Daniels LLP Solicitors I recently made a will and asked my solicitor about safeguarding my property for the benefit of my children should I have to go into care. He told me there was no way of doing this, since even if I transferred my house to my children ten years before having to go into care social services could still reclaim the money from them. THAT’S not strictly true, but giving away what is probably your main asset is a very serious step: you should think carefully about all the advantages and disadvantages before doing this. If your children were to die, get divorced or become bankrupt you could lose the roof over your head. You could split the ownership of your property by becoming tenants in common, thereby reducing the risk. You may never have to go into a home of course.
STAKING A CLAIM
I HAVE maintained a small patch of land adjoining my home for about 20 years. I fenced it in a few years ago for further protection. I have now applied to the Land Registry to claim possession of this land, but it would appear the former owners have been notified and they are now saying that if I don’t remove the fence they will. THE law on ‘adverse possession’ – claiming other people’s land – changed in October 2003. If you hadn’t occupied the land for 12 years prior to that date, and the land is registered at the Land Registry, the owners are notified of your ownership claim and have the opportunity to object. It would appear in your case that they have done so, so your claim will not be upheld and you will have to take your fence down. I have been unable to pay my ground rent for several years because I don’t know who owns the freehold to my property. I have tried contacting the last known freeholder but my letters have been returned by Royal Mail. YOU’RE in an increasingly common situation: it’s very often not cost effective for freehold owners to collect sums that usually amount to little more than the price of a few lottery tickets. However under recent legislation you are no longer required to pay ground rent for which you have had no demand, despite what it says in your lease. If the freeholder does wish to claim outstanding ground rent the maximum they can claim is six years of payments. OUR neighbour has planted a row of coniferous trees against the fence between our properties, which is less than three metres from our kitchen window. At the moment the trees are 2.5 metres high and flourishing and will make our house dark as they grow taller. What can we do legally? What would happen if I chopped them down from our side? IF you chop them down your neighbour could sue you to replace them with similar-sized trees, which could be expensive and futile in the long run. But you have a remedy under the high hedges legislation. You can ask the council to intervene where a hedge exceeds two metres and presents a barrier to light or access and adversely affects your enjoyment of your property. Your best bet is to discuss this with your neighbour and ask him to keep the trees’ height at two metres.
Call SAS Daniels LLP Solicitors on 0161 475 7676 or 01625 442 100.
Visit www.sasdaniels. co.uk If you have any legal questions, write to Weekly Law and You, MEN Media, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Avenue, Chadderton OL9 8EF, or email mail@lawQs.co.uk