Unusual situation

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    Unusual situation

    The ex husband of a friend of mine has died. She is an executor of his estate and is unsure of the situation re her stepson. He receives some benefits (not housing) and has lived in the pool house (more of a shed really) rent free for the last fifteen years. It has a washbasin, a cooker and a heater. He uses the toilet in the garage of the house. He’s not on the electoral role. The property will have to be marketed soon and he’s willing to move out but his financial situation is not good. My question on my friends behalf is how is he classed? Is he a tenant of the property as a whole? If not what is his actual status and what is my friends obligation to him? Thank you.

    #2
    If he is not paying any rent then its likely that he is simply a guest with no rights to reside there.

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      #3
      Does he pay for anything (utilities, repairs, services...) or does he do any work (maintenance, decoration, pool cleaning, gardening...). They would probably be judged as "money's worth" and be rent.

      Friend should try gentle negotiating of a probably upset and troubled person, before legal action. Might work.
      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...

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        #4
        Thank you. He hasn’t contributed anything financially or otherwise while he’s been there. My friend and he are on good terms and he’s happy to move out if he can find somewhere. That may involve the council. We were wondering if they might deem him a tenant and tell him they can’t help him. Also if he’s classed as a tenant rather than a guest she would have to give him six months notice under current COVID situation.

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          #5
          Is there no provision for the stepson in the will?

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            #6
            I believe the main asset of the estate is the property but there is uncertainty about the ultimate value of the estate because of equity release and other issues. So in the short term he is financially unstable.

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              #7
              Thinking about it further, as he is receiving benefits he must have given his fathers address as his own. I’d hazard a guess the shed hasn’t had building regs approval for accommodation. So technically he is merely a resident of the property?

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                #8
                Has the late father bequeathed anything to him in the will ? It frankly sounds an odd arrangement for his son to be living in some kind of habitat/shed for 15 years !

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                  #9
                  I’m not sure about any bequests and I don’t know how the shed arrangement was set up. My friend only really asked me about his residential status.

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                    #10
                    As said above he does sound like a guest and not a tenant, although he may well have a claim on the house via the rules governing inheritance unless the will states something different ..... which given his family position can be challenged anyway.

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