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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 26069
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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Since my husband died 17 years ago I am living in a bungalow

Resolved Question:

Since my husband died 17 years ago I am living in a bungalow which has an agricultural tie on it as my husband was the farmer and I now own the farm.

I have a partner now who is in a position to sell/rent out his own house and move in with me. However I need to protect myself against any problems with this. If he moves in and we will be paying council tax for two people, maybe paying some bills how do I stand legally?

For instance if I die first can he claim the bungalow instead of my children even though it is tied. He does help me with the farm work although he is now 68 and I am 61. If he dies can his children make a claim on the bungalow?

What is the best thing to do​
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

May I ask if there is any mortgage outstanding on the property please?

Joshua :

I believe I would be correct in my assumption you are not married? Would that be correct?

Customer:

Not sure if you got my answer or not.

Customer:

No there are no outstanding debts/mortgages on bungalow or farm

Customer:

No we are not married

Joshua :

Thanks.

Joshua :

on the basis you are not married, then by allowing your partner to move in with you, he does not acquire any rights to your property. the only way he can acquire rights to property is either if you formally gift him a share of the property either by way of a simple trust or by transferring the property into joint names, neither of which I would assume you would propose to do; or if he makes any capital contributions to the property such as by paying capital towards any mortgage or by paying for improvements to the property such as an extension and so on.

Joshua :

there is no need to put in place a new form of formal agreement between you and your partner to protect your position because if your partner wished to later claim a share in the property, or for that matter whose family, the burden of proof would be upon him or his family to demonstrate that he made capital contributions to the property or that you gifted sharing the property to him. However, if you felt you wished to put in place a formal agreement to regulators occupation of the property, this was certainly do no harm in that it would reduce the possibility of either your partner or his family claiming that he made a capital contribution to the property because it would be even harder to do so than would be the case in any event.

Joshua :

If you wished to put in place such an agreement, you could consider a simple licence agreement, which is a little bit like Lodgers agreement essentially which sets out that you are allowing your partner to occupy the property in return for either a rent or that he pays a share proportion of the bills or whatever terms you have agreed. such an agreement makes it clear that any money he is paying to you is either rent or contribution towards the bills and therefore as above, makes it all but impossible for him or any third party to claim he has a capital interest in the property

Joshua :

if you wish to put in place lodgers/licence agreement, although as above it is not necessary, you could consider the following:
https://www.legalhelpers.co.uk/orderdiy.asp?document=houseshare

Joshua :

is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer: They would have to find proof surely that he had contributed to capital items wouldn't they?
Customer: What happens if I say he can live in the bungalow until he dies? Is that a wise move?
Joshua :

Quite so.

Joshua :

the burden of proof would be upon him or his family to demonstrate financial evidence of any capital contributions he or they claimed to have made to the property. it is not for you to prove otherwise

Joshua :

it is quite possible for you to provide for example in your will right of occupation or a life interest for your partner to continue to occupy the property either for a period of time after your passing or until his death. If you wish, you could add one or more contingencies, for example that provide that such right continue so long as he does not cohabit with anybody else or move out of the property for more than x months and so on.

Joshua :

as to whether it is wise is entirely a personal decision. Obviously whilst he has a right to occupy the property then those individuals that you leave your property to will not be able to benefit. Therefore it is a question of you deciding which is most important for you.

Joshua :

is there anything else I can help you with?

Joshua :

Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though

Customer: No I feel better now you have clarified things for me. My husband and I had a bad experience when first married with his family and a tenancy agreement came in just in time to save us being turned off the farm and I don't want my two children ( 35 and 33) to go through the same nightmare.
Customer: thank you for your help and advice
Customer: Gail Link
Joshua :

A pleasure. one small but significant point of course would be that if you and your partner were to ever marry in the future email be entitled to a share of your property unless you put in place a prenuptial agreement though I'm sure you are already well aware of this. Providing you do not marry, the position remains as above

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