Q I rent a flat from a private landlord and he has failed to renew two windows (we didn't break them).
I want to withhold rent until he gets the work done. Is this legal?
A Depends on what your signed lease says – it may have a clause saying no rent can be retained.
But no matter what the agreement says, he has a duty to ensure the place is kept wind and watertight and repairs are done, so write to the local council housing department asking them to force him to act.
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.
Q I am a widow of 67. I live alone and have the Single Persons rebate on council tax. I received a letter from the council saying it had come to their notice I could have another adult living at my address and this rebate could be cancelled. My daughter was working in France having moved out of her marital home, and had her letters redirected to my address.
The council has asked me to prove that she doesn't stay with me and wants proof of her employer and address in the south of France. I don't see that I should have to prove anything.
A You maybe shouldn't but do. Don't risk getting your benefit cut out of obstinacy. If the local authority have information they must investigate it. Although you are honest, some are not, and they steal our money through false claims. Sounds like it should be easy enough to get a letter from your daughter's company.
Q My stationary car was hit by another car. The police were called and 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 claims bonus and also my premiums would increase. Is there anything I can do?
AYou can sue the driver but if they aren't insured they will have no money.
You may be able to make some recovery from the Motor Insurers' Bureau, which is an organisation set up by insurance companies 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 at www.mib.org.uk or call 01908 830001.
Q 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?
A 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.