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

DM house being sold-anything she can do?

(60 Posts)
Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:09:13

My parents got divorced years ago (1998i think) at the time df was given a 37% share of the house which was meant to be sold when dsis, the youngest child was out if education or 18 yrs old.

That came and went, dsis is now 27. Df is now insisting the house is sold and DM doesn't want to. He said she can't even take him to court as once the divorce agreement was broken years ago its now just up to him to sell when he wants despite her having a bigger share. It was df choice not to sell he decided not to as dsis had been unwell and then he just moved away and didnt mention it till now.
DM said she can't afford costly legal advice so I wondered if anybody knew if what df says is correct that he can just go ahead and put the house on the market as he is going to see an estate agent?


MellowAutumn Tue 13-May-14 13:24:21

Why does your mum think she can or should block the sale now ? To be honest she has had a pretty long time to sort buying your DF out.

AlpacaLypse Tue 13-May-14 13:26:57

Has your mum used her free half hour of legal advice about this yet?

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:29:37

I think because it was not sold as expected when it was meant to and df never mentioned it again she just thought that was it especially when he moved far away (they have never communicated well which is a big part of the problem).

She has never really had the means to save to buy him out as when he left he paid no maintenance, refused to see us for the first few years and she couldn't save a penny.
She has said she will go to court but he said it can't go to court that the terms of the divorce have been broken so he can sell whenever he like? I wasn't sure if that was true or not.

OwlCapone Tue 13-May-14 13:30:07

In all honesty, I think your mum should have been prepared for this ever since your DSis turned 18. If she can not afford to buy him out, then why should he do without his share of the equity?

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:31:38

Can she get that half hour anywhere ? I will tell her about that Thankyou.

To be honest I think she is burying her head in the sand. She wants to keep the house but ive tried to get her to think of other options if that's not possible but she won't entertain anything other than staying in 'her home'. If I could at least get her to find out what position she's in legally it would be a start then she could go from there.

OwlCapone Tue 13-May-14 13:31:43

I think he can probably insist it is sold whenever he wants because the terms of the divorce (18 or full time education) have been met. I don't think they've been broken as such because he did not insist on it being sold earlier.

OwlCapone Tue 13-May-14 13:32:58

Can you sell it to her as a brand new start? Lower bills? Can she afford to buy a smaller home?

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:33:01

When dsis reached 18 nothing happened. She was ill and at home so df just said nothing about the house.

Dsis moved out a few weeks ago, phoned df and told him to sell the house as she had left and wanted DM out and some money for a deposit so not a good situation all round.

madwomanbackintheattic Tue 13-May-14 13:34:20

I think she should out the house on the market and start looking for a smaller place. With all of the children out of the home, now, it makes sense for her to downsize in any case.

She can discuss the percentage with her lawyer, in light of the fact that your do hasn't paid any maintenance etc, and request that they seek resolution about the amount owing.

Is your mum still working?

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 13-May-14 13:34:34

I'm not sure about this.

Ok it was a long time ago but when my parents sold their house they had my then 18 year old brother living with them.

He had to sign a legal form to say that he would leave the house on completion before the sake could proceed as he was classed as a sitting tenant.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:35:31

I've tried to broach the subject but she will not talk about any other outcome other than her remaining in her home so its very difficult.

Dsis sort of opened up a can of worms, it was ok for her to live here when it suited, yet as soon as they argued she left to live with her bf, yet DM still allows her to be registered at her address and store her stuff there so its all odd.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:36:20

Ŵe are all adults now so the casa issue is long gone I think.

She works but earns so little

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:36:33

Csa not casa

Just wondering whether part of the "terms" were that your DF pay maintenance? if he has never paid any at all then he "broke the terms" as it were and the court may work out how much maintenance is owed and take that off the amount your DF would expect to receive from the sale of the house. Do you know if the maintenance was set at an agreed amount?

It may be worth looking down that avenue as it may work out that he owes your DM and may drop the insistence to sell the house...

Fairylea Tue 13-May-14 13:40:36

How much is your dfs share? Could she take a loan out (or remortgage) that amount to buy him up and apply for a transfer of deeds so the house is transferred to solely her name? Could she take in a lodger or two to help pay it off?

QueenofallIsee Tue 13-May-14 13:47:37

Your sister sounds like a bit of a one, nasty phone call to make if it is as you describe.

