Property woes- brother and sister at loggerheads

(14 Posts)
ShannonG Wed 11-May-16 20:24:26

I'm a new poster who has been doing a bit of lurking for a while. Please forgive me if I don’t follow the accepted etiquette but I’m properly out of my depth here, trying to help a friend who lives abroad.
She and her brother each have a 50% share in a house in the UK. There is no mortgage, they own the house outright. The house is in London and its value has risen considerably since its purchase despite no renovation work being done although the house desperately needs it. Both of them entered into the arrangement happily but initial plans for the house have been thwarted by planning regulations (don’t ask!) so that now the two of them are at loggerheads regarding the future of the property. There are no ‘get out’ clauses drawn up.
He wishes to embark upon a very expensive project that will involve an almost total rebuild. She wishes a simple revamp. Both want to then rent the place out to gain income, obviously at different values. He wishes to live in 'his' 50% of the house once completed, thus allowing her to gain rent from 'her' half whilst she is abroad? Kitchen and bathroom are shared at present.
A stalemate has been reached. I have given the advice to engage a UK solicitor to advise her of her rights and responsibilities. They are ‘tenants in common’.
He is now living in the property but will only allow her to rent out her part of the property to tenants whom he approves of.
He wishes her to make a decision regarding the sale of the property. He wishes to buy her interest at a value considerably lower than local estate agents have valued the property at.
An agreement has now been made that the property is to be sold. She is a bit unhappy about this because she does not want to sell but recognises that she may have to do so. Whatever happens, she is determined that if a sale is to occur it is to be on the open market.
He is also demanding a legally binding clause of some sort that says that if the house is not sold within three months of going onto the open market then each party has the right to buy out the other. The value of the house is to be based upon the highest offer made to the estate agent, minus however much commission they would have charged. He suggests that they then bid against each other to buy the house, starting at the price arrived at as mentioned above. She cannot afford to buy him out.

I've tried to offer what little advice I can but really don't know how to best advise.

Is he/ she being reasonable?

Your thoughts?

FadedRed Wed 11-May-16 20:31:36

IMHO he is trying to bully her and get her half of the house on the cheap.

leelu66 Wed 11-May-16 20:37:53

Does he have the money to pay for the extension renovations he wants? How does he expect his sister to afford half the cost of that?

He sounds like a dick. Ideally they should sell the house. If not, they should agree a renovation budget that both can afford and then put the house on rent. If he wants to rent the house himself, he should pay half the market rate to his sister (and have a legal document for this).

HereIAm20 Wed 11-May-16 20:51:44

He should be paying her market value for her share and as there are no actual agents fees then these should not be deducted but for the sake of peace I'd probably accrpt market value less a discount for half the agents fees as they would be liable equally gor these if they sold to someone else. This is why anyone owning a property jointly with anyone other than a spouse should have an agreement from the outset about sale etc

scaryteacher Wed 11-May-16 22:47:53

Afaik, if they are tenants in common, he cannot make her sell, neither can he dictate whom she has in her half of the property. She needs a solicitor.

ShannonG Wed 11-May-16 23:13:15

Thank you all, so much. I chatted with her earlier (isn't Whatsapp great?!) and hopefully she'll come along to add to the discussion.

In the meantime, an addendum. He is not allowing her any tenants at all. That to me seems to be exceedingly unreasonable. He is using her investment to live in a great area FoC.

FuriousFate Thu 12-May-16 02:44:30

If he's living there alone then surely he owes her rent?

MidniteScribbler Thu 12-May-16 03:56:04

The most sensible option is to get legal advice. I suspect that no matter which way this ends, the relationship between the two is probably over, so she just needs to protect her investment now.

MidniteScribbler Thu 12-May-16 04:00:56

The most sensible option is to get legal advice. I suspect that no matter which way this ends, the relationship between the two is probably over, so she just needs to protect her investment now.

ShannonG Thu 12-May-16 15:54:04

As far as I know he is living there alone. So does he owe her rent?

Sugarcoffeetea Thu 12-May-16 16:27:40

Absolutely he owes her rent!

leelu66 Thu 12-May-16 17:31:19

How long has he been living there? He owes her back-dated rent as well.

PansyGiraffe Thu 12-May-16 23:20:51

I don't see how she can claim rent from him - there's no agreement for that. The only agreement they have by the sound of it is they both own it, and therefore both can live there.

If they cannot now agree then I suspect court to try to force an order for sale is the only way ahead, and try to reach a settlement.

ShannonG Thu 12-May-16 23:58:30

It's all a bit rubbish. I feel for my friend sad

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