UK Property Law
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No (unfortunately as it turns out!)
I have been askedto look at this for you.
If you have beenrenting the property out for 15 years, and it is out of time for enforcement bythe council in any event. You could apply for a certificate of lawful use whichsimply formalises the fact that you have done it for more than 10 years whichis the enforcement period for change of use.
You are entitled topayment for the vets bill and the cost of the cat and I would give them sevendays to pay up failing which I would issue small claims court proceedingsagainst them which you can do quite easily here www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
the proceedingsactually are issued against the dog owner.
If there is anissue over whether the dog is dangerous or not, and refer the matter to thepolice.
I agree completelywith your solicitor that the fact that there is no planning permission is immaterial.I would not be paying her anything and if she owes you any rent, I would beadding any rent to my claim for the dog/cat incident.
I would also not bewasting time on solicitors letters. She would get one letter and then courtproceedings. I cannot see why you will have wasted £2000. I think 50 quid andthen court proceedings would be enough. Please bear in mind that you will notget your solicitor's costs back in the Small Claims Court even if you win so Iwould be inclined to do it myself.
I would tell her toget stuffed with regard to the fees that she is claiming and if she is mindedto, let her counterclaim. Ultimately, the judge will decide whether she isentitled to that or not.
Forget herthreatening to take you to court, I would be the one taking her! Remember, themore correspondence she sends you and the more correspondence that yoursolicitor deals with, the bigger your legal bill that you are not going torecover.
If you are beingharassed, then referred the harassment to the police with a view to getting herwarned under the protection from harassment act. The police can tell her toeither issue proceedings against you or stop writing. If she continues to writeto you, the police can prosecute her under the Protection from Harassment Act.Some police forces will really take this on board and others not quite so muchso. I think it would be a good time to use the "vulnerable lone female, feelingfrightened and intimidated" tack.
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