An­gela Brown

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - DERELICT DILEMMA

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.


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.


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. Visit­daniels. If you have any le­gal ques­tions, write to Weekly Law and You, MEN Me­dia, Mitchell Henry House, Hollinwood Av­enue, Chad­der­ton OL9 8EF, or email

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