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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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I have the title deeds father's house but his partner

Customer Question

I have the title deeds for my father's house but his partner has life rent of the property until she no longer lives there. She has undertaken extensive garden work removing tress grass areas as well as putting in new windows to the property. Where do I stand legally to halt this work.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question
My name is Clare
I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
What were the terms of the Will with regard to her occupancy?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

She has life rent of the property and when she dies or gives up living there the property comes straight to me

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What is the exact wording regarding her responsibilities whilst she is in the property?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Originally the will stated that the executors and trustees of the will, her brother and sister were to hold interest in the house owned by my father throughout the life rent. However, they transferred the title over to me a year later.

Nothing is said currently of how is responsible for the up keep of the house. But the original will did quote (My estate will be administered according to the following conditions and powers: To acquire for the occupation of any beneficiary in my estate any dwellinghouse which my executors may consider suitable and to improve, decorate, reconstruct or add to it in such a manner as my executors may consider necessary or desirable.

But since the title deeds have been transferred over to me I don't know who is responsible. I was told by my fathers Solicitor basically she is only allowed to live in the house, nothing more. I just don't think she has the right to go and landscape gardens thinking she ultimately owns the house until she no longer needs it.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Is the work that she is doing finishing the value of the property?
How old is she?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Late 50's I would say. It's a large garden but tress that have been moved were of sentimental value. However, just need to know if she can legally do this work as no permission has been sought as I hold the title deeds

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
In order to give a complete answer I do need the specific wording of the gift to her - not the powers of the Executors, but the gift to her.
As things stand based on what you have said in fact whilst you own the Legal Title to the property your rights in it are very limited and the wording suggests that in fact she is allowed to treat it as her own whilst she chooses to live there provided she does nothing to reduce the value of the property.
Please ask if you need further assistance
Clare

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