The court will issue an order of sale to your mother at your fathers request but they should consider her health, alternative accommodation options etc I think. Even without dependent children at home, she does not forgo all right to decide what happens to the house even with your fathers stake of 37%. I would be helping her make a solicitor appointment to discuss if this is something she can resist without excessive costs etc but she will have to actually face up to this.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:49:12

He has 37%

Not sure she could get a mortgage, she's in her 60s, no savings and a low paid job so I'm unsure if she could get one.

I don't think she could get a loan for that amount (house worth approx 450) so it would be a lot of money.

notapizzaeater Tue 13-May-14 13:50:46

Well there's no wonder your df wants his share. Tbh I'd be grateful he allowed her to stay there for the extra years and sell and downsize.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:51:50

It wasn't in the divorce agreement that df had to pay maintenance. DM had applied to specs a but df said she would be ever get a penny and he gave up work and went on is so that he wouldn't have to pay anything.

DM was on benefits for a while then got a job as a dinner lady and childminder. Our neighbour used to bring us food parcels each week it was so bad at one point.

expatinscotland Tue 13-May-14 13:55:40

Sorry, but I don't blame him for finally going after his fair share. Your mother had plenty of time to get her act together.

I'm not sure what the issue is, she knew this day would come one day. Its now here so she needs to sell. a 63% share of the house sale price will be quite a large chunk and I would have thought allow your mum to buy somewhere suitable.

I think she needs to work out how much cash she will get on the sale of the house and start looking. I really can't see how without eating into any equity in order to pay fees that the outcome could be any different.

holidaysarenice Tue 13-May-14 13:58:37

To be honest I think your mum is reckless.. She let you have food parcels whilst living in a house she can't afford!

What she did or didn't agree to back then re maintenance isn't important. Almost two/thirds of 450k is more than enough to buy her somewhere. She is being selfish and stubborn.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:58:45

To be honest he should have done it when he was meant to as now we have the situation of DM burying her head in the sand and dsis acting like an entitled twat because she wants money towards deposit and wedding from the df share. I wish df had just sold it years ago.

Fairylea Tue 13-May-14 13:59:23

I wouldn't rule out the mortgage option based purely on her age etc. My mum is 65 and on pension credit and took out a mortgage 3 years ago in order to buy her current home - with Santander. She also had offers from nationwide and Halifax. It was a small mortgage (70k) in relation to the value of the house but this would be a similar situation to your mum if you say your dad owns 37 per cent. Is the house currently under mortgage? If not and is in effect equity then your mum would have a very reasonable chance of remortgage as the loan to value ratio for lending would be reasonable.

She could then get lodgers or students to help pay it back.

Obviously this isn't an ideal situation and of course there would be no guarantee re income but if it all went pear shaped she would be no worse off than she is now. She would have already paid your df off and she would have to downsize anyway.

I think she's actually been incredibly lucky to be in the house this long. When my ex dh left I had to downsize in order to pay off debts and remove myself from him financially.

It may be an upheaval but she would probably feel better long term to have financial freedom from your dad.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 13:59:35

She didnt have any mortgage to pay as they owned the house outright before they split up.

holidaysarenice Tue 13-May-14 14:01:55

And if I was your father and she wanted to play hard ball I would be counting up the nine extra years she stayed and working out the rent that could have been had.

450k house at least prob 1400 a month depending on where u are. So 16800 a year x 9 = 151200. Even a third share of that is 50000. Eye watering.

BrianTheMole Tue 13-May-14 14:03:40

Df should bloody pay maintenance for all those years owing out of the house.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 14:03:49

Its very difficult to get her to face up to it. I can see it ending up her being evicted.

She is livid as was a 'carer'fordsis for years. Until dsis decided she was suddenly perfectly well, got a bf and jets off everywhere etc and laughed at DM for everything. DM has been at fault at times too though.

Should have been done when dsis was 18

TheNumberfaker Tue 13-May-14 14:09:48

Get some legal advice and start showing your mum some lovely houses/ flats for £250-300k...

She needs to move on and downsize anyway.
Your sister sounds like a real charmer!

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 14:12:27

I tried to ask dsis to speak to DM to try and get her to face up to the prospect but her reaction was " don't phone me, I'm on a luxury mini break and I'm happy so I don't care"

specialsubject Tue 13-May-14 14:23:04

make sure your mum knows what your sister said. Wow.

Your mum has to face up to facts, she will be moving. Time to take control of her own life.

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 14:26:56

Its a horrid situation. I can see it from all sides (not so much dsis though!) just wish it had been resolved years ago.

