Squatter living in dead man's home

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    Squatter living in dead man's home

    I am the executor of the estate of a friend who recently passed away. The will is very simple: his house and monies are to be divided between his son and daughter 50-50.

    However, there is a problem. In the months before his death his son came to stay with him. Legally the son's primary residence is another house he owns, but in practise he was lodging for free at this house which I guess makes him an excluded occupier.

    Now the daughter wants the house to be sold and proceeds divided. I believe even if it wasn't to be sold I am still supposed to secure the property and ensure it is empty - the will mentions this. But the resident son does not want it to be sold and continues to live in it, refusing my requests that he leave.

    Is he now a squatter or an excluded occupier? Does this make a difference to how I should evict him? Could I allow him to stay until the house is sold and make him pay rent for the half of the house he isn't entitled to? I still have keys to the property as does the daughter since we would all come and go freely prior to the death.

    #2
    He is not a squatter: the owner (we must assume..) permitted him to stay..

    Do not accept rent (or anything like work or repairs or decoration that could be seen as "moneysworth") as that would create a tenancy - AST etc..

    Assuming no rent paid think he is an "excluded occupier" - see..
    http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_ad...enancy_checker

    I'd evict using a solicitor expert in landlord/tenant law . - just to be on the safe side.

    Have you given him a written notice to quit?? (And can you prove you did)??

    The brutal approach might be OK (notice to quit, 28 days, change locks..) but given he's a joint beneficiary, son etc.. think the expense might be worthwhile. Unless son wants to buy out sister's share??

    When you say legally his residence is elsewhere do you mean he lives elsewhere some of the time?? Where is son registered for council tax ??
    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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      #3
      Is OP (executor) the dau beneficiary?
      The executor has a legal duty to get best price for both beneficiaries within 1-2 yr?
      As artful suggests son buys out sister's share after executor gets a market valuation for the property, or uses the lower? probate valuation.
      The buyout could be achieved by allocating some of son's other beneficial interests (cash) to sister if agreeable.
      Exec. Don't forget to register transfer with LR on completion.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
        Have you given him a written notice to quit?? (And can you prove you did)??
        I have written to request he informs us of when he intends to leave, but the response to that was some foul language and some punches upon my person, so I dread to think how he would react if I gave him a date to quit.

        The brutal approach might be OK (notice to quit, 28 days, change locks..) but given he's a joint beneficiary, son etc.. think the expense might be worthwhile.
        If he instructs his own solicitors to challenge I assume the legal fees would probably eat up most of the value of the estate though?

        Unless son wants to buy out sister's share??
        There is not enough cash in the estate for him to do that (see below).

        When you say legally his residence is elsewhere do you mean he lives elsewhere some of the time?? Where is son registered for council tax ??
        Yes he has another house where he is registered for council tax, however he has filled it up with hoarded junk and so I don't believe he spends any time there now.

        It also appears that the son believed he was entitled to a generous salary for 'looking after' his father in his final months. The father had dementia and so was in no state to decide anything, but the son was able to persuade his friends at the local bank branch to add himself as joint signatory to his father's accounts, which he then drained, so there is little actual cash left in the estate. (He didn't have power of attorney or anything like that, the bank staff just accepted his story that he had his father's permission.)

        Comment


          #5
          Then son was late father's ( now the Estate's) lodger with no written Agreement nor rent paid since death, so Executor can serve notice to vacate and poss arrange some' big guys' to execute. Some Co's who advertise on this forum may be better to advise on legalities etc, at minimal cost.
          Otherwise evict lodger by changing locks when he is absent from the property, techI suppose if he breaks back in, he may be a squatter as he no longer has pernission to occupy.
          Families & Wills - very corrosive mix.
          Did he drain bank account after fathers death?
          I would certainly report branch laxness to HO and Financial Omdusman.

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