Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • GardenLass
    • By GardenLass 3rd Aug 18, 10:48 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    GardenLass
    Dad died; tenanted property in his estate
    • #1
    • 3rd Aug 18, 10:48 PM
    Dad died; tenanted property in his estate 3rd Aug 18 at 10:48 PM
    Good evening all

    I have been posting on these forums for 10 years but using a new profile for all things probate-related as I am having some difficulties.

    My dad, who was a widower, died intestate in 2016. I and my sibling are the only beneficiaries. I have obtained a Grant of Representation (Letters of Administration) and am the sole Personal Representative.

    Dad owned a house which he rented out to tenants via a letting agency in 2015 on an initial 12-month contract. The tenancy became periodic after the first 12 months, so the tenants are now living there on a month-to-month basis.

    I recently gave a copy of the Letters of Administration to the letting agent to confirm that I am dealing with the estate.

    It has taken me a while to deal with the estate as there is so much to do and I have no emotional or practical support. Please don't judge - I am where I am with this and have the strength now to get it sorted.

    My intention was always to sell the house and divide the money between me and my sibling - neither of us want the house. I was considering selling it with the tenants in situ, however, the letting agency has been less than helpful and I have now decided that I want to go with a clean slate - get rid of the letting agency and evict the tenants and just sell the house empty in the normal way. I underestimated the admin I would need to do on this estate so I just want things to be as uncomplicated as possible.

    I do feel bad for the tenants but I will, of course, act within the law and be as reasonable as I can.

    I asked the letting agency for copies of the contracts my dad signed. I've examined these and I can't see anything that stops me from sacking the letting agency, I just need to give them the required notice etc.

    I have done some research and I see that I need to use a Section 21 to evict the tenants, giving them at least two months' notice. I also see that to use Section 21, I need to have given them a copy of the Government's How To Rent leaflet, the gas safety certificate and the energy performance certificate.

    I have asked the letting agency if they provided those three documents to the tenants and if so, when they did so. They aren't telling me. I need to ask them again.

    They have, however, sent me a new landlord contract to sign. I haven't done anything with this and I don't intend to sign it.

    Like I said, I have done some research but most of the advice seems to be for tenants rather than landlords/Personal Representatives so I am not too clear on my responsibilities.

    My questions at the moment are:

    - Am I now the landlord? I didn't think I was because the house is still part of my dad's estate and ownership of it has not passed to anyone?

    - The tenants don't know that my dad has died - what do I/the letting agent need to tell them I am? Their new landlord? My dad's Personal Representative?

    - Do I need to do this asap or can I do it when I start the eviction process?

    - Can I communicate this to the tenants directly or do I need to go through the letting agent?

    - Do I need to sign a new contract with the letting agent? I was under the impression that I didn't need to, especially if I don't want to continue with the let, as the contract they have with my dad still stands unless I put the house into my name?

    - Do the tenants need to have been given the three documents at the start of the tenancy for the Section 21 to be valid?

    - If the tenants haven't ever been given the documents, then can they be given them shortly before being served with the Section 21 or does a certain amount of time need to have passed?

    - If the letting agent doesn't want to help me, can I serve the tenants with the three documents and the Section 21 myself?

    Thank you in advance.

    GL
    Last edited by GardenLass; 03-08-2018 at 10:51 PM. Reason: Added extra information
Page 2
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 5th Aug 18, 6:47 PM
    • 19,709 Posts
    • 18,284 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Why Adrian?

    1) can't be done till Probate is granted
    2) once probate is granted, OP wants to sell - why not sell as administrator?
    3) any issues with the tenancy (eg no Gas report/EPC etc) will still be issues irrespective of any change in ownership and/or landlord
    Originally posted by G_M
    Sure. But if the house is taken as being left to the OP and brother, then the estate can be wrapped up quickly.

    If the administrator is selling the house, then it'll be two months notice from the next rent day before vacant possession. Then it can be readied for sale. Let's say another three months for a buyer to appear and the sale to reach completion. So we're into 2019 before the estate's wrapped up. And that's assuming the s21 is valid, the tenants play ball, and a buyer turns up quickly and the sale progresses smoothly.

    We all know that's on a par with the protagonists in fairy tales living happily ever after...

