Wallace Quinn employee Karter Kane off on an Africa volunteering adventure

Wallace Quinn employee Karter Kane is leaving us shortly to undertake an exciting volunteering opportunity in Malawi.  Twenty one year old Karter and her boyfriend are off to volunteer at a school on the shores of Lake Malawi for eight weeks before beginning an African and Asian backpacking adventure.

Karter says,

“I’ve loved my time here at Wallace Quinn since finishing my law degree but I’m only twenty-one and still a bit restless to see some of the world before considering training to become a solicitor.   I’ve always been drawn to volunteering and found an organisation called ‘Naturally Africa Volunteers’ who are looking for people to help in schools.  Malawi is a stable country that has a lot of poverty and needs a lot of help.  It’s not uncommon for teachers to have classes with up to 150 pupils, so they rely on volunteers to help deliver a better quality of education.  I’m currently doing an online teaching course to help me teach English as a foreign language, but I’ll also helpfully be helping out with some maths and sciences and some history as well.”

Karter also hopes to help teach the kids a hobby she particularly enjoys herself.  Karter says,

“The two main sports in Malawi seem to be football and netball.  I’ve played netball for years and have even done some coaching in the sport here in Scotland, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to either help with an after school netball club or start one at the school I’ll be volunteering with.   There are also popular ‘library clubs’ after school that try and instil a lifelong love of reading and I’ll definitely be up for helping with that”.

“I’ve been in touch with the charity coordinators to see what books I can take with me and I’ll also take some netball equipment.  Basically, whatever we can fit in an extra suitcase for the flight over.  We’ll also take some stationary because even basic things like pencils and notebooks are in short supply’.

After Karter’s two months in Malawi, she’s off to tour South Africa before continuing her backpacking adventure in Hong Kong and then seeing wherever the wanderlust takes her.  The rest of us at Wallace Quinn are more than a little jealous of what sounds like an exciting and worthwhile adventure. Good luck Karter – we can’t wait to see the pictures when you get back.

Kilimanjaro climb raises £8525 for St Andrew’s Hospice

Wallace Quinn Managing Director John Quinn visited St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie this week to present a cheque following his recent fundraising trip to Africa.  In March John was part of a team that climbed Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

John set himself a target of £8000, but smashed through this, raising a total of £8525.  The money raised will go towards the hospice’s Capital Appeal, and ambitious £9 million pound fundraising drive to help the hospice deliver modern hospice care for the next thirty years.

John met with hospice fundraiser Bobby Mason to hand over the cheque.

John Quinn presents cheque to St Andrew's Hospice Fundraiser Bobby Mason
John Quinn presents cheque to St Andrew’s Hospice Fundraiser Bobby Mason

Bobby said,

“St Andrew Hospice needs to raise nearly £4.6 million each year to provide care and support for patients, families and carers across Lanarkshire and we couldn’t do it without the remarkable work of each and every one of our fundraisers.  Wallace Quinn’s support for the hospice is longstanding and greatly appreciated, with John’s latest donation simply superb.” 

John says,

“I was blown away by the generosity of family, friends and colleagues who sponsored me on a personal challenge to both climb Kilimanjaro and raise a significant sum for St Andrew’s Hospice.   Wallace Quinn has been supporting St Andrew’s Hospice with fundraising activities since we first opened for business and it an association I know will continue for many years.   The Hospice does a remarkable job of helping individuals and families when they need help the most and it is a real privilege for us to be able to assist in any way we can.”

St Andrew’s Hospice opened in 1986 to provide palliative care and support for patients, families and carers. Although it receives funding from NHS Lanarkshire, the hospice requires to raise significant funds every year. The £9 million capital appeal reflects the considerable changes to equipment and facilities needed to deliver modern hospice care since St Andrew’s first opened.

Wallace Quinn’s next fundraising event for St Andrew’s Hospice will be the firm’s annual Golf Day at Dullatur Golf Club on Thursday 26 September.

Wallace Quinn announce shirt sponsorship with 2018 International Pool Association Premier League champion Mark Boyle.

Mark Boyle lines up a shot

Wallace Quinn are delighted to support Scottish pool champion Mark Boyle in 2019 as a sponsor. Mark is the 2018 International Pool Association (IPA) Scottish Champion, having also won the IPA Premier League, British Open Championship and English Open Championship.

Wallace Quinn will have their logo on the front of Mark’s professional shirts, and the company web address on his back.

