SAS Daniels LLP Solicitors WE bought our house 20 years ago subject to a chief rent of £10 a year. Recently they gave up asking for payment. In some correspondence it is referred to as ‘ground rent’, in others as ‘chief rent’: can you explain the difference, and what will happen if it’s not paid? CHIEF rents (also called rentcharges) give the chief rent owner certain rights over your property which are set out as covenants in your title deeds, and are often wrongly confused with ‘ground rent’. The difference broadly speaking is that chief rent payers own the freehold to their property, while ground rent payers are leaseholders, owning the land for a fixed period only. Since August 1977 only certain rentcharges could be created, these being mostly ‘estate rentcharges’ created for example to secure payment for the provision of services or for the carrying out of maintenance. If you are MY wife suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and is now unable to do anything for herself. She has an endowment policy which is due to mature shortly and we also have some money in a joint account. I am worried that my son may have a terrible muddle to sort out. IT would be a good idea for your wife to sign a lasting power of attorney if she has sufficient mental capacity to do so, appointing you and/or your son to deal with her financial affairs should the need arise. If she is unable to sign such a document you and/or your son can apply to the
IN THE DARK
A NUMBER of years ago we had a conservatory built at the back of our house. Now our neighbours have planted conifers right up against it. Can we ask them to remove the trees? They’re blocking our light and we’re worried the roots may be damaging the foundations. YOU can ask the council to intervene if the hedge exceeds two metres and it presents a barrier to light or access and adversely affects your enjoyment of your property. But involving the council will cost money, and you will have to be able to show that you have made an attempt to resolve the issue with your neighbour first. In the meantime you are entitled to cut the hedge back to the boundary but no further. If this involved working on a shared party wall you would need to give your neighbour notice of the proposed work. AN elderly relative died leaving her estate to her great-grandchildren in her will. She had two daughters, but the first was illegitimate and given up for adoption in the 1940s. The estate has been divided among the grandchildren of the legitimate daughter, but the daughter who was adopted has just become a grandmother too: will this child have any claim on the estate? ADOPTION severs the blood tie in law, so the child will not be considered to be one of your relative’s great-grandchildren as far as the will is concerned. Under the Adoption Act 1976 the baby will be considered a great-grandchild of the adoptive couple. Call SAS Daniels LLP Solicitors on 0161 475 7676 or 01625 442 100. Visit www.sasdaniels. co.uk
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asked for payment you should pay up as long as you’re not asked for more than six years’ back rent.