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If your parents or a family member own property then you could find yourself inheriting their home after they have died. Despite the sad loss of the previous owner, the idea of inheriting property can seem an exciting prospect, but unfortunately with that can come some frustrating and nasty surprises. If the property has been left to only you then this can make things a little easier, although the responsibility lies solely with you as the new owner, however you have inherited the property jointly perhaps with another sibling, then you will both need to come to a mutual agreement regarding the future of the property. You could opt to get a fast house sale and split the profit, but one or both of you may wish to live in the property which can often bring many disputes between families. As well as opting to live in the property or sell your home, you could choose to rent it out and providing you with a long term rental income – there are many options available to you.
Unfortunately if there are any outstanding debts attached to the property, then these will need to be settled before nay assets such as property can be distributed to the family by the executor of the will. Once you have ownership of the property, there are potentially many obstacles, particularly if the property you have inherited has been rented out and there are existing tenants residing in the home. The will may outline that the current occupants can remain in the property leaving you with very little choice. If this is the case, then it is a good idea to talk to the tenant and come to an agreement whether that is regarding the future tenancy or that you wish to sell the property.
The other thing to consider is that the property may be in a state of disrepair forcing you to carry out essential maintenance. If you cannot afford these repairs however, then you may be left with no alternative but to get a fast sale before it deteriorates further. The alternative is to get a mortgage on the property to cover the cost of repairs, in which case you will need to register yourself as the new owner with the land registry. If the owner who left you the property still had a mortgage outstanding on their home then unfortunately you will also automatically take on the debt that comes with it and be responsible for the remainder of the mortgage payments. You can however, look to change the type of mortgage held on the property, which may make it more affordable. If you cannot afford the repayments, you could be at risk of losing your home to repossession so it is important to get advice wherever possible. If you own it jointly with another person, you could opt to buy their share of the property, and likewise they could also buy your share making them the sole owner of the property.
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