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Buachaill
Buachaill, Barrister
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 11584
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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My mother died recently and left all her assets, including

Customer Question

Hi, my mother died recently and left all her assets, including the family home, to be shared equally between her four children. In my mother's will, my sister has been given a right of residence to reside in the family home until her death or when there is an agreement to sell.
Nobody is contesting her right to reside in the house, but there are still questions that need answers. They are:
What rights does my sister have under the right of residence apart from the right to live in the house? The only other right provided for in the will is to the use of the furnishings etc in the house for as long as needed.
Can my sister rent part of the property and retain the rental income for her exclusive use?
Does my sister have exclusive rights to control matters relating to the house, to include renting rooms, renovations, etc?
As Tenants in common in equal shares, what rights have we the remaining beneficiaries, during the period of the right to residence?Many Thanks,
Martin
Submitted: 16 days ago.
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Customer: replied 15 days ago.
Final question that wasn't fully included :
As Tenants in common in equal shares, what rights have we the remaining beneficiaries, during the period of the right to residence?
Thanks,
Martin
Expert:  oleksandrav-mod replied 15 days ago.

Hello,

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I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

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Expert:  Buachaill replied 15 days ago.

Hello, and thank you for your question. I am your Expert and I will provide the answer you require.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 15 days ago.

1. Dear Martin, the first thing you need to be aware of is that a right of residence is personal to the occupant and as such it cannot be rented out or given to someone else to occupy. So, essentially, your sister has a right of residence for as long as she, herself, occupies the property, with whoever she wishes, until she dies or ceases to be in occupation. There is no right o rent out the property during the period of the right of residence. During this period, all parties, including the four siblings bear the right of maintenance, although the occupant of the right of residence bears the primary right to maintain the property. It is the occupant who can decide the colouring and type of upkeep given to the property. However, all four siblings have the obligation not to do anything which might diminish the value of the property. It is the occupant who owes the obligation to pay any Property Tax. However, the other three/four beneficiaries do not have any rights to live in the property or do anything with the property so long as the right to residence operates. The other three beneficiaries have an inchoate right, namely rights which have not yet vested due to the operation of the right of residence. So, really the other tenants in common have an obligation not to do anything which might diminish the value of the property but they get no rights to enjoy the property or to decide how it will be dealt with until the end of the right of residence.

Expert:  Buachaill replied 15 days ago.

2. If you have any further queries about the right of residence, I will be happy to assist. Thank you for using the website. Please Rate or Accept the answer as unless you do so your Expert will not receive payment from the website despite answering your question.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Hi Buachill, many thanks for your reply. I just want to be clear on the following:
The will states that my sister has the right to 'live in the house' ; is this a right of residence or am I mistaken ?
Has my sister the right to rent rooms in the house in any circumstance?
Many thanks,
Martin
Expert:  Buachaill replied 14 days ago.

3. What has been created depends upon the wording. A crudely expressed "right to live in the house" is a right of residence. However, a right to live there "for her life" would create a life interest which is a different species of right with different rights attaching to it. Normally a right of residence is expressed as a "a right to reside in the house for her day" or some form of words like this. If you have doubts about what has been created, you should take the will as a whole to a solicitor and have the solicitor read it entirely as you can only get a feel for what has been created from reading the tenor of the will in its entirety. Finally, a right of residence gives no right to rent rooms, but something like a life interest would. So, for this reason, you should be certain as to what has been created and whether this is a right of residence or not. I have advised you on the basis it is a right of residence.