I inherited house but someone else is letting it out

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    I inherited house but someone else is letting it out

    Hi there, this is my first post on these forums and i am just seeking a quick bit of advice.

    Please be gentle as my knowledge of this area is somewhat limited!

    I inherited a house when my gran died (2005), i was told it was quite run down as she had been in a care home for 10 years in the town i live (110 miles from where the house is) but due a number of reasons i had not been to the house since she died.

    I recently decided to go and have a look with a view to doing it up and renting it out, however, when i got there, to my surprise, there is a young couple living there, they told me that they are renting the property from the landlord, they gave me his number and i called him, he said he had taken adverse posession of the property in june 2007 and was letting it to this coulpe.

    Obviously i was quite shocked by this as i was expecting it to be empty and derelict, but this chap has obviously spend a bit of money tarting it up to get it up to standard to rent it out.

    In short, my question is what are my rights and what do i do next?

    Also, if its that easy, what is to stop my finding a run down old house, tarting it up and renting it out like thise?

    Thanks in advance,

    Jim

    #2
    1. Start from the basics. You inherited the house. Are you the registered proprietor?
    2. You should have been the recipient of an Assent which, by now, ought to be registered at HMLR.
    3. To verify proprietorship details, download (for £4) the register entries; see https://www.landregistry.gov.uk/wps/...roperty_Search.
    4. If T's supposed L started adverse possession only in 2007, you're in good time to sue him for trespass. Do not delay in this!
    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

    Comment


      #3
      I think you need serious legal advice and support. Make an appointment with your solicitor, or email Jeffrey, and become one of his clients.
      To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
        1. Start from the basics. You inherited the house. Are you the registered proprietor?
        2. You should have been the recipient of an Assent which, by now, ought to be registered at HMLR.
        3. To verify proprietorship details, download (for £4) the register entries; see
        4. If T's supposed L started adverse possession only in 2007, you're in good time to sue him for trespass. Do not delay in this!
        Thanks for your reply Jeffrey.

        I am the registered owner of the house, if i were to sue, would it be the T or the "L" for trespass, and would i be able to sue for the rent he has collected? Could he then counter sue for the costs he has incured?

        Thanks again,

        Jim

        Comment


          #5
          The arrangement is not binding on you and you can therefore sue the occupants for possession. I'll pass on whether you can sue the "landlord" for the rent he has collected. He certainly cannot sue you for the cost of improvements.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
            The arrangement is not binding on you and you can therefore sue the occupants for possession. I'll pass on whether you can sue the "landlord" for the rent he has collected. He certainly cannot sue you for the cost of improvements.
            Thanks for the reply, has the socalled L acted illegally here then, or is it a civil matter? and could i just start collecting the rent from the T?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by fish View Post
              Thanks for the reply, has the socalled L acted illegally here then, or is it a civil matter? and could i just start collecting the rent from the T?
              No crime is involved here.

              If you start collecting rent you will validate the tenancy between the "landlord" and "tenant" or create a new one - whichever it is the effect will be the same. You should of course check what the terms of the tenancy are.

              I should add that we have very little information here. For full advice on your position and what you can do, rely on a property lawyer who has all the facts.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by fish View Post
                I am the registered owner of the house.
                Good. Also:
                a. ensure that HMLR records (Proprietorship Register) show your home address and a 'spare' address of yours or your solicitor; and
                b. consider registering a protective restriction (form LL) as a matter of urgency.
                Originally posted by fish View Post
                If I were to sue, would it be the T or the "L" for trespass
                It would be L. He is the person who is in unlawful possession (by receiving rents and profits), even though T is in actual occupation, and it would be L (not T) who might eventually try to wrest registered title from you on grounds of adverse possession.
                Originally posted by fish View Post
                and would i be able to sue for the rent he has collected?
                Yes, since he is at present acting as your unauthorised agent. You could make him account to you for rent received by him.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thinking aloud, does the OP need to sue L? He clearly needs to sue T as T is in occupation. If the OP gets possession against T and takes possession (i.e. occupation) what can L do? The OP has a better title that L and such title as L had was based on possession which has gone - he is neither in occupation nor receiving any rent.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Lawcruncher View Post
                    Thinking aloud, does the OP need to sue L? He clearly needs to sue T as T is in occupation. If the OP gets possession against T and takes possession (i.e. occupation) what can L do? The OP has a better title that L and such title as L had was based on possession which has gone - he is neither in occupation nor receiving any rent.
                    But any adverse possession claim could be mounted only by L. If OP obtains an order against L, that:
                    a. knocks-out any such claim;
                    b. entitles OP to remove T (whose tenancy does not bind OP); and
                    c. exposes L to proceedings from T for breach of quiet enjoyment.

                    If OP delays, laches may bite him.
                    JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                    1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                    2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                    3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                    4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Before you do anything legal, find out more information, be a bit of a private detective, go to the street (this may take some time) as your gran died in 2005 perhaps someone near your house knew her, and a quick chat over a cup of tea might reveal how long the present tenant has lived there, or how long ago work was done on the house, and get a solicitor and take with you the grant of probate proving that you own the house. I dont suppose you have been paying insurance on the house, and of course it would probably have been useful if you had been going to look at it every 6 months etc.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        That's possible, but further delay ('laches') may impede OP's claims against the 'L'.
                        JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                        1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                        2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                        3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                        4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                          That's possible, but further delay ('laches') may impede OP's claims against the 'L'.
                          I am not sure that the doctrine of laches will apply in this case. First, neither "landlord" nor "tenant" will have done anything to alter their respective positions by reason of any delay on the part of the OP since he became aware of the situation. More importantly, the time periods in respect of claiming title to land by adverse possession are clearly set out by law. One day less than the requisite period is not enough. Even so, the OP does not want to hang about.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Yes, but the expenditure by L on property expenses might then be recoverable on a quantum meruit basis because OP failed to act promptly.
                            JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                            1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                            2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                            3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                            4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                              Yes, but the expenditure by L on property expenses might then be recoverable on a quantum meruit basis because OP failed to act promptly.
                              Possibly, but only if the OP sat back and watched the improvements being carried out. They were carried out without his knowledge or consent. There was no obligation on him to keep viewing the property to make sure no one was on it improving it. Anyone in the position of the "landlord" who improves property without the owner's consent does so at his own risk. You cannot go around improving property willy-nilly and expect to get paid for it.

                              Comment

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