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property posers; Your legal questions answered by RICHARD BATTRICK.

Too generous Q My husband signed his house over to my stepdaughters when his second wife died of cancer. He was still grieving when he did it but he regrets it now and they refuse to give it back to him. This would obviously have consequences for me and his own daughter if anything happened to him. Is there anything that can be done about this now? A If your husband signed the house away without taking legal advice, it's possible the transfer could be overturned. He should discuss this with a solicitor, since the court can look at all the circumstances and decide whether he acted to his detriment without due regard to the consequences. This could obviously be serious for you and his daughter. Hopefully your husband has reserved the right to remain in the property during his lifetime, otherwise the stepdaughters could potentially sell it at any time.

In for a trim QTHE parking space for my flat is overhung by foliage from the garden of the house next to it and I can hardly get into my car because of the low-hanging branches. I understand you are entitled to remove foliage which overhangs your property. Does this apply to parking spaces? A If you own your flat it's possible that you will own the parking space along with it; you would have to check your title deeds. If you are renting, you should take the matter up with your landlord. If you own the space you can cut back any branches overhanging it (and offer the cuttings to their owner). But it's likely that your block of flats will be run by a management company which will also have a duty to look after the car park. You should ask them to cut back the foliage.

Down the drain Q When my husband died I discovered he hadn't paid a PS2,000 water bill. It took me five years to pay it out of my pension. Could I ask the water company to reimburse my late husband's half? A Unfortunately, utility companies levy this type of charge on the "occupier" of properties; whoever lives in the building is normally responsible for paying, even if the bill is only in one name. So you were "jointly and severally" liable for the whole bill, not just responsible for paying half each. The term "occupier" gives rise to a number of problems where a house is occupied by tenants for example, but in your case the liability seems clear. If you're on Housing Benefit check whether you are eligible for the Welsh Water Assist Scheme.

RICHARD BATTRICK of Spicketts Battrick Solicitors, Albany Road and Clifton Street, Cardiff and Gelliwastad Rd, Pontypridd 029 2046 1480 The advice given here is of a general nature and will not necessarily apply in all circumstances. Readers should consult a solicitor for specific advice.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 3, 2014
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