Property: Home Truths

Miras changes

I understand that the rate of tax relief on my mortgage is to be reduced in April next year. Will this increase my monthly mortgage repayments?

P Miller

Manchester

The reduction in mortgage interest tax relief (Miras) was announced in the July 1997 Budget. Miras will be reduced from 15 per cent to 10 per cent from April 1998, and will mean an increase in your payments. Miras is allowed on the first pounds 30,000 of a mortgage. So, for example, if you are currently receiving the full allowance and have an interest rate of 8.7 per cent, you will pay pounds 10.88 per month extra.

Direct debit dates

I have just moved jobs and the date I am now paid is a few days after my mortgage goes out. Can I change the date of the direct debit?

C McCallum

Bath

Most lenders will offer alternative dates for customers' direct debits. You should contact your lender and explain your new circumstances. They should be able to send you a new mandate so that you can change the date your mortgage is paid.

A flat no

A friend and I bought a two-bedroom flat in 1991 and agreed that when one of us decided to move the other would agree to sell the flat or buy the other out. Last year, I moved into my fiancee's house, and I have decided I want to sell my share of the flat.

My friend now says he is unwilling to sell the flat but can't afford to buy me out. Is there any way in which I can force the sale of the flat? And if so how do I go about starting the process?

T Jones

Bangor

The most likely position is that you are both named as joint owners in the deeds to the flat. This means that the signatures of both of you will be needed to sell it. If your friend refuses you may be able to get a court order to force the sale. However, going to court is usually a slow, expensive process and should be a last resort.

Your next step should be to see a solicitor who will advise you on your specific circumstances.

Neighbour watch

I'm in the process of a buying a flat which will mean I'll have neighbours above and below. Is there any way I can find out what they are like and if they are noisy before I move in?

N Cooper

Bournemouth

It is very important that you are totally satisfied with the flat you are buying. First, speak to the people who live in the flat at the moment, as they have a duty to tell you the truth about any trouble they have had with the neighbours. If they lie to you about this, you would have grounds to sue them under the terms of the Property Misdescriptions Act.

If you are still worried, why not ask the current owners if they get on well with the neighbours and whether they can introduce you? You should also try to visit the property at different times of the day to find out whether it is noisy.

George Wise is managing director of NatWest UK Mortgage Services.

q 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: sunday-property @independent.co.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
News
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower