Up against a Brick Wall over Repair Work
McNulty, Fiona, The Evening Standard (London, England)
QWE HAVE just moved into a new house. The back garden is surrounded by high brick walls. There are houses on both sides.
Our solicitor said that there was nothing in the deeds about responsibility for these walls so we should presume they were party or shared. One wall needs repairing but when I spoke to the neighbour on that side about sharing the cost, he said that as the wall was on the left of our garden, it belonged to us and he won't be contributing.
ATHERE are many misconceptions about the ownership of walls and your neighbour has quoted the most popular. There is no such rule.
Your solicitor is correct in his advice. However, the presumption that a wall will be shared, in the absence of anything specific in the deeds, may be rebutted by evidence to the contrary. For instance, the wall may be completely on your side of the boundary line, in which case it will be your responsibility. Your sellers will have stated who has maintained the various walls and your solicitor will have that information, which may also affect the presumption of sharing.
If the wall is a party wall, the Law of Property Act gives you the right to claim one half of the costs from your neighbour.
You need to go back to your solicitor and check exactly what your sellers said during the conveyancing process.
QMY FATHER died recently and I discovered that in 2008, he took out an equity release mortgage on his house for Pounds 20,000. The lender is asking for Pounds 42,000 to settle, which seems exorbitant. They also say they will take over the property to sell if it is not sold within six months. Can I challenge them on these issues? Also, dad was 84 -- should he have been offered this mortgage at his age? ATHE amount to settle does seem very high. …