Bullying neighbours are making life hell

I am being bullied by neighbours when I'm at home alone.

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They are making up stories about me, then phoning the police who are quite willing to believe them and charge me. I have no witnesses to verify this. How can I make it stop, apart from moving. How can I make the police believe that my neighbours are wasting their time?

You need to get 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), you are at a severe disadvantage.

My house is jointly owned by myself and my husband, with no mortgage. Sadly, the marriage has foundered. My ex has moved into rented accommodation, and says the council will force a sale of our home to meet his 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 husband's application for housing benefit to help him pay the rent can either be accepted or rejected (I don't know if him having a half-share in a former marital home disqualifies him as I am not an expert on benefits). However, under divorce law, he can claim half the value of the house, and if he takes you to court, then you may be left with the choice of buying him out (you'll have to remortgage as you have no other assets), or sell the house and split the proceeds.

My mum is coming to stay with us and, as we still have a mortgage, she wants to lend us the money to pay it off (approx £20,000) and we will pay her 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 mum. A solicitor can easily help with this.

I received a letter today stating I owe council tax from 2004. I was not working then and was in receipt of benefits. I have also moved house since then, and I was 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 the Department of Work and Pensions 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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