When Petworth writer Terence Kearey discovered his studio had accidentally been included in the sale of his house, it was the final straw in his desperate struggle to meet the bills for his wife’s health care.
Now 81 years old, Mr Kearey’s nightmare began seven years ago when his wife first started showing signs of dementia.
He was forced to sell their home and all the antique furniture in it to pay the £4,000 a month cost of her care. He moved into a one bedroom cottage close by which his wife owned.
But with repayments on a loan for her health care and after repaying the mortgage on the small cottage, the money from the house sale was running out fast.
So he decided he may have to sell the cottage and move into a studio annexe he and his wife had used for work.
But half the tiny studio had accidentally been included in the sale of the house which now had the only entrance.
“As rectification went through its processes and easements were given, my studio became bound by restrictions. This conveyancing mistake damned all hopes and expectations, claimed physical and mental anguish and reduced my bank balance,” said Mr Kearey.
“Eventually I was given a right of way, but in return I had to agree not to use it other than as a ‘shed’, not to carry on any business there and not to stay there or allow anyone else to do so.”
But desperate to provide for his own old age, Mr Kearey is now making plans to move into the studio without breaching the legal restrictions placed on him. He has drawn up plans and is in ‘pre planning’ talks with the South Downs National Park planners to make a new entrance into the half of the studio he owns without restrictions, converting it for a tiny bathroom and kitchen and sleeping area. In the other half he proposes to keep the use as a reading room and studio.
“I fear if I get dementia I will need the money from my present cottage.
“This has been an awfully worrying time for me. It has been unbelievably upsetting. I discovered it is no good relying on others but that I should take an interest and question each step of the way.
“Being in my eighties was not going to excuse me for doing nothing.”
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