The French alternative to equity release - viager - selling your property but remaining as a sitting tenant who is paid a fee, sounds bizarre but is popular across the Channel. It can however be a shock to a relative expecting to inherit and finding the property has been sold from under them. I cannot really see it catching on in this country ! We would expect the tenant to be paying the owner a fee and not the other way around.
if you're buying under the ancient French system of viager you'd do better with a pile of medicine bottles in the bathroom cabinet and a nasty-sounding cough.In a viager deal, the buyer pays a knock-down price - but only takes possession when the owner dies.What complicates matters is that the buyer must pay the former owner (now the tenant) a monthly fee for the duration of their natural life - which could be months, years or even decades. And if all that sounds a bit like gambling on how long a stranger has left to live... well, it is. Because it's forbidden to question the seller about his or her health, it also throws up incentives to indulge in a bit of, shall we say, theatrical behaviour.