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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 11899
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I lived with my mum rent-free from 2006 until her death

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I lived with my mum rent-free from 2006 until her death 2016. Her will is assets sold, proceeds divided among several children.
Is there any equivalent protection I have similar to 'co-habiting partners'? That is, does 'mother and child' living togerther for
10 years count for anything?

Hello - is this a private house?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

When in 2016 did your mother die?

Are there other beneficiaries in the will and are they saying that you have to get out to sell the property.

What provisions were made for you in the will?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Mum died Feb 9, 2016. All siblings will not possibly negotiate; they demand their money.As per 'Word' doc, 4 children (beneficiaries), yes they want me out, they come round at random to show prospective buyers around.No provisions made particular to me (Will & Grant have been attached/sent).

Thank you. As you have been told you are now out of time to bring an Inheritance Act claim because the time limit is 12 months. Even so, if the will simply left everything equally between children beneficiaries, it is unlikely that you could challenge on the basis that you needed to continue to live in the property unless you can prove that it was promised by your mother and you relied on that promise to your detriment.

The way the court would look at this is that if your mother had wanted you to continue to live in the property, and having written a will, she would have made provision in the will for you to live in the property for life or for a number of years before it sold.

It actually gets worse for you I am sorry to have to tell you. You have lived in the property since your mother’s death 17 months ago and you are liable to pay an occupational rent in respect of your occupation of the other siblings share of the house at the market rent. If you had three siblings, would be liable to pay 75% of the market rent, 25% each, from the date of your mother’s death until you move out.

I’m sorry to say that I don’t think you have any alternative but to sell the property

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Please take a moment to look at the top right hand corner of the page and rate my service by clicking one of the stars at the top of the screen. It’s important you use the rating service because that gives me credit. It doesn’t just give me a pat on the head! All you need to do is press Submit. Thank you. If you still need any point clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.

Best wishes.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks - So there is no possible 'equivalence' to the 'co-habiting' law?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm unsure if my final question arrived on your desk? Is there is no possible 'equivalence' to the 'co-habiting' law?

People who have cohabited are not in any different situation than you are. The rules are exactly the same.

Someone who lives in the property may have a claim on it if they are not named on the deeds and the person who is named on the deeds dies but they would need to prove that either the house was promised to them and they relied on that promise to their detriment or they would need to prove that they had contributed to the property in some way to establish a beneficial interest.

Here it is in the same kind of wording from one particular Citizens Advice:

look down the page about halfway to the paragraph starting, “If you’re not married or in a civil partnership………..”.

Although the page is talking about someone who has not left a will and has died, the situation is exactly the same even if there is a will.

There are quite a few articles in a similar vein

The fact that you were living with your mother does not actually make any difference.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I replaced all the central heating, which took some months, is this a significant 'interest?'

Yes, in my opinion it is. BUT it is unlikely to be enough to get you to stay in the property but it would give you a share of the property in your own right, before any inheritance under the will is divided.