LancashireMan Tue 13-May-14 21:07:26

The reason DF didnt act 9 years ago could be that he wanted to sit back and watch the property increase in value.

There is an argument for giving him 37% of the value of the 2005 value of the property.

Something for the lawyers to get their nashers into...

Hedgehog80 Tue 13-May-14 21:56:16

He did say today tht he wants it sold NOW! Before value decreases.

Been looking today for possible properties DM may be able to get (near her work and area she wants) and there's nothing. Most 1 beds a too expensive (nw London) so if it all goes ahead she will have to rent I think.

Mini05 Tue 13-May-14 23:31:28

I think you DF knew exactly what he was doing!
Leaves and then says he won't work so she doesn't get any maintenance for herself or dsis(just sums him up) and then doesn't act on getting his share( why because he knew he'd have to pay main thence!!!)
So left it till it went up in value!! (I'd be finding out how much the house was worth back in 2005) and then demand when HE thought he wanted his money back. Very selfish and arrogant

If your mum won't find out for herself, then you do it on her behalf if you know all the facts. Everybody is entitled to free half hour or maybe hour in any area.

As regards you dsis what makes her think DF will be giving her any money, let's face it he didn't care when he left weather she had food or clothes.

An other idea do they have any retirement apartments where your mum leaves, you know the newer ones where they have there apartment but also a lounge where residents can go for a chat if they want. Newer apartments mean less out goings and no maintence.

OwlCapone Wed 14-May-14 07:21:38

There can be a hefty service charge for those retirement apartments. Relatives recently decided to go for one and this out them off initially.

MidniteScribbler Wed 14-May-14 09:50:33

She should consider all of these years she has lived rent/mortgage free that she wasn't entitled to. The house should have been sold when they first split. Time for her to face up to reality.

SolomanDaisy Wed 14-May-14 14:36:31

How recent is the 450k valuation? If she is looking in the same area and can't afford a 1 bed flat for 300k I'd be surprised if a 3 bed house was only worth 450k.

Hedgehog80 Wed 14-May-14 15:01:54

Df spoke to an estate agent last week who gave him a rough estimate and looking at similar properties in the area it seems about right. I've had a look for 1 or 2 beds and they are so expensive round here and DM would struggle to find anything suitable. I think she will have to look at relocating completely as her share will not get her anything.

SolomanDaisy Wed 14-May-14 15:04:14

It must be a very unusual property market there.

Hedgehog80 Wed 14-May-14 15:11:24

The cheapest 2 bed in area DM would like near to where she is now was an ex council property 329000 pounds!

NatashaBee Wed 14-May-14 15:12:05

Could she pay rent to your DF for his share of the property? To be honest though, she has stuck her head in the sand about this and should have dealt with it earlier.

Hedgehog80 Wed 14-May-14 15:13:15

Df wants a lump sum

Hereward1332 Wed 14-May-14 16:02:25

Unfortunately there is no legal remedy permanently to deprive your DF of his entitlement. Your mother could have sold the property earlier - there is no legal burden on your DF to have demanded it. She is now left in a situation where she cannot afford a property of the size she wants in the location of her choice. It does sound as though she is clutching at legal straws to blame someone else.

poshfrock Thu 15-May-14 14:42:49

She could consider equity release. That may allow her to borrow sufficient to pay out your dad and she could stay in the property. The loan would be repaid when the house is ultimately sold (most usually on death). The downsides are:
1. She is quite young so if she lives another 25 years that's 25 years worth of interest rolling up
2. 37% is quite a lot to borrow - she may be restricted to 20-25%
3. If she wants to downsize in later life ( eg the house may become too much for her as she gets older) then she will have to repay the loan although often it is possible to port it over to a new property

Personally I think she should downsize now and let your dad have his share but ER is an option.

poshfrock Thu 15-May-14 14:51:35

So if dad is due 37% of £450k that would be about £166,500.

Mum could sell house for £450k and buy 2 bed property for £330,000 ( based on your figures). Give dad immediate cash lump sum of £120K from sale proceeds.

Then do equity release on new property for balance owed to dad of £46,500. That would only be 14% of property value so more likely to be approved. Also far less interest to roll up. Again no payments to make in lifetime and loan repaid on ultimate sale of property.

Of course that's all dependent on dad being prepared to wait for balance of funds while mum buys new property and arranges finance but it could work.

