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  • FIRST POST
    • Elaine27
    • By Elaine27 8th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
    • 3Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Elaine27
    No will: Unlawful letting of deceasedís property
    • #1
    • 8th Feb 18, 1:14 PM
    No will: Unlawful letting of deceasedís property 8th Feb 18 at 1:14 PM
    Hi
    Iíve recently found out my father died a few years ago. No attempts were made to find me to tell at the time that he was ill, let alone had died. He was widowed and I am his sole blood relative. Having initially believed my step brother that he had let his property out whilst my father was alive, I now find that he let it out months later via a verbal agreement. Cash was initially paidup front, but the Ďtenantí stopped paying as it was clear he had no legal claim to the property. Despite this he appears to have continued to try to get payment at least a couple of occasions after this, despite being aware the property (which he says was going to be left to him) was not his. His evasiveness and lack of any obituary or announcement in the paper, meant I nor my relatives had any chance of finding out about the death - I only found out by sheer accident. On the face of it itís starting to look like he was trying to conceal it from me. Iím now left at the beginning of a probate procedure with a house occupied by someone who shouldnít be there and him thinking he should get the property. Any advice would be appreciated.
Page 1
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 8th Feb 18, 1:38 PM
    • 4,843 Posts
    • 5,388 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #2
    • 8th Feb 18, 1:38 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Feb 18, 1:38 PM
    You need to take legal advice. Although it may not be their fault the occupant of the house has no right to be there, and as estate administrator you need to start the process to evict them.
    • Margot123
    • By Margot123 8th Feb 18, 1:43 PM
    • 803 Posts
    • 812 Thanks
    Margot123
    • #3
    • 8th Feb 18, 1:43 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Feb 18, 1:43 PM
    Yes, you must seek professional advice regarding this.

    If there was no will, and you are the only blood relative, you have claim to the estate and any proceeds that have been made from it since the date of your Father's death.

    The tenant may be very unaware of the situation, so it might be best to avoid being too heavy-handed for the time being. Just make them aware of what is happening. I'm guessing there is not formal tenancy agreement, so that could be in your favour regarding eviction time.

    Although you were obviously estranged, you have more rights than most but you must check everything with a local solicitor first. Most will provide a free initial 20 minute meeting.
    • Elaine27
    • By Elaine27 8th Feb 18, 3:10 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Elaine27
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:10 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:10 PM
    Thanks Margot123 and Keep pedalling.

    I've got to get the grant of probate agreed before I do anything, but unfortunately the house will need to be valued as part of that process and the 'tenant' has not responded to my probate solicitor to date. I'm unconcerned about any monies owing, if there are any at all, because the tenant is also in an invidious position having made a verbal agreement . I suppose there are 2 issues here.

    Firstly trying to get the tenant engaged with a view to shifting the process along. Secondly I'm wondering if its a police matter as it appears to be a clear fraud from the outset by the other party (maybe even the tenant, but I doubt that is the case). The solicitor I'm currently using has no knowledge of housing tenancy matters, so wouldn't be the right one to use regarding future physical possession of the property.

    My father and I were not estranged so much as geographical distance, work and life got in the way of keeping any contact. In fact we were on good terms when I last saw him. I guess the thing that really has annoyed me the most is the concealment and the subsequent lies I've been fed because its clear I was never going to be told he was ill.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 8th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    • 31,891 Posts
    • 19,117 Thanks
    getmore4less
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:33 PM
    Check with the guys on the housing board that know about the legalities around tenancies.
    They can guide you on the information you need to gather and the basics so you have a decent idea of what's going on when you engage with solicitors and the occupier.

    you need to establish the true status and avoid actions that could detriment progressing this.

    Tenancies do not need formal agreements just money to have been paid.


    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/forumdisplay.php?f=16
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 8th Feb 18, 3:41 PM
    • 1,627 Posts
    • 3,338 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:41 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:41 PM
    Thanks Margot123 and Keep pedalling.

    I've got to get the grant of probate agreed before I do anything, but unfortunately the house will need to be valued as part of that process and the 'tenant' has not responded to my probate solicitor to date. I'm unconcerned about any monies owing, if there are any at all, because the tenant is also in an invidious position having made a verbal agreement . I suppose there are 2 issues here.

    Firstly trying to get the tenant engaged with a view to shifting the process along. Secondly I'm wondering if its a police matter as it appears to be a clear fraud from the outset by the other party (maybe even the tenant, but I doubt that is the case). The solicitor I'm currently using has no knowledge of housing tenancy matters, so wouldn't be the right one to use regarding future physical possession of the property.

    My father and I were not estranged so much as geographical distance, work and life got in the way of keeping any contact. In fact we were on good terms when I last saw him. I guess the thing that really has annoyed me the most is the concealment and the subsequent lies I've been fed because its clear I was never going to be told he was ill.
    Originally posted by Elaine27
    The fact that you had no contact whatsoever with your father for a few years would be considered 'estranged' by most people.

