Was I right to pull out of buying converted flat?
Apartment with no prospects
Q. Last year I tried to buy an apartment in a converted mill. My solicitor was unhappy with the management of the block, saying there was no provision for anything more than minor maintenance work, so I pulled out. Was she over- cautious? The flat was rented out and is now on the market again.
A. The flat was probably rented out because it was unsaleable! People living in flats need "mutual repairing obligations" so that, for example, when the roof starts leaking the people on the ground floor can be forced to chip in. If this legal structure isn't in place, disaster can and probably will ensue. If you still want to buy it you should tell the owner to get together with the other flat owners, see a solicitor, and sort out a proper management structure. They'll have to do it eventually.
Claiming a liability
Buy one get one free on main course and specials excludes fillet steaks and beef Wellington
Must book to qualify 01209 860332 and present voucher on arrival
Mon- Thur 6-9pm
Contact: 01209 700617
Valid until: Saturday, December 21 2013
Q. What is the best way to claim possessory title of a piece of land which is currently not registered and which we have used for the past 20 years? There have been two instances of insurance claims as a result of the poor state of the road, but we do not wish to spend approximately £20,000 on repairs if we don't own it.
A. You need detailed help with this. It's not clear how you could be liable for an insurance claim in connection with a road you don't own. Presumably the claims were directed to the true owner, who may be prepared to give you the land rather than face further claims and a £20,000 repair bill. It's not clear either how you would claim ownership of a road seemingly used by others. You would need to be able to show "adverse possession" for upwards of 12 years. Possessory title is sometimes granted where evidence of adverse possession is not particularly good. See a solicitor specialising in this area of law.
Q. We bought our house from the council many years ago. The road has six houses on it with access for pedestrians only, and in front is a green used by dog walkers/ quad bikers. We have been trying to get access for our cars but the council says there are no funds to do this. This is inconvenient since my wife is an invalid and we have to leave our car on the main road.
A. It's not up to the council to provide vehicular access to a private house. You may have had more leverage with the council if you had still been a council tenant; if there are still council tenants in your row they may have more success. However there are many houses where you can't park outside your front door. The answer may be to sell up and buy one where you can.
Jeremy Woodward is a consultant in the personal client team at Nash & Co Solicitors LLP, Beaumont House, Beaumont Park, Plymouth. Telephone 01752 664444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.nash.co.uk If you have a legal problem, write to You and the Law, Room 101, Western Morning News, Studio 5-11, 3rd Floor, Millbay Road, Plymouth, PL1 3LF, or leave your query on our Legal Adviceline 0117 964 4794.