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    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 3:09 PM
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    bundance
    Avoiding leaving unsaleable and financially burdensome property to loved ones after I die
    • #1
    • 12th May 18, 3:09 PM
    Avoiding leaving unsaleable and financially burdensome property to loved ones after I die 12th May 18 at 3:09 PM
    Hi

    I have a leasehold flat which is unsaleable for various reasons.
    I don't really want to post these reasons on a public forum but if someone knowledeable wants to pm me I can go into more detail.
    Basically the lease is breached irremediably through structural alterations. the damage done has left the property vulenrable to further damage so bottom line, if i die and write a will, my poor relatives will be paying out for it for the rest of their lives and it will cause misery for generations.
    I don't want this.
    I can afford to make a simple will for a few hundred pounds but am worried that the complexities will mean that the price of making this will, will be out of my reach.
    If I die intestate, I have been advised by a solicitor that the relatives will get the property (if the mortgage is paid off, whether I like it or not or whether they like it or not)
    Bottom line, I want to avoid leaving a legacy of financial misery and liability to my loved ones.
    As above, willing to go into further detail in a pm to a knowledgeable person.
    I am expecting a phone call from a solicitor on Monday but I cannot stop worrying in the meantime that this situation of not being able to afford a roo-complex will, or dying intestate and leaving my relatives with no choice but to take on the property.
    There are issues like alterations causing vulnerabilitites like dry rot, past waterleaks possibly causing dry rot between storeys, as floors are concrete, voids between floors unventilated and lower flats having false timber ceilings. I can smell a rotten smell in between my skirting board and concrete floor when it rains.
    I spoke to an independent damp surveyor who said the only way I can tell if the downstairs flats have dry rot hiding above the plasterboard in thier ceilings, is to open them up, but the freeholder doesn't want that. so, you can see, how the flat would be unsaleable.
    PS I've had visits by an independent accredited damp surveyor.
    Any help appreciated.
    Last edited by bundance; 12-05-2018 at 3:11 PM.
Page 2
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 12th May 18, 8:18 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Any potential beneficiary can refuse to accept a bequest, so if they don't want the flat they can refuse it.

    Relatives or your executor will NOT be liable for any ongoing costs after your death; any liabilities at or after death will be settled out of the estate if there are funds available (selling the flat if necessary). If there aren't funds available the estate will be insolvent and no-one will inherit anything. But the executor will not be liable provided they have executed the estate correctly in law.

    Don't leave the flat to a council or housing association as they may well refuse to accept it, or pressurise your estate to pay for repairs before they get it.

    Whether the mortgage is paid off on death depends on whether you have a life insurance policy covering the mortgage.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th May 18, 8:34 PM
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    steampowered
    If the beneficiaries don't want the flat, they'd simply refuse the inheritance.

    They don't have to accept it.

    If you really don't want the lease, try to sell it.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:24 PM
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    bundance
    They'd only be "stuck" to the extent that your estate has any funds - they wouldn't be obliged to put in any of their own money. Put it in an auction with no reserve and somebody will take a punt on it.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    Hi thanks, I dont want to sell while Im still alive, but read some auction site years ago that flats with breached leases dont sell at auction. Just been looking for site but cant find it now.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:25 PM
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    bundance
    Your estate will take control of the property after probate is granted. The executors will adminster the estate on behalf of the beneficiaries. The executors could send the property to auction with no reserve. If this is deemed the most appropriate course of action.
    Originally posted by Thrugelmir
    Hi thanks
    Co-op legal advised that if proprety goes to probate relatives will have no choice but to be left with the flat, thats the last thing that i want.

    I like your signature line, especially relevant here
    "Financial disasters happen when the last person who can remember what went wrong last time has left the building."
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:28 PM
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    bundance
    This raises an interesting point.

    What if you leave somebody in your will that they dont want? Are they obliged to deal with it?

