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  • FIRST POST
    • 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 4
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 13th May 18, 3:56 PM
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    Norman Castle
    You're right, I have concluded that current smell and historical leaks must be dry rot although there are no actual signs of it.
    I did this for a few reasons.

    1. The leaks were so big that I have since found out that I should have got the ceilings opened up and industrial driers drying the timbers in the ceilings below the concrete floor in my flat, asap, to avoid dry rot.
    Saturated brickwork in my flat during a very cold winter. Saturated for months causing green, furry mold on my furniture, black mold on unaffected walls and serious condensation in the loft. Boarded over, no industrial drying and no dry rot. You're assuming dry rot will have happened because dryers were not used. Ideally dryers should have been used but they rarely are.

    2. I wont give flat away based on groundless fears, I will try to find a way of establishing saleability, my main fear is that no one will know, with dry rot hiding behind plasterboard for decades. It doesn't hide for decades, the spores are everywhere and only develop when conditions are right. In my previous flat the second bedroom was used to restore furniture. Dry rot developed in this room with accompanying brown dust which are the spores. Dry rot and other problems made the landlord choose to refurbish the house turning it back from flats to a house. This was decades ago, the house is now flats again. When I moved from there there was active dry rot. There is no doubt that I will have transported spores to my current home on dry rots favourite food, dry wood, some of which i've still got and no dry rot!

    3. Dry rot can go undetected for decades. It only manifests when it runs out of food (timber/celulose/paper), oxygen, and damp. It manifests when the conditions are right. If its there you will see it.

    I will try to establish saleability somehow, I just don't know how I am going to do that without knowing if dry rot exists. At present there is no evidence that it exists, just your fear that it is there.
    My fear is that in years to come, if there is dry rot and it eventually manifests, my relatives will be left with the liability. My fear is you will never accept that there is no dry rot.

    Apparently I was supposed to report the major floods at the time, so they could be dried with industrial drirers but i didnt know this.
    Originally posted by bundance
    Report the floods to the HA whose surveyor suggested industrial driers could have been used? Did they say dry rot is a foregone conclusion if you don't do this? Is it the same surveyor that has refused further investigation as there are no signs of dry rot?
    I've had surveyors telling me to live with roof leaks resulting in water pouring from plug sockets insisting a new roof will solve the problem despite them confirming there are no plans for a new roof. I've had surveyors insisting wet rot is being caused by condensation, later proven to be a leaking roof. Surveyors have opinions which are often flawed. Think for yourself. Can you see any dry rot?

    Have you spoken to your relatives about your fear that the property has dry rot?
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 13-05-2018 at 4:05 PM.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 13th May 18, 5:17 PM
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    AnotherJoe
    !!!8220;
    Sorry to sound dim but please could you clarify this
    Just make sure to make some of them the executors do not appoint solicitors as executors in yiur will. This removes choice from whoever you leave it to. It's worse than being left rotting fish.
    !!!8221; as i don't understand it.
    In worse case scenario would i put in my will that i dont want executors to appoint solicitors as executors to avoid leaving liability costly legacy to surviving relatives?
    No, you appoint Harry and Harriet as executors. If they then wish to manage the probate process themselves , they can. If they wish instead to appoint Sue Grabbit and Run Solicitors they can. It gives them the choice.

    Otherwise if you state that SG&R are executors in the will, Harry and Harriette are stuffed they have no choice but to pay SGRs extortionate fees and put up with all the delays.

    PS I don't know if I can make a simple will as the case is so complex with all the alterations.
    You do not try to cover that in the will at all. You just state "I leave all my property and belongings to Harry and Harriette to be divided equally between them, or in the event that one or both has predeceased me blah blah blah."

    GrumpyDil has outlined the process perfectly.

    You do not attempt to micromanage the details of the flat and who is responsible for what. You do not even specifically mention the flat, just your property.

    You still don't seem to have taken on board that if at the end of the day it's going to cost a million pounds to cut out the dry rot and the flat is only worth 900,00, Harry and Harriette can just walk away scot free . They are NOT lumbered with the flat or a 100k repair bill.

