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House and home

Signing a Tenancy Agreement. Should I?

(55 Posts)
Su127 Tue 20-Aug-19 22:09:17

I will shortly be sharing a home with my daughter, her husband and young boys. I own the house. We will have totally separate living quarters. Together under the same roof and only sharing the stairs. I proposed we sign a Tenancy Agreement and/or House Rules. It’s not gone down well to say the least. In fact they are pressing me to sign over their portion to them while I still have seven years in me! The atmosphere is dreadful. They rent. They have not put one penny into building the new house, but have had plenty to say what they wanted. Their stance being that they will be paying rent. My other daughter lost her life in car accident recently. No fight in me but I feel I must stand my ground. Oh do please help me. Gently.

aggie Tue 20-Aug-19 22:15:53

It sounds like a neccessity ! get a good solicitor to draw it up and make it legal , if they are paying you rent it needs to be in writing even if it is peppercorn

Septimia Tue 20-Aug-19 22:19:01

I'm sorry you are in such as difficult situation, especially as you must still be grieving.

As you own the house and they will be paying you rent, it seems to me that some sort of formal agreement is needed to protect both sides.

I suggest you get advice from a solicitor (free initial consultation, maybe?) or Citizens Advice. If you do sign over their share, make sure that you are protected. If I remember rightly, when we shared a house with my parents we were advised to own it as 'tenants in common' - that way neither side could sell up and leave the other homeless.

Making sure both you and they are protected shouldn't be controversial, unless they're aiming to do something underhand. I hope you can get the right advice and organise things so that you are all happy.

paddyann Tue 20-Aug-19 22:39:17

I would advise the same,see a solicitor and get everything legal and on paper .Dont sign anything over until you're sure its what you want to do .They'll get it after you've gone anyway.Dont let them intimidate you to get their own way.Good luck with it ,hope it goes well for you

Tangerine Tue 20-Aug-19 22:49:22

I echo what other posters have written.

I am also very sorry for you with regard to your other daughter.

Don't be browbeaten into doing anything you don't want to do. Make things watertight.

PamelaJ1 Wed 21-Aug-19 05:58:04

My DD and her husband moved into our rental property.
He left when she was 7months pregnant.
She needed financial help from the government.
Thank goodness she had signed a rental agreement and had proof she was paying rent.
All is good now.

You must still be grieving for your Daughter and be stressed enough. So sorry for you at the moment.💐

Davidhs Wed 21-Aug-19 06:32:24

The seven years comes in because that is the point where tax does not have to be paid on a gift so there is tens of thousands of pounds at stake.

If it was my only child I would give them their share of the house, retain my own living space and make sure that they could not sell without agreement. A solicitor could draw up an agreement to do that. There is every reason to gift most of the house now, not only tax but also care costs. If you have to go into care for a prolonged period the entire value of the house could go on care costs.

So it’s up to you, do you want to leave your family a nest egg or do you want to retain it when potentially they may get nothing

Grammaretto Wed 21-Aug-19 06:40:34

What a difficult situation. You must be very stressed. Your DD and family are probably equally worried.
We bought a house with my DM many years ago and we had all the legal trappings.
Find a lawyer and maybe some conciliation before things get worse.

I hope you find a happy solution.

We now rent our granny flat to "strangers" without emotional involment. It works well.

Sara65 Wed 21-Aug-19 06:57:32

This doesn’t sound a good situation before you’ve even moved in.

You definitely need a solicitor to look over what you’re planning to do. I don’t want to sound alarmist, but these situations so often go wrong.

I would be thinking very seriously if this is really what you want to do, you are obviously very vulnerable at the moment, and it feels to me that your daughter and son in law could be taking advantage of that.

I know exactly what you mean by having no fight left, but gradually you will feel stronger, and you don’t want to find yourself in an intolerable situation.

annep1 Wed 21-Aug-19 07:31:49

I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter Sul. What an awful time for you without all this to cope with.
You need to see a solicitor to discuss options. Do not be pushed into anything. Stand your ground. Its all very well signing it over to them but is that what you want to do?

GagaJo Wed 21-Aug-19 07:48:24

I agree with Davidhs.

You need to make sure they pay the rent. I suspect part of the reason they want no tenancy agreement is because at some point, the rent will not be paid.

BUT equally, you want to protect their inheritance. So yes, signing over to them would be good.

There must be some legal documents that can be drawn up to ensure both.

Could you have it signed over to them without them knowing? And having the document kept safely somewhere, so if you DO have need to go into care, it can be produced, to save the sale of the house to pay for care.

Definitely legal advice and help is needed.

Davidhs Wed 21-Aug-19 08:11:04

You do need to let them know what you are doing because uncertainty causes rifts so easily. If they don’t know what’s happening they may cut off all contact and do their own thing I’m sure you don’t want that.
Remember if you gift anything you cannot benefit from the gift so retaining your own “ granny flat” is a good idea. As you have a new build it would have been much better to have a separate entrance but maybe that’s not possible.

Daisymae Wed 21-Aug-19 08:20:46

You certainly need some legal advice. The fact that relations have soured before you have even moved in does not bode well. I would not dream of handing anything over no matter what the tax advantages are at the present time. Get some legal advice from someone who has your long term interest at heart.

