Is the Trust deemed to be a landlord?

by Readers Question

8:55 AM, 4th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Is the Trust deemed to be a landlord?

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Is the Trust deemed to be a landlord?

I hope you may be able to shed some light onto the following situation please.

A family Discretionary Trust owns a house among its assets.  There are three Trustees and one of them lives in the house as their Principal Private Residence, rent free, and is also a Beneficiary of the Trust.  As that person is a part owner of the property via the Trust, there is no Tenancy Agreement.

Therefore, is that person a Tenant and if so, is the Trust deemed to be a Landlord? This is important for the legal liability of the Trust.

If that person had been a third party paying rent with a Tenancy Agreement, then the position is clear.

I really appreciate any  comments you may have.

Thank you.


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Neil Patterson

9:00 AM, 4th May 2018
About 2 years ago

Hi Brian,

To clarify the issue as we were not 100% sure we asked our partner barrister Ross Burrows and he responded:

"• The Trustee (who is also the beneficiary) we assume is residing at the property as agreed with and by the other trustees
• We assume that this agreement is a silent agreement and there is no formal documentation in place
• Therefore whether there is a formal agreement or not:
This does not make the beneficiary a tenant
This does not make the trust the landlord
• The Trustees only are wholly responsible for the TRUST and the ASSET within the trust and therefore its up keep"

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