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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12179
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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My partner has dies and his will reads: I gIVE UNTO MY SAID

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My partner has dies and his will reads:
I gIVE UNTO MY SAID tRUSTEES (who are his 3 sons) to hold my legal interest in
To hold upon trust as follows\;
a) o give my partner Martha Richter the right to occupy the property rent free for the reminder of her life or for as long as she shall wish
b) that upon exercising the right to occupy my said Partner shall pay all outgoings upon the property all service accounts and shall insure the prop agreed wityh erty annually to a satisfactory figure as agreed with my said Trustees.
As it says "occupy" , his sons insist that only I can live there, not allowed to share,
alter anything inside the cottage or rent it out. I really want to rent it out.
The cottage will revert to the sons after my death. The sons also have the right to
determine the insurance I have to pay for the property. I shall be responsible for the council tax and all amenities. I want to rent the cottage out if at all possible or at least share it with someone. The executors are a Quality Solicitor and my late partners 3 sons.
What can I do please
Thank you for your question.
You can occupy and there would nothing to stop you taking a lodger in to share, but you can't rent it out and if you leave the right of occupancy will fall and the house will revert to the beneficiaries including the right of vacant possession.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I also want to know if I can do some internal alterations please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
JGM answered but not the question if I can do some internal alterations to the property
No, you couldn't do internal alterations other than maintaining the decor. You aren't the owner.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Right I will share with a lodger. Surely my lodger can pay towards the cost of living with me in the cottage.
Please let me know. thank you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Once I found a lodger I do not intend to live with the person very much. I shall be away most of the time.
Would that cause a problem.
You would have to be seen to be occupying the house as your only or main residence failing which you will be deemed to have vacated and the house will revert to the beneficiaries.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The beneficiaries do know that I have a house elsewhere which is my main residence. The also know that I often go
abroad. I could not be there all the time. Now that my partner (their father) has died I shall stay abroad for longer
You did not tell me if I can charge any lodger. the person would also look after the property whilst I am away. which could be for month but no longer than 6 month at a time.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, an other problem. The beneficiaries want me to have a Tenant Agreement. I rejected it as I do not feel I am their
tenant as I have the right to occupy for the reminder of my life. I do not want to be restricted by any conditions they want
to include in the Tenancy Agreement. I will not sign one. Where do I stand.
That occupancy would be fine especially as you have always had a house elsewhere. As far as a tenancy agreement is concerned, there is no legal basis for this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
You still have not told me if I can charge my lodger please.
So far :
I can live in the cottage and share it with someone (but I still do not know yet about sharing expenses)
As you know I have a permanent, main residence somewhere else and I want to be there as much as possible
how much must I stay at the cottage, where my lodger will live. I shall also be abroad a lot.I understand I can' t rent the cottage out and I can't alter the internal outlay.
The cottage will not be my main and only residence . I just want to be there sometimes.
I do need very clear and binding legally 100% correct answers and I will confront the beneficiaries with your answers.
Thank you.
You can share expenses with a lodger. However all of this is dependent on you occupying the property. From what you say, it isn't your intention to occupy in the only or main residence sense of the term occupy. Whilst you don't have to be there all the time, there is no legal rule as to when you have to be ther and how much time you have to spend there. That would be a matter of fact and dependent on your own circumstances. If you occupy simply as a matter of convenience then the benficiaries will argue that your occupancy is really a sham and that you should not be entitled to the right of occupation.
So in the early stages I would consider being in occupation as far as possible to protect your position and prevent a challenge. It's a pity the will isn't more specific about this as there is no specific law to help you.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
In the "olden days" the fact that I was engaged to my "partner" would have carried some weight. Is that no longer the case?
No, it stands for nothing. A fiancée or cohabitant in England gets whatever provision is left in the will or in any cohabitation agreement. In Scotland there is a law that entitles a cohabitant to apply to the court for a financial lump sum payment from the deceased's estate but that is not the law in England.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
As I intend to challenge the beneficiaries please check that i got my facts legally right.
If I live at the cottage I can have a lodger who will help with the expenses, which I have not to tell them how much
I will charge.
I have not to be at the cottage all the time. As I work some nights near my house I will be away nights, just be around
the cottage some days, except when I am abroad.I do not have to sign a tenancy agreement.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i am happy to type my quetions. Therefore please answer my last quetions. As the property is rented out at present and the
beneficiaries are getting the rent I want to challenge them next week. I want them to give notice to the tenant. Can I also
ask for the money they have received since my partner died?
They can give notice to the tenants in accordance with whatever lease there is. You aren't entitled to the rent. Why would you be?
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