Click to follow
Cash in hand

We are looking for a new home to accommodate our growing family. However, since we took out our current mortgage my husband has changed jobs and is now paid weekly in cash. Will we have trouble getting a new mortgage?

Mrs C Saunders, London N5

Most mortgage lenders will be willing to lend in cases where income is paid in cash, providing you fully meet the income and status requirements. You will need to provide bank statements to demonstrate that you can afford the monthly mortgage payments, so if your husband pays his wages into a bank account you can easily show this. If you take out your new mortgage with your current lender, they will already have a track record showing your ability to make monthly payments. If you choose to move to another lender then you can provide a reference from your current lender, which will indicate that you can afford to make mortgage payments.

Don't pre-empt us

My wife and I recently viewed a property that we were interested in buying. We were told by the owners that they would have to wait for the previous owners to decide if they wished to buy the house back as they had a "right of pre-emption". What is this?

David Banks, Brighton

A right of pre-emption is a legal agreement whereby a third party, often the previous owners, has the right to buy back the property should the present owner wish to sell. A right of pre-emption will include the period of time over which the agreement is set.

If you still wish to buy the house, I suggest you confirm that you are interested to the present owners. You could also ask how long the previous owners have to decide whether to buy the house. If you do go ahead, ensure your solicitor is fully aware of the issue and makes changes as necessary.

Mortgage aid

The company I work for has announced there are likely to be job cuts during the summer, and I am concerned that I may lose my job. Could you clarify what mortgage assistance I would get from the state if I was made redundant?

Ken Winton, Newcastle upon Tyne

If you do lose your job it is possible that you will be entitled to some state assistance.

The timing and amount of financial assistance that you would get depends on the type of mortgage you have, when it was taken out and whether or not you have an insurance policy that includes cover against redundancy.

If you have taken out such a policy then you should contact the insurance company as soon as your circumstances change. They will be able to advise you if you are eligible and, if so, the amount you will receive.

I would also suggest that you contact your local DSS benefits office and explain your circumstances. They will provide you with details of the benefits to which you are entitled.

q 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 sundayproperty@independent.co.uk