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    • Helen Millington
    • By Helen Millington 7th Feb 18, 2:04 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Helen Millington
    Selling 60+ Retirement House under Probate
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:04 PM
    Selling 60+ Retirement House under Probate 7th Feb 18 at 2:04 PM
    I am sole executor for my fatherís estate and also a beneficiary of his will along with my two sons.

    I have been trying to sell my fatherís house for the past 10 months, but it is not selling even after 4 price drops. I am desperate to sell as currently I am lumbered with having to pay the leaseholderís monthly service charge which includes ground rent and buildings insurance of £ 150.

    With supporting my two son at university and other commitments (mainly running my own home!), it is getting to the point where I cannot afford to keep it on for much longer. The estate is almost out of money and as I havenít paid the service charge since my father died, the leaseholder is threatening to take me to court if I do not pay. I have this in hand as I acknowledge the debt, but I just want to ask if anyone knows if I can refuse to pay when the estate runs out of funds....

    The 67 year remaining lease dictates:
    That I am too young to own the house, therefore I cannot purchase the house myself or the freehold.
    It is forbidden to rent it out under any circumstance
    I am not allowed to sell to a quick-purchase company as any purchaser has to be over 60 and capable of living independently.
    There are 4 other similar houses on the same estate also up for sale and none of us are selling because our local town is awash with newer retirement apartments (hotel living style) which is more desirable these days.
    Furthermore, if and when I do sell it, I have to pay into a sinking fund 0.75% of the original purchase price of £83,000 multiplied by the number of years the house has been Ďownedí, which currently stands at almost 15.

    Itís like Iím living in a nightmare...uncertain as to how and when Iím going to be able to sell it, and yet even though this is none of my doing, I am lumbered with the ongoing charges and bills. It seems so unfair and the leaseholder has no sympathy for my situation or regard for my bereavement...can anyone offer any advice or tell me if I have any recourse...?
Page 1
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 7th Feb 18, 2:14 PM
    • 9,393 Posts
    • 10,377 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:14 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:14 PM
    Keep reducing the price.
    • eddddy
    • By eddddy 7th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    • 6,318 Posts
    • 6,176 Thanks
    eddddy
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:32 PM
    (FYI - where you say leaseholder, I think you mean freeholder.)

    Realistically, all you can really do is keep reducing the price until it sells. I guess you might have to consider quite a drastic price reduction.

    67 years left on a lease will be considered quite a short time.

    It's risky to not pay the service charge (or ground rent) - even more so if you were to bury your head in the sand and ignore court papers...

    The freeholder can apply to the court for the lease to be forfeited. i.e. You lose a property worth around £70k or £80k.


    If you've explained your situation to the freeholders and they are being unsympathetic, it's probably best to try to pay the service charges and reduce the price.
    • mrschaucer
    • By mrschaucer 7th Feb 18, 2:47 PM
    • 514 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    mrschaucer
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:47 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:47 PM
    Out of interest, what does the lease say happens in these circumstances, ie where the leaseholder dies and the estate is not sufficient to cover ongoing service charges? Does the debt roll up and is taken as a charge on the final selling price along with all the other charges?
    • Aytoun27
    • By Aytoun27 7th Feb 18, 2:48 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 108 Thanks
    Aytoun27
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:48 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:48 PM
    Did your father leave you the house in his will? If not I don't see why you should be paying service charges on a property you don't own. If he did and the terms of the lease mean that the bequest is not valid then I still don't see why you should pay once there are no funds left in his estate. Maybe you should have a chat with a solicitor and find out exactly where you stand legally before this goes any further.
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 7th Feb 18, 4:03 PM
    • 17,369 Posts
    • 15,703 Thanks
    AdrianC
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 4:03 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 4:03 PM
    I am sole executor for my father!!!8217;s estate

    With supporting my two son at university and other commitments (mainly running my own home!), it is getting to the point where I cannot afford to keep it on for much longer.
    Originally posted by Helen Millington
    You shouldn't be paying it in the first place.

    The estate is almost out of money and as I haven!!!8217;t paid the service charge since my father died
    You mean "his estate hasn't paid"...?

    the leaseholder is threatening to take me to court if I do not pay.
    No, the leaseholder is threatening to take the estate to court.

    I have this in hand as I acknowledge the debt, but I just want to ask if anyone knows if I can refuse to pay when the estate runs out of funds....
    Do not confuse "ready cash" with "assets". The estate still has plenty of assets - they include a house...

    There are 4 other similar houses on the same estate also up for sale and none of us are selling because our local town is awash with newer retirement apartments (hotel living style) which is more desirable these days.
    Undercut them, then.

    Furthermore, if and when I do sell it, I have to pay into a sinking fund 0.75% of the original purchase price of £83,000 multiplied by the number of years the house has been !!!8216;owned!!!8217;, which currently stands at almost 15.
    Just under £9,500, then. But, no, YOU don't pay. The estate pays.

    It!!!8217;s like I!!!8217;m living in a nightmare...uncertain as to how and when I!!!8217;m going to be able to sell it
    <chorus>
    REDUCE THE PRICE!

    I am lumbered with the ongoing charges and bills.
    Once again - no, YOU are not. Your father's estate is.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,241 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:01 PM
    Reduce the price. If you get the price right someone will buy it.
    • Larac
    • By Larac 7th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    • 806 Posts
    • 494 Thanks
    Larac
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 5:48 PM
    Must admit we are trying to sell a Mccarthy Stone flat where there are 4 flats on the market. We have only had it since mid-January - I did also wonder what happens if the 'estate' runs out of money and can't pay the service charges?. In our case the estate does have money to pay the service charge and ground rental. My 'diggings' around were that if you fail to pay the service charge and ground rental they can recover the flat from you. This whole scenario has put me off buying a retirement flat - when and (if) I get to this stage I would rent one of these flats! There are worst cases where if the 'deceased' was in one of the 'hotel' type flats - the 'estate' is liable for those charges until the flat is sold and they can be c£10K a year! As other have suggested, you may well need to drop again the price. We will do this before Easter as really want to get rid!
    Last edited by Larac; 07-02-2018 at 5:54 PM.
    • Cakeguts
    • By Cakeguts 7th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • 4,363 Posts
    • 6,241 Thanks
    Cakeguts
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 7:45 PM
    Must admit we are trying to sell a Mccarthy Stone flat where there are 4 flats on the market. We have only had it since mid-January - I did also wonder what happens if the 'estate' runs out of money and can't pay the service charges?. In our case the estate does have money to pay the service charge and ground rental. My 'diggings' around were that if you fail to pay the service charge and ground rental they can recover the flat from you. This whole scenario has put me off buying a retirement flat - when and (if) I get to this stage I would rent one of these flats! There are worst cases where if the 'deceased' was in one of the 'hotel' type flats - the 'estate' is liable for those charges until the flat is sold and they can be c£10K a year! As other have suggested, you may well need to drop again the price. We will do this before Easter as really want to get rid!
    Originally posted by Larac
    You can always buy a second hand retirement flat that has had to be sold cheap?
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