    Here in the real world, it could easily be 2020 before everything's wrapped up. The father died in 2016. If the s21 is invalid, then it could be years before the tenants consider moving on.

    OP - we assume you got the IHT return done within the six months? But that's for another part of the site...
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 5th Aug 18, 7:11 PM
    • 2,536 Posts
    • 2,525 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    Clearly all would feel sympathy for her loss in 2016.

    She is absolutely not a new poster - see...But two years?
    Originally posted by theartfullodger
    Your understanding of grief is rather poor. How long should someone grieve for in your opinion?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 5th Aug 18, 7:41 PM
    • 19,709 Posts
    • 18,284 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Grief is one thing.
    Getting on with the legalities and practicalities of dealing with the estate is another.


    If grief (however understandable) is actively getting in the way of the administration of the estate, then it's perhaps best if somebody else does the administration.

    Especially when there's a tenant involved in the middle of it all...
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 5th Aug 18, 7:44 PM
    • 2,536 Posts
    • 2,525 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    Grief is one thing.
    Getting on with the legalities and practicalities of dealing with the estate is another.


    If grief (however understandable) is actively getting in the way of the administration of the estate, then it's perhaps best if somebody else does the administration.

    Especially when there's a tenant involved in the middle of it all...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    That's all very well and good, but your comment was that we shouldn't be sensitive because it was now two years (or thereabouts) since the OP's father had died. So, I ask again, how long, in your opinion, should someone be allowed to grieve for?
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 5th Aug 18, 7:55 PM
    • 19,709 Posts
    • 18,284 Thanks
    AdrianC
    You may wish to check poster names.


    You may also wish to re-read what I wrote.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Aug 18, 8:06 PM
    • 46,179 Posts
    • 55,906 Thanks
    G_M
    can't be done till Probate is granted
    2) once probate is granted,
    https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/if-the-person-didnt-leave-a-will

    If the person did not leave a will
    You can apply to be an administrator of the estate if the person did not leave a will. The process is the same as applying for probate.

    You'll receive letters of administration to prove you have the legal right to deal with the estate.


    The OP has received the LOA.
    Originally posted by xylophone
    All that means is that the OP, with LOA, is now in the same position as an Executor would be (had there been a will). He can administer the Estate, but still cannot either sell the property, nor transfer it into the Beneficiaries' names, till he has applied for, and obtained, Probate.

    Unless I missed something, Probate has not been granted yet. LOA have only recently been granted.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Aug 18, 8:18 PM
    • 46,179 Posts
    • 55,906 Thanks
    G_M
    Maybe I'm being thick, misunderstanding,or just ignorant but.....
    Sure. But if the house is taken as being left to the OP and brother, then the estate can be wrapped up quickly.
    Probate still has to be granted before the property can be transferred or sold.

    If the administrator is selling the house, then it'll be two months notice from the next rent day before vacant possession.
    That is true whether
    a) the administrator of the Estate serves the S21, or
    b) the administrator transfers the property into the Beneficiaries' names (OP & sibling) and they serve the S21.

    Whichever way, a S21 with 2 month wait (+ court delays etc) is required.

    Then it can be readied for sale. Let's say another three months for a buyer to appear and the sale to reach completion. So we're into 2019 before the estate's wrapped up. And that's assuming the s21 is valid, the tenants play ball, and a buyer turns up quickly and the sale progresses smoothly.
    correct.
    But I fail to see how the property can be sold faster, and the assets distributed, by transferring the property into the Beneficiaries' names (with the associated extra costs, and bureaucracy).

    We all know that's on a par with the protagonists in fairy tales living happily ever after...
    ?????

    Here in the real world, it could easily be 2020 before everything's wrapped up. The father died in 2016. If the s21 is invalid, then it could be years before the tenants consider moving on.
    Yes, but I still don't see how the property can be sold faster! What am I missing?

    OP - we assume you got the IHT return done within the six months? But that's for another part of the site...
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Assuming IHT was due, that would need to be sorted before Probate would be granted. The Probate Office would require confirmation (I forget the Form Number) from HMRC.

    Until then, the property could not be transferred to the Beneficiaries.

    However, the Administrator could speed things up by

    a) serving a S21 immediately, thus getting the eviction process under way and
    b) starting to market the property (subject to the caveat to buyers that it is a Probate Sale)
    so that the OP as Administrator can sell as soon as he gets both vacant possession and Probate.

