What happens if a joint tenant dies & the remaining tenant can’t afford to pay?

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    What happens if a joint tenant dies & the remaining tenant can’t afford to pay?

    My father in law, a wealthy and honourable man, wants to buy a house (cash) for his friends to move into (husband and wife) as they are currently in council accommodation and are basically at their wits end and the husband has considered suicide. My father in law, able to “help” them by buying a property in a decent area as an investment, wants them to move in to make their life better. The husband has health issues and may not survive more than 5 years... And his wife is disabled so unable to work..... so my question is what would happen if all went to plan but the husband dies, leaving the disabled wife alone who wouldn’t be able to pay the rent? Would he basically wait until she doesn’t pay the rent and go down the s8 route?

    I know he’s trying to help people out of a tough spot, but it’s a terrible idea. I’m seeing him this weekend to convey my concerns and want some additional backup from the experience landlords in here as to why this is a bad idea.

    (He isn’t bothered about making a good ROI but it will be an AST on a cheap rent)

    #2
    This breaks the pragmatic guideline of never letting to friends or relatives.

    Why do they want to get out of council accommodation? Many people want the low rents that implies. If the friend's wife is likely to have to throw herself back on the State, she would almost certainly be better not giving up the council house in the first place.

    I can see the potential for intentional homeliessness if she gives up the council accommodation with an expectation of becoming homeless in the future.

    Comment


      #3
      Ignoring whether or not it's a good idea...

      If it's a joint tenancy and the husband dies, the tenancy continues with, intitially, the estate of the husband and the wife and then just the wife.

      If the wife is unable to pay rent, she could give notice, or be served notice in the usual way(s) (s21 or s8 for unpaid rent).

      Her situation then (assuming nothing changes in the interim) would be difficult.
      She would be homeless, and from the sound of it, relying on the state to support her - having made herself deliberately homeless.
      So she would be reliant on the council taking a reasonable view of her situation.

      Your father would have had to evict someone he obviously wishes to help, which would be (I would have thought) awful.

      I can understand that you may not want to answer, but what would be better about the new property than the council property they now have?
      Is it just a nicer place?
      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


        #4
        Normally to be deliberately homeless she would need to be not paying rent that she could afford to pay, rather than just not paying rent. However, the difficulty I see here is that she entered into the tenancy with the expectation of this happening, which may swing balance if favour of being deliberately homeless, even if she is paying all she can afford to pay.

        Comment


          #5
          Might be worth checking if she would be entitled to housing benefit and if it would cover the rent. She may get disability too. Many LLs wouldn't want a tenant in this position but it's up to FIL to decide.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
            If it's a joint tenancy and the husband dies, the tenancy continues with, intitially, the estate of the husband and the wife and then just the wife.
            <pedantic>The wife becomes the sole tenant by survivorship on death of the co-tenant. The tenancy never enter the estate.</pedantic>
            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by KTC View Post
              <pedantic>The wife becomes the sole tenant by survivorship on death of the co-tenant. The tenancy never enter the estate.</pedantic>
              Hold my beer...

              <hyperpedantic>That's true of joint ownership as joint tenants, There's a contract that operates in parallel here, the liabilities and benefits of which is part of the estate. If one joint tenant dies and then the only other dies a day later, the tenancy persists and I think that both estates are still liable for all of the rent, not just the most recently deceased.</hyperpedantic>
              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


                #8
                The tenancy agreement is the terms and conditions of the tenancy, and when the tenancy has arisen, is I would suggest inseparable from the tenancy. I do not see how the estate can have liabilities (rent payments etc.) for something it no longer has the benefit of (the tenancy itself).

                Going back to the original question, the main problem I see appears to arise from the fact that the FIL seems to be wanting to do this for the benefit of the husband rather than both of them. If the intention is to do this for both's benefit, either set the rent at a level that just one of them can afford on their own, or have a rent review clause to do so in the effect of the death of one of them.
                I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by KTC View Post
                  If the intention is to do this for both's benefit, either set the rent at a level that just one of them can afford on their own, or have a rent review clause to do so in the effect of the death of one of them.
                  Fantastic idea. Thank you for that.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by jpkeates View Post

                    I can understand that you may not want to answer, but what would be better about the new property than the council property they now have?
                    Is it just a nicer place?
                    From what I can gather, the place they live in now is extremely rough (drugs, crime etc)... and the husband is a PCSO. Because of this, they are targeted frequently and it’s at the point now where he’s contemplated taking his life because there’s no escape.

                    My father in law can offer an escape and is thinking about the scenario I posted in the first post.

                    Thanks for your reply!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by royw View Post
                      Might be worth checking if she would be entitled to housing benefit and if it would cover the rent. She may get disability too. Many LLs wouldn't want a tenant in this position but it's up to FIL to decide.
                      Housing benefit covers privately rented properties?

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by RedHitman View Post
                        Housing benefit covers privately rented properties?
                        It's capped, and often below market rent, but yes.

                        However, moving out of a council property into the PRS may make the benefits situation more difficult (but I am not an expert on this at all).
                        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


                          #13
                          It's now part of UC for most new claimants, but it does cover private rentals. A difficulty here might be the family connection.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            There's no suggestion that the FIL is related to the couple he intends to be tenant?

                            RedHitman, search the local housing allowance rate for what HB/UC housing element will cover. Don't forget that a couple will get more than someone who's single/widowed.
                            I am not a lawyer, nor am I licensed to provide any regulated advice. None of my posts should be treated as legal or financial advice.

                            I do not answer questions through private messages which should be posted publicly on the forum.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by RedHitman View Post
                              the husband is a PCSO. Because of this, they are targeted frequently and it’s at the point now where he’s contemplated taking his life because there’s no escape.
                              Can the council not offer a different property?

                              Comment

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