Wallace Quinn Director Mark McBride, himself an amateur pool player, says,

“Mark is an excellent ambassador for Scotland and for pool and I’m delighted that the Wallace Quinn brand will be associated with him this season.  Mark is at the height of his game and helping bring a renewed focus on Pool. The sport is taking advantage of new technologies, with matches now live streaming on the IPA website and featuring more on channels such as Sky Sports.   Our association with Mark will allow us to reach more customers who may be thinking of buying a new home, starting a business or a multitude of different things that Wallace Quinn can help with.”

Mark McBride and Mark Boyle with the IPA Premier League Trophy

Mark says the sport is definitely enjoying a resurgence of popularity and reaching new audiences. He says,

“Over the last couple of years or so, Pool has definitely got much bigger, both in terms of the number of tournaments and the amount of prize money on offer.  There’s also much more of the game being televised on BBC and SKY and the sport is reaching a new audience.  It helps that the game is reasonably quick, so frames can be over in a couple of minutes, meaning you don’t have to invest as much time as you would watching a game of snooker.  It’s also a very accessible sport to play yourself – anybody can pick up a cue in the pub and pot a few balls and develop a love of playing the game.  The trick as a professional is keeping your skill level really high and really consistent.  It really is a golden time for pool at the moment and who knows, it could end up as big a draw as darts on the TV in the years ahead.”

Mark’s priorities for 2019 are to defend his IPA Premier League title and break into the top sixteen in the IPA rankings (he’s currently 22).  Everybody here at Wallace Quinn wish him luck and we’re looking forward to following his progress and spotting our logo in tournaments in the months ahead!

Spanish Property Show 1 and 2 June

Have you ever dreamed of a Spanish Holiday Home by the sea?  Or a retirement villa in the Spanish mountains? 

Wallace Quinn have been helping people purchase property in Spain for over 20 years.

Come and meet our Spanish Property team at a FREE drop in event in Edinburgh on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd June 2019.

On hand to advise you on every aspect of Spanish property will be:

Margaret McMillan – Spanish Property Manager

Ignacio Chanza – Solicitor, qualified in both Scotland and Spain (and the honorary Spanish Consul for the North of Scotland)

Neil Spinney – Spanish property sourcing expert

Where:  ESPC, 107 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 3ES

When:  Saturday 1st June – 10am-4pm / Sunday 2nd June 11am-3pm

You can drop in at any time, or book an appointment via margaret@wallacequinn.co.uk or by calling 01506 353400.  Or you can contact the Spanish Property Desk at our Livingston office for free advice at any time.

wish you were here?

John Quinn reaches top of Kilimanjaro

Wallace Quinn Managing Director John Quinn has succeeded in his quest to tackle Africa’s highest mountain.  John reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on 28th  March, raising money for St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie through sponsorship.

John’s trek to the summit started in the rainforest on the lower slopes before emerging through the clouds to a much more barren landscape.  John was part of a team that took six days to conquer the mountain, mostly trekking but occasionally  scrambling on all fours up steep rocky slopes.

John says,

“It was an absolute privilege attempt to climb Kilimanjaro, but it is a brutal endeavour.  We were trekking for up to fourteen hours a day, climbing higher at the same time as oxygen levels were falling, meaning exhaustion and nausea were constant climbing companions.   On the morning of our final ascent, we were up at midnight and set out in darkness to climb the last steep slope to the top.  It was all worth it when the sun came up and we could see the summit ahead of us.”

The summit of Kilimanjaro is 5895m above sea level, with oxygen levels at the top nearly half of what they are at the base.

In 2019, we’re delighted that John pulled out all the stops and made it to the top!

John says,

“In 2014 I came close to reaching the top but had to turn back as I was defeated by the effects of altitude.  I put in much more fitness training ahead of this attempt and it paid off, but any sense of triumph on the summit was competing with overwhelming tiredness and I don’t think I appreciated what I had personally achieved until a few days later.” 

John continued,

“I’d like to thank all of my friends, family, colleagues and associates who have helped raise a fantastic amount for St Andrew’s Hospice.  The hospice provides palliative care and support for patients, families and carers.  Although it receives funding from NHS Lanarkshire, the hospice requires to raise at least £4.6 million from public donations every year.  Wallace Quinn has been a corporate sponsor of the hospice since we opened in 1990 and I’ll continue to look for new ways to help support this incredibly important charity.”

Does that mean a trip back to Kilimanjaro at some point in the future for John?

John says,

“Absolutely no chance.  In physical terms that was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done in my life.   I’m delighted to have made it to the top but two visits to Kilimanjaro in one lifetime is enough for anybody!”

