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Aston Lawyer
Aston Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10178
Experience:  Solicitor LLB (Hons) 23 years of experience in Conveyancing and Property Law
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My sister and I bought the house we were living in with our

Customer Question

My sister and I bought the house we were living in with our mother (in 1964) but when I later married and our mother died, the house was too big for one person. I had the rooms on the first floor modernised and sold that flat. My sister still lives in her flat on the ground floor. We have been told that if I die first, my sister would not be entitled to have her flat as she has no lease and that we should be "tenants in Common" to safeguard her. Could you throw any light on this for us please. Thank you.

Regards,
Iris Henstock.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi Iris,

Thanks for your enquiry.

Just so I have the full picture, I take it that the "house" has never been separated legally and that the title to the whole of the house remains as a Freehold, registered in your joint names?

You mention "tenants in common". There is 2 ways, parties can hold a property. Either as Tenants in common, which means you both own a separate 50% share each in the property, and which share can be left to someone else in your Wills.
The other way 2 parties can hold a property is as "Joint Tenants" which means that if one of you were to die, the whole of the property would pass automatically to the other through survivorship.

Do you know which way you hold the property?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your reply. We are "Joint Tenants". There is no lease stating this.


Kind regards.

Iris.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi Iris,

Thanks for your reply.

As you both own the Freehold jointly as Joint tenants, if you were to die first, then the Freehold would pass automatically into the sole name of your sister, so she would be protected.

She would be less protected if you held the property as Tenants in common. This is because each of your respective shares would pass in accordance with each of your Wills or if you died without a Will, then the share would pass to your next of kin. I am not sure if you are married or have children, but if you do, then your husband or your children are classed as your next of kin if you did not leave a Will.

Long term, however, if she ever wanted to sell her Flat, she would need to create a Lease. This is because any Buyer will need the security of a Lease, as opposed to just owning the Freehold of the building.

I hope this assists.

Please feel free to ask me if you want any clarification.

Kind Regards
AL
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello AL,
Thank you so much for explaining our position. It is a relief to know things are straightforward for us as they stand at the moment. Good, promp service. Brilliant.

Kind regards.

Iris Henstock.
Expert:  Aston Lawyer replied 2 years ago.

Hi Iris,

Many thanks.

If I have helped, I would be grateful if you could leave positive feedback.

Kind Regards
AL

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