Hello, I am a solicitor with over 20 years experience. I will try to help you with this.
I do not think your situation is very clear. I am assuming that your father had a Rent Act protected tenancy. Such a tenancy can pass on death but only in specific circumstances. A potential successor daughter must live with the secure tenant for 2 years immediately prior to death. If that is not the case then there can be no succession.
There is also considerable doubt over whether your father is still the tenant, if he has not occupied the property for 40 years. He is almost certainly not the tenant any longer. If your landlord knows that you are in occupation and has been accepting rent on your behalf then you may be the tenant already. However of they do not know then you may have very little status in the proeprty.
Thank you for this advice. But it looks bad for me I fear!!. My father has not lived here for around 25 years. I have paid the rent into his company via his business manager but he is officially still the lease holder and one of the conditions in the lease was that he could not "sublet" . The rent has never gone directly from me unfortunately. He and my mother were living together when he signed the lease but were never married and her name was not on it. . They were together for 15 years. He and my mother seperated when I was 14 and he moved out. She continued to live here for a further 10 years with him paying the rent. She still lives here when in London. What would her position be re "a common law" wife? Nothing legal I think?. If I cannot take over the lease can they evict me when he dies? My name is ***** ***** council tax register as are my partner's and my children and the council tax bill is in my mother's name although I pay it. My father remarried some time ago and lives in a house he owns. The flat owners have changed a few times over the years. The orriginal agreement was with Chestertons in 1976 . is there anything I can do ? and if If I refused to go when my father dies does that make me an illegal squatter??!!.
On the basis of what you tell me the position is not clear. I suspect you may not have any legal right to stay in the property if your father dies. But if any of your landlords were aware of your presence and your father's absence you may be able to argue that you have become the tenant. There are no rights conferred here through being a common law wife. What does your mother say about the circumstances in which he left and what was aid to the landlord at the time?