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