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Stuart J
Stuart J, Solicitor
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 22624
Experience:  PGD Law. 20 years legal profession, 6 as partner in High Street practice
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Just wanted more information on Life Tenants and the Remainderman

Customer Question

Just wanted more information on Life Tenants and the Remainderman rights and responsibilities. I live on the property and the Life Tenant doesn't so does rights and responsibilities change? UK law perspective please.
JA: The Property Lawyer will need to help you with this. Please give me a bit more information, so we can help you best.
Customer: Property was conveyed to me which is shared by other out right owners.
JA: Anything else I can tell the Property Lawyer before I connect you two?
Customer: I live in Bermuda which uses UK property law.
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Property Lawyer about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Good evening. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this. Please bear with me over the weekend because I may not get back to you immediately but I am online several times each day, throughout the day. Could you explain the situation here a little more please and tell me exactly what it is you want to know about it?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Presently I am living in a cottage on a family property with my brother in an apartment. My father did a voluntary conveyance in 1997 so upon his death and my step mother his quarter share of the property would come to my brother. I have been living on the property since 1991. It was the original property of my grandparents. It has a commercial shop and arable land along with a main house with apartment and cottage. My aunt passed on and gave her half share to my uncle who had already a quarter. When my aunt was alive she was the only sibling to live on the property. We contributed all with rents but 50% would be toward the upkeep of the old property. Since her death in 2010, my uncle has taken over management and is not caring for the upkeep of the property the way it should be. The bare minimum to be honest. I started paying for more such as plumping, roof repairs, painting, etc. I had already had contributed to the interior but wanted to do significant renovation because it was getting outdated and need more change as my life has change. I was being treated with no much support and I was getting the feeling of things being done purposefully such as broken pipes, pressure tank problems other tenants which my uncle brought in was being very noisy and trashing the area near the arable land. I wrote my uncle and complained about everything and said I was not contributing to the upkeep by paying into an account he managed and will do it myself. He was made and said you are a tenant and will be evicted if you don't pay. So we are now going to trial due to my claims and his claims. The property is old and is under rent control also. It is in Bermuda and our laws follow UK law the older version. I wanted to find more specific info on responsibilities and rights of the Life Tenant (my father) and the remaindermen (my brother and myself). I also looked a Waste Laws such as deterioration of the property not cared for by the Life Tenant and other shareholders. Trial date May 2nd.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Note: correction the property comes to my brother and I.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.Whose names is the property in now?Is that in equal shares as tenants in common or joint tenants?It appears that the property is one quarter in you and your brother’s name and three quarters in your uncle’s name because you say that he already owned quarter and your aunt passed on and gave her half share to your uncle. Please confirm.Is there any mortgage outstanding?Who is living in the property? Is it just you. It appears to be because you say that your brother is in an apartment. Please confirmWho pays rent and to whom? I think it’s just you please confirm That amount of rent should be three quarters of the market rent to your uncle and half of one quarter i.e., 1/8th to your brother if your brother is not living in the property. Please confirm.Who is taking him to court on 2 May? It appears to be your uncle is taking you for either failure to pay for repairs or for failure to pay rent. Please confirm.You then appear to be counterclaim from him in respect of his failure to repair. Please confirm.Your uncle seems to be forgetting that you have done some repairs. Please confirmI need you to fill in all the missing gaps please.Finally, you haven’t actually asked the question. What is it that you want to know?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Just wanted more information on Life Tenants and the Remainder-man rights and responsibilities. It is Tenants in Common and no mortgage. My uncle 3/4 and my father 1/4 but we have a voluntary conveyance in place upon his death and my step mothers. I have right as in the future interest of the property and I live on it with my brother and son. Neither of the other owners live on it. My uncle is taking me to court cause I am not paying the rents which I stopped because he is not doing the property repairs and if done poorly done. I have plenty of evidence so, I have counter claimed. I want specifics to the rights of a Life Tenant and the remainder-mens responsibilities and rights.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Rents are paid to an account for the property and over the years my aunt paid bills and dispersed moneys to the shareholder quarterly or annually. My father did during some of the period when I was on the property and did do external repairs or landlord responsibilities. I have painted, tiled and replaced such items as toilets, fridges, washer driers, bathroom sinks and planted trees and bushes outside. My uncle says he has done enough but because we are not paying enough he will do bare minimum. The property is under Rent Control so, he is suppose to follow rules and procedure but has not done this so another issue of my defense. I have itemized my expenses along with emails I have corresponded to him on many issues. We are in court May 6th for a trial. I have submitted my counter claim. He has a lawyer. I did from Jan 2015 to July 2015 but gave up because of the enormous expense and not in court yet. It was ordered to trial in September 2015 was expected in Jan 2016 but canceled due to all judges in attendance at an important Supreme Court hearing. My family have money and power so, I am on my own. I have read plenty on this issue but wanted your perspective. Thanks,