    The estate is bankrupt and the freeholder is left to,clean the mess up. It's a standard and rock solid principle that debts do not get passed down to relatives or those mentioned in the will. Otherwise you can be sure lots of people would be leaving rotting fish and worse to relatives they didn't like rather than just cutting them out of their wills
    Last edited by AnotherJoe; 13-05-2018 at 5:23 PM.
    • Slithery
    • By Slithery 13th May 18, 5:30 PM
    • 967 Posts
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    Slithery
    My fear is that in years to come, if there is dry rot and it eventually manifests, my relatives will be left with the liability.
    Originally posted by bundance




    Jesus, how many times do we have to tell you that the beneficiaries of your will will not have any liability if your estate is bankrupt.


    You've asked the same thing in about 10 posts and always had the same answer.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 13th May 18, 6:09 PM
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    bundance
    i think you need to step back and take a breath as you are definitely overthinking things.

    When you die your estate including the flat, are valued for probate purposes. If your executors have concerns over the state of the flat they could arrange a survey at that time. The survey will provide a market value of the property based on what can be identified without opening up the fabric of the property.

    In the very unlikely event that the flat needs so much work doing that it would cost more to do the work than the final value of the flat and assuming the rest of your estate when combined with the value of the flat is still negative then your estate is bankrupt. The executors have no obligation to use any of their own money so would not be liable for any debts etc.

    Just write a standard will with no complicated elements appointing someone you know and trust as the executor and get on with living your life.
    Originally posted by GrumpyDil
    Thanks for this. I don't know anyone who can be executor, as my family think the flat is a liability. I told my mum about it 2 yrs ago if in the unlikely event i die before her and she said she wouldnt be so stupid to take it on.
    The bankrupt estate thing reassures me though.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 13th May 18, 6:16 PM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    !!!8220;

    No, you appoint Harry and Harriet as executors. If they then wish to manage the probate process themselves , they can. If they wish instead to appoint Sue Grabbit and Run Solicitors they can. It gives them the choice.

    Otherwise if you state that SG&R are executors in the will, Harry and Harriette are stuffed they have no choice but to pay SGRs extortionate fees and put up with all the delays.



    You do not try to cover that in the will at all. You just state "I leave all my property and belongings to Harry and Harriette to be divided equally between them, or in the event that one or both has predeceased me blah blah blah."

    GrumpyDil has outlined the process perfectly.

    You do not attempt to micromanage the details of the flat and who is responsible for what. You do not even specifically mention the flat, just your property.

    You still don't seem to have taken on board that if at the end of the day it's going to cost a million pounds to cut out the dry rot and the flat is only worth 900,00, Harry and Harriette can just walk away scot free . They are NOT lumbered with the flat or a 100k repair bill.

    The estate is bankrupt and the freeholder is left to,clean the mess up. It's a standard and rock solid principle that debts do not get passed down to relatives or those mentioned in the will. Otherwise you can be sure lots of people would be leaving rotting fish and worse to relatives they didn't like rather than just cutting them out of their wills
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    Judging from what my mum said I dont think anyone else in my familly want liability for the flat. (if thats who you mean by harry and harriet)
    The fact that the lease is breaached so badly puts my mum right off.

    Thanks for explaining further about not appointing solicitors as executors, but i dunno who to appoint as the breached lease probably puts the rest of my family off as well and my sister is the only one I really speak to.
    Now you've explained about not appointing solicitors as executors, I definitely wont, cos i dont want to inflict extortionate fees on my family whether or not I speak to them anyway.

    THANKS FOR THIS, SORRY IT TOOK ME SO LONG TO UNDERSTAND IT, I HAVE AUTISTIC TRAITS
    if at the end of the day it's going to cost a million pounds to cut out the dry rot and the flat is only worth 900,00, Harry and Harriette can just walk away scot free . They are NOT lumbered with the flat or a 100k repair bill.
    I really appreciate this too
    It's a standard and rock solid principle that debts do not get passed down to relatives or those mentioned in the will. Otherwise you can be sure lots of people would be leaving rotting fish and worse to relatives they didn't like rather than just cutting them out of their wills
    Thanks ever so much for that.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 13th May 18, 6:34 PM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    Report the floods to the HA whose surveyor suggested industrial driers could have been used? Did they say dry rot is a foregone conclusion if you don't do this? Is it the same surveyor that has refused further investigation as there are no signs of dry rot?
    I've had surveyors telling me to live with roof leaks resulting in water pouring from plug sockets insisting a new roof will solve the problem despite them confirming there are no plans for a new roof. I've had surveyors insisting wet rot is being caused by condensation, later proven to be a leaking roof. Surveyors have opinions which are often flawed. Think for yourself. Can you see any dry rot?

