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Ex has died and left a lodger in the property we both owned..

(59 Posts)
crazybit Sat 01-Aug-15 16:21:34

My ex and I have owned a house for 16 years, he has been living there and I have not, he was violent and I didn't have much choice.

He has now died and so the mortgage has fallen to me to pay. He had been paying the interest off only so the full capital is yet to be paid for. He cashed his endowment in years ago and no insurance policy is on the property or his life.

I now find out that his (druggy) mate has been living there and according to ex's mother (who is reluctant to tell me anything) he has a Tenancy Agreement and Housing Benefit pay his rent.

I am a single mum of 4 with my eldest grieving for her dad, on a very limited income myself and really don't know where to start. He died less than a 2 weeks ago and my mortgage company are chasing me already as he was in arrears.

The other thing is that no death certificate or interim death certificate will be issued for a minimum of 8 weeks as it was suspicious circumstances so no accounts can be closed down as yet.

Can anyone shed any light on if I have to honour any kind of tenancy? I was not aware and would never have agreed to it. Also, I am unable to get hold of a copy and reluctant to go round as I believe he is not exactly a reasonable person.

sanquhar Sat 01-Aug-15 16:26:10

if he is a lodger you can boot him out with one months notice. lodgers have no proper rights

if he is a tenant with a contract it will be more difficult.

you need to find out which he is.

if he is a tenant with a contract you need to wait until 2 months before the contract ends and issue him a section 21(i think?) notice.

sanquhar Sat 01-Aug-15 16:27:53

forgot to say- he has to have a proper assured short hold tenancy, not just a bit of paper saying "my mate Bob Bobrickson can live in my house"

Coffeemarkone Sat 01-Aug-15 16:30:16

" according to ex's mother (who is reluctant to tell me anything) he has a Tenancy Agreement and Housing Benefit pay his rent. "

I doubt it is a proper AST, as sanquar said.

SewSlapdash Sat 01-Aug-15 16:55:41

In a situation this complex, you really need proper legal advice. It will be impossible to say what your position is without someone looking at all the paperwork. Please see a solicitor. They will also be able to help you deal with the mortgage company.

sleeponeday Sat 01-Aug-15 16:57:00

Was it a tenancy in common, or a joint tenancy - ie are you now sole owner, or is his share left to someone else?

I'm afraid I think you might benefit from a chat with the CAB at a minimum, and a decent solicitor at best. Women's Aid may be able to help you too - this situation only arose because you were frightened of him, from the sounds of it.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 01-Aug-15 17:03:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Noeuf Sat 01-Aug-15 17:21:26

Did you tell the mortgage company you moved out? The best case scenario is you sell it and get enough to pay the mortgage off. Ring shelter?

Crazybit Sat 01-Aug-15 17:52:42

I've been in touch with the relevant council and they can't even tell me if any housing benefit is being paid due to data protection.

Yes it was joint tenancy even though his mum can't understand that and thinks I have no right to the house.

Crazybit Sat 01-Aug-15 17:53:21

I've tried ringing shelter several times but can't get through.

Crazybit Sat 01-Aug-15 17:54:23

The mortgage company are aware I haven't lived there for years. I couldn't get my name off the mortgage because he was unable to provide proof of affordability as he wasn't working.

firesidechat Sat 01-Aug-15 18:01:17

Lodgers don't have the same rights as tenants and you are within your rights to ask him to leave. Can the friend be a tenant if the owner (ex) lived there too?

As others have said you do need to clarify whether you now own the whole property or if he has left his share to someone else. Joint tenancy or tenants in common?

Crazybit Sat 01-Aug-15 18:02:43

Fireside, it was Joint Tenancy so soley mine.

firesidechat Sat 01-Aug-15 18:05:30

This might be useful:

firesidechat Sat 01-Aug-15 18:07:50

Sorry your posts weren't highlighted because of the name change, so I didn't notice your replies.

From what you have said and the info on the link I posted, it looks like you can just kick him out if you so wish. Maybe get some proper advice before you do though.

bimandbam Sat 01-Aug-15 18:07:50

If hb is being paid then there is some sort of paperwork in place. You need to see a copy of this asap. Contact the tenant and ask them if they have a copy.

Depending on the paperwork will depend on how you proceed. I would also try and get a couple of valuations on it so you know your position if you decide to sell. If the valuations are significantly higher than the mortgage this could buy you some time with the lenders.

Also check who your exs next if kin is. I presume it isn't you? Depending on how the tenancy is worded if it doesn't name you as a co-owner it could get complicated as the rent will legally go to the person named or their estate. So if you aren't named and there is say 10 months left on the tenancy the rent could pass to the estate while you remain legally responsible for the mortgage payments.

That would be my understanding of the law relating to tenancy agreements and only because I dealt with a similar case while in the lettings industry so definitely check and raise that point with a solicitor.

And I am sorry for your loss. He might have been an ex but I bet it was still a shock in the circumstances. flowers

Optimist1 Sat 01-Aug-15 18:09:01

Just a thought, OP - are you 100% certain he had no life insurance? (It's a long time since I took out a mortgage, but I had the feeling that it was a proviso from the building society that you had to have life insurance.)

Crazybit Sat 01-Aug-15 21:54:01

I'm pretty sure Optimist. . He lived hand to mouth..had been in prison and I'm pretty sure he didn't even have a bank account.
He cashed his endownment in for the house years ago. Even if he has, I'm not sure I would be entitled to anything anyway. My daughter is 15 so probably not classed account has next of kin.
I was under the impression that it was legally required too but the interest payments are pretty low so they were probably just grateful to receive them.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 01-Aug-15 22:31:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

firesidechat Sat 01-Aug-15 23:08:41

If you are divorced or never married then your daughter (his daughter?) would be the next in line to inherit his estate. If your tenancy of the house is as joint tenants then the house will be yours and fall outside of the estate. Anything else - bank accounts, shares and such would go to his daughter.

SmokeFree Sun 02-Aug-15 08:57:57

Alpaca that is only true if he died intestate. If there is a will then the OP would have to show his daughter was being maintained or financially dependent on him, which from the sound of things isn't true. Also, given the OP gets what sounds as though was his main/only asset by virtue of the joint tenancy then there wouldn't be much point making a claim.

Collaborate Sun 02-Aug-15 17:08:51

A daughter can claim under the Inheritance Act as of right. She does not need to show she was being maintained at date of death.

DelphiniumBlue Sun 02-Aug-15 18:59:41

Just thinking, if he doesn't have a bank account, how is the rent being paid? I think you might need to speak to the lodger and get details before you do anything.

SmokeFree Sun 02-Aug-15 21:49:04

Sorry, collaborate of course you're right. But still both points are only valid if he was intestate.

fastdaytears Sun 02-Aug-15 21:51:10

An interim death certificate will work for bank accounts etc in exactly the same way as a full one (assuming you're in England). Only issue is for life insurance but that doesn't sound like an issue. Did the banks say they wouldn't accept the interim certificate?

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