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Legal rights for living on family members land?

Good morning,

New here and first post so apologies if this is not the correct place.

i am looking for advice or similar experiences.

I have a family member (I will call him Will) that lives in a converted property on his parents land. When his parents brought the land they offered Will An old barn to convert and live in on the land. The initial ask was that Will bridged the gap in the mortgage (around 80k) and then paid to convert the property and live in it. This was then agreed that he wouldn’t pay this bridge but he paid the entire conversion bill by selling his previous property. He has lived there around 7/8 years now. I think his parents might pay some of the bills such as council tax and water as this is done for the entire property/land and he pays all his other utilities. 

My question is, does Will have any legal rights to his home? As mentioned above he sold his previous home to fund the conversion and therefore has no assets or home to sell if he needed to move for any reason.

Say there was a family breakdown, and his parents wanted him out or his parents decide to move, where does this leave him? 

I’m not sure if there’s any legal or written down agreement in place, but it is unlikely.

does he have any rights or protection? Or would he be left with nothing. I appreciate any responses, Thank you 


  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,757
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    He should aim to regularise the situation. Is the converted property on its own title with land registry? Or is it just part of the land of the main house? You/ he can search Land Registry website by map if he is unsure.

    Either he should be named on the title deeds to the converted barn or if have a lease or tenancy to it from his parents as freeholders. 
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  • we have done something similar, my MIL gave my OH a barn  on her land  and I paid for the conversion which is nearly finished now. He has now been taken out of her will as he has 3 other siblings 

    Before we put a spade in the ground and before even attempting planning permission we  did a transfer of part out of MIL into our names , clear boundaries are set with LR 

    We have complete separate utilities and council tax and now on LR website so whatever happens our property is ours.

    I think this should happen now to protect your relative or as @silvercar states above 
  • Arguably (probably) there is a tenancy. He has paid 'rent' in the form of the money he has ploughed into the building. His parents are his lanlords and should comply with the many tenancy laws and regulations (inluding tax on that 'rent'.

    If the properties are each self contained, they should have separete council tax - this could be back-dated if/when the council become aware.

    Alternatively, his contribution to the 'property' (meaning here the entire land and buildings within the boundary registered on the Land Registry Plan) means he has a stake or Beneficial Interest' in the entire 'property (not just his building).

    Unless of couse some formal agreement was originaally made and ideally drawn up in a Deed and registered with the LR.

    The other possibility is that two Titles exist and he owns one, but this does not sound like it applies.
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