    Why add another step and transfer the property ownership?
    Last edited by G_M; 05-08-2018 at 8:21 PM.
    • xylophone
    • By xylophone 5th Aug 18, 8:35 PM
    • 27,677 Posts
    • 16,633 Thanks
    xylophone
    All that means is that the OP, with LOA, is now in the same position as an Executor would be (had there been a will). He can administer the Estate, but still cannot either sell the property, nor transfer it into the Beneficia
    ries' names, till he has applied for, and obtained, Probate.
    https://www.gov.uk/wills-probate-inheritance/if-the-person-didnt-leave-a-will


    Applying for the legal right to deal with someone's property, money and possessions (their estate) when they die is called applying for probate.

    If the person left a will, you'll get a grant of probate;.

    If the person did not leave a will, you'll get letters of administration;.


    https://www.co-oplegalservices.co.uk/media-centre/articles-sep-dec-2015/grant-of-probate-vs-letters-of-administration-explained/

    Letters of Administration are similar to a Grant of Probate, but are issued instead to the next of kin of an individual who dies without a Will.
    Last edited by xylophone; 05-08-2018 at 8:37 PM. Reason: removing meaningless string after apostrophe
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 5th Aug 18, 9:10 PM
    • 2,536 Posts
    • 2,525 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    You may wish to check poster names.


    You may also wish to re-read what I wrote.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    I apologise. I assumed as you were making a direct response to what I had written that it was you who I had questioned about their views on grief.

    What you wrote, however, is unconnected to my challenge to the other poster, so I don't really see a justification in quoting me.
    Last edited by ValiantSon; 05-08-2018 at 9:30 PM. Reason: Typo
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 5th Aug 18, 9:12 PM
    • 2,536 Posts
    • 2,525 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    All that means is that the OP, with LOA, is now in the same position as an Executor would be (had there been a will). He can administer the Estate, but still cannot either sell the property, nor transfer it into the Beneficiaries' names, till he has applied for, and obtained, Probate.

    Unless I missed something, Probate has not been granted yet. LOA have only recently been granted.
    Originally posted by G_M
    You missed something. A Grant of Probate is made when some dies with a will, Letters of Administration are issued when someone dies without a will.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 5th Aug 18, 9:14 PM
    • 46,179 Posts
    • 55,906 Thanks
    G_M
    I think I'll go crawl under a rock and start sobbing....

    I mistakenly thought the LOA authorised the person to manage the Estate up to (and beyond) Probate.

    Mea culpa!

    But I still don't see the point of transferring the property to the Beneficiaries, rather than just evicting the tenants, selling, and then distributing the cash......


    Gonna log off now and stop muddying the waters!
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 5th Aug 18, 9:25 PM
    • 2,536 Posts
    • 2,525 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    I think I'll go crawl under a rock and start sobbing....

    I mistakenly thought the LOA authorised the person to manage the Estate up to (and beyond) Probate.

    Mea culpa!
    Originally posted by G_M
    Don't be so precious. You stated something as a fact and you were corrected. Sometimes we make mistakes.
    • 00ec25
    • By 00ec25 5th Aug 18, 10:28 PM
    • 7,327 Posts
    • 7,043 Thanks
    00ec25
    Given it is now 2 years since the death, and the estate comprises an ongoing income generating activity (aka tenant's rent !) has the estate submitted a tax return yet for the income in the last tax year?

    all income received by the estate is taxable on the estate since it has not yet been wound up and the assets distributed to the beneficiaries, ie, the estate is still in the "period of administration"

    an estate does not get a personal allowance for income tax purposes. The profit on the rent is taxable in full and should be reported on an estate tax return...

    when an estate sells the property it gets one CGT allowance. Note an estate loses the CGT allowance if the sale takes in the third tax year after the death. As father died in 2016, the estate gets its CGT allowance as follows:
    - date of death to following 5th April : yes - so that would be April 17
    - next tax year 6th April - 5th April (yr 1): yes so that would be Apr 18
    - next tax year 6th April - 5th April (yr 2): yes so that would be Apr 19
    - after 6/4/19 the estate gets 0 allowance

