inheriting a parent's property with sibling living there

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    inheriting a parent's property with sibling living there

    I am executor of my mum's will and she has left all her posessions jointly to myself and my 3 siblings, this includes her house in which a lodger is living, in a bedsit, as well as my brother and niece, who have no formal document givng them a tenancy as such, but have lived there for several years already. Can anyone give me any advice as to how to avoid encountering problems selling the house, when my mother is no more, with the expected prospect that my brother will refuse to leave (he does not pay rent). Is there some lodging status that we need to create to exclude his right to remain as long as he likes, or won't he have any right to stay?

    #2
    If it states in her Will that your brother gets one third of her estate then you can't just kick him out and sell the house without his permission as he has a claim to that property (I assume)...

    This is something for a solicitor to deal with I'd recommend.

    Comment


      #3
      Who is the lodger? If he has self contained bedsit are you sure he does not have a room-only AST with shared facilities?
      Not enough detailed info to offer advice.

      Comment


        #4
        If the property is owned by all four of you jointly, you will all have to agree on selling the property.
        There's no majority rule for joint owners, so it has to be unanamous (this is not the case in Scotland - I think).
        To force a sale past one or more joint tenants objection you would need to go to court and apply for an "order for sale" and win.

        As you would all have to agree to exclude the brother from the property without going to court, that's unlikely to happen.
        So he would have every right to stay, he would own the property as much as everyone else.

        If you want the lodger to move out, I suggest that you consider doing that now, while you are an executor, rather than waiting until you inherit. You can only do that if it is in the interest of the estate of course, and it may not be, if the lodger pays rent, for example or contributes to bills.
        But it's simpler than having four joint landlords in conflict about it.
        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          If the property is owned by all four of you jointly, you will all have to agree on selling the property.
          All four may have a common expectancy, under the will, but if the estate is in the hands of a sole executor (and we don't really know if that is so), then I'd say it is only the executor that can deal with the house as it is the executor(s) that are the legal owners, as trustee(s). Was the house, itself, left jointly or was its value to be shared between residual beneficiaries?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            If the property is owned by all four of you jointly, you will all have to agree on selling the property.
            There's no majority rule for joint owners, so it has to be unanamous (this is not the case in Scotland - I think).
            To force a sale past one or more joint tenants objection you would need to go to court and apply for an "order for sale" and win.
            To add to the above: A court would pretty much always order a sale under these sorts of circumstances (and depending on the order and desire of the parties, they will likely also order that the various parties to the sale can also bid to purchase the whole). Having been this route myself it will prove expensive and stressful however (it may be possible to DIY the court yourself with some research). The only circumstances under which a sale will not be ordered is if small children, or vulnerable adults are involved, or other very special circumstances.

            In the first instance

            - Ask and speak -- have a family meeting. Insist that brother and niece have to pay rent to be determined. Explain the outcome if they cannot and will not agree a fair path.
            - If that fails engage a professional mediator
            - Failing that you may need to act on your threat to go to court. Hopefully all three non-resident siblings will act together, but even one sibling can force a sale.

            The other possibility if that you could move into the property yourself - as you have every right to. You could also get keys for yourself and pop in and out frequently, and that could not be prevented. If your resident sibling is reasonable the four of you need to agree some sort of contract with him that would permit him exclusive occupation, something similar to a tenancy agreement. I am not sure whether it is possible for all four of you to have an AST with one part of the owner, but you could definitely grant an AST to the niece (how old is she?).

            The lesson for those of us writing wills is that one must consider the consequences. The will should have be written to avoid this. As StuartH says, if the will was worded in such a way as to divide the value of assets then the executor should take unilateral steps to resolve the problem if possible (depends what other assets there were) which might involve a sale as part of probate.

            Comment


              #7
              mariner,

              The lodger is not a family member and rents a bedroom with cooking facilities, but shares the bathroom. Is AST a short term tenancy?

              Comment


                #8
                StuartH,

                I was probably not clear in my post but I am named as executor along with a cousin, but my mum is still alive although she is now 93. I am trying to avoid future problems by forseeing them beforehand. I can get my mum to state that the house has to be sold and and the value shared, if that would make the deviding of the assets something my brother couldn't prevent by living there.

                Comment


                  #9
                  AndrewDod,

                  Would love to have a family that could discuss things but unfortunately my brother is abusive, and is a big problem, talking rationally is difficult, He has been asked to pay rent by my mother but doesn't. While Mum is alive it might be possible to avoid future court cases if we know how to word the will properly, form what you say. I guess we will have to speak to a solicitor. thanks for your help.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    AST is Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the standard tenancy with some security of tenure in England.

                    I think you not only need a solicitor, but one really experienced in dealing with 93 mothers of warring families. Your big danger is that you will be accused of unduly influencing the will, so you need someone who can sit down with your mother, preferably without you present, and really elicit what she wants to achieve.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      You may be named asl Executor after your Mum dies but you have no resps until she dies. With such family individuals, a Family or Ind Solicitor should persuade her to amend her Will and appoint an Ind neutral Executor, eg Bank etc. who will act in the interests of all Beneficiaries.
                      It may be poss that one B could buy the remaining property shares (3/4 of Probate valuation).
                      It is can be an onerous duty to be an Executor, who pref should not also be a Beneficiary.
                      She can also withdraw permission for her offspring lodger to remain for longer than 1 month, else risk eviction for trespass.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sajobab View Post
                        I was probably not clear in my post but I am named as executor along with a cousin, but my mum is still alive although she is now 93. I am trying to avoid future problems by forseeing them beforehand. I can get my mum to state that the house has to be sold and and the value shared, if that would make the deviding of the assets something my brother couldn't prevent by living there.
                        You can obviously do what you want - but until your mother is no longer alive anything you are considering is just hypothetical.

                        When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
                        Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

                        Comment

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