Skip to Content

Resources - Residential Property Law Spot

  • Back to the Future

    03.10.2018

    I am considering buying a house, that's currently rented out as an investment. It's a large house and two families live there. I understand there are new rules on houses in multiple occupation. How will that affect my investment?

    Read More
  • Garage Dilemma

    29.08.2018

    I have built a large brick garage in my garden, but now the local planners say I should have applied for planning permission and I've broken the law. They want to inspect the building, but I have refused access. What should I do next?

    Read More
  • JBSP Mortgages

    28.08.2018

    I am a first time buyer and in order to be able to afford a property my Mum and Dad have offered to help me with paying the deposit. I have heard this is possible with a JBSP mortgage but I don't know what this is. Can you explain?

    Read More
  • Parking Poser

    02.08.2018

    People keep parking on the grass verge outside my house. It annoys me and it blocks my view. Can I erect wooden posts on the verge to stop the parking?

    Read More
  • Back to the Future

    22.07.2018

    I would like to build a large conservatory on to the back of my house, approximately 6m x 6m in plan. My house is semi-detached. Do I need to apply for planning permission?

    Read More
  • Lodgers' Rights

    20.06.2018

    My mother has had a lodger for the last five years and they have never had any written contract between the,. She now wants to sell her house and move, but the lodger is upset and refusing to find new accomodation. Does the lodger have any legal rights here?

    Read More
  • Access All Areas

    13.06.2018

    I live in a terrace of Victorian houses and we use a path through the gardens at the back to gain rear access. My new neighbour has taken to blocking this path with bins, bikes etc. Despite polite complaints from me, this problem is getting worse. It's clear they don't want us to use the path. What are my rights?

    Read More
  • Don't Chance It

    06.06.2018

    I was amazed to find out that a friend of mine is selling his house using a raffle. offering the property as the first prize! I'm concerned about whether this is legal and wha the risks are. Can you advise?

    Read More
  • Rural Conditions

    23.05.2018

    I have seen a lovely cottage that I would like to buy, but it has an agricultural restriction on it and I'm not employed in agriculture, is this likely to be problematic?

    Read More
  • Unfit Fittings

    16.05.2018

    I bought an apartment 'off plan' last year and construction is almost complete. I visited the block today and was horrified to see that the bathroom and kitchen fittings are poor quality and not what I thought had been agreed. What can I do?

    Read More
  • Unfit Fittings

    16.05.2018

    I bought an apartment 'off plan' last year and construction is almost complete. I vitied the block today and was horrified to see that the bathroom and kitchen fittings are poor quality and not what I thought had been agreed. What can I do?

    Read More
  • A Family Affair

    09.05.2018

    My father passed away recently and left a holiday home in Norfolk, which was bequeathed to my brother and myself. My brother wants us to keep the house, but I want to sell. My brother says he cannot buy my share. Where do I go from here?

    Read More
  • Go on a Junk It

    25.04.2018

    I have just completed on a property with a barn and a couple of workshops in the garden. When I went there today I found old, broken furniture in the barn and junk in the workshops. I was told this would all be cleared. It will be expensive to get this taken away. What can I do?

    Read More
  • Special Branch

    18.04.2018

    I have made an offer on a lovely home with a row of large trees in the front garden. My solicitor now tells me the trees are subject to 'tree protection orders'. What does this mean? Is this a problem?

    Read More
  • Land a Good Deal

    16.04.2018

    My local authority is planning a road widening scheme and has approached me to buy part of my large garden. I definitely don't want to sell, but now they are talking about a 'compulsory purchase order'. What are my rights?

    Read More
  • Is it Worth a Shot?

    28.03.2018

    I've seen an empty village pub for sale that I think would make a lovely house. Will I need planning permission to convert it?

    Read More
  • Don't be Alarmed

    22.03.2018

    I have just completed the purchase of a property. Once I was given the keys I found that the burglar alarm was still set, and I could not get into the house. I have not been given details of the burglar alarm system - is the seller now in breach of the contract?

    Read More
  • Get In On The Party Act

    15.03.2018

    We have exchanged contracts in the purchase of our new home. Our solicitor informed us that there is a party wall notice served by the neighbour who is building on the boundary between the two properties. We have not yet completed the purchase, and the neighbour has now started to build. Is there anything I need to do about this?

    Read More
  • In Deep Water

    12.03.2018

    I have found my dream house in the country, quite near a river. The agent mentioned that the property has flooded once, because of last years heavy rains, but it's not prone to flooding. I don't want to be put off by this risk. The agent mentioned a scheme called Flood Re: could that help?

    Read More
  • Home Business

    26.02.2018

    My neighbour seems to be running a business from his house. There are lots of customers visiting through the day and more cars parked outside. I'm not aware that he's applied for planning permission. Is he able to do this?

    Read More
  • A Gift or a Loan?

    22.02.2018

    My partner and I want to buy a home together, which will be a first home for both of us. My parents have very kindly offered to lend us enough money for the deposit. How can this gift, or loan, be protected?