M0nica Wed 21-Aug-19 08:25:47

I am another who recommends having a proper legal agreement between you. Inheritance tax only becomes significant if your total estate is worth over £375,000. If you are widowed, not divorced this can go up to over £600,000.

If you sign over any of the property to your daughter, you will need a very carefully drawn up agreement because if when you need care and as a result of the transfer of your assets to your daughter, any of your care needs to be financed by the Local Authority, they will try and overthrow or override the transfer of your assets to your daughter, saying you did it deliberately to avoid care costs. It will be up to you to prove otherwise - and that is not easy.

This shared house plan is a minefield, there are inheritance tax issues, social care issues, tenancy issues. However, it is a minefield through which a route can be plotted, but you need a competent guide, which in this case is a solicitor who understands these issues.

I would recommend that you go to a large company of solicitors for advice, not a small firm or sole practioner. This is because your situation needs both property, inheritance and social care expertise and you need a company that has experts in all these fields and that is more likely to be found in a large company than a smaller one.

NannyJan53 Wed 21-Aug-19 08:27:36

A word of caution regarding signing a portion over to them.

If in the future they split up (always a possibility these days I'm afraid). Your SIL could insist on the house being sold for his share in any divorce settlement.

I know it is hard to think this way, but you must protect your interests!

So sorry to hear about your other daughter this is a very emotional time for you flowers

Elegran Wed 21-Aug-19 08:59:04

Yes, you need a tenancy agreement if you have a tenant, whoever it is. That is for their benefit as well as theirs. They would have to sign an agreement and pay rent to live anywhere else, and you would get rent from anyone else who rented, and in either case there would be an agreement and a rent-book. Family are no different.

No, do not sign over their half of the house to them. I assume they think this will be instead of paying you a reasonable rent? Win-win for them, lose-lose for you.

I assume that they are able-bodied and in work so they are not vulnerable and in need, but as you get older, you will be. Stick up for yourself and don't be guilt-tripped into being generous to them and short-changing yourself. They will get ALL the house after you die, meanwhile you need the income that renting it will give you, and the security of a legal agreement.

Elegran Wed 21-Aug-19 09:00:08

Mistyped -I should have said, "That is for their benefit as well as YOURS".

Lesley1711 Wed 21-Aug-19 10:18:34

Should you decide to sign over part of your house to your daughter and her husband, it then becomes part of their marital pot. Should their marriage fail, your ex son in law would be entitled to a share of your home and you could be forced to sell it to pay him. Please seek proper legal advice whether it causes an atmosphere or not.

silverlining48 Wed 21-Aug-19 10:19:10

Su I am so sorry that while you are struggling with the heartbreak of your daughters death you are also having to deal with your other daughter and the problems you describe.
Please get competent legal advice before making any commitment. Do not be rushed, and if necessary put things on hold in order to have time to yourself. You need it.
Sending a hug.

jenpax Wed 21-Aug-19 10:35:28

Definitely get legal advice!
Tell them that if you needed to go into a care home and required help with the fees and had handed over the deeds of the house to them, then it would be viewed by social services as deprivation of capital and might be clawed back from them anyway! Ditto if you ever needed to claim any welfare benefits yourself.
I don’t know their situation either but if they ever found themselves in a situation where they needed to claim help with the rent (off sick from work etc) there would be problems with it being rented from a family member as this is usually viewed as a non commercial arrangement.
In addition what would happen if your DD and her husband split up? If they owned half the house he would have a claim and the property might have to be sold!
There are so many legal considerations that however wobbly you feel now it is imperative that you don’t allow them to push you into anything without legal advice.

Grinniegirl Wed 21-Aug-19 10:37:25

I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your daughter. I too lost my daughter, 5 years ago and still haven't really got over it.

Please get some legal advice. Handing over your asset at this stage is not a wise move. As others have said, if their marriage failed the house may need to be sold and divied up between them...nothing for you!! If they choose to move in with you I think they should pay you rent and a tenancy agreement drawn up. This gives you an income in later life which you will need. Xx

BusterTank Wed 21-Aug-19 10:39:56

It always better to be safe than sorry .

maryhoffman37 Wed 21-Aug-19 10:40:25

If the atmosphere is so dreadful before they have moved in, when you have suggested something so reasonable, I would have a hard think about pulling out while you can. I know you probably don't dare, for fear of becoming estranged from your remaining daughter, but seriously is this what you want to future to be like?

jaylucy Wed 21-Aug-19 10:44:48

So so sorry that you have lost your daughter and I can fully understand how befuddled you must feel.
I would say that you definitely need to have some kind of legal contract between yourself , daughter and son in law to cover everyone's interest.
Point out that it will work in your daughter and SiL interest - what is to stop you evicting them all if you have a fall out ? (If they don't think it will happen, they can think again as I have seen it happen twice!)
There is also nothing to stop them selling the house from under you either!
If you get it on a legal understanding, they will be fully covered should, heaven forbid, anything happen to you unexpectedly. Assuming they will have an automatic entitlement to the whole house, just because they are related to you may prove to be wrong!

FarNorth Wed 21-Aug-19 11:05:49

They have been pressuring you and continue to do so while you are in shock from your daughter's death?

It doesn't sound as if you should be sharing a living situation with them, whatever good reasons there seem to be.

If going ahead, definitely get legal advice.