    Have you spoken to your relatives about your fear that the property has dry rot?
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    I know from the leasehold advisory service you should report floods to the freeholder, but that was long after the floods.

    About the industrial dryers, the private surveyor said they should be used in major leaks asap to dry the timber thoroughly to prevent dry rot.

    The housing association surveyor (freeholder) said that they refuse to do any more investigations, but verbally, not in writing and as there have been so many problems, although me and the freeholder are still on good terms, they dont want to hear any more about the flat, simply because there has been so many problems.
    When i reported breaking my glass door to them, (my own fault so not insurable) they were happy for me to get a company to come and repair it, and when i reported a smashed door in the communal area (dunno who did that) they responded readily, and said a job was going to be raised so thier contractors would fix that, its just that my flat has had so many problems they are fed up of hearing about it.
    This does not mean they don't acknowledge the problems, there have just been so many and i did not discover them all at once, because if I had I would have made a list of them and maybe not have brassed them off so much.

    I've had surveyors telling me to live with roof leaks resulting in water pouring from plug sockets insisting a new roof will solve the problem despite them confirming there are no plans for a new roof. I've had surveyors insisting wet rot is being caused by condensation, later proven to be a leaking roof. Surveyors have opinions which are often flawed. Think for yourself. Can you see any dry rot?
    They can't have been very good surveyors, this is why I got an independent PCA surveyor, as the HA recommended I get an an independent PCA surveyor as they have no interest in ripping me off, and the surveyor I apppointed refused to charge me double as I wanted double his time, he also spent a lot of time on the phone to me.
    The HA got a trustmark decent roofing firm to do the roof but they still left the cracked tile up, and put flashing under the crack, however there is a half inch gap, and my private surveyor said its a bodge and in bad weather conditions, wind driven rain could still blow under the tiles and into the flat. Theh private surveyor has no interest in selling me any products and genuinely has tried to save me money. He even didnt charge the amount he said he was going to, I dont know why he charged me less but he said he felt the amount was right.

    The private surveyor said there could be dry rot between the concrete floor and the ceiling of the flat below due to the sheer amount of major leaks I have had, and that the mycelium could hide above the plasterboard of the ceiling in the flat below for decades undetected. He also said it can smell but doesn't necessarily smell.

    I can smell a mushroomy smell coming from under my skirting board, between the concrete flooor and bottom of skirting board, but oddly, this smell only occurs after it has rained, but it makes me feel sick. I have not reported it in writing to the housing association as they are fed up of the many problems in this flat, I don't honestly know if this is the rotten timber smell from downstairs wafting up to my flat. Interestingly it only appears when the windows are open, and when they are closed it goes, I would love to know why that is.

    While I don't know I am worried that its cos of government installed loft insulation in the eaves of the roof, and rot mycelium travelling down the wall cavity but I have no visual evidence of dry rot.
    You may already know this but dry rot is very good at hiding in dark places and only shows visually once extensive damage is done.

    I spoke to my sister about it, as she is the only one I feel I can speak to but she is going under a lot of stress at the moment with funding cuts in her job and the fact that her husband of five years cannot sell his house, even to investors/property people because his roof is in a bad condition.
    My mum has high blood pressure and we dont get on anyway, the breached lease was enough to put her off, she wants nothing to do with the flat.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 13th May 18, 8:51 PM
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    Norman Castle
    I know from the leasehold advisory service you should report floods to the freeholder, but that was long after the floods.

    About the industrial dryers, the private surveyor said they should be used in major leaks asap to dry the timber thoroughly to prevent dry rot. Did he say dry rot will definitely happen if you don't use dryers?

    The housing association surveyor (freeholder) said that they refuse to do any more investigations, but verbally, not in writing and as there have been so many problems, although me and the freeholder are still on good terms, they dont want to hear any more about the flat, simply because there has been so many problems. Its NOT because there have been so many problems. Its because you are imagining problems and will not be told they don't exist. This thread is a prime example.

    its just that my flat has had so many problems they are fed up of hearing about it.
    My flat has had numerous roof leaks, subsidence, rot and mold problems and smells from under floors. All proven and resolved. You've got "suspected" dry rot which after investigation could not be found.
    The HA are the freeholder. Its in their interest to keep the property healthy. Trust their judgement with regards to dry rot.