If you would like to donate to John’s ‘Just Giving” page for St Andrew’s Hospice, click on this link.

Beware! Dilapidations, the hidden expense in a commercial lease

This article was first published in our March 2019 newsletter

Those familiar with commercial leasing will be aware of dilapidations. These are items which require repair, usually, on termination of the lease. The normal practice is for the landlord to carry out and inspection and provide a list of these items. If the repairs are not carried out, the landlord will then seek a monetary equivalent to cover the cost of repairs.

The normal type of commercial lease in Scotland is a full repairing and insuring lease. In leases of this type, the tenant is responsible for maintaining the premises “in good order and repair” or “in good and tenantable condition”- and at the end of the lease, the premises need to be in that condition, failing which, the landlords can all on the tenant to make good the condition using a Schedule of Dilapidations.

The landlord’s view is that there is a need to ensure that the property is maintained properly. The landlord should warn the tenant of any neglect it becomes aware of.  If that is done, it reduces the risk to the asset value of the property before a problem becomes more widespread. Although this isn’t a widespread practice in Scotland, issues such as this could best be dealt with through the service of an interim schedule of dilapidations. By doing this, the landlord can focus the attention of the tenant on problems that have been discovered.

A final schedule of dilapidations will identify items of disrepair to be made good by the tenant when the lease comes to an end.  Where the tenant fails to comply with the repairing obligations set out in the lease, the schedule of dilapidations will often form the basis of a financial claim by the landlord.

From the tenant’s perspective, accepting the property in good repair implies that it must be returned to the landlord in such a condition on termination of the lease. Accepting a property in tenantable condition is not quite as straight forward. Age, character and locality issues could be considered to rebut any schedule of dilapidations in such a case.

When a schedule of dilapidations is served, the validity of the landlord’s claim should be investigated. It is essential that reference is be made to the specific repairing obligations contained in the lease. When a claim is submitted in good time before the end of the lease, it usually benefits tenants to have any legitimate repair works carried out less expensively themselves rather than leave these for the landlord to complete.

The starting point in resolving any dispute will be the scope of the repairing obligation and resolving this issue requires careful analysis of the wording of the repairing obligation, and its outcome can have significant implications for the respective liabilities of the parties.

If you are considering entering into a commercial lease of premises, it makes very good sense to obtain expert dilapidations advice at the outset. Waiting until the approach of the end of the lease is never a cost-effective option.

Landlords and Tenants of property must appreciate the nuances in dilapidations law and how these affect liability.

If you would like to discuss a liability issue you have regarding dilapidations or otherwise wish to discuss the terms of a commercial lease, please get in touch using the details at the foot of the page.







In terms of Scottish common law, the tenant has different obligations to repair a property under lease. These obligations are largely limited to liability for fair wear and tear, and repairs needed due to their negligence. However, specific lease clauses addressing repairing obligations usually cause the obligations in common law to transfer from the landlord to the tenant. This is the first stumbling block for the uninitiated. Tenants taking on a new lease in Scotland are likely to be faced with a clause stating that they “accept the property in good order and repair” or they “accept the property in a tenantable condition”. This wording causes the transfer of the liability for certain common law obligations from the landlord to the tenant in different ways.

It is very important to understand what the repairing clauses in the lease mean. Even leases where there is a relatively short term can have serious repairing implications. Tenants who enter into what they thought were reasonable repairing obligations can quickly learn that this is not the case. It is very important that due diligence is carried out before entering into a lease of the property. It makes sense to engage the services of a chartered building surveyor to visit the premises and report on its condition or repair. If tenants do not do this and it transpires that the building has significant structural problems that could, for instance, only be resolved by the rebuilding of a significant portion of an external elevation then the tenants will become responsible for the cost of those repairs having taken on the repairing obligations in the lease. This can mean that the value of the dilapidations claim is many times more than the annual rental for the premises and that would represent a significant unforeseen and unbudgeted expense for the outgoing tenant. If a proper review of the condition of the building has been carried out before entering into the lease, then this will help tenants to avoid such expense.

“Interim” and “Terminal” dilapidations terminology is used in Scotland although the courts do not recognise a difference between the two types of schedule. In England and Wales it is not unusual for a landlord to serve an interim schedule on a tenant at, say, the mid-term point of the lease as a reminder to the tenant to undertake repairs where they are in breach of their lease obligations. However, in England and Wales, there are limits to what can be included in this – not so in Scotland.

