Help with Lifelong Tenant problem

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    Help with Lifelong Tenant problem

    Several years ago my siblings and I inherited a flat with a lifelong tenant in situ.

    Every year the tenant sends us a cheque for £20 (his annual rent) and we send him back a letter of thanks. That is our only contact.

    The tenant is now in his late 80's. As far as we know he lives alone in the flat.

    None of my siblings or myself have ever met the tenant, nor visited his home, because it/he is the other side of the country to us (we have seen the flat on street view).

    My question is, and it's a bit sensitive so
    sorry, but how do we know when our tenant passes away? We will have to wait until we don't receive our annual cheque and then write to him...but then what? (Assuming we don't get an answer).
    My concern is that a friend/relative will move in before or after his death/or his going into a nursing home and we won't ever know and they will live rent free in what will then be our flat.

    We're not in a hurry for him to pass away, but would want to sell the flat as soon as possible apon his death. We are not wealthy and struggle to get by like most folks, so this money would be very useful. The flat is very modest in a modest area.

    Should I employ a local estate agent to do an annual visit, and would they check his ID?
    Should we be telephoning him to check how he is?
    Should we arrange to drive/fly to the flat once a year or more?
    The absolute last time we want to do is feel like he is being hounded or made to feel uncomfortable, we do completely respect his right to live out his days in peace in the flat, but we don't want to leave ourselves open to fraud apon his death.

    Anyone had experience with this? Thanks

    #2
    Just to add... we know nothing about him apart from Name, dob, address. He also insures the property and send evidence of that with his annual £20 rent.

    Comment


      #3
      https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/propert...fe-time-tenant
      Thunderbirds are go

      Comment


        #4
        Please complete & paste https://forums.landlordzone.co.uk/fo...om-new-posters

        Comment


          #5

          Yes that was me....Thanks for the welcome. Luckily I had changed my username on the other forum!

          If you read the post on the other forum you will see that a post on this forum was linked (which didn't actually answer my question) but lead me to this forum which I didn't know existed.

          I then joined this forum to pose the same question because I assumed people on here might be more knowledgeable about the subject, as it is a more specialist forum. This is a genuine question.

          Is that not allowed?

          Comment


            #6

            Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?

            England

            Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

            Covers whole of a freehold property, lifelong tenancy/lease.

            Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?

            4/4/2001

            Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

            Life of the Leasee

            Q5 – Does the TA state that rent is due weekly? / 4-weekly? / per calendar month (if so, on what same date each month)?

            Annual rent due of £20

            Q6 – Did the TA require a tenant damage deposit to be paid? If so, on what date was this paid (dd/mm/yy)?

            No

            Q7 – If your query relates to a notice for repossession from the landlord (a Section 8 or Section 21 notice) or a tenants's notice to quit to the landlord, please provide the exact date the notice was sent/received (dd/mm/yy).

            NA

            Q8 – Does the landlord live in the same property as the tenant?

            No

            Comment


              #7
              https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for...he-difference/

              When the term of the leasehold goes down to zero years, then the property reverts to the freeholder. So, if you have a 40 year leasehold, you only have the right to use the property for 40 years before it goes back to the freeholder.









              Comment


                #8
                When did the tenant first move into the property?
                When you say the rent is £20 a year, is that the ground rent?
                Does the tenant own the flat, and is therefore a leaseholder?
                Last edited by Mrs Mug; 16-02-2020, 09:31 AM. Reason: Additional questions.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Yellowmead View Post
                  [B]Q1 – Where is the rented property located (England / Wales / Scotland / N Ireland)?

                  England

                  Q2 – What type of Tenancy Agreement (TA) is this e.g. sole tenant / multiple tenant / room only?

                  Covers whole of a freehold property, lifelong tenancy/lease.

                  Q3 – What date did current TA start dd/mm/yy?

                  4/4/2001

                  Q4 – How long was initial fixed term (6/12/24 months / other)?

                  Life of the Leasee...................]
                  So who granted this tenancy and how/where was it documented?

                  Why ? How much did they pay up-front for this lease? (Answer of zero is valid...)
                  I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I used to have some expired ground rents. Two of them produced 15 shillings (75p) per year, each!

                    My late father got a local agent to collect the rent, for which I was charged 9p per property. This meant they were able to keep a discrete eye on the property, and also be someone local who the deceased lessee's relatives could drop the keys off at. Obviously this did not make them any profit, but ensured that when they were eventually sold, they had first dibs on a sale.

                    Maybe email a few local agents to see if any would agree a similar scheme?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Mrs Mug View Post
                      When did the tenant first move into the property?
                      When you say the rent is £20 a year, is that the ground rent?
                      Does the tenant own the flat, and is therefore a leaseholder?
                      Tenant previously owned the property and then equity released money from the property by selling it (and retaining a life-long tenancy) to my late relative.

                      The £20 pa is rent not ground rent.

                      The tenant no longer owns the property - my late relative bought it in 2001.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
                        So who granted this tenancy and how/where was it documented?

                        Why ? How much did they pay up-front for this lease? (Answer of zero is valid...)
                        The tenancy was drawn up by a solicitor, it was an equity release type investment.

                        My late relative paid the owner/now tenant £40,000 for the property.

                        It was to be a pension type investment for my late relative, but unfortunately they died relatively young, passing it to myself & siblings.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by JK0 View Post
                          I used to have some expired ground rents. Two of them produced 15 shillings (75p) per year, each!

                          My late father got a local agent to collect the rent, for which I was charged 9p per property. This meant they were able to keep a discrete eye on the property, and also be someone local who the deceased lessee's relatives could drop the keys off at. Obviously this did not make them any profit, but ensured that when they were eventually sold, they had first dibs on a sale.

                          Maybe email a few local agents to see if any would agree a similar scheme?
                          This is a helpful suggestion, thanks. I had thought of this, my worry is estate agents seem to change quite often, I need to find a small firm where the employees are going to stay for the next 10-15 years!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Thanks, the lease is almost 20 years old, the tenant is in 80's, so it might be possible for them to live for an additional 20 years.
                            My concern is that maybe they move into a nursing home, and how are we to know, unless we are somehow informed, as we only have the tenants name & address, but no details of relatives/excutors?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Yellowmead View Post

                              The tenancy was drawn up by a solicitor, it was an equity release type investment.

                              My late relative paid the owner/now tenant £40,000 for the property.

                              It was to be a pension type investment for my late relative, but unfortunately they died relatively young, passing it to myself & siblings.
                              One would need to read the actual tenancy to understand rights etc etc.. (please don't post..).

                              As the rent is less than £250p.a. it cannot be (may not be, legally impossible to be..) an AST. I assume it is some sort of common law tenancy. Does the tenancy document cover what happens if original landlord dies, please?

                              £5 says the solicitor drawing up the paperwork was not an expert in such low-rent tenancies: Very happy to be proved rong.
                              I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                              Comment

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