Every Saturday, The Consumer Crew are here to solve your problems.
Mel Hunter will take on readers’ consumer issues, Amanda Cable will give you the best advice for buying your dream home, Maddy Tooke rounds up the best coupons to save you money and Judge Rinder will tackle your legal woes.
Q) MY partner divorced his wife in 2019. They were married for five years and she committed adultery, hence the breakdown.
His ex-wife is in a relationship with that person and had a child with him. My partner has an 11-year-old daughter with her. While married, he got a mortgage on their home.
We have since purchased our own home outright but due to my partner being on this mortgage with his ex, we’d have had to pay £1,850 to put him on our house deeds. We decided against it and put it in my name.
We mentioned to his ex we want his name taken off that mortgage, as she now shares the home with her new partner and their child. But she said: “You have to provide a house for our daughter until she’s 18.” Yet we care for her 50-50.
A) Whether or not your partner’s name is on the mortgage deeds of his old house has no legal relevance at all on his obligation to pay for his daughter.
I understand why his ex-wife is concerned but I suspect she would be legally far better off with his name OFF the mortgage deed, as she would become the sole owner of the property and still be able to force your partner to pay his share until their daughter is 18.
Assuming your partner and his ex-wife obtained a financial order from the court when they divorced, this should all have been dealt with. I don’t understand what happened.
This will only be resolved if your husband’s ex-wife feels sufficiently confident that her daughter’s home is protected. You and your partner need to get in touch with the lawyer who dealt with your partner’s divorce. Your best bet then is to write to your partner’s ex-wife asking for this matter to be resolved or suggesting mediation.
I understand, given the history, why this might be frustrating. But this isn’t personal, it’s strictly business.
Q) I HAVE rented a garage from my local council for the past ten years. They plan to demolish the garages in the future but have said they need only give us a week’s notice, claiming: “All our garage tenancies are weekly but payment frequencies – whether that be weekly, fortnightly or monthly – are tenants’ choice.” Is this correct, considering the length we have been renting from them?
A) Without seeing the contract you have with the council, this is a hard one to answer. If the tenancy agreement specifies that the council only has to give garage owners a week’s notice to quit then, in all probability, this will be legally binding.
On the other hand, the agreement doesn’t seem to make sense. For example, they can’t evict someone who has paid a month’s rent upfront. Moreover, if you and the other garage owners have occupied these premises for a long time (many years), you may have some additional legal protection against eviction, certainly giving you more time to leave.
This isn’t straightforward law, though, I’m afraid. Get together with the other owners and obtain legal advice as soon as possible.
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