During the recent recession, there was a significant increase in the number of schedules of dilapidations being served during the term of a lease in an effort by landlords to avoid being left with an empty property in poor condition in the event that the tenant became insolvent. As a result, as landlords seek to enforce the repairing obligations in the lease and tenants seek to minimise their liabilities, more disputes have arisen.

The starting point in resolving any dispute will be the scope of the repairing obligation – in particular whether the common law position has been supplanted by the repairing clauses in the lease. A key issue in some major dilapidations disputes, argued before the Scottish courts, is whether the landlord’s common law liability for extraordinary repairs has been transferred to the tenant. Resolving this issue can require careful analysis of the wording of the repairing obligation, and its outcome can have significant implications for the respective liabilities of the parties.

If you are considering entering into a commercial lease of premises, it makes very good sense to obtain expert dilapidations advice from the outset. Waiting until the approach of the end of the lease is never a cost-effective option.

Landlords and Tenants of property must appreciate the nuances in dilapidations law and how these affect liability.

If you would like to discuss a liability issue you have regarding dilapidations or otherwise wish to discuss the terms of a commercial lease, please get in touch using the details at the bottom of the page.

A Power of Attorney – a convenient tool or an indispensable insurance policy?

This article was first published in our March 2019 newsletter

Regular readers of our eNewsletter won’t be surprised to see us revisiting this topic and to try to explain how taking the step of preparing a Power of Attorney can either be a convenient tool or an insurance policy protecting against the unexpected.

There was a time when people would grant a Power of Attorney as a matter of convenience. Such steps were taken when people were, perhaps, travelling extensively or lived abroad but needed someone in Scotland to deal with their affairs – someone they trusted who could sign-off documents and progress business without them having to return to Scotland to deal with it. You can still create a Power of Attorney that’ll deal with this. It can be as specific or as general as you wish – and you can revoke it at any time.

However, what this type of Power of Attorney didn’t cover was the situation where you became unable to deal with your own personal or financial affairs through some form of incapacity and this resulted in the advent of the Financial and/or Welfare Power of Attorney.

This type of Power of Attorney would survive such a situation where the former type of “convenience” Power of Attorney wouldn’t and the purpose of a Financial and/or Welfare Power of Attorney (yes, you can have separate or combined versions of these)is to ensure that should you become incapacitated in such a way that you can no longer look after your financial affairs or your welfare needs (or both) then your attorney can do that for you. In fact, in either case, having a Power of Attorney doesn’t prevent you from looking after your own affairs and you can even specify that a Financial and/or Welfare Power of Attorney doesn’t come into effect unless and until you are incapacitated (if ever)!

There is also myth that suggests that you shouldn’t bother about making a Power of Attorney until you reach old age. Nothing could be further from the truth. Accidents can (and do) happen at any time in your life. Should you become incapacitated as a result of such an accident that prevents you from looking after your own affairs, not only will the lack of a Power of Attorney put enormous pressure on your loved ones who have to look after your needs, they may also be required to make an application for a Guardianship order to legally deal with things for you –  and that can prove time consuming and very expensive.

So, there you have it – from a convenient tool to an indispensable insurance policy – a Power of Attorney is flexible, effective and granting one is probably of the most sensible things you’ll ever do.

If you’d like to discuss granting a Power or Attorney or simply want to know more about it and how it can help you, please get in touch using the details at the bottom of the page.

Wallace Quinn’s John Quinn looks to settle score with Kilimanjaro

John and a fellow trekker get ready for the 2014 climb

Wallace Quinn Managing Director John Quinn is off to Africa in March to settle a score with one of the continent’s most famous landmarks. John will be part of a team of Scottish trekkers aiming to reach the summit of Africa’s highest mountain, Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.

John attempted to reach the summit in 2014, but began suffering from altitude sickness just hours away from reaching his goal.   The summit of Kilimanjaro is 5895m above sea level, with oxygen levels at the summit nearly half of they are the base.

John and his fellow climbers will be attempting the climb to help raise funds for St Andrew’s Hospice in Airdrie.

Donate now at John’s Just Giving Page:  www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-quinn23

John says,

“I came agonizingly close to the top before having to turn back and so this feels like unfinished business for me.  This time I’m going to take a little longer to make the ascent, which should help me better acclimatise to the falling oxygen levels.  It does give me another opportunity to help raise funds for a hugely important charity in St Andrew’s Hospice and I’m determined to raise as much money as possible and not let this formidable mountain get the better of me for a second time!”

