Legal phone-in: Round up

Director and Head of Personal Injury Andrew Greenwood returned to the radio on Thursday for BBC Radio Leeds’ legal phone-in. He joined presenter Richard Stead, answering a series of legal queries from listeners – if you missed it, a selection of his answers are summarised below;

Q: My neighbour has built a summer house in their garden. It is very large (30ft x 12 ft x 12 ft) and is situated less than 3ft from the boundary between my garden and theirs. Is there anything I can do?

A: Usually, planning permission is needed to erect something of that size. You have three options: (1) Approach the planning department at your local council and ask for their advice; (2) Seek legal help – if the summer house interferes with your enjoyment of your property (for example, the way in which you use your garden), it could constitute a ‘legal nuisance’. A judge could then decide whether the structure should be moved or taken down, or (3) Check the title deeds of your property – your neighbour’s deeds will likely be very similar and may preclude building something of that size in the garden.

Q: I am currently living in the ex-marital home after divorcing my partner. The property has been for sale for four years: we have had two buyers, however both sales have fallen through after issues with the chain. I’d like to move on with my life but my ex won’t agree to a price reduction – what can I do?

A: In the first instance, I would put in writing your proposals for the reduction of the sale price of the property to your ex-partner, inviting him to give his formal consent within 14 days. If he does not consent, you could then apply to court for permission to reduce the price, supporting the application with a letter from your estate agent(s) explaining why the property has not yet been sold. Selling the house at auction is also another option; however, you would still need to agree this with your ex-partner.

Q: I am a council tenant and am having issues with a noisy neighbour. The problem has escalated from a nuisance to harassment. My local council won’t help – can a solicitor help and what would be the cost?

A: A solicitor could help by writing a warning letter to your neighbour, stating that the noise issue is a breach of their tenancy agreement. Most solicitors will write such a letter free of charge. If the problem continues, this could be taken further in the form of an injunction.

If you have a legal question or concern and you would like to speak to a member of our team, please call 0113 232 1030.

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