Laying Down The Law: Council Tax Issue - How Do I Prove Son Doesn't Live With Me?

I am a widower over 60. I live alone and have the Single Persons rebate on council tax. I received a letter from the council saying it has come to their notice I could have another adult living at my address and this rebate could be cancelled. My son was working in London having moved out of his marital home, and had letters redirected to my address. The council have asked me to prove that he doesn't stay with me and want proof of the employer and address in the south of France. I don't see that I should have to prove anything.

You maybe shouldn’t but do. Don’t risk getting your benefit cut out of obstinacy. If the local authority has information they must investigate it, as although you’re honest, some are not, and they steal our money through false claims. Sounds like it should be easy enough to get a letter from son’s company or perhaps a copy of his London lease.

My car was hit by another car. The police discovered the driver had no licence, MoT, tax or insurance. I have had to pay more than £900 to have my car repaired. I did not wish to claim my insurance as I would lose my no claim bonus and also my premiums would increase. Is there anything I can do?

You can always sue the driver but if she is not insured she will have no money. You may be able to make some recovery from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (MIB), which is an organisation set up by Britain’s insurance company as a compensator of last resort where a driver causes injury or damage and is not insured. There are strict rules and procedures that govern claims, but there is an excellent website or telephone 01908 830001. They will even pay your lawyer’s costs if a claim is successful.

I live in an ex-council house (four in a block). I live downstairs. Do my neighbours upstairs need to get permission from me to let the window cleaner get access to clean their windows at the back i.e. plant their ladders outside my window?

It depends on what your title deeds say. I suspect it is pretty certain that there are mutual rights of access for maintenance which would include window cleaning. Equally if you needed access into the roof void to get say some TV aerial work done, they’d be bound to let your tradesman in. Shared property, especially an ex-council building, normally has a complete set of rules for harmonious living.

I made a will years ago but now have made a new one. What happens if I die and someone brings out the old will?

The new one will over-rule it, and lawyers making wills should always put a clause in the new one stating clearly that all old wills are superseded so there is no doubt. But you should ask for the old one back and physically tear it up.

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