    As the property has not been sold yet, it will be incurring a CGT liability and it may therefore be cost effective to actually transfer it to the beneficiaries and let them sell it as there are 2 beneficiaries so 2 CGT allowances and no time limit. You need to do some number crunching to see which is best, don't just guess as the estate will need to submit a CGT return if it sells in its name so check when that tax has to be paid as it is different for an estate

    https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/bereavement-and-tax/how-estate-taxed-during-administration

    On a personal note I found dealing with my father's estate to be excellent therapy, however, I think OP has still got a lot to learn and do and so may benefit from some outside help ????
    Last edited by 00ec25; 05-08-2018 at 10:31 PM.
    • tlc678910
    • By tlc678910 6th Aug 18, 2:47 AM
    • 748 Posts
    • 1,175 Thanks
    tlc678910
    Hi OP,
    I'm sure all the legal requirements for giving your tenants notice correctly seem onerous - especially at a time of grief. I would like to give you some easy and practical advice to move this forward right now.

    Write to your tenants directly. Tell them their landlord has passed away and that you are administrating his estate and unfortunately you need to sell the property to distribute the estate. Tell them this is an informal notice that you will need to sell the house in 4/5/6 months time (however lenient you can manage). Tell them that you will serve them formal legal notice that meets the legal notice requirements and timescales at a later date. Remind them that they are of course welcome to serve their one month notice to move out at any time.

    In my (actual) experience the tenants could well start looking immediately and serve notice as soon as they find a decent property. I wanted to return to my rented out home (consent to let on a residential mortgage and used an agent) and it was a very amenable communication in a February that I would ideally like the house back by July/August. The place was vacated by April. Some problems occur because landlords want tenants to move out to their short timetable to avoid any voids treating tenants badly in my opinion.

    If the tenants haven't been in touch to serve their notice in 3 months or so you can then start to worry about researching and serving a legally perfect section 21.

    Reading these boards regularly you could be forgiven for thinking that every eviction is a battle with tenants looking for legal loopholes or staying until there are bailiffs at the door to get a council house but I think the majority of tenants are just average Joes who if you treat them with the respect they deserve when you are taking away their home will just want to move on and re-establish their piece of mind and security asap.

    Hope it works out
    Tlc
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Aug 18, 4:43 AM
    • 46,179 Posts
    • 55,906 Thanks
    G_M
    Don't be so precious. You stated something as a fact and you were corrected. Sometimes we make mistakes.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    Moi? Precious?



    Hang around the forum a bit.......!
    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 6th Aug 18, 7:45 AM
    • 19,709 Posts
    • 18,284 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Maybe I'm being thick, misunderstanding,or just ignorant but.....
    Assuming IHT was due, that would need to be sorted before Probate would be granted. The Probate Office would require confirmation (I forget the Form Number) from HMRC.
    Originally posted by G_M
    IHT needs to be done, paid, finished within six months of death.
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 6th Aug 18, 8:29 AM
    • 38,296 Posts
    • 160,927 Thanks
    silvercar
    TBH, OP, your easiest way to get the estate wrapped up - which should be your priority - is probably to get the property transferred to joint names, you and your brother. You will now be the landlords. An s21 will still not be valid if the tenants didn't get the prescribed info at the start of their first tenancy, and if the GSCs have not been renewed annually since your father died, but at least it separates the two issues.
    Originally posted by AdrianC
    Logically, all the failings of the previous landlord cannot be foisted onto the new landlord. eg if the previous landlord was aggresive and let himself into the property with no notice, the current landlord cannot shoulder the blame just because the tenancy continues.
    • G_M
    • By G_M 6th Aug 18, 12:29 PM
    • 46,179 Posts
    • 55,906 Thanks
    G_M
    Logically, all the failings of the previous landlord cannot be foisted onto the new landlord. eg if the previous landlord was aggresive and let himself into the property with no notice, the current landlord cannot shoulder the blame just because the tenancy continues.
    Originally posted by silvercar
    'Logically' perhaps.

    But legally that's not quite the same as where the previous landlord failed to comply with statutory obligations, where those statutes specify consequences of failure.

    It is the tenancy that is judged by the various Acts. So if an AST is created without a gas report, EPC, deposit registration etc, then that tenancy cannot be ended by a valid S21, irrespective of the change of landlord.


    That's not the same as judging the actions of an individual landlord eg accessing the property.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,197Posts Today

6,459Users online

Martin's Twitter