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Owner passed away- what happens if no will?

Hi

A property on my street has been empty for over 15 years. I had to contact the council as there was at one time a possible break in. It transpired that the individual that lived there had been taking into care some 15 years ago quite suddenly. I have this month learnt that said individual sadly passed away in late 2023. 

I have since received a call from Heir hunters type firm trying to trace any family. The council alluded to the individual not having any immediate family (which could be possible as no one has been round once in 15 years) so I would really like to know what would happen if there is no family to pass the house onto, does the house go onto the market or does it go to the council? I assume all of this takes time but if anyone has experience of this I would like to hear from you. 

Thanks
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  • Millsandovis
    Millsandovis Posts: 40
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    edited 17 January at 1:47PM
    If no family can be traced it goes to the crown  https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/bona-vacantia
  • SiliconChip
    SiliconChip Posts: 1,266
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    It's probably already on the bona vacantia list if heir hunters are looking for a relative. You can check the current list of unclaimed estates from the link given above or directly at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/unclaimed-estates-list
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,276
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    It will almost certainly be marketed by someone eventually - as above, things fall to the Crown in the absence of anybody else.

    Why do you want to know?
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,442
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    Assuming England or Wales, check the bon vacantia lists.

    The heir hunters will be creating a family tree and then tracing each line forward until they find live individuals. Then they try and tie them into a contract in exchange for a fee. They may also find the all lines going back several generations have died out.

    If they don't find anyone, the property eventually "goes to the Crown," who can dispose of it. If however distant cousin Mary from overseas turns up in a decade, or a child of a second cousin's unknown second marriage, the Crown will pay out, up to 30 years later.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Khaderbhai
    Khaderbhai Posts: 128
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    user1977 said:
    It will almost certainly be marketed by someone eventually - as above, things fall to the Crown in the absence of anybody else.

    Why do you want to know?
    A few reasons. Among just generally interested on what the process is when this happens, I wanted to know if its going to stay empty for a long time (of no help to anyone) and I would also be genuinely interested in purchasing the property. 

    Silly question but who do you contact when it falls to the Crown if you were interested in purchasing it? Or is this just not an option?
  • ProDave
    ProDave Posts: 3,612
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    If the owner has been in care for 15 years, the care provider, probably the council will have a claim for care fees from the proceeds of an eventual sale.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,276
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    user1977 said:
    It will almost certainly be marketed by someone eventually - as above, things fall to the Crown in the absence of anybody else.

    Why do you want to know?
    A few reasons. Among just generally interested on what the process is when this happens, I wanted to know if its going to stay empty for a long time (of no help to anyone) and I would also be genuinely interested in purchasing the property. 

    Silly question but who do you contact when it falls to the Crown if you were interested in purchasing it? Or is this just not an option?
    You contact whoever the estate agents are, it will be sold on the open market.
  • Albermarle
    Albermarle Posts: 21,048
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    user1977 said:
    user1977 said:
    It will almost certainly be marketed by someone eventually - as above, things fall to the Crown in the absence of anybody else.

    Why do you want to know?
    A few reasons. Among just generally interested on what the process is when this happens, I wanted to know if its going to stay empty for a long time (of no help to anyone) and I would also be genuinely interested in purchasing the property. 

    Silly question but who do you contact when it falls to the Crown if you were interested in purchasing it? Or is this just not an option?
    You contact whoever the estate agents are, it will be sold on the open market.
    Or maybe at auction if it is in a poor state.
  • user1977
    user1977 Posts: 13,276
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    user1977 said:
    user1977 said:
    It will almost certainly be marketed by someone eventually - as above, things fall to the Crown in the absence of anybody else.

    Why do you want to know?
    A few reasons. Among just generally interested on what the process is when this happens, I wanted to know if its going to stay empty for a long time (of no help to anyone) and I would also be genuinely interested in purchasing the property. 

    Silly question but who do you contact when it falls to the Crown if you were interested in purchasing it? Or is this just not an option?
    You contact whoever the estate agents are, it will be sold on the open market.
    Or maybe at auction if it is in a poor state.
    Well, however they do it, it will be advertised. They're not allowed to do deals behind closed doors.
  • Khaderbhai
    Khaderbhai Posts: 128
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    user1977 said:
    user1977 said:
    user1977 said:
    It will almost certainly be marketed by someone eventually - as above, things fall to the Crown in the absence of anybody else.

    Why do you want to know?
    A few reasons. Among just generally interested on what the process is when this happens, I wanted to know if its going to stay empty for a long time (of no help to anyone) and I would also be genuinely interested in purchasing the property. 

    Silly question but who do you contact when it falls to the Crown if you were interested in purchasing it? Or is this just not an option?
    You contact whoever the estate agents are, it will be sold on the open market.
    Or maybe at auction if it is in a poor state.
    Well, however they do it, it will be advertised. They're not allowed to do deals behind closed doors.
    The intention is not to do a ‘deal behind closed doors’. I wanted to know how the process worked. It goes on the open market when the crown are satisfied no one has come forward or after a set timeframe?
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