medicalised', yet giving birth is natural - the female body has been designed to do just that, your body knows what to do! At this point, it should be noted that sometimes medical intervention is absolutely necessary - no Hypnotherapist would ever suggest otherwise. However, when a mother stays calm and relaxed, the need for medical intervention is greatly reduced.

Elaine Hibell, Forever Living

Look Your Best This Summer!

The recent warm weather has spurred many of us into action to try to make sure that we look our best for the summer - and for some of us that means losing some of those extra pounds we put on over the winter months.

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Top Ten Tips for Decorating with Bright Colours

Keeley Fox, from De Lusso Interior Design, gives us her top ten tips on how to decorate your home with bright colours.

1/ Create definition by combining the bright colours with plenty of natural 'white space'.

2/ Add an accent choose one dominant colour and then add in a stand-out accent. For example, team indigo walls with neutral tones and add a zesty yellow accent.

3/ Pair with bold prints bright colours love strong pattern-look out for geometric designs and oversized florals.

4/ Brighten up for impact, use the purest hue you can- no wishy-washy pastels. One hot pink cushion is more striking than a whole room in pale pink tones.

5/ Get the right light bold colours really come alive under bright lights, so include pendant and task lights in your scheme.


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