An­gela Brown

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH -

Daniels LLP So­lic­i­tors

STUCK IN A COSTLY SER­VICE CON­TRACT

WHEN we bought our semi-de­tached re­tire­ment bun­ga­low five years ago, we signed a lease which in­cluded an agree­ment with the builders to pay £550 a year in re­turn for which they’d keep the gar­den tidy, dec­o­rate the out­side of the house and ser­vice the cen­tral heat­ing. This fig­ure has now risen to £730 and we can’t af­ford it. Can we refuse to pay this in­crease? IF the lease al­lows the builders the power to al­ter the fee they charge, then you won’t be able to get out of the obli­ga­tion. Show the doc­u­ment to a solic­i­tor. It’s pos­si­ble you will be able to chal­lenge the amount of the charge, buy the free­hold, bring in a dif­fer­ent man­age­ment com­pany, or even man­age the site your­selves. But first you should ask to in­spect the ac­counts and see how your money has been spent.

SAV­ING OUR HOME FOR OUR SON

I WANT to make sure my son doesn’t have to pay for us if we should ever have to go into an old folks’ home. Can I give the house to my son and con­tinue to pay the mort­gage my­self? You are ex­pected to con­trib­ute to care home fees from your cap­i­tal if you have more than £14,250, so I pre­sume you are con­sid­er­ing giv­ing away your prop­erty with this in mind. How­ever, the lo­cal authority can refuse to pay care home fees if it be­lieves that you’ve given away your as­sets with the in­ten­tion of avoid­ing them. What’s more, if you give your prop­erty to your son you could lose your home if, for ex­am­ple, he was to di­vorce or be made bank­rupt. I rec­om­mend that you take de­tailed le­gal ad­vice be­fore em­bark­ing on such a course of ac­tion.

AC­CESS IS­SUES ACROSS GAR­DEN

WHEN my neigh­bour moved in she put up a fence around her gar­den, but in do­ing so she cut off her ac­cess to her out­side toi­let. These days it only houses her bins, but be­cause of the fence the only way she can get to it is across our land. A friend told us we shouldn’t al­low her to do this. IF your neigh­bour uses your land for ac­cess pur­poses for 20 years or more she – and any­one who bought her house in the fu­ture – could ac­quire the right to do so per­ma­nently. This would only ap­ply if she was us­ing the route with­out your per­mis­sion how­ever, so you should per­haps give her writ­ten per­mis­sion to do so and keep a copy. Sim­i­larly she’s run­ning some­thing of a risk of los­ing her loo at some stage if she’s in­cor­po­rated it into your prop­erty.

FOOT­ING THE BILL FOR EX-BUSI­NESS

A FRIEND and I went into part­ner­ship and made an over­draft ar­range­ment with the bank based on the value and eq­uity of our homes. Af­ter a dis­agree­ment I left the busi­ness and asked the bank for the im­me­di­ate re­lease of my se­cu­rity. But three months later the com­pany was in vol­un­tary liq­ui­da­tion and the bank is de­mand­ing re­pay­ment of the £26,000 over­draft. The bank says there never was any eq­uity in my ex-part­ner’s house, which is why they’re com­ing af­ter me. UN­DER most loan agree­ments the bank will be able to claim the whole amount of the over­draft from you and noth­ing from your for­mer part­ner if they so choose: you are prob­a­bly ‘jointly and sev­er­ally’ li­able. It’s nor­mal for there to be a pe­riod af­ter you have no­ti­fied the bank when you are still li­able for new debts – the pe­riod would de­pend on the word­ing of the loan agree­ment. Ide­ally you should have wound up the busi­ness when you left. Dis­cuss your cur­rent sit­u­a­tion with a solic­i­tor as soon as pos­si­ble.

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