Daniels LLP Solicitors My neighbour’s cottage has become so derelict that it is now affecting my own. By chance I own the freehold to the property, and he is ignoring the terms of his lease which state that he must keep it in good repair. He’s supposed to allow me access but won’t, and he has refused to pay the £3 annual ground rent for the last 18 years. You could take steps to repossess the house. This is the final sanction for a landlord faced with a leaseholder in breach of the terms of his lease, but it’s quite a complicated procedure and you would need a solicitor’s help. It may however be the most effective way of getting the repairs done which are necessary to prevent the property affecting your own. The alternative would be to sue your neighbour over the damage, but it sounds as though he may just ignore County Court orders and you would be back to square one.
SON SHOULD INHERIT
My husband’s mother is in her 80s and in reasonable health but we’re worried because she hasn’t made a will. She has about £50,000 saved up. My husband is her only relative: will her money come to him automatically or is there something she should do now? Your husband should inherit his mother’s entire estate as long as there are no other relatives, but it’s always better to make a will and seek advice. Making a will would make it easier to administer her estate, and your motherin-law should also consider other eventualities, such as the possibility (however remote) that she might outlive her son. Without a will, you as her daughter- in-law would inherit nothing in those circumstances.
PUT IN THE SHADE
My neighbour has large trees in her garden, and a number of the branches overhang mine, blocking out the light. We also have difficulty sweeping up all the leaves in autumn, since I am 75 and my husband is 80. Is there anything we can do about the trees? I’m afraid there’s probably not much you can do about the trees putting your garden in the shade, unless the trees are evergreen and form a hedge. This is probably not the case if they drop leaves, in which case your neighbour is technically responsible for cutting off the branches that overhang your garden; if he refuses to do so you can get someone in to do the job. Remember the wood from the tree belongs to them and you should offer to return it to them (although they probably won’t want it!). You could always look to recover the cost of the cutting back through the small claims court, although it would be preferable for you to get a friend or relative to do it for you. I think you’d be lucky to get your neighbour to pay for sweeping up your garden though, even if they are his leaves. I own several lock-up garages which I rent out. The garages have corrugated asbestos roofs which aren’t very strong, but from time to time teenagers climb on them putting themselves at some risk. No-one has been hurt so far, but I wondered whether I would be responsible if there was an accident. Am I allowed to put up barbed wire? Would warning signs help? If someone came to grief it might be possible to argue a case against you on the basis that you were aware of the problem and did nothing about it. Barbed wire might be a solution as long as it doesn’t add to the danger: you’d be better off putting up a sign about the barbed wire rather than alerting children to the condition of the roofs. The answer really is to ensure the roofs are safe.
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