Home Truths

Fencing match

The fence that separates my garden from next door was recently damaged during a storm and needs to be repaired or even replaced. How do I find out whether the fence is on my side of the garden boundary or my neighbour's?

CH, Lincolnshire

The title deeds to your property will reveal which fences (or any boundaries) you are responsible for. Where these cannot be easily established, it is assumed that they are party boundaries, which means you and your neighbours are jointly liable for the repairs.

I suggest you contact the solicitor who acted on your behalf when you brought your property. Part of their job is to carry out searches and to make enquiries of the vendor's solicitor to discover your maintenance liabilities.

Some buildings insurance policies cover for this type of damage, so check out yours.

Colour bar

I live in a converted property within an "A" listed development of special historical interest. My neighbours say that I can only paint my property in certain colours. Is this true?

SR, Edinburgh

Very probably. The planning laws in Scotland can be very strict, particularly for an "A" listed building. You should check with your local planning authority for details of any restrictions that apply to your property and how strictly they apply.

Mortgage panic

My girlfriend and I are looking to buy our first home but don't know which mortgage package to choose. Can you help?

FE, Hereford & Worcester

Choosing the right mortgage package is often the biggest nightmare for first-time buyers. It is also the area in which a specialist mortgage adviser can be invaluable. Not all lenders offer a full advisory service and you should ask when arranging a mortgage interview about the level of service the lender can provide. Reputable lenders and mortgage brokers have signed up to the Mortgage Code - ask for a copy when you go for your first interview.

The range of options are vast. First, you will need to decide whether you wish to have a repayment mortgage or an interest-only mortgage. With a repayment mortgage you repay the capital you borrowed together with the interest over the term of the mortgage. With an interest-only mortgage your monthly payment to the lender covers just the interest and you repay the capital at the end of the term usually through an endowment policy, a pension or a PEP. The next step is to choose between fixed, capped, discounted, or variable interest rates.

Make sure your adviser explains all the options and that you understand fully the mortgage package recommended, including the fees involved, such as administration, reservation, early redemption charges and any compulsory insurances.

George Wise is managing director of NatWest UK Mortgage Services.

Send your queries on practical property issues to: Home Truths, `Independent on Sunday', 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL; fax 0171-293 2043; e- mail sundayproperty@independent.co.uk. Home Truths is not a substitute for professional advice. Readers are urged to take appropriate legal and tax advice.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Junior Research Analyst - Recruitment Resourcer

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £25K: SThree: SThree Group has been well estab...

Senior Analyst - Financial Modelling

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: This really is a fantastic chance to joi...

Associate CXL Consultant

£40000 - £60000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: CXL, Triple Po...

Business Anaylst

£60000 - £75000 per annum + BONUS + BENEFITS: Harrington Starr: Business Anal...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform