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property posers; Your legal questions answered.


Q We bought a house more than 20 years ago and put it in my partner's name, although I pay all the bills. She's getting rather poorly. If she has to go into a care home, how would I stand on keeping or losing the house? A While you are living there the value of your home will be disregarded (ignored) as far as the assessment for care home fees is concerned. A more pressing concern is the future of your home if your partner were to die. She needs to make a will leaving the house to you, or at the very least giving you the right to live in it, otherwise the property could pass through the intestacy rules to relatives who might want to evict you.

You could then have the difficult (and expensive) job of trying to prove that you have acquired a stake in it.

Q We bought a house that had been repossessed, so we had a full building survey carried out since my brother had a bad experience when he only paid for the basic survey. It cost us more than PS700, but we have now found that there's at least a foot of stagnant water under the floor and the drains are constantly blocking up. Shouldn't the survey have detected this? A Not necessarily. The surveyor will only examine parts of the property that are easily reached. He won't look under carpets or furniture: most owners wouldn't allow it. However the survey should probably have included damp testing.

If your walls above floor level are showing signs of what's going on below the surveyor may have been negligent. If the problem can be easily solved by a drains expert it may not be worth pursuing this. If it starts looking expensive discuss it with your solicitor.

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:Jan 24, 2013
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