Hedgehog80 Thu 15-May-14 15:05:42

DM wants to remain in the house but df said that even if she can raise the exact amount to pay him off he doesn't want it from that,he only wants the money AND the house to be sold.

PeterParkerSays Thu 15-May-14 15:14:23

I doubt he can say that the house has to be sold but, as she's unlikely to magic up 37% of £400k +, I guess it's a moot point.

Is the issue about 1 or 2 bed properties that they are going to young couples / professionals so aren't as comparatively lower than houses as would usually be the case?

I'm sorry but your mum is going to have to look at a neighbouring borough. She'd be better off buying, and have an asset, than renting with the house sale balance as a lump sum, but I guess you know that.

lunar1 Thu 15-May-14 15:27:06

I would advise your mum to be careful here. The house I bought was on the market for far more than we could afford but I fell in love with it.

I put in what I thought was a stupidly low offer and was very confused when the estate agent accepted it immediately.

Unknown to us the owners divorce became so messy that the court sent someone out to value it and ordered it to be sold at the first offer of xxx or above. It was valued in the midst of the house price crash and we bought it for £75,000 less than other houses had sold for just 2 months before.

If there is anyway this can be done amicably I would try and encourage her to sort it out.

poshfrock Fri 16-May-14 06:19:36

Your dad is entitled to 37% of the value of the house. Provided your mum pays him this sum then he can't force a sale of the house unless his name is on the deeds. Is the house still in joint names? If so then he can take her to court and force a sale. He can still take her to court anyway as she is in breach of the original court order but that would just require her to pay him the money, not necessarily to sell the house.

Chunderella Fri 16-May-14 17:24:02

Just to clarify about free half hours, no not all lawyers do them and no they aren't an entitlement. It's just something some firms offer to get people through the door, particularly in certain areas of law. No firm I've ever worked at has done them, and that includes when I did family law (but I don't know the answer to this one, sorry). Your DM may or may not be able to find a family law solicitor who will offer half an hour of basic advice for free. If she can't, she's going to be paying, because there's no legal aid in this area of law. I would strongly advise her to get some advice from a reputable solicitor, though. This is going to be a rather expensive mistake if she gets things wrong.

MarathonFan Fri 16-May-14 17:51:27

I don't think your dad is automatically entitled to 37% of the value of the house now. If mum has maintained it since 2005 I think the lawyers could make a case for her to take her costs but she has lived (presumably) rent free in his share for almost 10 years so I imagine in practise that would be off-set. She won't have a hope of getting a court to allow her to stay - there may be some adjustment in the way the house is divided (but that could go either way) so she (and he) needs proper advice

The house should have been sold years ago and DF isn't wrong to want it sold now. DM won't need a mortgage - her share is surely more than adequate to buy a place of her own.

What does DF say about DSis' actions. That really is low, I hope your dad goes on a cruise with the money grin

Icimoi Sat 17-May-14 19:24:42

Your mum needs to be aware that if DF has to go to court to get the house sold, his court costs are likely to come out of her share.

HolidayCriminal Sat 17-May-14 19:31:20

it's not her house; she owns part of a property where she happens to live. What is the capital gains situation for the 37% share owner, does anyone know? How does that work?

Nappaholic Sun 18-May-14 00:25:57

DM is safe from CGT as the house has been her home. DF will be liable for CGT though.

Refer to the court order or subsequent deed of trust for any clues as to the division (beyond the split). There may be clauses about enhancements or maintenance costs.

Essentially though, if DF has to apply to the court, DM may end up paying his costs, plus interest at 8% pa from the date his share should have been paid out....

Hedgehog80 Sun 18-May-14 11:04:44

Really though ? Despite it being df choice not to sell in 2005. DM never asked him to not sell he just didnt and from his opinions currently I think he was just waiting for an increase in value.

TweedleDi Sun 18-May-14 19:35:30

But he didn't charge pro rata rent either since 2005 either, did he?

MarathonFan Sun 18-May-14 19:42:05

Well , the only reason for it to come to court now is if DM does object to the sale.

mumblechum1 Sun 18-May-14 20:01:15

The consent order will have specified how the 37% is calculated. It is almost certainly going to be the value at the point of sale not the point of agreement.

OP, from what you've said your mum has no realistic prospect of staving off your DF's demand for his money. If she can't afford to buy him out and doesn't want to sell, the only other option may be to take equity release but she should be very careful as sometimes these will charge a very high rate of interest.

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