    The private surveyor said there could be dry rot between the concrete floor and the ceiling of the flat below There could be dry rot anywhere but there is no sign of it in your flat.

    I can smell a mushroomy smell coming from under my skirting board, between the concrete flooor and bottom of skirting board, but oddly, this smell only occurs after it has rained,Post #47 but it makes me feel sick. I have not reported it in writing to the housing association as they are fed up of the many problems in this flat, I don't honestly know if this is the rotten timber smell from downstairs wafting up to my flat. Interestingly it only appears when the windows are open, and when they are closed it goes, I would love to know why that is. Post #47
    I get a dank, musty smell if I lift the floorboards under my bath and an odd smell in my loft occasionally. Its not dry rot.
    While I don't know I am worried that its cos of government installed loft insulation in the eaves of the roof, and rot mycelium travelling down the wall cavity but I have no visual evidence of dry rot.
    You may already know this but dry rot is very good at hiding in dark places and only shows visually once extensive damage is done. I know dark places are just dark places. No need to assume the worst.
    Originally posted by bundance
    If the flat is worth 100k in good condition, even with proven dry rot it will be worth 60-90k?

    Fill the gap between the floor and skirting to stop the smell.
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 13-05-2018 at 8:55 PM.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 13th May 18, 10:31 PM
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    Owain Moneysaver
    Now you've explained about not appointing solicitors as executors, I definitely wont, cos i dont want to inflict extortionate fees on my family
    Originally posted by bundance
    Solicitor executors cannot inflict fees on your family. They act for the estate and take their fees from the estate before paying out to the beneficiaries.

    They can take a lot in fees, which reduces the amount which can be paid out to beneficiaries. If they are the executor there is very little control or supervision over what they charge for what is, much of the time, straightforward clerical work.

    To put things in some context, could you say approximately:
    • what the flat is likely to be worth if it were in reasonable condition with no defects or lease problems
    • whether you have any other assets eg savings, investments

    With regard to the possible rot, the fact that you have concrete floors means the building is not likely to be structurally affected by dry or wet rot. The battens holding the plasterboard ceiling to the soffit of the structural floor probably won't rot as any post-war timber will have been treated with preservative before use. Even if the ceiling did need replacing, "strapping and lining" a replacement ceiling is not hugely expensive compared to the value of a flat in most areas.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 14th May 18, 1:35 AM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    If the flat is worth 100k in good condition, even with proven dry rot it will be worth 60-90k?

    Fill the gap between the floor and skirting to stop the smell.
    Originally posted by Norman Castle
    Hi
    In good condition yeah flat worth 100k
    It's got lots of other problems though, i just didnt want to complicate thread, like the owner has shifted major pipes like soil and vents and messed with roof etc etc, plus i got gas safe engeineer to put pipes in their attic.
    He didnt do a good job.
    I know I said there was a gap between floor and skirting but the gap is more like a border around the floor where there is no screed, but polystyrene, if that makes sense, sorry im not good with words and sometimes explain myself poorly.]thanks
    • TartanSaver
    • By TartanSaver 14th May 18, 1:40 AM
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    TartanSaver
    Let's imagine you want to leave the flat to someone called Jim. You die (sorry!) Jim is listed in the will as an executor. The flat has some serious structural problems, Jim doesn't want deal with it. Is is NOT, at this point, Jim's flat. It still belongs to your estate, and any liabilities with it.



    Jim wants as little to do with it as possible. Acting as executor, Jim could make a decision for the estate to sell the flat at auction with no reserve. The chances of no one bidding at all are extremely low - even if it requires tens of thousands of pounds of work, someone will fancy their chances at making some money on it. Nothing in unsaleable at the right price. Any money from the sale goes to the following: paying off any outstanding mortgage, legal fees, funeral costs, any debts the uncle had. Anything left after that, Jim gets to keep.



    If there are more costs than the auction price, the estate is bankrupt and Jim walks away with nothing. It's not his problem. This applies whether or not there is a mortgage, and regardless of who the executors are. As others have said though, this is exceptionally unlikely.


