Difficulties with tenant in common - selling inherited share of house

My mother recently died without a will leaving me and my sibling to inherit via intestacy 50% of a property owned as tenants in common. Probate has gone through and we have letters of administration.

Her partner who owns the other 50% is still living, although he doesn't live in the property. He has said he wants to sell but is in reality making this near impossible. He will only market it for offers over a price well in excess of the highest valuation we received. He then offered to purchase our half from us for around half it's market value (so a quarter of the total house value).

I'm a bit confused by a couple of things. Can he sell it without us being involved at all (overreaching?) and if so would he have to sell it for a fair price - or could he sell it cheaply to a family member for example? Can we force a sale at a price where it might actually sell?

I don't really understand the difference between the legal ownership (which I think at this point is just his?) and beneficial interest.

As a side note, are we currently responsible for the tax / bills etc. or is this him as legal owner?

We just want the property sold for a fair price in a reasonable time frame.

I'd really appreciate it if anyone could explain in as simple terms as possible, this is causing so much stress.

Comments

  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,453
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    What does it say in the will, has the partner been granted a life interest trust?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,170
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    With no will there can be no life interest for your mother’s share of the property so as it stands legal ownership is split between her partner and the estate. Without a court order the property can’t be sold without the agreement of both the administrators and your mum’s partner. If he won’t sell then your only option is to go down the legal route which will cost all of you.

    With an empty property responsibility for council tax shared between the owners jointly and severally, however you should contact the council ASAP as (assuming no one else lives there) you will have an exemption which lasts from time of death to 6 months after you obtain letters of administration.
  • Voyager2002
    Voyager2002 Posts: 15,222
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    InkBlink said:
    My mother recently died without a will leaving me and my sibling to inherit via intestacy 50% of a property owned as tenants in common. Probate has gone through and we have letters of administration.

    Her partner who owns the other 50% is still living, although he doesn't live in the property. He has said he wants to sell but is in reality making this near impossible. He will only market it for offers over a price well in excess of the highest valuation we received. He then offered to purchase our half from us for around half it's market value (so a quarter of the total house value).


    In the first instance, I suggest that you put the house on the market at the price the partner wants. After a while with no interest, perhaps he will consider reducing the price to a more realistic level. If that doesn't work, perhaps letting the property would be a short-term solution.

    In the meantime, you should have a civilised discussion about how to share the various costs of maintaining the property. Do remember that he has lost his partner, is going through a grieving process that is different from yours and so is unlikely to be thinking rationally.

    There are legal solutions to this situation (such as getting a court order to force a sale) but the legal costs mean that this is unlikely to make sense for you.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,453
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    Missed it is administration.

    The partner may be grieving and is not really rationale. He may also hope to get more for the property to fund his future housing.

    But if he's putting the house on the market at an above market value, offer to sell to him at half that value less the estate agent's fees? He then has to decide whether he really thinks the house is worth that. 
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Hello,

    Thank you for the responses.

    While he is grieving of course as are we, he and my mother didn't actually have a good relationship, he didn't really like her very much at the time of her death and he has always been a very difficult man.

    We have offered to sell him our half of the property for a slightly discounted rate. This was declined, he offered to buy it but only for 50% of it's value.

    He is very clear he will not consider dropping the price at any point.

    He already owns several other properties including the one he lives in. It was only this property which was shared ownership with my mother.

    I understand council tax is shared between owners - this is why I need to understand the difference between if we "own" our half of the property or if we only have a beneficial interest in it?
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    InkBlink said:
    I understand council tax is shared between owners - this is why I need to understand the difference between if we "own" our half of the property or if we only have a beneficial interest in it?
    If you haven't put the house into your names, it's still owned by your mother's estate which will be liable for half of the CT.


  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,544
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    Set up a property alert with the LR so that you will be told if the other owner does try anything shady.
    www.gov.uk/guidance/property-alert

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