    Don't you have a phone?

    Do you know if he was claiming any benefits? If he died a few years ago and no-one has informed the authorities, you could be looking at a hefty over-payment if he was.
    I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure
    • Elaine27
    • By Elaine27 8th Feb 18, 3:58 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Elaine27
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:58 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 3:58 PM
    The fact that you had no contact whatsoever with your father for a few years would be considered 'estranged' by most people.

    Don't you have a phone?

    Do you know if he was claiming any benefits? If he died a few years ago and no-one has informed the authorities, you could be looking at a hefty over-payment if he was.
    Originally posted by Cheeky_Monkey
    No he was not in receipt of any benefits.
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 8th Feb 18, 4:30 PM
    • 4,843 Posts
    • 5,388 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 4:30 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 4:30 PM
    Thanks Margot123 and Keep pedalling.

    I've got to get the grant of probate agreed before I do anything, but unfortunately the house will need to be valued as part of that process and the 'tenant' has not responded to my probate solicitor to date. I'm unconcerned about any monies owing, if there are any at all, because the tenant is also in an invidious position having made a verbal agreement . I suppose there are 2 issues here.

    Firstly trying to get the tenant engaged with a view to shifting the process along. Secondly I'm wondering if its a police matter as it appears to be a clear fraud from the outset by the other party (maybe even the tenant, but I doubt that is the case). The solicitor I'm currently using has no knowledge of housing tenancy matters, so wouldn't be the right one to use regarding future physical possession of the property.

    My father and I were not estranged so much as geographical distance, work and life got in the way of keeping any contact. In fact we were on good terms when I last saw him. I guess the thing that really has annoyed me the most is the concealment and the subsequent lies I've been fed because its clear I was never going to be told he was ill.
    Originally posted by Elaine27
    You donít need the grant of probate to sort out the illegal occupancy, you can proceed with that as the representative of the estate. Getting someone out is not easy and has to be done by the book, which is why you need legal advice.

    Unless you want to become an accidental landlord, donít do anything that could give the occupant more rights than they currently have such as accepting rent from them.
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 8th Feb 18, 8:47 PM
    • 38,385 Posts
    • 34,988 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:47 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:47 PM
    Does your probate solicitor not know a decent housing / tenancy law solicitor he could refer you to? ???
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    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 8th Feb 18, 9:25 PM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 3,245 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    Does your probate solicitor not know a decent housing / tenancy law solicitor he could refer you to? ???
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    The OP should also be looking to getting action for fraud that will involve the police. Further ahead there may be a possibility of a large claim agaunst the culprit for the losses and rent.
    Last edited by Yorkshireman99; 08-02-2018 at 10:51 PM.
    • Kynthia
    • By Kynthia 8th Feb 18, 11:57 PM
    • 5,101 Posts
    • 7,103 Thanks
    Kynthia
    You donít need the grant of probate to sort out the illegal occupancy, you can proceed with that as the representative of the estate. Getting someone out is not easy and has to be done by the book, which is why you need legal advice.

    Unless you want to become an accidental landlord, donít do anything that could give the occupant more rights than they currently have such as accepting rent from them.
    Originally posted by Keep pedalling
    It is extremely likely the occupant is legally considered a tenant and therefore has the associated rights. They moved into a property and initially were paying rent. The fact the person they paid rent to misrepresented themselves as the rightful landlord is not the tenant's fault and doesbt affect their rights. No longer paying rent doesn't revert their status either. The estate is the landlord and if the OP wishes to administer the estate they then need to behave as a landlord would. This means legally evicting them using a section 8 notice for non-payment of rent, or a section 21. Or they can find a solicitor knowledgeable in tenancy law.
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
    • konark
    • By konark 10th Feb 18, 12:52 AM
    • 997 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    konark
    OP, you're assuming there was/is no will, have you checked with his solicitors.
    • Yorkshireman99
    • By Yorkshireman99 10th Feb 18, 2:52 AM
    • 3,977 Posts
    • 3,245 Thanks
    Yorkshireman99
    It is extremely likely the occupant is legally considered a tenant and therefore has the associated rights. They moved into a property and initially were paying rent. The fact the person they paid rent to misrepresented themselves as the rightful landlord is not the tenant's fault and doesbt affect their rights. No longer paying rent doesn't revert their status either. The estate is the landlord and if the OP wishes to administer the estate they then need to behave as a landlord would. This means legally evicting them using a section 8 notice for non-payment of rent, or a section 21. Or they can find a solicitor knowledgeable in tenancy law.
    Originally posted by Kynthia
    Definitely the latter. Far too many pitfalls for an amateur to deal with. Personally I have my doubts they are legally a tenant as the pseudo landlord had no legal capacity to contract.
    • konark
    • By konark 11th Feb 18, 1:20 AM
    • 997 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    konark
    In my experience of watching 'Can't pay , we'll take it away' ' tenants' of bogus landlords are usually given short shrift when the bailiffs arrive.
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