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