PROP­ERTY LAW

Macclesfield Express - - SPORT - TEN­ANT WON’T GO

I LIVED with a woman for more than 20 years, and we bought two prop­er­ties to­gether. We put the deeds in her name to pre­vent my ex-wife try­ing to get her hands on them. We have now split up and she is try­ing to evict me from one of the houses. What are my rights as her com­mon-law hus­band? THERE is no such thing as a com­mon law hus­band or wife. The law re­lat­ing to un­mar­ried cou­ples is en­tirely dif­fer­ent to that of a mar­ried cou­ple. The start­ing point as an un­mar­ried cou­ple is to look at the le­gal own­er­ship of the prop­erty on the ti­tle deeds. In or­der for a non-own­ing party to es­tab­lish a ben­e­fi­cial in­ter­est, ev­i­dence needs to be pro­duced to show that there is an agree­ment to share own­er­ship, or that you have made fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tions/car­ried out work on the prop­erty to in­crease their value. This is of­ten dif­fi­cult to prove. You need to con­sult a so­lic­i­tor as soon as pos­si­ble. I RENTED my house out, but al­though the as­sured short­hold ten­ancy agree­ment has come to an end the ten­ant is re­fus­ing to go. I don’t have any­where else to live, and de­spite the ‘ac­cel­er­ated pos­ses­sion pro­ce­dure’ at the County Court we have been living in bed and break­fast ac­com­mo­da­tion for two months. Is there any way of speed­ing up the process? AS­SUM­ING you gave a legally valid no­tice seek­ing pos­ses­sion you shouldn’t have any dif­fi­culty ob­tain­ing a pos­ses­sion or­der. It’s pos­si­ble you waited un­til the ten­ancy agree­ment came to an end be­fore serv­ing the no­tice, which will have had the ef­fect of giv­ing your ten­ant ex­tra time. The law on land­lord and ten­ant dis­putes is quite com­pli­cated so I would sug­gest you see a so­lic­i­tor if you haven’t al­ready done so. Cer­tainly a so­lic­i­tor will be able to find out if there has been un­nec­es­sary de­lay. I’VE had an es­ti­mate for some re­place­ment win­dows. I paid a £500 de­posit, but I’ve since changed my mind about go­ing ahead with it. The com­pany says I can’t can­cel the job at his stage. Is this cor­rect? IF you or­dered the win­dows in a ‘doorstep sale’ – nor­mally in your home – you may have a 14 day ‘cool­ing off’ pe­riod in which to can­cel your or­der. If this was the case the sales­man should have left you a no­tice pro­vid­ing spe­cific in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing the com­pany and in­form­ing you of your can­cel­la­tion rights. If he didn’t, the con­tract may be un­en­force­able. If you or­dered the win­dows by go­ing into a shop, you may have to be pre­pared to for­feit your de­posit if you want to can­cel. Pay­ing a de­posit is more than a for­mal­ity or a sign of good in­ten­tions: it’s usu­ally part of a bind­ing con­tract.

FENC­ING OVER INCHES

AS dis­cussed in your col­umn re­cently, we had to re­place our fence pan­els and de­cided to put them on ‘our’ side of the posts, thereby gift­ing the width of the posts to our neigh­bours. We’re now re­fur­bish­ing our sun­lounge, and re­ally do need those ex­tra few inches. Can we move the fence pan­els to the other side of the posts at this late stage? THIS may be fine, as long as you’re sure it’s your fence and the pan­els will still run along the orig­i­nal bound­ary line, but it will de­pend on how long the fence has been in its cur­rent po­si­tion. You will have to gauge whether this will upset your neigh­bours and if so whether it’s worth­while. For the avoid­ance of any dis­pute, it would be ad­vis­able to dis­cuss the mat­ter with your neigh­bours first.

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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