    If you decided it would be too much of a "burden" for Jim and left the property to a charity, he is guaranteed to inherit nothing. There are no circumstances under which being left the property in your will could make Jim worse off.


    Although it's theoretically possible for a property to be worth less than nothing, it normally only applies to very significant listed buildings which cannot legally be turned into anything useful. You're not living in a castle or a sprawling country manor the National Trust would be interested in. Someone, somewhere will be willing to pay for it.


    The easiest solution is probably this: make a simple will stating who will inherit, and also list some of those people as executors. Then get on with your life. Try to stop worrying about it. You have allowed a surveyor to get inside your head. The fact you currently live in the property suggests it can't possibly be "unsaleable."
    • bundance
    • By bundance 14th May 18, 1:57 AM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    Solicitor executors cannot inflict fees on your family. They act for the estate and take their fees from the estate before paying out to the beneficiaries.

    They can take a lot in fees, which reduces the amount which can be paid out to beneficiaries. If they are the executor there is very little control or supervision over what they charge for what is, much of the time, straightforward clerical work.

    To put things in some context, could you say approximately:
    • what the flat is likely to be worth if it were in reasonable condition with no defects or lease problems
    • whether you have any other assets eg savings, investments

    With regard to the possible rot, the fact that you have concrete floors means the building is not likely to be structurally affected by dry or wet rot. The battens holding the plasterboard ceiling to the soffit of the structural floor probably won't rot as any post-war timber will have been treated with preservative before use. Even if the ceiling did need replacing, "strapping and lining" a replacement ceiling is not hugely expensive compared to the value of a flat in most areas.
    Originally posted by Owain Moneysaver
    Hi thanks for your reply, pleas could i ask for some clarification as i get confused easily.
    You kindly advise solicitors cant inflict fees on the family but they can take fees from the estate so would this negatively affect the beneficiaries, if they took a lot?

    The fact that if solicitor is executor beneficiaries have very little control puts me off.
    My sister is only member i speak to, my mum said the breached lease would put her off taking the flat if i was unfortunate to die before her.
    She said she wouldnt be so stupid as to inherit a flat with a breached lease.

    *In reasonable condition flat worth 90-100k with no defects.
    *I have about 4k in savings and no other assets

    I know dry rot cannot damage masonry, it just travels through it, but if fed with timber/paper from plasterboard, oxygen water, dark and lack of ventilation or very little ventilation it can travel fast in search of other timber.
    What scares me is that dry rot can hide behind plasterboard for decades according to my PCA surveyor.

    I don't mean to contradict you but I knew a carpenter who is retired but worked in the roofing and building sector and he said that in the 70's when the flat was built, building regs only required it to be stress graded and not treated.
    Also, a retired builder who used to live on bottom flooor said that these flats are poorly built.
    The concrete screed is only 1.5cm or 15mm thick, really thin.

    To complicate things more, all ceilings in these flats are tested and have asbestos artex in them, so specialists would need to remove the ceilings, incurring further expense.

    The old owner put a shower cubicle in, tiled on top of gypsum, many tiles popped and brooke, and many a tiler/bathroom fitter has told me that tiling on top of pink gypsum is a big no no.
    Also, the deceased owners from the flat below said that before i mastic sealed the shower 2 years after I moved in, their bathroom used to flood when the tenants the old owners had in lived here.
    I was more careful in teh shower, I used a plunger to unbung the plughole in the shower, as i could see the tray filliing up with water, so this would stop it overflowing but the old occupants werent so careful, and water flooded out onto the floor into the bathroom below.
    The bathroom used to be carpeted and the carpet was stuck to the concrete floor, but all around the shower, the glue had disintegrated and the carpet could be lifted easily from the floor iindicating just how much water overflowed from the shower while the old owners tenants were showering.
    The ex neighbour who was a builder who lived on the bottom floor said my old owner was a shady character.