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. Thank you for the question. It is my pleasure to assist you with this today.I need some more information from you please. I’m not certain what you mean by “voluntary conveyance”. It is generally meant to refer to a conveyance which has been done without any consideration (payment) although I’m not certain whether that’s what you are saying. If you are saying that you have a transfer to be registered on his death, putting the property into your names, then I am afraid that doesn’t work. The transfer is void upon your father’s death and there must be an application for probate in respect of his share.You might want to consider transferring your father’s share you now to avoid that and of course, if your father’s estate is likely to fall into a size where it may be liable for inheritance tax, provided your father lives for 7 years, it also escapes inheritance tax.You have no right to live in it automatically unless you have been granted the right but you may have a financial interest as a result of any contributions you have made to repairs and the substance of the house but not in respect of rent.It is a shame that you did not ask the question regarding the rent earlier because it would have saved you having to go to court. You simply cannot withhold rent because he has not done the repairs. It is as simple as that. You cannot offset one against the other. Your claim for breach of repairing covenant and to recover any money you have spent on the property (if you recover it, you have no financial interest anymore) and his claim for rent are completely different.At the moment, from what you have said, there no live tenants and no remainder men. That is quite simply because your father and your uncle both have vested interests not life interests. There is no remainder after death. The property currently vests your father and uncle and then vests in whoever they leave the property or their estate to.Am I missing something here?If you want to ask me specific questions about who is responsible for what, I will answer those for you.Incidentally, with regard to the repairs, you would take both your father and uncle to court for breach of repairing covenant even though they are liable in different proportions for failure to repair.Does that answer the question? Can I answer any specific points arising from this?Please do not forget to rate the answer service positively, so that I get credit for my time today. You may think the thread closes after rating but it doesn’t, it stays open and we can still exchange emails if you so wish. Kind regards
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The property was conveyed to my brother and I to avoid death tax. It is a legal document and does not require any probation. You are missing the point of Rent Control rules. He has not abided by them so, I will end it here. You are missing the point that I did have vested interest. They have changed the rules and we have no written agreement. I am not paying rents when we agreed to 50% should be for the upkeep of the property. Never mind.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I asked specific information on rights and responsibilities of the Life Tenant and the Remainder-men who is my brother and me. See link on such specifics.
Customer: replied 1 year ago. some answers.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
I think I have missed something here because I asked whose name the property was in and you quite clearly said “my uncle ¾ and my father ¼”.I think that answer should have been, “my uncle ¾ and me and my brother 1/8 each”. In which case, you have a vested interest as your uncle does.I have answered the point about repairs.I’m going to opt out for another expert to consider.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks I found out by someone asking the same question regarding responsibilities of the Life Tenant who is my father and the Remaindermen my brother and myself concerning the 1/4 on this site. It has been much waste to which it had deteriorated. It is many aspects to this situation and my claim of damages. Rent is under rent control. I have spoken to them because he has clearly over charged and never completed the process of approval by the Rent Commission. I am standing my ground.
Expert:  Stuart J replied 1 year ago.
I don’t think we should get too hung up or involved in the terminology because in actual fact, even though the terminology is incorrect, because you have a vested interest, the liabilities are exactly the same.Do remember however that you and your brother between you, are responsible for one quarter of the cost of repairs by virtue of your vested interest.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The Life Tenant is responsible for insurance, tax and structural renovations. As I said I have added quite a bit and even asked to make major renovations but was told don't waste my money because the property will be sold. They are letting it fall apart and as a remaindermen I have a right to file a claim against damages of dumping trash, destruction of the building and land on the property. On top of my rights, the cottage is under Rent Control so, they have never submitted an application of rent increases from day one. In the 80s someone who lived in my cottage was taken to court for none payment of rents and they got nothing because of failure to comply to the Rent Commissions rules and regulations. My question from the beginning was in regards ***** ***** Tenants and Remaindermen rights and responsibilities. But I can see you are a lawyer only for the rights of landowner/landlords. Quite typical of the UK laws of the past. I will move on.