Call us today FREE on 0141 413 9467
  • Glasgow (Giffnock) 01416212212
  • Hamilton 01698477614
  • East Kilbride 01355263777
  • Glasgow (Newton Mearns) 0141 611 5221
Law Society of Scotland

Blog

Business banner
3 minutes reading time (544 words)

Austin Lafferty - the law man's top advice

Some time ago the top flat caused a major leak of water that affected my flat – electrics out for days, walls damaged, and other personal losses, as well as upset and inconvenience. We have been negotiating with loss adjusters but feel we’re getting nowhere. Can you suggest anything?

Two ideas – get together with neighbours in the block either formally as a committee or informally to compare notes, and perhaps united you can stand stronger – the loss adjusters may take you more seriously or urgently if they know you are all comparing notes and supporting each other. Secondly, do consider getting help – from a solicitor or even the Citizens Advice Bureau. Legal fees for this kind of claim may be recoverable.

When I was having our mutual boundary with the next door neighbour checked, it turned out my garage is built about 8 ins into their land. This has caused a problem. My neighbour has threatened to move my garage, but it has been in place for more than 30 years. I have no practical alternative for parking as putting the car at the front of the driveway causes other problems. Can my neighbour force this issue?

There is a provision in Scots law called Prescription – nothing to do with drugs, but a law that says if certain rights have been enjoyed without legal challenge for a period of time, they become permanent even if the paperwork is not correct. As the garage has been in place for over 20 years, you may have a “prescribed” right of use and access. If so, your neighbour can never interfere with it and the court will not overturn it.

The builder’s yard next door to our flats wrote to us to say they were intending to extend their building, and asking all proprietors if we had any objections. However, once the building work was done, it turned out to be a car wash, 8 am to 8 pm. Even at night there is a hissing from the machinery when not in use.

The business would have needed to serve neighbour notices on all neighbours – check with the planning department what was actually allowed. Also speak to environmental health to see if they are able to stop the noise. And write to the business. That may not solve it but a responsible business will want to be good neighbours in the long term.

I want to make a will but have no idea how much it will cost me and feel that I don’t have enough to make it worthwhile, so am planning to write something and sign it. Will this be legal?

Only if done properly. I would advocate seeing a solicitor (under Will Relief Scotland and Will Aid there are times in the year that solicitors participate in these charities so you can make a will and a donation but pay no fee), as there is nothing worse than finding a will is ineffective AFTER the person has died. But if doing it you identify yourself with name and address, state clearly who is to get what, and appoint an executor to carry out your wishes. Then sign the will and have someone witness - i.e. sign beside you to prove your signature.

Austin Lafferty answers all your legal questions
New Consultation on Civil Partnerships in Scotland

Make an enquiry

* indicates required field

Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please write a Telephone Number.
Please let us know your email address.
Invalid Input
Invalid Input
Please let us know your message.
Invalid Input

Client testimonials

"I wanted to make you aware of the first class and professional service I received during the purchase of my new house, and sale of my flats. Elaine MacDonald, and her assistant, Tracey Matheson were fantastic to work with. I was kept up to date at all times..."
Stephanie, East Kilbride