    The old owner even put a huge velux in the roof of the flat, not his roof to do that in.
    The roof is attached to the communal stairwell, and there is flashing on the abutment between my roof and the stairwell wall.
    Flashing was disturbed and a tile was broken either by my old owner installling the window, or by the contractor I got to replace the flashing and collar around the window, as i later found out the contractor i hired was a fake velux installer.
    There is a flat roof on top of the stairwell near my roof and i found bits of broken tile, either put there by the old owner or by the contractor i hired, this sunk the flat roof and cracked the asbestos ceiling in the communal landing.
    Also, the old owner, when taking out ducting and big thick 4 inch pipes from the freeholders space, to create the 'room' he put the velux in, he lined it with gypsum, but first put untreated looking softwood battens on the brick wall under the gypsum, and as the broken tile mentioned above was also lifted, last year, for the first time i noticed water leaking and running down the abutment and into the flat at the eaves end.
    The room is wedge shaped. ITs a bodged loft conversion. Everyone knows that loft conversions are shaped like a triangle with the pointy bit cut off, eaves should not be exposed in rooms, but they are in this room.
    The only reason I discovered the leak from the broken tile running down the abutment and coming out of the eaves was because, last year, i removed the gypsum lining from the sloped ceiling of the room the old owner had put on the party wall between my flat and the communal stairwell.
    For all I know this could have been leaking years and rotting the wood which is still hidden behind gypsum plasterboard, as the housing association wont let me remove this gypsum.
    The leak could have been going on years as the velux window was so big that the flashing at the abutment would have had to have been disturbed, and this is when the tile was probably broken.
    Either that, or my dodgy fake velux contractor who fitted an inferior non velux flashing and collar disturbed it and broke the tile, so if dry rot has eaten through the wall shared by me and the communal stairwell I am in big trouble as this is a cavity wall, breeze blocks under the gypsum and normal bricks inside the stairwell as mycelium could be in the cavity between the breeze block wall and the brick wall which is inside the communal stairwell.
    I hope that makes sense, I can post a imgur link if you wish, of a picture, to illustrate.

    I don't quite know what the old owner did with the vents but he severd the vent which takes grey water away from the kitchen, so I now have no stand pipe for my washer and all my washing comes out stinky.

    He also dug up the floor in the freeholders crawlspace (not even on teh lease plans) and rerouted the soil pipe and the waste pipe. He totally altered the waste pipe from the kitchen sink and it bows, so it makes the kitchen and bathroom sink plugholes stink.
    He lowered the toilet soil pipe and branched it off, to create a new fumes vent, which leaks brown water which has stained the concrete floor in the crawlspace.
    I really regret buying this flat.

    I did not put these complications in earlier as I did not want to messy up the thread, but these are other reasons why I think the flat is not worth much and was worried about bequests.

    I've got a solicitor ringing me up from co-op legal services, he may want to come and see me, I hope he isnt going to give me the hard sell on making a will. I need time to think as it takes me ages to process things.
    Last edited by bundance; 14-05-2018 at 2:07 AM.
    • bundance
    • By bundance 14th May 18, 2:18 AM
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    • 349 Thanks
    bundance
    Let's imagine you want to leave the flat to someone called Jim. You die (sorry!) Jim is listed in the will as an executor. The flat has some serious structural problems, Jim doesn't want deal with it. Is is NOT, at this point, Jim's flat. It still belongs to your estate, and any liabilities with it.

    Jim wants as little to do with it as possible. Acting as executor, Jim could make a decision for the estate to sell the flat at auction with no reserve. The chances of no one bidding at all are extremely low - even if it requires tens of thousands of pounds of work, someone will fancy their chances at making some money on it. Nothing in unsaleable at the right price. Any money from the sale goes to the following: paying off any outstanding mortgage, legal fees, funeral costs, any debts the uncle had. Anything left after that, Jim gets to keep.

    If there are more costs than the auction price, the estate is bankrupt and Jim walks away with nothing. It's not his problem. This applies whether or not there is a mortgage, and regardless of who the executors are. As others have said though, this is exceptionally unlikely.

    If you decided it would be too much of a "burden" for Jim and left the property to a charity, he is guaranteed to inherit nothing. There are no circumstances under which being left the property in your will could make Jim worse off.


    Although it's theoretically possible for a property to be worth less than nothing, it normally only applies to very significant listed buildings which cannot legally be turned into anything useful. You're not living in a castle or a sprawling country manor the National Trust would be interested in. Someone, somewhere will be willing to pay for it.

