SAS Daniels LLP Solicitors WE live on an estate of detached houses built in 1999, and when we bought our house were told that there was a covenant in the deeds forbidding the parking of caravans and commercial vehicles on the drives and roads. But this is widely ignored, lowering the tone of what is a nice estate. How should the covenant be enforced, and by whom? YOU could approach the original developers, who may be prepared to enforce the covenant for the sake of their reputation and to keep up the appearance of the estate. They may ask you and other residents to chip in to pay for the cost of any legal action. If they’re not interested in pursuing this then unfortunately there’s probably nothing you can do about it. I HAVE bought an ex-council flat accessed through a shared porch. The flat (one of 12) is managed by a housing association. All the porches are suffering from subsidence, but the housing association disputes its own surveyor’s report. Instead of claiming on their insurance (which will affect their premiums), the housing association is proposing to pass on the cost of the underpinning work to the tenants. How can I force them to make a claim? THE housing association must by law consult tenants about any building work which is likely to cost them more than £250, so they will not be able to just start work and then send you a bill. I suggest you write to the housing association making your views known and suggesting that a subsidence claim is in order. Your lease document should define the limit of your responsibilities as regards maintenance work on your property. If necessary show this to a solicitor.
WHAT GOES UP.....
MY mother’s fence was fastened to the outbuildings at the bottom of her garden. When the fence fell down she ordered a replacement, but the neighbour who owns the outbuildings asked our builder to stop work because he was planning to demolish them shortly and reduce the height of the wall. We asked the neighbour to pay for the cost of taking the fence down again, but our builder says it’s not worth falling out over. TAKE your builder’s advice! Technically your mother’s fence shouldn’t be attached to a wall belonging to her neighbour; if the neighbour isn’t actually objecting to her doing this he’s doing her a favour. I imagine it will be cheaper to attach the fence to the wall than to put in foundations for the fence posts on your mother’s land, and it would certainly be neighbourly to wait for him to rebuild his wall before putting up the fence. I WAS interested in your item about avoiding the need for probate by spreading money around different accounts. What is the justification for the Probate Registry charging more for a personal application for probate on a will (£215) than when the application is filed by a solicitor (£155)? THE courts system is under a directive (in these times of austerity) to recover its own costs via user fees. So a personal application for probate is likely to use up more staff time than where the forms are completed by an experienced solicitor. Also a personal application will involve the cost of swearing an oath to confirm that the information you are supplying is accurate. Those applying via a solicitor will normally swear this (for a fee) at the solicitor’s office.
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