PROPERTY LAW Angela Brown
LLP Solicitors WHEN I left my husband I always assumed we’d divide our possessions equally – including the house. But he bought it before we married, and he now tells me that since the house wasn’t in joint names I’ve no claim on it. SEE a solicitor so that a ‘charge’ can be put on the property preventing your husband from selling it or borrowing against it without your knowledge. You can certainly make a claim on the house: a solicitor will advise you about the likelihood of success depending on a number of factors – whether children are involved, your respective earning capacities now and in the future, your respective needs, obligations and responsibilities, the length of the marriage, and the contributions you have made both to the property and the marriage, and so on. WE paid off our mortgage last year but never received the title deeds and the bank says it doesn’t have them. We’ve discovered that the house isn’t registered at the Land Registry so we do need the deeds, but we’re at a loss where to try next. YOU should discuss this with the solicitors who did the conveyancing work to buy your house. But if you switched mortgage lender at any time and your deeds were not passed on to the new lender they may be lost forever, in which case you will have to establish your ownership of the property through a Land Registry procedure. This involves a statutory declaration and evidence of ownership in the form of council tax bills and the like. If you’re not planning to sell the house in the near future losing your title deeds isn’t the end of the world, but you should probably sort it out sooner rather than later. WE are in our 70s, and own our home jointly. If one of us has to go into a home, would we have to sell the house to pay for it? IF only one of you goes into a care home, the value of the house will not be taken into account when an assessment is made of their ability to pay for it. They will be asked to pay in full if they have more than £23,250 in other assets currently. This will increase to £118,000 next year, and fees will be capped at a maximum of £72,000. The danger comes if the second spouse also goes into a home, at which point the value of the house will be included in the assessment. You can reduce the risk of the whole house being available for care home fees by dividing your ownership of the property and making a will leaving your half to someone else.
MY garage has been in a bad state of repair for years but I can’t rebuild one of the walls because it means going into my neighbour’s garden to do it. He’s completely unapproachable and won’t let me on to his land. IF the wall is on the boundary you may be able to go to court under the Access to Neighbouring Land Act 1992 for permission to get the work done. You have to give your neighbour reasonable notice of the date the building work is going to start and tell him how long it’s going to take. However for a garage wall it may just be easier to build it from your side of the boundary. Newer properties often have clauses in their title deeds giving them access to neighbouring property to carry out repair work, so it’s worth checking your deeds 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 leave your query on the legal advice line 0117 964 4794.