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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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My upstairs neighbour has recently died and police had to break

Resolved Question:

My upstairs neighbour has recently died and police had to break into his flat to find him. I live on the lower floor of a 2 floor house which was converted from 1 to 2 properties some 30 years ago. The upstairs neighbour was the only resident upstairs having bought it when first converted. I am worried about the state of the property and the fact that it may lie empty for the winter months. How do I find out who is looking after the maintenance or who is the solicitor who is dealing with the flat now? I do not know who the relatives are and only learned of them from the small amount of information the police gave me. I should also find out what insurance there is on the property so that claims can be made if damage occurs over the winter.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts :

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Alex Watts :

Does the property have a management company please?

Customer:

No. I own my property outright and the upstairs neighbour owned his but may have had a mortgage.

Alex Watts :

Ok. Its a hard one sadly.

Alex Watts :

The mortgage company won't be able to tell you anything, because of the Data Protect Act.

Alex Watts :

They wont release any information to you

Alex Watts :

You can check the Land Registry to see if anyone else is registered on the property. There is a small cost of doing this and you can search online at:

Alex Watts :

http://eservices.landregistry.gov.uk/www/wps/portal/

Alex Watts :

However if no one is registered there all sadly you can is see if anyone comes to the property.

Customer:

Have had a look at the Land Registry but have not made an enquiry yet. How do things stand with my insurance if the upstairs flat has a flood or goes on fire since it was not well maintained.

Alex Watts :

There is no national database of wills

Alex Watts :

As for insurance sadly there is no legal requirement to insure a property

Alex Watts :

Therefore there may or may not be insurance

Alex Watts :

If there is damage all you can do is make a claim on the estate of the deceased for any damage caused.

Alex Watts :

Sadly this is one of those situations where there is not much you can do, save for land registry searches

Alex Watts :

I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and certainly not the one I want to give you, but I have a duty to be honest

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

I left a message for the relatives to give me contact details for emergencies but if they are anything like my neighbour I doubt they will not reply. I feel that I may be compromised with paying a huge bill which I cannot afford if something goes wrong. I have no problem with your honesty and much prefer it to any other kind of answer. But who do I get in touch with to make a claim on the estate if the owner of the property is deceased?

Alex Watts :

Indeed I understand your frustration. If there is a claim then you issue proceedings at the property address in the name of 'The personal representatives of (name)'

Alex Watts :

Does that help?

Customer:

Not really. The neighbour was left for 6-8 weeks dead in the flat which would indicate that he and family were not close so the chances of someone picking up the mail are low, I think.

Alex Watts :

Indeed. I am sorry it is not better news, but post a note on the door, keep an eye out and also pop something through the letterbox

Alex Watts :

Is there anything else I can help with today?

Customer:

No thanks. This problem is the only one that I have. The rest of my life is just fine. Just been to New York to daughter's wedding so absolutely loads is all right in my world. But thanks for asking.

Alex Watts :

Very nice!

Alex Watts :

If this answers your question might I invite you to rate my SERVICE before you go today please. The button should be at the bottom of the screen

Alex Watts :

If you need more help please click reply

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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