    Could you that you dont want your family to have the flat? If so what happens to it?
    Originally posted by parking_question_chap
    According to co-op legal they are obliged to deal with it, but to be fair to co-op they are going to get someone to ring me on Monday as they saidd case is unusual so they weren't exactly sure.
    They said i could make a will but my fear is that the complications will make the will making process far too expensive and out of my reach financially.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:31 PM
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    bundance
    You can leave your possessions to whoever you want
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    So I can get my relatives to hand the lease back to the housing association?
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th May 18, 9:37 PM
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    davidmcn
    So I can get my relatives to hand the lease back to the housing association?
    Originally posted by bundance
    It will be up to your executors what to do with your estate. I suspect you're overthinking this and (unless your death is particularly imminent!) you ought try to enjoy the rest of the weekend until you get some more considered legal advice.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:43 PM
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    bundance
    Is the smell the reason you suspect rot or are there other signs? Would the smell travel past the concrete floor? Drafts from under floors and from voids can be unpleasant, it doesn't signify dry rot. Dry rot doesn't hide for long. How long has this been a problem? Wet rot can appear only when there are persistent spells of wet weather and is probably not as invasive. Are there any signs of water damage to the flat below?

    Have you spoken the HA surveyor about the suspected dry rot and other potential problems? Do they agree with your suspicions? They will deny invasive investigations without further evidence of a problem.

    Would an endoscope survey be an option?

    Who has defined the flat as unsaleable? Its possibly unmortgageable but there are cash buyers and builders who will be interested.

    Its highly unlikely this cannot be put right.

    I think you have worried yourself into a corner. There's a smell in part of your flat but no other sign of rot. If there is dry rot in the neighbours ceiling they will tell you. I've had it from the flat above, its impossible not to notice. I've also had wet rot from a leaking roof. Resolved by stopping the leak. The leak was more noticeable than the rot.
    Do you pay the HA a service charge which includes building insurance? Does this cover dry rot?
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    Yeah, the smell is the reason i suspect dry rot as the void is unventilated and it comes from beneath my skirting board in the party wall between the lounge and bedroom.

    The smell could travel up as the floor is not solid concrete there is polysytrene under the floor i can see it at the edges.

    The private PCA surveyor said dry rot is a possibility but the ceiling downstairs would have to be opened up in order to view the timbers.

    The housing association dont know about the smell i dont think as there have been that many problems that I dont want to bother them with any more.

    There have been stagnant horizontal water pipes which are hid behind plasterboard the old owner put in, which could have corroded.

    I mentioned worries about dry rot from other leaks to HA surveyor and he said he is not prepared to open up ceilings unless evidence of dry rot, dunno if smell counts as evidemce.
    The oddest thing is that the smell only happens when the window is open and after wet weather so is a mystery.

    Water has leaked to the flat below loads of times. I had a water leak about six years ago and water leaked through for about a week.

    also when i had the velux in the roof that leaked for umptten years. I didnt know the roof wasnt mine for 10 years, and noticed the leak in 2001 but forgot about it.
    It got worse in 2016 when the HA ordered me to get a new collar and flashing for it but I got a firm who ripped me off and did a bad job plus they may have broken a tile.

    The owner downstairs would have to agree to have the ceilings opened up which I doubt he would. Tenants live there, owner abroad alot. To compolicate things more, the ceilings hav been tested positive for asbestos in the artex, housing association know this.

    IS your ceiling concrete?
    i can see dry rot being more noticeable in wooden floors.
    My surveyor said dry rot can hide behind plasterboard as it feeds on teh paper on the plasterboard.

    Also I got loft insulation in the loft without permission as I thought roof was mine back then and the installers put insulation in the eaves where the funny smell began, so i dunno if the smell has spreaad down the wall cavity, dry rot hyphae or mycelium looking for more timber, I reeally dunno.

    I dont even know if i m opening a can of worms speaking to a solicitor.

    I spoke to a wills and probate one yesterday but they ring me back on monday and said i might need a property lawyer as well.
    All i want is to leave this planet without leaving a liability to my loved ones and ruining thier lives.
    Thanks for your reply.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:45 PM
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    bundance
    It will be up to your executors what to do with your estate. I suspect you're overthinking this and (unless your death is particularly imminent!) you ought try to enjoy the rest of the weekend until you get some more considered legal advice.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    I;ll try but its really worrying.
    In flats waterleaks are supposed to be reported asap but i never knew that.
    Ths is so thath the ceilings can be opened up and the timbers dried out, to avoid dry rot.
    Theres loads on the internet about waterleaks in flats anad this flat has loads, and cos of the cowboy builders pipes that are hidden there may be even more small leaks that i dont know about.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:51 PM
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    bundance
    That's incorrect. If there's scope to make money (out of your misfortune) somebody will buy your property.

    Based on your other post, it's unlikely that your property has zero value.

    A property has to be in a very, very bad state to make it uneconomic to repair.

