Life Tenancy

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    Life Tenancy

    In the year 2000 we lost our business and our house to the Bank, and we were renting a house whilst we considered our position and were recovering and deciding what to do.
    My eldest son had recently sold his business and become a multi millionaire; he and his wife visited us and offered to help. They said that they would allow us to select a house wherever we wanted to live and we chose our present house. We were given a limit of £150,000 the house was on the market for £140,000 but needed some work done on it, and so my son bought the house for cash and we moved in the unfurnished house on the 24th. August 2000

    The verbal arrangement was as follows
    a. The house was ours to live in until we passed away.
    b. He would pay the Building Insurance.
    c. We would pay the rates
    d. We would look after the house as if it were our own and could sell and buy other property as we thought fit for our situation as we grew older.
    e. We would pay for all repairs to the property other that the building and would be free to invest capital in the property to increase the value over the years.
    f. My son would not be investing any further capital in the property.

    At this time we had sufficient income to pay our expenses and have some available to invest in the property and so we improved the property slowly (we have a list of improvements) over the years and the value gradually increased with both time and our investment.
    In 2002 my son asked us if we would mind if he borrowed some money against the value of the house to finance a project. We agreed and as the value had increased to £160.000 he took out a mortgage for that amount and we split the added value between us. We carried on making improvements knowing that the property would be increasing in value.

    On August 1st 2010 we had a letter from my son advising us that his financial position had worsened drastically to a point that he could not afford to pay the mortgage. However, we did not know that he had taken out an additional mortgage to the value of £240,000. So he has got back his investment and I am paying his mortgage. In the letter he advised us that if we wanted to stay in the house we had to pay a rent equal the mortgage requirement of £510.42 per month. At that time I estimated that there was no equity in the house I have since adjusted that and I think there is £20,000 / £25,000 equity in the house at this moment and there is are areas which will create added value.

    We did not have any choice but to stay in the house that we have invested in over the last 11 years, it is unfortunate that I am unable to trust my son anymore. So I agreed to pay the mortgage on the understanding that we did not pay rent to him but the mortgage direct to the Cheltenham and Gloucester Building Society. This is what I have done and we have receipts for our payments to them. The mortgage is interest only.
    I have also been given the offer to buy the property for a £1.00 although I believe that this is now not possible and the figure is £1000.00, however, I am now 77 years of age and I would like to see if there are any options I should consider.
    I would like to buy the property as we have invested so much so far but I am not sure if the mortgage company will allow me to carry on with the same mortgage and if I die will my wife be able to stay in the property until she passes away if she cannot pay the mortgage.

    I am now paying the mortgage but my son could sell this house at any time.
    Q. Am I entitled to a percentage of the value of the property depending on the payments made?
    Q. Would it be better to stay paying the mortgage direct?
    Q. Find some way to buying the property from the mortgage company.
    Q. Can I prevent him from taking any further mortgage on the increased value and therefore increasing the mortgage payments beyond the finances available to me?
    Q. Can you think of any other questions I should be considering?

    Due to the fact that my son may go bankrupt and should this happen I can expect the building society to repossess the house.
    Because I cannot trust my son to act in our interests in the future I have now got the written rights from my son to discuss the mortgage with them.
    So I am looking at my options.

    Can anybody help?


    I am so sorry to hear of your situation, but although we do have legally qualified members on this forum, they tend to specialise in housing law. I feel you really need to take this to a solicitor who specialises in property law who can study everything that has gone on and give you some clear and reliable guidance.

    Sorry to not be more help.


      I agree with Snorkerz; you urgently need to seek the advice of a specialist solicitor.

      This website may help you find a solicitor in your area.


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