    Read More
  • Home Truths

    15.02.2018

    My husband and I have been married for 10 years, but have recently separated. Our married home is in his name. I have heard from a friend that he is planning to raise a mortgage on the house - how can I stop that?

    Read More
  • Be Streetwise

    25.01.2018

    I am considering making an offer on a lovely Victorian house that seems to be on a private road. What does this mean in practical terms? What are the likely liabilities?

    Read More
  • Can I rent it out?

    18.01.2018

    I bought a home with the Government's Help To Buy scheme a couple of years ago. I'm now planning to move in with my girlfriend and rent out my home. Are there any problems with this?

    Read More
  • Adverse Possession

    21.12.2017

    I have bought a house with a large garden and it looks to me, from my deeds, that there is a piece of land that my neighbour has been using which is really my property. I asked him about this and he says he has "adverse possession" as he has lived there and used that land for 10 years. Is he right?

    Read More
  • First Impressions

    06.12.2017

    I want to convert my loft space into a spare bedroom and install a cormer window. I live in a Conservation Area, will this casue any problems?

    Read More
  • Who is responsible?

    30.11.2017

    I have recently moved house and my new neighbour pointed out to me that the fence that marks our boundary is very rotten and needs repair. He says it's my fence and so my responsibility. How do I find out who should mend the fence?

    Read More
  • Clearing Leaves

    08.11.2017

    It is that time of the year when I see that the leaves from my trees are falling onto the pavement outside. Am I responsible for clearing them to avoid any kind of risk to the public?

    Read More
  • Agricultural Land

    02.11.2017

    I would love a larger garden and the farmer who owns the field next door has agreed to sell me half an acre so I can realise my dream. A friend told me I would need planning permission to add that land to my garden - is he right?

    Read More
  • No Will - Who Will Inherit?

    25.10.2017

    My brother has sadly passed away and it seems he has not left a Will. He has no children: who will inherit his house and other investments?

    Read More
  • Victorian House Auction

    19.10.2017

    I have bought a large Victorian house at auction and I'd like to develop it into three flats and then put those on the market. Will I need planning permission, or any other permissions?

    Read More
  • Listed Houses

    11.10.2017

    I have bought a listed house and I'm planning some renovations, including new windows. I recently applied for listed building consent to my local planning authority, but they have refused to grant it. What can I do?

    Read More
  • Choosing a Solicitor

    06.09.2017

    I am in the process of purchasing my first house and the estate agent has asked me for details of my solicitor who will be acting for me in the transaction. I have obtained several quotes from Solicitors all at varying prices. How do I choose what is right for me?

    Read More
  • Buying Problems

    29.08.2017

    I've read in the media that many new homes are leasehold and that this is giving owners problems with ground rent. I'd like to buy a new build house. What is the difference between leasehold and freehold? Why are ground rents causing an issue?

    Read More
  • Exchange of Contracts

    23.08.2017

    My house has been for sale and I recently accepted an offer of the asking price and took the house off the market in good faith. Today I find that the buyer claims he has found a problem and has reduced his offer. I'm irate — can he do this?

    Read More
  • Ownership Rights

    16.08.2017

    My boyfriend wants to move into my house, which I bought five years ago. I'm concerned that he may have a claim over the property if we separate at a later date. Can you advise me on this?

    Read More
  • Am I Being Discriminated?

    09.08.2017

    I’d like to buy a leasehold flat in a retirement development, but I’ve been told I cannot as I am not yet 55 years old. Is this correct? Can they discriminate against me because of my age?

    Read More
  • Can I Guarantee It?

    02.08.2017

    My daughter wants to buy her first home. She has asked me to be a 'guarantor' on her rather large mortgage. I'm concerned about this — what are the risks?

    Read More
  • It’s a Taxing Issue

    26.07.2017

    I understand that the rules for inheritance tax have changed. My father has recently passed away, he bequeathed his home to me and it has been valued at £450,000. Will I need to pay inheritance tax?

    Read More
  • Buying in Jersey

    19.07.2017

    I have just had a holiday on Jersey and loved it so much I would like to buy a second home there.  I understand that the Channel Islands' property market is not open to all.  Can you explain?

    Read More
  • Bankruptcy Freehold

    11.07.2017

    The freeholder of my leasehold flat has gone bankrupt and apparently owes large sums to HM Revenue & Customs. We have just been informed that ownership of the property has now transferred to the Crown. Does that mean that the Crown now has the same responsibilities as the freeholder for repairs etc? What will happen now?

    Read More
  • I’m Banking On It

    05.07.2017

    I'm interested in buying a beautiful house with a garden that runs down to the River Cam. What rights or responsibilities do I have in relation to the riverbank?

    Read More
  • House Extensions

    28.06.2017

    I am using a building company to build an extension to my house and they are very slow and often absent.  They have not been on site for a week. What can I do? If I have a contract with them, can I employ another builder?