    The easiest solution is probably this: make a simple will stating who will inherit, and also list some of those people as executors. Then get on with your life. Try to stop worrying about it. You have allowed a surveyor to get inside your head. The fact you currently live in the property suggests it can't possibly be "unsaleable."
    Originally posted by TartanSaver
    Hi and thanksn for your post also
    Thanks for explaining the executor is not liable.

    Even if there is dry rot in teh communal cavity, would this still be the case, as the old owner or my dodgy contractor could have broken the roof tile causing the leak in the 'room' mentioned above.

    I appreciate the fact that bankrupt estate has been mentioned as this gives me peace that my relatives wont be saddled with a dodgy flat which will cost them thousands.

    I know you have written a well thought out post like the poster above, but I have now listed a whole load of other problems caused by the old owner, roofing and plumbing problems.

    I live here but I cannot wash clothes, shower or bathe/cook in winter, as the condensation is a problem in the kitchen and bathroom, blown plaster falling off walls. Kitchen plaster has blown plaster with tiles and electrics on so more than just a plasterer would be needed.

    I would have to speak to my sister as to who to appoint as executor as my mum is the only other person i spoke to and it stressed her out so much, as she is elderly with very high blood pressure the docs cant lower with meds, breathless and the mere mentioin of breached lease put her right off coming anywhere near the flat if she was unlucky enough to lose me before she died. Im not suicidal or anything, but life is unpredicrale and younger people in thier fifties do die before elderly parents sometimes.

    I'm dreading speaking to solicitors tomorrow in case they try to give me the hard sell.

    I reallly appreciate all the advice i am being given on this thread. As well as being naiive I have been negligent in failing to report leaks, big ones as well.
    • GrumpyDil
    • By GrumpyDil 14th May 18, 7:45 AM
    • 188 Posts
    • 145 Thanks
    GrumpyDil
    Stop worrying about what has gone before. You can't change it. As an aside you might be better posting the issues around the building on the In My Home thread as there are some builders who post on their who may be able to allay your concerns about the flat a little.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th May 18, 8:27 AM
    • 9,062 Posts
    • 9,649 Thanks
    davidmcn
    I've got a solicitor ringing me up from co-op legal services, he may want to come and see me, I hope he isnt going to give me the hard sell on making a will. I need time to think as it takes me ages to process things.
    Originally posted by bundance
    The solicitor isn't going to come knocking on your door without you agreeing to make an appointment. And a home visit seems over the top unless you're too infirm to visit them (or to give instructions over the phone/email). You should get a fee quote up front from any solicitors anyway.
    • Norman Castle
    • By Norman Castle 14th May 18, 8:27 AM
    • 7,550 Posts
    • 6,311 Thanks
    Norman Castle
    Hi
    i got gas safe engeineer to put pipes in their attic.
    He didnt do a good job.
    Originally posted by bundance
    My gas pipes were moved to the attic by a gas safe engineer. Not a problem. Are you qualified to judge?




    My sister is only member i speak to, my mum said the breached lease would put her off taking the flat if i was unfortunate to die before her.
    She said she wouldnt be so stupid as to inherit a flat with a breached lease. Without lecturing your sister on the claimed faults ask her if she would be willing to be the executor.


    What scares me is that dry rot can hide behind plasterboard for decades according to my PCA surveyor. I'm scared aliens might probe me but I've decided not to worry about it unless it happens.

    I don't mean to contradict you but I knew a carpenter who is retired but worked in the roofing and building sector and he said that in the 70's when the flat was built, building regs only required it to be stress graded and not treated. My flat was converted in the 70s in a house built in 1900. There could have been dry rot here in the last 120 years but as there is none now its not a worry.
    Also, a retired builder who used to live on bottom flooor said that these flats are poorly built.
    The concrete screed is only 1.5cm or 15mm thick, really thin. Old builders always find fault with other builders work. They're grumpy !!!!!!!s.

    To complicate things more, all ceilings in these flats are tested and have asbestos artex in them, so specialists would need to remove the ceilings, incurring further expense. I've got asbestos artex, its common.


    I really regret buying this flat. Its clearly a worry for you but I suspect your fears are greatly exaggerated.


    I've got a solicitor ringing me up from co-op legal services, he may want to come and see me, I hope he isnt going to give me the hard sell on making a will. I need time to think as it takes me ages to process things.
    Originally posted by bundance

    Explain to the solicitor you are simply enquiring about your options and are not ready to make your will.