The team will attempt their climb from the western approach to Kilimanjaro along the new Lemosho route where they’ll be sharing the terrain with antelope, buffalo and the odd elephant.  They’ll start in the dense tropical rainforest on a week long journey through five different climatic zones before the final ascent on the Kibo peak, 19,341ft above sea level.

If you’d like to support John and support St Andrew’s Hospice, John has set up a just giving page where you can make a donation.

Or if you’d like to join John on this adventure, or a future St Andrew’s Hospice fundraising expedition, you can find out more at their website.

Wallace Quinn have been a proud supporter of St Andrew’s Hospice since we opened in 1990.  The hospice provides palliative care and support for patients, families and carers.  Although it receives funding from NHS Lanarkshire, the hospice requires to raise at least £4.6million from public donations every year.


Client Briefing – Additional Dwelling Supplement Increase

From 25th January 2019, changes to a tax applied in certain residential property sales come into effect which could impact on homeowners looking to purchase a new home while requiring to sell their existing property.

The Additional Dwelling Supplement (ADS) has increased from 3% to 4% of the purchase price of a property.  ADS is a tax applied in the purchase of a second or subsequent residential property in addition to the Land & Buildings Transaction Tax payable on the property.

While this tax primarily applies to people buying second homes or those involved in the buy-to-let market, it can also have consequences for the ‘normal’ property market.  If you are an existing home owner looking to move, unless you sell your existing property prior to completing the deal on your new property, you will be liable to pay ADS.  If your current property sells within 18 months, you will be able to reclaim the ADS.

Although ADS in applicable to any second property that sells for more than £40,000, It is important to note that the 4% ADS applies to the entire purchase price of the second property.  On a £200,000 property, this would mean £8000 ADS would be applicable.

Wallace Quinn’s Managing Director John Quinn explains,

“ADS was first introduced as a response to a perception that buy-to-let landlords were buying up property at the lower end of the market, forcing the price up and squeezing first time buyers out of the market. But where it becomes problematic for ordinary home owners is if the sale of their existing property falls through at the last minute, then they would have to find thousands of additional pounds they were not expecting and may not have available before they can complete on their new property.  Once the ADS is paid, the clock starts ticking on an eighteen month window to sell the old property or lose the right to reclaim the money paid in ADS”

Wallace Quinn clients received a full briefing earlier on this month on the changes.   If you want to discuss this further with a solicitor, please contact us for more information.

Wallace Quinn unveil online fee-calculator for new build conveyancing

New-build home-buyers can now generate a conveyancing quote directly from www.wallacequinn.co.uk/new-build-calculator, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

By answering a few questions relating to the property they wish to buy, potential clients can now see all conveyancing fees, outlays and taxes in one place.  This process takes less than a minute and the quote is generated instantly.

The calculator will also allow sales staff on new-build sites to help customers better understand conveyancing charges at the point of home-reservation, meaning no more waiting until Monday morning after a weekend site visit to get information from a solicitor.

Solicitor Mark McBride, Wallace Quinn’s New Build Director says,

“We have a dedicated team in our new build conveyancing department, all of whom will work tirelessly to get our clients into their new home as quickly as possible.   With our online fee calculator, we can furnish potential clients with relevant information on their smartphones before they’ve even left the site after viewing a property.  We recognise that people lead busy lives so our commitment to embracing new technologies means we can do much of the conveyancing process digitally, using email, skype, whatsapp, social media and other digital solutions.  Of course, if they prefer, we can still see clients in person at our offices in Livingston and Baillieston.”  

Over the last few years, Wallace Quinn have established strong relationships with many of the country’s leading home builders and have built a reputation for handling new-build conveyancing with speed, efficiency and attention to detail with a strong customer service.

Mark added,

“It is important to stress that while we’re delighted to be recommended by many market leading builders, we are completely independent of them all.  We will always act in the interests of our clients and be their advocate throughout the conveyancing process.  Digital solutions are a fantastic enhancement to our customer service, but all of our clients will also have a named contact at Wallace Quinn they can speak to at any time.   

 Along with conveyancing fees to purchase new-build property, the calculator can generate conveyancing quotes for selling or part exchanging property.  It can factor in costs associated with “Help To Buy” and “Help To Buy ISAs”.   If clients then want to instruct Wallace Quinn to act for them, they can email the information direct to Wallace Quinn and begin the conveyancing process.

To try the Wallace Quinn new-build conveyancing calculator for yourself, log onto www.wallacequinn.co.uk/new-build-calculator.  The calculator is optimised to work on computers, tablets and smartphones.