Do I have to insure my flat through factors?

I BOUGHT my four-in-a-block flat 10 years ago and my bank, who provided the mortgage, said I would have to insure my property through the factors.

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This, I was told, was because one of the four flats was still a council property. I would like to get insurance with another company which seems to be cheaper and with better conditions than the policies I have got.

Am I tied to the factors?

CHECK your title deeds. For ex local authority properties there is usually a condition that insurance is arranged centrally.

But there may also be provision for the owners of a certain number of units to get together and vote the factors out which would allow you to make your own insurance arrangements.

If one of the properties is still under local or social ownership, it is almost certain they have the casting vote on block insurance.

MY DAD died. As I am the oldest, I was named his next of kin and because my brother did not want the funeral bill in his name.

It turns up my father had paid too much council tax. I phoned the council who said my brother told them not to discuss it with me.

Could you tell me where I stand - I have still £600 to pay for the funeral and took a £500 loan to pay other costs.

YOU have the right to be appointed executor of the estate, to gather any money due to your late father, and use it to pay debts.

If your brother gets the money before you can get the court appointment (sheriff court officials will help you with the forms) you can sue to get it back as the money belongs to the estate, to be used first for debts, and only then divided up.

I RUN a small business and lease an office in a block. The factors are not good at doing repairs and seem to bill us highly ever six months with nothing much to show for it.

Can we get together with the other tenants sack them?

PROBABLY not. You are only a tenant and your lease will almost certainly not contain powers to vote in any factor's meeting as it would the owner - your landlord.

Best you can do is relay your worries to your landlord and hope he/she/they will act. But as they are not paying the common charges, they might be less than enthusiastic to help. Commercial leases have the tenant liable for all maintenance but with little or no power.

I TOOK out a loan to be repaid over five years.

I have now been diagnosed with cancer and the prognosis is not good. When I die, what happens to the debt?

My estate won't be enough to pay the balance unless I live for a fair bit longer.

THE debt will not transfer to your children. If there is insufficient money in your estate and there is a debit balance left, the bank will have to write it off.

Finance

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