    You've mentioned a breached lease. Unless the freeholder has contacted you in writing about this expecting you to resolve issues I would consider any comments as being offered for future guidance and not something they are concerned about. I suspect you take comments too literally when they are just part of conversation.


    Your flat appears to have minor plumbing faults and minor roof leaks. You appear to have an exaggerated fear of catastrophe. Worry about dry rot when or if it appears. Until then forget about it.
    Last edited by Norman Castle; 14-05-2018 at 8:31 AM.
    Don't harass a hippie. You'll get bad karma.

    Never trust a newbie with a rtb tale.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th May 18, 9:10 AM
    • 33,472 Posts
    • 20,228 Thanks
    getmore4less
    BACK to BASICS

    There is this flat, OK get that, what it worth does not matter at this point.

    What else do you own, cash savings shares paintings, cars etc....

    what is all that worth(rough guess will do), as I think you said you are on benefits I suspect not a lot.

    At the time you pass a relative or chosen person can look at the situation and if they decide there is nothing in it for them, or too much hassle to sort out the flat they can do NOTHING.

    They don't even have to bury/burn you, they can walk away from everything to do with you.

    THERE is NO LIABILITY.

    if it turns out there is some value in the flat then someone can pick that up and administer the estate selling/fixing/renting the flat.
    • SnooksNJ
    • By SnooksNJ 14th May 18, 9:13 AM
    • 719 Posts
    • 1,255 Thanks
    SnooksNJ


    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.


    Thanks for your reply.
    Originally posted by bundance
    So we have determined that your family members are in the clear.
    I'm concerned about your downstairs neighbors because I thought that prolonged exposure to wet ceilings with asbestos was kind of bad.
    • davidmcn
    • By davidmcn 14th May 18, 9:14 AM
    • 9,062 Posts
    • 9,649 Thanks
    davidmcn
    And although the OP hasn't made it clear, given they've said they don't think it likely that they'll predecease their mother, it seems premature to be getting stressed about estate planning. Particularly if intestacy would leave much the same result as making a Will.

    Trying to sort out the problems with the flat (even if they are exaggerated) would seem to be a more useful thing to focus on.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 14th May 18, 12:02 PM
    • 8,805 Posts
    • 10,114 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    In good condition yeah flat worth 100k...
    I know I said there was a gap between floor and skirting but the gap is more like a border around the floor where there is no screed, but polystyrene
    Originally posted by bundance
    So, assuming there's no mortgage to pay off or it's paid off by insurance, someone can buy the flat for 40k (which your beneficiaries would inherit), spend 40k on repair works and sorting out any problems with the lease, and still have 20k profit for themselves.

    Very rough figures, but it shows that the flat is not necessarily worthless. Someone will take it on as a project.

    As for the "gap", that sounds normal. I expect your flat will have structural concrete floors (probably precast beams), probably overlaid with polystyrene insulation, then the concrete screed. The gap round the edge of the screed will be for expansion of the screed (and possibly thermal insulation) and is intentional. Your flat may well have had electric heating elements laid between the polystyrene and the screed as electric underfloor heating was very popular with builders for a short time in the early 1970s. The high bills and lack of control proved less popular with occupants very quickly.

    I'd expect screed over polystyrene to be 2-3" thick but maybe yours isn't over polystyrene or is reinforced. Anyway, it's all lasted this long so probably will last another few decades.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
    • Owain Moneysaver
    • By Owain Moneysaver 14th May 18, 12:09 PM
    • 8,805 Posts
    • 10,114 Thanks
    Owain Moneysaver
    Hi thanks for your reply, pleas could i ask for some clarification as i get confused easily.
    You kindly advise solicitors cant inflict fees on the family but they can take fees from the estate so would this negatively affect the beneficiaries, if they took a lot?
    Originally posted by bundance
    It means the beneficiaries would inherit less.

    But your affairs don't sound complicated. You have a flat, which will sell at auction, not for full market value because there are questions over some of the work that's been done, but somebody will buy it as a project. You have a small amount of other savings which will pay for the funeral and any other expenses that need to be paid out before the flat's sold.

    If your mother/sister/whoever is executor they can go to a solicitor, ask the solicitor to handle the flat sale, but make it clear they want a proper breakdown of every hour's fee charged for the work.
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
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