LDJ Solicitors

Pensioner loses £400K Property to Squatter

A semi-detached family home (file photo)

It has been recently reported that Colin Curtis, 80, inherited his mothers home. He did not live there, however and he had not visited the property in years.

Apparently, Keith Best moved in to the empty property in 1997 and Colin knew nothing of this.

Keith is said to have renovated the property and maintained it as his own for many years.

He then made a claim at the Land Registry to take ownership of the property and was successful.

This means that Colin has lost his mothers property to a total stranger. The property is said to have been worth approximately £400,000.00.

Apparently, Colin knew nothing of Keith's claim to his property until a reporter allegedly advised him.

This highlights many important issues for property owners who do not actually visit a property which they own.

When somebody dies probate should be obtained and executors are appointed under the terms of the deceased's will. If there is no will then letters of administration are obtained in the name of the deceased next of kin.

When you inherit a property it is very important to actually transfer the property in to your name. This way, you become the registered owner and if the Land Registry need to get hold of you because someone is trying to register themselves as the legal owner then you will be notified.

If the property remains in the name of the deceased then the Land Registry will not have a name or address of the person who has inherited the property.

Once the probate has been obtained an assent can be drawn up by a solicitor and the property can be transferred in to the name(s) of the beneficiary.

If you would like more information with relation to transferring a property following the death of a relative or friend then please telephone our property specialist Sue Pendleton on 01455 637030 and she will be pleased to help you.

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