An­gela Brown

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - SEC­OND HOME TAX

Daniels LLP So­lic­i­tors I have a house which was once my main res­i­dence, but when I met my part­ner I moved in with her and have lived here for five years. I rented out my own house, and con­tinue to do so. Now my part­ner is sell­ing her house and we are buy­ing a new home to­gether. Changes in the rules on stamp duty mean we could pay a vast amount of stamp duty; but since we are buy­ing a prop­erty which will be our main res­i­dence, will they ap­ply to us? The new rules on stamp duty are de­signed not to pe­nalise peo­ple who al­ready own sec­ond homes but sim­ply want to move house. Un­for­tu­nately al­though you re­gard your part­ner’s house as your ‘main res­i­dence’ I take it your name isn’t on the deeds. So to all in­tents and pur­poses your new home will be a sec­ond home, and I think you will be li­able to pay the new stamp duty rates. How­ever if you sell the orig­i­nal ‘rented’ home within 36 months, you may be able to claim back the ad­di­tional three per cent stamp duty you will have had to pay on the new prop­erty, as that will then be your main res­i­dence HOW can I get hold of a copy of my late mother’s will? I’ve al­ready tried the lo­cal pro­bate of­fice, but as most of her estate will go to her hus­band – my step­fa­ther – it won’t nec­es­sar­ily have to go to pro­bate. As there’s no love lost be­tween us I would like to ob­tain a copy of the will with­out hav­ing to ap­proach him. As you’re aware, the contents of wills are only made public once pro­bate has been granted, and pro­bate is of­ten un­nec­es­sary where rel­a­tively small sums of money are in­volved or jointly-held as­sets pass au­to­mat­i­cally to the sur­vivor. So you may never see the will. If you think you may be a ben­e­fi­ciary you could ask the court to is­sue a sub­poena re­quir­ing him to bring it into court. This how­ever is quite a dras­tic step and could be ex­pen­sive for you.


The res­i­dents of six houses in our street have pedes­trian rights over a lane about six feet wide be­hind our house. I wish to put up a gar­den shed which will have to jut out more than a foot into the lane. Will I be al­lowed to do this? No. It is not pos­si­ble to build on land over which neigh­bours have rights of way un­less all the neigh­bours agree to this in writ­ing. It is im­ma­te­rial that your shed will not ex­tend over the en­tire ac­cess area. Ask a solic­i­tor to check your title deeds if you’re in any doubt about the le­gal po­si­tion. There’s a drain across the bound­ary be­tween my house and my next door neigh­bour’s. I am hav­ing a path laid, and want to tidy up around the drain cover as part of the job. This will mean slid­ing out a fence panel, but my neigh­bour may not agree to this, even though we should have joint ac­cess to the drain. Can I get au­tho­ri­sa­tion from the coun­cil so he can’t stop me? I take it you don’t live in coun­cil houses, so the coun­cil would not be­come in­volved in this mat­ter. As you say, your deeds prob­a­bly give you joint ac­cess to the drain. So if your neigh­bour proved awk­ward, you would most likely be able to get a court or­der to pro­ceed with the work. But this would be a dras­tic mea­sure for so mi­nor a mat­ter. Dis­cuss it with your neigh­bour, but if he ob­jects you may have to just tidy up your own side.

Call SAS Daniels LLP So­lic­i­tors on 0161 475 7676 or 01625 442 100.


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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