    Let's say you've had estimates of 25k to repair the property.

    So a builder might want to buy it with a 30k discount, and use their own labour etc to fix it - which might cost them 10k.

    So the builder can then resell your proerty with 20k profit.
    Originally posted by eddddy
    If a flat has had as many long term major waterleaks as much as mine (velux leaked for years without me knowing as its in makeshift room old owner created by removing ducting and soil pipes, plus vent stacks,-not his property and I dont go in that room much.)
    It has to be seen to be believed, as it sounds to ridiculous to be true.
    I think the old owoner must haev been a nutter cos he never thought of leaks when he did all the deep alterations to the flat.
    I say zero value cos waterleaks can not just affect flats below, but they can affect adjacant flats too, and the ex owner who moved out of the adjacant flat next to the one below said that he had water leaking through his ceiling too for days when i had my major leak from mywasher. It was caused by me not putting filter lid on proerply so for an hour or so water was gushing everywhere and coming downstairs for a week after, plus my floor felt squishy for weeks as well underfoot.

    So in a building like this, rot can spread and go through masonry in search of timber or organic matter like papaer on plasterboard.

    I know it sounds too daft to be true but I think it needs hundreds of thousands to put it right.
    put it this way, if I won the lottery i would offer to pay to have the ceilings below opened up and investigated for rot, adn the flat put back to how it was before the old owner messed it up by removing ducting.

    He even dug up the concrete floor in the crawlspace behind the kitchen and bathroom to reroute the soil pipes and waste pipe.
    He buried these pipes in the concrete and cut the wall head plate in the eaves to accommodate the soil pipe.
    so, major structural damage done, I think its worth zero.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 9:55 PM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    Any potential beneficiary can refuse to accept a bequest, so if they don't want the flat they can refuse it.

    Relatives or your executor will NOT be liable for any ongoing costs after your death; any liabilities at or after death will be settled out of the estate if there are funds available (selling the flat if necessary). If there aren't funds available the estate will be insolvent and no-one will inherit anything. But the executor will not be liable provided they have executed the estate correctly in law.

    Don't leave the flat to a council or housing association as they may well refuse to accept it, or pressurise your estate to pay for repairs before they get it.

    Whether the mortgage is paid off on death depends on whether you have a life insurance policy covering the mortgage.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    No life insurance policy as i live alone. Did have critical ilness cover but dont work now so cancelled that.
    What if the flat is worth zero though, it wont sell and will eventually damage the flat below and others around it, causing more liability to my relatives if no money in the estate.
    I just want assurance that my relatives are free of all liability to do with this flat once i am dead and gone.
    Can my relatives not just hand the lease back to the housing association without being out of pocket themselves?
    Thanks
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 12th May 18, 9:59 PM
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    Slithery
    ...causing more liability to my relatives if no money in the estate...
    Originally posted by bundance
    Where do you keep getting this idea from? You've already been told several times in this thread that that isn't the case.

    If your estate doesn't have any money then that's it - liability doesn't get passed on to the benificiaries.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 10:05 PM
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    bundance
    Where do you keep getting this idea from? You've already been told several times in this thread that that isn't the case.

    If your estate doesn't have any money then that's it - liability doesn't get passed on to the benificiaries.
    Originally posted by Slithery
    Because the co-op legal said the relatives might be forced to take the flat if no will made, but they werent too sure so will get someone to ring and possibly make an appointment to come and see me, hope its not high pressure salesman.
    Last edited by bundance; 12-05-2018 at 10:11 PM.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 12th May 18, 10:10 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Co-op legal advised that if proprety goes to probate relatives will have no choice but to be left with the flat,
    Originally posted by bundance
    That's simply wrong.

    No-one can be forced to act as executor or admininstrator.

    No-one can be forced to receive a bequest.

    You cannot "leave a liability" to your loved ones; your debts are settled out of your assets and any unpaid ones die with you.

    (Without an executor or administrator, however, things will be left in complete limbo with no-one able to legally receive anything from the estate. With a leasehold property in disrepair the freeholder will probably then go through various legal routes to regain the lease of the flat, make repairs, and resell it.)
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th May 18, 10:24 PM
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    steampowered
    If your loved ones are the executors, they would have to work out what to do with the property in their capacity as executors of the estate.

    But they do not necessarily need to accept the property in their capacity as beneficiaries.

