Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have any legal concerns we suggest you consult a solicitor.

SIL lying about property sale

(54 Posts)
Freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:05:45

Getting divorced from an abusive financially controlling man. I am a sahm, never saw a bill, never saw a bank account, he controlled everything, kept everything locked in a safe. He 'worked' & 'saved' on behalf of both of us. Everything we owned was in his sole name only. 10 years ago we bought his sisters flat off her, there is paperwork to show ownership was transferred but no sale price is recorded anywhere. We spent months in negociation with his sister over the price before it was agreed. Now dh is claiming the flat was 'gifted' to him so I am due no part of it on divorce. I know for a fact we bought it but cannot prove it as I've never seen a bank account. His sister has lied to the court & said she did 'gift' it to him for nothing. Can he get away with this?

Methe Thu 18-Jun-15 20:09:29

Can't you get property sale history on zoopla?

Freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:10:56

Nothing is recorded there?

Methe Thu 18-Jun-15 20:21:25

Have you googled the address?

LIZS Thu 18-Jun-15 20:21:39

Land registry ? You can down load the deeds for about £7

Methe Thu 18-Jun-15 20:23:27

I just googled my address and it's all there. The website was called houser

Magicalmrmistofeles Thu 18-Jun-15 20:25:37

If the deeds were transferred it would show at land registry.

Fizrim Thu 18-Jun-15 20:32:11

Did you use a solicitor at the time? What about the land registry records, it's relatively cheap to get a copy of them electronically. Might need to check what details they have for flats though.

FenellaFellorick Thu 18-Jun-15 20:34:12

how did he pay for it?

There will be records if it was a mortgage, there will be a bank transaction if it came from his account

Fizrim Thu 18-Jun-15 20:35:32

If there is any mortgage outstanding on the property, there should be a charge on the deeds. Is there any chance he paid cash?

Fizrim Thu 18-Jun-15 20:36:30

Oh, hang on - was the flat in his name only as well? Not yours?

EssexMummy123 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:38:32

Land registry and a solicitor.

Fizrim Thu 18-Jun-15 20:45:04

I'm just thinking that if it's in his name only (and therefore you didn't see or sign any paperwork at the time) it may well have gone through as a gift at the time of sale, and that can be excluded (from the usual lists that Zoopla etc use with the final sale price included).

Freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:49:44

it was a big house. He lived in the top 2/3rds the bottom 1/3 was hers & rented out separately. Internally the house was as one, no material changes were made to the interior, so anyone going upstairs would walk past the living areas of those downstairs. My MIL owned the house first. She gifted it 2/3 to my dh 1/3 (the bottom floor) to her dd. The dd rented hers out. She lived abroad & needed the money so we offered to buy her out. After much negociation a figure was agreed upon. Dh arranged for her to be paid. There is confirmation at the land registry of it solely going into dhs name in that year but no price is recorded. My lawyer says that SIL saying it was 'gifted' to him puts it out of my reach. I want 50% of the value of 1/3 of that house as it was acquired during our marriage. Because I've never seen any bank accounts I can't prove anything.

Freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:51:32

Would he have said it was gifted to avoid paying any tax at the time of purchase? We bought it for 170k?

Freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:53:16

I know we paid her. She was skint & went out & bought a new apartment with the money we gave her.

Fizrim Thu 18-Jun-15 20:57:38

Hmm, I don't think a partial sale of the property would show up on the price index. What a crafty git he is. Did he own 2/3rds of it before you were married?

FoodPorn Thu 18-Jun-15 21:04:35

You should discuss this with your solicitor. The purchase price may be recorded at the Land Registry. Do you know how he paid her and when? He could be asked to produce the bank statements (assuming he paid her from bank account) to disprove your allegation.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 18-Jun-15 21:10:54

I'm no expert but I did the conveyancing on a recent house sale when I bought my step mum out her share of a house, just wanted to save on legal fees. I had to record a price on the documentation. Have you spoken to the land registry yourself? They're very helpful.

Id really have thought a price would have to have been put down, to make sure it wasn't liable for stamp duty and also because of possible capital gains tax implications for the SIL.

Your lawyer should be able to demand bank statements for that year from both your ex and the SiL, and if there was payment this will show up somewhere.

freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:12:19

Fizrim, yes he did own the 2/3 before we were married but I'm not after that. I'm after 50% of the legitimate bit we bought during our marriage. Foodporn, there is no price recorded at the land registry. All he has to say is I had no other accounts 10 years ago. How is my lawyer going to find evidence of a (probably) long ago closed ac at possibly a bank he doesn't use now?

freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:16:12

The sil lives abroad permanently so no CGT for her. There is NO price recorded, it's stated as gift.

BrockAuLit Thu 18-Jun-15 21:21:23

It all depends really on what happened when MIL gave the house to her DC.

She could have transferred the whole thing to her son (for good estate planning/tax purposes), on the understanding that her daughter was entitled to 1/3 of it nominally. Your DH may have honoured MIL's wishes and and gave SIL the money for her share when you bought it off her. No land or property changed hands, no records will show this. It means your SIL may never have had a right in the property documented with the Land Registry.

One step up is that MIL's will, or some other document or chain of documents shows that DH held 1/3 of the property on trust for SIL, and that he bought her out of her share. If there is a document showing that he now owns the whole thing, but not showing a price, if you can show something - anything - pointing at £170k it might help you. DH will still have bought a right in property, just an equitable one instead of a legal one (technical difference, makes things harder to prove). There's also the argument of fair market value (a greedy SIL may help you on this front, it may not).

But for £170k it sounds like you may have your work cut out for you.

What a sorry situation.

titchy Thu 18-Jun-15 21:21:53

If your SIL bought a property with the cash she'd have had to prove to her conveyancing solicitor where she got the money from in order to satisfy money laundering checks. If you can find out who that solicitor was your solicitor can ask them, or ask the judge to ask them, what they knew the source of her money to be.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 18-Jun-15 21:23:51

Forensic accountant type people can track down bank accounts. Not sure how easy or how much it costs.

freeme888 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:31:02

I have seen the legal document once. It was from the mother stating the house was to be owned in 1/3rds by her dcs. 2/3rds (upstairs) to the son & 1/3 (downstairs) to the dd. The house was never materially subdivided. In 2005 me & dh negociated with SIL to buy her out for 170 as she wanted to buy a better apartment abroad. She's lived abroad all her life. He got her to agree to put it through as a gift because he then didn't have to pay stamp duty. 170 was then transferred to her somehow as a new apartment materialised soon after. Only thing is, I've never in 20yrs seen our marital bank account statements. More fool me. He wouldn't let me see, he was abusive & now I'm divorcing him.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now