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Left a house with a catch

Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby Corky » Thu Jun 29, 2017 11:04 pm

But my sisters boyfriend doesn't have a freehold or leasehold interest in the property. So based on the above list I'm struggling to see how he could top the hierarchy of liability for paying the council tax. I have a freehold interest but I'm not a resident so I can't see how I'm top of the list either so it's all a bit confusing to be honest.
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby dls » Fri Jun 30, 2017 6:48 am

TCDT is right - it starts with the exact words of the will. You need legal advice. There will be a series of particular answers to particular costs.

I am not sure he would count as having a life tenancy. He seems to have a licence, no more. Atti may well be right about the council tax, but I would want to double check it once the exact status of the occupation is settled.

The difference between a licence and a tenancy can be significant - for example as to his right (or otherwise) to exclude you from the property.

When I first worked in a law office, my principal drove down a local road inviting me to identify which of a row of properties was subject to such an arrangement. It was obvious.

It is in your interests to keep it properly repaired and insured. As you say, it was a surprisingly generous act of your sister. Respect it. It will cost you for a few years, but it is worth meeting that cost in the long run.
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Jun 30, 2017 7:15 am

dls wrote:I am not sure he would count as having a life tenancy...

To my mind, a tenancy suggests rent, even if only a peppercorn...
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby theycantdothat » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:27 am

Corky wrote:Unfortunately I don't have it to hand yet. I've just been told over the phone what it says by the solicitor. I have to meet with him soon to finalise everything. I was just curious if anyone had experienced anything like this before.


It is possible that the will will answer your questions. Until we know what is says all is speculation.

Indulging in a little speculation...

If the will says something like: "I leave my freehold property 3 Beech Gardens to my brother X on condition that he allows Y to live there rent free for the rest of his life" and no more, then there will be no tenancy, just a licence. Y will be lable to pay the rates for the reasons set out by Hairlyloon. He will also be liable to pay for all services. As to repairs I suggest that Y must (in the words of Lord Denning): "...take proper care of the place. He must, if he is going away for the winter, turn off the water and empty the boiler. He must clean the chimneys, where necessary, and also the windows. He must mend the electric light when it fuses. He must unstop the sink when it is blocked by his waste. In short, he must do the little jobs about the place which a reasonable tenant would do. In addition, he must, of course, not damage the house, wilfully or negligently; and he must see his family and guests do not damage it: and if they do, he must repair it.’ The obligation of X to allow Y to occupy does not of itself extend to repairing the property. However, the general law will apply. In particular the Gas Safety Regs specifically apply to licences. It will of course be in X's interest to keep the property in repair.
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby Russell » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:37 am

A bit of a sidetrack but could you in theory decline a bequest?
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby dls » Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:45 am

a resident who has a contractual license to occupy the whole or any part of the property


Is likely the first on the list.
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby Corky » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:44 am

dls wrote:
a resident who has a contractual license to occupy the whole or any part of the property


Is likely the first on the list.


That would best describe him I would think. Hopefully that means he'll be responsible for the council tax at least. Obviously as others have said it will probably come down to the detail of the will.
Last edited by Corky on Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby atticus » Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:46 am

Contractual? Where is the contract giving the right to occupy?
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby Corky » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:16 pm

atticus wrote:Contractual? Where is the contract giving the right to occupy?


The will?
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Re: Left a house with a catch

Postby atticus » Fri Jun 30, 2017 12:25 pm

A will most definitely is NOT a contract.
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