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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35299
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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UK, I'm writing from the US and this is a question about

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Good evening UK, I'm writing from the US and this is a question about real estate and inheritance.My father-in-law and his wife purchased a flat as joint tenants. The lease for the flat states:"IT IS HEREBY DECLARED that where the Lessee consists of two persons all covenants by the Lessee shall be deemed to be by such persons jointly and severally and that such persons shall hold this Lease as beneficial joint tenants."My father-in-law became incapacitated, his wife was appointed his Deputy for Property and Affairs, and shortly before she died of brain cancer she served my father-in-law (who was in a coma) with "NOTICE OF SEVERANCE UNDER THE LAW OF PROPERTY ACT 1925 SECTION 36 (ii)" informing him that "the Property shall from the date of this Notice belong to you and me as tenants in common in equal shares." She then willed her shares of the property to her friends, tax free. (My father-in-law survived his wife by over a year.)My question is, under the terms of the Lease, was the severance legal at all or did the Lease require under all circumstances that the flat remain a joint tenancy?Thank you very much for your help!

Thank you for your question

My name is ***** ***** I shall do my best to help you

I can understand where the confusion comes from but these are two separate issues.

The paragraph you quote in the lease relates only to the relationship between the freeholder and the leaseholders.

the Notice of Severance related only to the relationship between the two leaseholders themselves and in no way impacted on their joint relationship with the freeholder

Please ask if you need further details

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Dear Clare,Thanks so much. Yes, this is a bit confusing and I'm still a bit confused. So when it says, "all covenants by the Lessee shall be deemed to be by such persons jointly and severally and that such persons shall hold this Lease as beneficial joint tenants," does that mean that when the flat is put up for sale that the control of the sale goes up for sale as tenants in common (50% father-in-law's estate's control and 50% wife's estate's control) or as a joint tenancy (100% father-in-law's estate's control)?Thank you very much,
Irene

That is not an issue governed by the Lease.

The severance relates to how the proceeds of sale are divided - nothing else.

if the property is still in the names of the husband and wife then the sale is dealt with by the Executors of the husband with half the proceeds going to the estate of the wife .

If it had already been transferred into the joint names of the husband and the new owners then they deal with the sale

Clare and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** understand now. Best, Irene