    That may be what co-op legal meant.
    • anselld
    • By anselld 12th May 18, 10:26 PM
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    anselld
    If a flat has had as many long term major waterleaks as much as mine (velux leaked for years without me knowing as its in makeshift room old owner created by removing ducting and soil pipes, plus vent stacks,-not his property and I dont go in that room much.)
    It has to be seen to be believed, as it sounds to ridiculous to be true.
    I think the old owoner must haev been a nutter cos he never thought of leaks when he did all the deep alterations to the flat.
    I say zero value cos waterleaks can not just affect flats below, but they can affect adjacant flats too, and the ex owner who moved out of the adjacant flat next to the one below said that he had water leaking through his ceiling too for days when i had my major leak from mywasher. It was caused by me not putting filter lid on proerply so for an hour or so water was gushing everywhere and coming downstairs for a week after, plus my floor felt squishy for weeks as well underfoot.

    So in a building like this, rot can spread and go through masonry in search of timber or organic matter like papaer on plasterboard.

    I know it sounds too daft to be true but I think it needs hundreds of thousands to put it right.
    put it this way, if I won the lottery i would offer to pay to have the ceilings below opened up and investigated for rot, adn the flat put back to how it was before the old owner messed it up by removing ducting.

    He even dug up the concrete floor in the crawlspace behind the kitchen and bathroom to reroute the soil pipes and waste pipe.
    He buried these pipes in the concrete and cut the wall head plate in the eaves to accommodate the soil pipe.
    so, major structural damage done, I think its worth zero.
    Originally posted by bundance
    You are getting paranoid about damp. Even a pile of bricks is w.orth more than zero. You are not responsible for the ceiling below, nor for any dodgy repairs done by the HA. Unauthorised alterations are not good, but a developer would worst case gut the flat and reinstate to full building regs for tens of k not 100s.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 12th May 18, 10:39 PM
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    davidmcn
    If your loved ones are the executors, they would have to work out what to do with the property in their capacity as executors of the estate.

    But they do not necessarily need to accept the property in their capacity as beneficiaries.

    That may be what co-op legal meant.
    Originally posted by steampowered
    Yes, either they are wrong or the OP has misunderstood.

    The bereaved will, of course, have an interest in how the deceased's affairs are tidied up, but that doesn't mean they need to reach into their own pockets. If anyone takes on the job of executor, they just spend the funds which are in the estate. If it's insolvent then they leave it to the creditors to sort out.
    • mrginge
    • By mrginge 12th May 18, 10:40 PM
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    mrginge
    Can I have it?
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 10:49 PM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    You are getting paranoid about damp. Even a pile of bricks is w.orth more than zero. You are not responsible for the ceiling below, nor for any dodgy repairs done by the HA. Unauthorised alterations are not good, but a developer would worst case gut the flat and reinstate to full building regs for tens of k not 100s.
    Originally posted by anselld
    I am paranoid about damp cos ive had three major waterleaks, washing machine pouring water downstairs into two flats, bath overfflowing and window leaking for umpteen years.

    When i read about waterleaks in upperfloor flats with concrete floors, it says the downstairs flat needs their ceiling opeened up as soon as possible and industrial dryers put in to dry the timber to avoid dry rot.
    My surveyor said this is to dry the timber as soon as possible to avoid mould.
    Also the old owner put a shower cubicle in and tiled on top of gypsum. The dead ex owners downstairs said the their bathroom used to flood every day cos of people having showers, as there was no sealant.
    The old owner mounted the showerr ontop of bricks. He did not even put a shower trap in which is why it flooded, he put a bath trap c bend instead, and wate usesd to leak out of the shower onto the floor and into downstairs.
    They only told me this two years after i moved in.

    TLDR four major waterleaks into void between my concreete floor and the ceiling of the flats below, with false timber ceiling batons below concrete above the plasterboard in their ceiling equals dry rot. dry rot is a deal breaker.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 12th May 18, 10:50 PM
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    bundance
    Yes, either they are wrong or the OP has misunderstood.

    The bereaved will, of course, have an interest in how the deceased's affairs are tidied up, but that doesn't mean they need to reach into their own pockets. If anyone takes on the job of executor, they just spend the funds which are in the estate. If it's insolvent then they leave it to the creditors to sort out.
    Originally posted by davidmcn
    the guy at the co op legal services said he wasnt sure, but he thought the relative would have to take the flat if it went to probate. As he was unsure he said he would get someone to ring me back on monday.
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