PROP­ERTY LAW

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT -

WILL HE GET HALF?

A REL­A­TIVE owned her house and it was in her name when she re­mar­ried seven years ago. Her hus­band has now left her and is de­mand­ing half the value of the prop­erty, even though he never con­trib­uted to the mort­gage pay­ments or to the up­keep of the house. What’s he en­ti­tled to? THERE are no fixed rules. The court would first need to con­sider the needs of the parties tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion all of the mat­ri­mo­nial as­sets. The fact that the prop­erty be­longed to your rel­a­tive prior to the mar­riage and that her hus­band made no con­tri­bu­tion to­wards it is rel­e­vant; how­ever if he con­trib­uted to the mar­riage in other re­spects then this will also be taken into ac­count. Your rel­a­tive should see a solic­i­tor to en­sure a fair set­tle­ment is reached. FOUR years ago I lent my daugh­ter and her hus­band sev­eral thou­sand pounds to be re­paid in monthly in­stal­ments. Af­ter three months they split up and no fur­ther money has been paid. I am a widow and a pen­sioner, and I do need the money back. THE ques­tion is: does ei­ther of them have any money to pay you? If they don’t you may have to put it down to ex­pe­ri­ence. If they do, a solic­i­tor’s letter may prompt ac­tion. But if that doesn’t work you may have to sue them for the money in the small claims court. If the claim is for £10,000 or less and is al­lo­cated to the Small Claims Track then it is un­likely you would re­cover the ma­jor­ity of your le­gal costs. Al­ter­na­tively if the loan is for £5,000 or more you can serve a Statu­tory De­mand (which can be used only for undis­puted debts and is the pre­cur­sor to bank­ruptcy pro­ceed­ings) pro­duc­ing ev­i­dence of the loan and of the re­pay­ments to date. There is no rea­son why you can­not claim the whole of the amount back from your ex son-in-law if the li­a­bil­ity is what is called ‘joint and sev­eral’, which would usu­ally be the case. OUR gar­den is over­shad­owed by the mas­sive branches of two trees be­long­ing to our neigh­bour. I un­der­stand I can cut these branches where they over­lap the bound­ary, but that I have to of­fer the wood to my neigh­bour. Does the cost have to be met by me, or jointly with my neigh­bour? AS long as the tree isn’t in a con­ser­va­tion area or pro­tected by a preser­va­tion or­der you can cut the branches back to the bound­ary as long as you give your neigh­bour his wood back. I rec­om­mend you dis­cuss it with your neigh­bour first. Tech­ni­cally your neigh­bour could be re­spon­si­ble for re­mov­ing the branches if you were able to show that they present a ‘nui­sance’, but if pre­sent­ing him with a bill would cause ill-feel­ing I rec­om­mend you do it your­self. A FIRM of de­vel­op­ers has started build­ing houses about five feet from our bound­ary. Ac­cord­ing to the plans the clos­est house will have win­dows look­ing into three of our bed­rooms and will de­stroy the pri­vacy of our gar­den. Is there any­thing we can do? HOUSE own­ers have no spe­cial right to pri­vacy or in­deed to a view, al­though the plan­ning au­thor­i­ties may have taken this on board if you had raised the is­sue with them. Your only hope (al­though it’s very slim at this stage) is if you can find a covenant gov­ern­ing neigh­bour­ing prop­erty in your ti­tle deeds, or if you can show that the new houses will sig­nif­i­cantly af­fect a ‘right to light’. Ask a solic­i­tor to look at your ti­tle deeds im­me­di­ately.

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

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