Got it cov­ered?

It’s of­ten only when roofs leak that we re­mem­ber they need care and at­ten­tion like ev­ery­thing else. has tips for keep­ing on top of things


home’s roof should be in­spected at least twice a year, both from the out­side (prefer­ably us­ing binoc­u­lars) and in­side the loft. If you can see day­light in the loft, there’s prob­a­bly some­thing miss­ing on the out­side.

Roof tiles or slates that have bro­ken, slipped out of place, or been blown off are a com­mon oc­cur­rence. If they’re not re­placed, rain­wa­ter will get into the loft and cause dam­age there and then to the rooms be­low.

Wa­ter stain­ing in the loft is an early warn­ing sign of a prob­lem with the roof cov­er­ing, so get it looked at by a rep­utable roofer straight­away.

parts of the roof can cause leaks and damp, in­clud­ing the flash­ing, gut­ter­ing and chim­ney stacks and pots. Again, you may be able to spot th­ese prob­lems your­self, but you will usu­ally need a roofer to put them right.

If you don’t know when the roof was last main­tained and you’re not sure what to look for, or you can’t see the roof prop­erly from the ground, it’s a good idea to get a roofer to check it over.

sur­pris­ingly, most thatched roofs need lit­tle main­te­nance and, apart from hav­ing the ridge re­done, can last up to 70 years.

While thatch is idyl­lic though, it’s also ex­pen­sive and car­ries the dan­ger of go­ing up in flames although fires are rare. There are ways to re­duce the risk of a fire, in­clud­ing hav­ing any work­ing chim­neys swept reg­u­larly (at least twice a year) and lined; mak­ing sure the chim­ney stacks are in good con­di­tion, es­pe­cially in the loft; and hav­ing the wiring through­out checked by a qual­i­fied elec­tri­cian ev­ery five years.

LLP So­lic­i­tors

roofs also have a bad rep­u­ta­tion, but for leaks rather than fires. They’re prone to them be­cause they should have a gra­di­ent, but the gra­di­ent of­ten isn’t steep enough.

If the roof is too flat or doesn’t have an ad­e­quate struc­ture or ma­te­ri­als un­der the roof cov­er­ing, it will sag, al­low­ing rain­wa­ter to pool and even­tu­ally en­ter the room be­low. The roof cov­er­ing can also get dam­aged, so it’s some­thing to keep an eye on. IT sounds as if the pre­vi­ous owner signed a Prop­erty In­for­ma­tion Form. This in­cludes gar­den pro­duce and sheds, so you should check to see what was in­cluded, and you can claim com­pen­sa­tion if you can prove she has bro­ken the con­tract. Sheds aren’t nec­es­sar­ily re­garded as a fix­ture: it de­pends on how firmly they’re fas­tened down. See your solic­i­tor, and get a copy of the form com­pleted and

agreed by the seller. MANY older peo­ple ask this ques­tion be­cause they want to be cer­tain their chil­dren will in­herit their prop­erty. But usu­ally the an­swer is that it’s bet­ter sim­ply to leave the prop­erty to their chil­dren in their will. If the house is trans­ferred dur­ing the par­ent’s life­time the chil­dren are likely to have to pay cap­i­tal gains tax on this house – ie your home – when they come to sell it un­less they ac­tu­ally live there. There is also the risk that the par­ent will lose the roof over their head if ei­ther of the chil­dren get di­vorced or go bank­rupt. The gift would also not work if in­her­i­tance tax is a prob­lem so you should dis­cuss it with your solic­i­tor. I WAS di­vorced and have re­mar­ried, but my ex-wife has re­cently started up in busi­ness us­ing my sur­name. She has run up huge debts in the past so I don’t want her to have any­thing more to do with me. What are my rights as re­gards pre­vent­ing her us­ing my name? THERE’S prob­a­bly noth­ing you can do. Adults can gen­er­ally use what­ever name they choose as long as their mo­tive isn’t fraud­u­lent, and it is com­mon for

a roof with wow fac­tor, noth­ing beats a “green” one. Green roofs are cov­ered in plants (with other lay­ers un­der­neath), in­stead of tra­di­tional roof cov­er­ings.

They have lots of benefits, in­clud­ing ab­sorb­ing rain­wa­ter, en­cour­ag­ing wildlife, and re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion, sound trans­fer and heat­ing and cool­ing costs. Green roofs can last around 50 years (both flat and slop­ing roofs are suit­able), but in­stal­la­tion costs are high. di­vorced women to con­tinue to use their for­mer mar­ried name. How­ever, if you are in a sim­i­lar line of busi­ness to your ex-wife’s you may be able to pre­vent her us­ing your sur­name for busi­ness pur­poses if she is try­ing to pass her busi­ness off as yours. To avoid prob­lems with credit ref­er­ence agen­cies, check that she is no longer listed as living at your ad­dress on the elec­toral roll. THE build­ing firm that fit­ted the damp-course in my house a few years ago got into trou­ble and was taken over by a na­tional com­pany. The firm’s new own­ers say they’ve no obli­ga­tion to hon­our my guar­an­tee. Is this true? IT de­pends en­tirely on the agree­ment the com­pa­nies made about guar­an­tees when the takeover took place. Some­times they’ll de­cide to hon­our them for a de­fined pe­riod, say three years, in or­der to main­tain the good­will of the orig­i­nal firm’s cus­tomers. If the build­ing firm was a mem­ber of a pro­fes­sional or­gan­i­sa­tion it may be worth ap­proach­ing them for as­sis­tance. You may also find that the sup­pli­ers of the chem­i­cals used in con­nec­tion with the damp treat­ment come to your res­cue, as they of­ten un­der­write the guar­an­tees. The sup­plier’s name should be on your guar­an­tee so you can con­tact them di­rect.

Call SAS Daniels LLP So­lic­i­tors on 0161 475 7676 or 01625 442 100. Visit­daniels. 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.

IS it pos­si­ble for me to put my house into my two sons’ names so that it be­longs to them even though I con­tinue to live in it un­til I die?

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