Laying Down The Law: I'm Being Bullied By Neighbours - What Can I Do?

I’m being bullied by neighbours when I’m at home alone. They are making up stories about me, then phoning the police who are quite willing to believe them and charging me. I have no witnesses to verify this. How can I make it stop apart from moving? How can I make the police believe me that my neighbours are wasting their time?

You need to get yourself a solicitor immediately. He or she will advise you on matters of evidence, and also on the possibility of taking civil action against your neighbours, even to the extent of interdicting them from further harassment. But if you don’t have anyone else to rely on to back up your account of events (or lack of events) then you are at a severe disadvantage every time.

My house is jointly owned by myself and my wife with now no mortgage. Sadly, the marriage has foundered. My ex has moved into rented accommodation, and says the council will force a sale of our matrimonial home, to meet her rental obligation. We have no assets other than the property. I have major health problems, and the house is exactly what serves my needs.

The council cannot force a sale. Your wife’s application for housing benefit to help her pay the rent can either be accepted or rejected ( I don’t know if her having a half-share in a former marital home disqualifies her as I am not an expert on benefits). However, under divorce law, she can claim half the value of the house, and if she takes you to court, then you may be left with the choice of buying her out (you’ll have to remortgage as you have no other assets), or sell the house and split the proceeds.

My dad is coming to stay with us, as we still have a mortgage, he wants to lend us the money to pay it off (approximately £20,000) and we will pay him back monthly. Should anything happen financially with us, we will all have "a roof over our heads". Is this legally possible and are there documents that would need to be drawn up?

It is possible, and the loan can be documented in a minute of agreement – essentially a contract reflecting your arrangement in a legally binding way, and secured against your title deeds to protect dad. A solicitor can easily help with this.

I received a letter today stating I owe council tax from back in 2004. I was not working then and was in receipt of benefits. I have also moved house since then, and I was totally unaware of owing anything! Is there a time limit for them to claim from me? I also don’t have any records of proof that I was not working.

The council can look back 20 years. Sadly it will be up to you to prove that you were not liable – though you should be able to get confirmation from DWP that you were on benefits at the time, or National Insurance records from them to show you paid no contributions during that time.

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