    Read More
  • Chains Need Glue

    21.06.2017

    I am thinking of selling my flat. What advantage is there in instructing an estate agent to sell the property for me, as opposed to selling it myself?

    Read More
  • All Decked Out

    14.06.2017

    My neighbour is building a large area of raised decking in his garden.  This would be fine, except it's so high, when my neighbour stands on it he can see right over the boundary fence and that makes me uncomfortable. There seems to have been no planning application – does he need permission?

    Read More
  • Taking a Flyer

    08.06.2017

    I'm interested in buying a lovely terraced home that's on the market, but part of it seems to be held as a 'flying freehold'. Can you explain how this works? Could this be a problem?

    Read More
  • Rate Expectations

    31.05.2017

    I have converted my garage into an office for my online business, but a friend told me that I have to pay business rates on that part of my property. Is he right?

    Read More
  • Agricultural Occupancy

    24.05.2017

    I'm thinking of buying a house with an agricultural occupancy condition on it. I work as a software developer but would be prepared to keep chickens and a few sheep too. Do I need to work full time in agriculture to live in the house?

    Read More
  • Under the Hammer

    17.05.2017

    I've viewed a house that being sold at auction soon and I'm very interested in making a bid. How does this work? Are there any pitfalls?

    Read More
  • A Problem Shared

    10.05.2017

    I’ve viewed a house on the market in one of the villages that shares its driveway with a neighbour. I'm concerned how this will work and whether there are any pitfalls. Can you advise before I make an offer?

    Read More
  • Listing My Concerns

    03.05.2017

    I own a seventeenth-century Grade II listed cottage. It's very pretty, but there is an ugly modern workshop built next to the house and I would like to get rid of it. Am I right that I can demolish it as it's not part of the historic fabric?

    Read More
  • In a Tangle

    03.05.2017

    I have a very large garden and a plant that looks very like Japanese knotweed seems to have invaded the far end of the garden. I know this plant is a problem – what do I need to do?

    Read More
  • Am I Free to Go?

    29.04.2017

    I have fallen in love with a beautiful flat that's on the market. It seems to be freehold rather than leasehold and a friend of mine who's a solicitor said that could be problematical and I should think again. What issues could I face?

    Read More
  • Things in Common

    26.04.2017

    I wish to buy a property with my partner, and our solicitor has asked whether we wish to own the property as tenants in common or as beneficial joint tenants. What is the material difference?

    Read More
  • Home and Away

    19.04.2017

    I own a long lease apartment and am currently working away. Am I able to sub-let to somebody else whilst I am away?

    Read More
  • Partner Moves In

    12.04.2017

    I own a property outright and my partner is now looking to move in. Am I able to add my partner to the property register?

    Read More
  • Holiday Let Risks

    05.04.2017

    I would like to rent out the 'granny' flat in my house as a self-contained holiday let online through Air BnB. I think it will be popular with tourists as I live in central Cambridge. What are the risks?

    Read More
  • Renting on Scheme

    22.03.2017

    I bought a home with the Government's Help to Buy scheme a couple of years ago. I'm now planning to move in with my girlfriend and rent out my home. Are there any problems with this, if I let my mortgage lender know?

    Read More
  • Stamp Duty Land Tax

    17.03.2017

    I own a villa in Spain and I would like to buy a home for the first time in the UK. Will I be liable for the surcharge on Stamp Duty Land Tax when I buy?

    Read More
  • Living Together

    09.03.2017

    I'd like to live with my girlfriend. She is renting and I own my home, so it makes sense for her to move in with me. What are the risks? Do we need any kind of formal agreement?

    Read More
  • Leaky Water Supply

    11.02.2017

    One part of my front garden is permanently wet and I think there may be a serious leak in my water supply pipe underground. Who is responsible for the underground supply – is it my responsibility or the responsibility of my water company?

    Read More
  • Honesty is the Best Policy

    29.12.2016

    Some years ago after my father passed away, my mother made a will that bequeathed her property to myself and my two brothers. She has recently remarried but says she has no plans to change her will. Does she need to renew her will now she has married again?

    Read More
  • Flooding Reassurances

    05.12.2016

    We have purchased our dream house. During the conveyancing process we were warned about localised flooding in the area, but understand that our house has not actually flooded itself. Now that Spring is here, and the risk of flooding over Winter is receding, is there any protection we can rely on and put in place before next Winter?

    Read More
  • Agricultural Occupancy

    07.09.2016

    I am thinking of buying a property with an agricultural occupancy condition on it.  I want to keep chickens and sheep - but not as a commercial business. Is this sufficient for me to occupy the house? If not, what action can the council take against me?

    Read More
  • Loft Conversion

    28.05.2016

    I would like to convert my loft into a couple of extra rooms. Will I need planning permission do to that?

    Read More
  • Let There Be Light

    08.02.2013

    My neighbour plans a large extension which will block most of the light from my kitchen windows. Could I formally object to his planning application based on my 'rights to light'?

    Read More
Back to top