Nigel Read

LLP Solic­i­tors


THE house next door has been empty for 20 years now. The coun­cil won’t do any­thing about it, and it’s caus­ing us a lot of grief be­cause we’ve to pay out money to rec­tify the dam­age that’s com­ing through to our own house. YOU could talk to your lo­cal coun­cil­lor about the pos­si­bil­ity of the coun­cil tak­ing over the prop­erty through an Empty Dwelling Man­age­ment Or­der. Most coun­cils have an of­fi­cer re­spon­si­ble for deal­ing with empty prop­erty. Un­der the Lo­cal Democ­racy, Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment and Con­struc­tion Act you can also pe­ti­tion the coun­cil to bring about changes to your area, so if you can get ev­ery­one in the street in­volved, your pe­ti­tion may carry more weight. Get your solic­i­tor to look at your deeds to see whether you have rights of support and pro­tec­tion or covenants that en­able you to take ac­tion against the ad­join­ing owner di­rectly. THE wealth in our fam­ily came from my grand­mother. But when she died my grand­fa­ther mar­ried again and my mother never re­ally got on with her step­mother. My grand­fa­ther died a long time ago and now my ‘step’ grand­mother has died too. She said she wouldn’t be leav­ing much to my mother in her will. Can my mother contest the will? FAM­ILY wealth is very of­ten di­luted or lost on the re-mar­riage of a pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. This sit­u­a­tion could have been avoided if your grand­fa­ther made a will mak­ing pro­vi­sion for both his wife and daugh­ter. Un­less the cir­cum­stances are very ex­cep­tional, it is very dif­fi­cult to chal­lenge a will. Once the as­sets have passed from your grand­fa­ther to his new wife, those as­sets be­long to her and she is (gen­er­ally) free to dis­pose of those as­sets as she pleases. I OWN 70 acres of land which I rent out. Be­cause I do not farm it my­self, is the land sub­ject to in­her­i­tance tax? And if so, is there any­thing I can do about it? Who is best to ad­vise me, a solic­i­tor or an ac­coun­tant? IF the land is part of a work­ing farm, it is likely to qual­ify for Agri­cul­tural Re­lief from in­her­i­tance tax at 100 per cent even where you are rent­ing it out. The qual­i­fi­ca­tion is that you must have owned it for seven years be­fore you die – and if you have been rent­ing it out since be­fore Septem­ber 1, 1995 it may only qual­ify for 50 per cent re­lief. It’s not to­tally straight­for­ward, and if you are con­cerned about in­her­i­tance tax gen­er­ally I sug­gest you see a solic­i­tor spe­cial­is­ing in this area at least ini­tially. WE built a wall on the bound­ary with our neigh­bours. But our neigh­bours have ob­jected to our plan to put dec­o­ra­tive rail­ings on top of it. We think this is be­cause they have built their ex­ten­sion too close to the wall and now need the airspace above to ma­noeu­vre dust­bins and the like. How can we re­solve this? IF the width of the wall strad­dles the bound­ary you will have to con­sult with your neigh­bours. But if it’s en­tirely on your side you are en­ti­tled to put up the rail­ings re­gard­less of their ob­jec­tions, sub­ject to the two-me­tre height re­stric­tion for bound­ary walls. If you are go­ing to al­low your neigh­bours to use your air space you re­ally ought to get them to sign a doc­u­ment ac­cept­ing per­mis­sion to do this. Oth­er­wise they will ac­quire a right which could in­ter­fere with fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of

your prop­erty. Hollinwood Av­enue, Chad­der­ton, OL9 8EF, or leave your query on the le­gal ad­vice line 0117 964 4794.

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