Land registry tenants in common problem

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by Sentinel, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

    Feb 9, 2015
    Firstly I'd like to thank everyone for all the great advice on here.
    My brother and I are having a problem with the Land Registry following the death of our mother, 21 months ago. My mother was my Fathers carer (he has mixed dementia/alzheimers) and died suddenly, requiring him to go into a nursing home.
    My parents were tenants in common at the time of her death and she left her share of everything to my brother and I in her will.
    When we contacted the Land registry to ask how to change the names on the registry they advised us that my father has to sign one of the forms as a tranferee.
    As my father is unable to do this due to his dementia (we were not able to get POA for him due to his advanced state), we have been left a bit in the lurch.
    What what we need to know is, is it imperative that we transfer our names to the property before my mothers grant of probate runs out in June (I understand that the grant lasts for 2 years only) and if so, how do we go about this.
    Also as an aside we are reluctant to deal with our local council as they have yet to conduct a financial assessment on my father, despite him being in a home for 21 months!
    Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    I'd see a solicitor. We carried out unilateral conversion of joint ownership to Tenants-in-common as my husband had lost capacity and I did it through a solicitor to make it watertight. As it happened, our house is not registered with the Land Registry so the deeds were never altered but had I died before my husband, there is no way he could have signed a transfer form.

    There has to be a way around this as this must affect so many people.
  3. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    Hello .
    I am wondering if the Land registry have got the wrong end of the stick.
    My understanding from what you have posted is ( do correct me if I am wrong)
    That this is about your Mother's share of the house that was bequeathed to you ?.
    and you obviously now need your name on the deeds as tenants in common with your Dad.
    If this is the case they IMO don't need your Dad's signiture.

    What may be happening is they think you or you Dad wants to transfer Dad's share of his house to you.

    I think they will need a copy of the will and a letter from the person who undertook probate
    Apologies of you have already done this.

    Perhaps contact the probate office for help as well.

    I am sure others will be along soon with advise
  4. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    North Manchester
  5. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

    Feb 9, 2015
    Hi Lin,
    Thanks for the reply. I too am not sure if the Land registry have the wrong end of the stick. However, they seemed adamant that any changes to the registry regarding my mothers share must have his approval. Google searches seem to offer no help either. Its quite frustrating.
  6. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    My father, through the family solicitor, changed the tenancy from Joint to tenants-in-common. His will stated that his estate, including property, should be left to his children. My mother, who has alzheimers, was not needed to sign anything when changing to tenants-in-common. When he died and probate was done, the solicitor sent the relevant paperwork to land registry who duly changed the names on the deeds to our mother's and the children. I see no reason why your father should have to sign anything to have the names on the deeds changed.
  7. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

    Feb 9, 2015
    This is the answer from the LR -

    if your father is the sole surviving joint proprietor then he would have to transfer the title to himself and you by way of a Transfer in form TR1. We would also need an official/certified copy of your late Mother's death certificate or probate.

    If he is unable to carry that out then I suspect you will have to apply for power of attorney and as such I would recommend that you seek legal advice as to how to achieve this.

    I should stress that whilst the probate entitles you to deal with your late Mother's estate that does not extend to the legal title in such circumstances and you cannot for example transfer a share. I merely mention this as some customers contact us believing that this is possible.

    This is the problem, we cannot get power of attorney. Can we just leave the land registry as it is, without making a change.
  8. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    The simple answer is yes. As the Land Registry has explained your father is the surviving trustee and only he (or someone duly appointed on his behalf as his attorney or Court of Protection deputy) can transfer the property. If you're not planning to sell the property then I would leave it as it is. Your father holds the property on trust for himself and your mother's estate, for which you have the grant of probate.

    A grant of probate never 'runs out'. I'm not sure where the 2 year thing has come from - you can only vary a will up to 2 years after the date of death, but I don't think that's relevant here, is it?

    If the plan is to only sell the property when anything happens to your father his executors will have the legal power to sell the property on behalf of his and your mother's esates at that time.

    As always however please do seek competent legal advice.
  9. Sentinel

    Sentinel Registered User

    Feb 9, 2015
    Thanks Sue, that's the answer we were hoping for, as we have no intention of selling the property. I'm not sure where we got the idea that probate only lasted 2 years from though.

    WILLIAMR Account Closed

    Apr 12, 2014
    I would certainly get legal advice.
    When we looked at the land certificate after my mother died it said no sale transfer or charge to be given over the property without the consent of both my mother and father. It was owned on a tenants in common basis.
    My mother had willed her half to me and my father had to sign to have me as the other tenants in common owner.
    I don't know what would have happened if he refused.

  11. realist1234

    realist1234 Registered User

    Oct 30, 2014
    The reply from LR suggests that their records show the property was owned as 'joint owners' rather than 'tenants-in-common' as you state, and that if ownership is to be split between him and you, he needs to apply for that. This only makes sense if the LR currently views him as the sole owner now that his wife has died (which would be the case if the property was owned 'jointly' with your mum rather than as tenants-in-common). I would suggest you ask LR to see the original Deeds (now usually online). If the situation is as I think, your dad currently solely owns the property, if a solicitor deems him not to be mentally capable then he would not be allowed to make any change to the deeds, and even if you had POA etc the court would not allow you to change the deeds as this would benefit you financially. From what you said, Im assuming he is self-funding his nursing home fees, but once his savings run down to the upper threshold of £23,250 his house will be taken into account by the LA (as they may need to start making a contribution then), and if I am correct per above then the full value will be deemed to be his and a charge will be applied to the house so that the LA can claim back its fees contribution once the house is sold. So, personally, I would confirm the status of the ownership before your mum died (joint or tenants-in-common) and progress from there.


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