How to han­dle an un­ex­pected prop­erty in­her­i­tance

The Oban Times - - Property - By El­liot Cas­tle, CEO of We Buy Any Home

INHERITING a prop­erty can be hugely over­whelm­ing. When you’ve lost a loved one, the last thing you want to think about is what to do with the home they’ve left be­hind.

De­cid­ing what do to with the prop­erty can be stress­ful and daunt­ing as there are a num­ber of op­tions avail­able to ben­e­fi­cia­ries of a home: you can rent out the prop­erty, live it in your­self or sell it.

If you are sell­ing the prop­erty with joint in­her­i­tors you will need to agree who is go­ing to man­age the sale and agree the min­i­mum price you will all ac­cept.

When you are ready to pro­ceed you then have two op­tions: put the house on the mar­ket and sell through an es­tate agent or sell the prop­erty with a pri­vate buy­ing com­pany which can guar­an­tee a quick and easy sale.

If you pre­fer to put the house on the mar­ket with es­tate agents, you will need to pre­pare the prop­erty for sale – ap­ply­ing a fresh coat of paint and re­pair­ing any dam­age.

It is im­por­tant to choose your agent care­fully to make sure you trust their val­u­a­tion and de­sire to sell the home, and you are happy for them to en­ter the prop­erty and con­duct view­ings if you can’t be there your­self.

How­ever, if it is in your in­ter­est to sell the prop­erty very quickly, you may be re­luc­tant to in­vest the time and money to put it on the mar­ket. In this case, you can opt to sell the prop­erty through a pri­vate buy­ing com­pany such as We Buy Any Home.

We will pro­vide you with an ini­tial of­fer within 24 hours of con­tact - en­abling com­ple­tion on a house sale in as lit­tle as seven days. We will also pay the so­lic­i­tor’s fees for prop­erty sales, so ben­e­fi­cia­ries can be as­sured that the of­fer made to them is the full amount they will re­ceive.

If it is in a good area, and in good con­di­tion, rent­ing it out is a ben­e­fi­cial way to keep the prop­erty as part of your es­tate, pay off the mort­gage and even pro­vide your­self some ex­tra cash.

If you are con­sid­er­ing rent­ing out, you must be will­ing to com­mit to rent it out for six months or more, keep the house in good re­pair and make nec­es­sary up­dates and fixes when re­quired and you have a full un­der­stand­ing of the le­gal­i­ties of be­ing a land­lord.

You will have to pay tax on any profit you make from the rental in­come and make sure the prop­erty is in full pos­ses­sion of en­ergy, gas and elec­tri­cal safety per­for­mance cer­tifi­cates.

There are two op­tions avail­able for man­ag­ing a rental prop­erty. The first is us­ing a let­ting agent who han­dles the le­gal process of mov­ing your ten­ants in and any is­sues that oc­cur, but you will need to pay them a fee. The other op­tion is land­lord man­age­ment, which means you are in charge of man­ag­ing the prop­erty and the po­ten­tial mid­night calls about bro­ken boil­ers.

If the prop­erty is de­sir­able, you may de­cide you would like to live in it your­self. If you are the sole in­her­i­tor this is slightly more straight­for­ward, as it is your de­ci­sion alone whether to in­habit the prop­erty. How­ever, if you share the in­her­ited prop­erty you will have to seek le­gal ad­vice to draw up an agree­ment to en­sure that all par­ties are com­pen­sated for their part own­er­ship.

Again, you will need the agree­ment of your joint in­her­i­tors so it is best to dis­cuss this with them be­fore any de­ci­sions are made.

In ei­ther case, there are a few ques­tions you need to ask be­fore go­ing ahead. Does the prop­erty have any debts? The value of the de­ceased per­son’s share is counted as part of their es­tate. The per­sonal rep­re­sen­ta­tive or ex­ecu­tor for the de­ceased per­son’s es­tate is re­spon­si­ble for set­tling all fi­nan­cial af­fairs. They must en­sure that all debts and any tax due is paid be­fore they dis­trib­ute the as­sets of the es­tate.

If you in­herit a prop­erty which has a mort­gage, you’ll be re­spon­si­ble for the monthly pay­ments even if you don’t live there. If you are un­able to pay th­ese, there is a risk the prop­erty could be re­pos­sessed. An ad­viser will be able to help you work out your op­tions or ne­go­ti­ate with your lender.

Are there any ten­ants in the prop­erty? If you in­herit a prop­erty that has a ten­ant, you will have to take their le­gal rights into ac­count. Giv­ing them proper no­tice is im­por­tant and it is im­por­tant to seek le­gal ad­vice to help you ne­go­ti­ate their con­tract if you don’t un­der­stand the agree­ment.

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