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Please help me with sister 'squatting' in my elderly mothers house, we can't get her out!

(83 Posts)
Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:00:18

Hi, will try not to make this too long, but have never posted for help before so please bare with me.

About 2 years ago, my mum decided that she wanted to sign over the deeds to her house to me and my two sisters. We became trustees/owners of the house, with my mum being able live there until she dies. This trust took about a year to set up, and during this time my sister who rented a house on her own at the time started telling these stories every time I saw her of her nuisance neighbours who were being so unreasonably noisy as she put it. Tbf it did sound annoying and I too have noisy neighbours, but she was going on and on about it, even calling out the council noise team every time. I kept thinking she was being ott but she is like that generally. Anyway upshot of it was she once day announced she was going to end her tenancy and move home with mum (but I think it was just all an excuse to move back home).

She said she couldn't cope with the noise, and wanted to move home so she could save money to buy her own house. I found this odd as she has never ever liked my mum, and has never had anything to do with her. My dad passed 7 years ago and my mum has schizophrenia so needs care. This sister has done nothing to care for my mum whatsoever during this time, it has been largely me who has done it and my other sister, but she has a family and lives in another town so is more difficult for her. However this sister who moved home has no children or partner and only works part time. I am a single parent, have one child, have always worked full time until a couple of years ago I gave up work to be able to provide care. I also foster 2 children so like any parent am busy.

It just so happened that she moved home around the time the trust was finalised, I don't know whether this was planned on her part or if it's of any significance.

She then within a couple of weeks of moving home, threw out or took to charity shop all of my mums ornaments, family photos of when we were little, photos of out kids etc. Moved all of her furniture in, ditto kitchen cupboards and then instructed my mum to hire decorators to wallpaper the lounge and hall stairs and landing. Admittedly it did need doing as nothing had been done since my dad died, but it cost my mum about 3k in all which she payed nothing towards. She basically was making our family home into her own house.
I was very upset and angry at this point so text her saying perhaps we should slow down on the decorating as mum had told me she was struggling to pay for it, and actually mum needed to get the hardwood windows re-stained on the outside of the house as a priority as they were in danger of rotting. Well she went off her head, saying it was not her idea it was mums, and mum told me she was screaming and shouting hysterically about what I'd text her saying she would never speak to me and my other sister again, how dare we say that to her etc etc. Basically because she was outed for being a bitch she lost it. So that was a year ago and neither of us have spoken to her since.

During her past year at my mums she has paid no rent, has only paid a bare minimal contribution under duress, for example instead of paying half the council tax she pays the 25% single person discount my mum lost. She pays £8 water which is what mums bill went up by instead of paying halves with her. She is so tight it makes me furious and she is such an angry volatile person my mum is scared to say anything to her, is walking on eggshells around her, I cannot speak to her as always have children with me and she cannot filter her nasty mouth. Basically she is a nasty piece of work and there have been many more examples of her being selfish and using people over the years, and this is not a young girl she is a 40 year old woman with no responsibilities but herself. She said to my mum it is her right to live there rent free as me and my other sister both already own houses but she doesn't, so somehow she thinks that makes it ok?

Anyway what I am worried about is that she is taking advantage of my mum who although is well at the moment, is vulnerable due to MH, in her mid 70s and too frightened to say anything to her.

My mum won't ask her to leave, as she said she agreed to let her live there - but this is not what she signed up to. She was supposed to be living there as a short term plan to save a bit of money but clearly this is her long term plan as she is not going anywhere, has no motivation to move out as she pays fuck all to live there and is clearly waiting for my mum to die to get her third of the house.

I am worried whether she will have any rights to stay in that house after my mum dies because she has been living there as her main/only home?
How would we get her out? My mum could live another 10 years or more and would she then have squatters rights if she lived there all that time?
Me and my other sister want her out now but don't know if we are able to get her out with us being trustees of the house do we have any power? Please help I am so stressed out with it, sorry it's so long!
Thanks

Nolim Sat 07-Feb-15 11:05:31

Talk to a solicitor. This is messy.

mysteryfairy Sat 07-Feb-15 11:09:07

I suggest you post this in legal. However if your sister is one of the legal owners of the property not sure why you think either that she isn't entitled to live there or should have to pay rent. If your mum needs to go into care at any point you might also have problems as she has intentionally deprived herself of assets.

expatinscotland Sat 07-Feb-15 11:12:21

See a solicitor.

Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:12:26

She should pay rent and bills because it's the right thing to do? If my circumstances meant that I needed to live at home for a while then I would pay towards bills, and rent which covers the upkeep of the house. It also wouldn't be my long term plan to stay they and I don't think it should be hers. I'm not saying she shouldn't live her full stop, but I'm asking whether anyone knows if there is a way of getting her out now and /or when my mum passes.

Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:13:57

She hasn't intentionally deprived herself of asserts, she has MH probs and therefore we have power of attorney over her care and finances so deal with all things related to the house etc

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Sat 07-Feb-15 11:15:57

So your mum says she can stay but you want her out as feel she had no right to live in a house she part owns hmm

Choosing to sign over the house to avoid care costs can always backfire, surely if your mum needs that much care you would have encouraged her to sell the house when needed and gain the best care she could with the funds?

KindleFancy Sat 07-Feb-15 11:16:26

Being a trustee of a property doesn't give you the right to live there.

googoodolly Sat 07-Feb-15 11:18:28

I think you might struggle, because I think, as your sister owns this house, she has more legal "rights" to it than your mum does. I would go and see a solicitor, though.

Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:18:38

She either needs to pay to live there but we have no way of enforcing it, or leave. And yes my mum said she can stay because she is too scared to ask her to leave!

googoodolly Sat 07-Feb-15 11:20:10

Being a trustee of a property doesn't give you the right to live there.

The OP said she and her sisters are owners too. I'm pretty sure you can't tell someone who owns a property that they can't live there?

Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:23:27

Yes this is the point. My mums only right is to be able to live there which is what it was set up for. Not for 40 year old daughter to then move home and live there for free and cost my mum money to keep her there! She is taking advantage of her and she knows it. We 3 sisters own the house between the 3 of us so surely we have a right to say who lives there? As the agreement was for mother not sister when it was drawn up by solicitor!

APlaceInTheWinter Sat 07-Feb-15 11:25:17

Speak to CAB and Shelter. You also have to work out what your main concern is - that she is taking advantage of your DM? Or that your DSIS might have an impact on your rights to the house?
From a legal perspective your DSIS isn't squatting. Your DM allowed her to move in and she is a trustee of the house. I'm guessing that when you drew up the paperwork to say your DM could live in the house until she died that you didn't include a clause that gave the trustees power of veto over your DM inviting anyone else to live there.

Hypotenuse Sat 07-Feb-15 11:25:50

Your poor mum losing all of her memories in her chattels and being bullied in her own house! That's a horrible way to live out her final years. Seek legal advice. Your sister sounds like an arsehole.

Fabulassie Sat 07-Feb-15 11:27:11

It sounds as if your mother is being emotionally abused. Maybe contact Age Concern about elder abuse.

If your mother refuses to tell her to leave, there is possibly nothing to be done. But perhaps your mum can be supported and encouraged to assert herself.

googoodolly Sat 07-Feb-15 11:27:31

I don't know, OP. I think you're joint-owners and your sister has as much right to live there as you would.

Isn't it similar to a marriage? If a couple are married and jointly own the house, and then divorce, you cannot force one party to leave. I'm not sure if the same applies here but I don't think you would have a leg to stand on unless you went to get some form of legal advice.

SnowWhiteAteTheApple Sat 07-Feb-15 11:28:50

It's all a bit petty and shallow really. You don't want her to live there as she's living their for free being a part owner yet are quite happy that the house is signed over so that you will benefit and not the care system. Therefore you are all taking advantage of your mum in some way.

Why the gripe with your sister for living rent free, surely if you are not working yourself then somebody is paying your rent and living costs too?

TattyDevine Sat 07-Feb-15 11:29:06

You need a solicitor.

Birdsgottafly Sat 07-Feb-15 11:30:43

Ideally at the time she moved in, you should of all been having face to face conversations, not txting.

You should of been doing this to protect your Mum.

Who is Next of Kin etc?

""And yes my mum said she can stay because she is too scared to ask her to leave!""

It's difficult depending on whether your Mum has Competentcy.

You could go down the "vulnerable Adult" route, however, your Mum may side with your Sister, still.

If she is shouting etc, then your Mum is living with abuse, but again, it's what it's worth putting your Mum through, or her agreeing with.

You need to log her living rent free etc with a Solisitor, now.

She may claim that she is caring for your Mum and it will look plausible.

Ultimately she is your Mums Daughter and I wouldn't charge my DD rent, to move back home.

There could be two sides to this, elderly people fe vunerable, she may like your Sister living there.

Only you know what could be going on, if you see your Mum very regularly?

TidyDancer Sat 07-Feb-15 11:33:49

I don't have any legal knowledge, but my guess is you will find it difficult to pursue any action here without your DM's backing and it doesn't sound like she's happy to give it. As a part owner of the house I would assume your sister is within her rights to live there? She is being shitty though, regardless of her legal standing.

I would see a solicitor ASAP.

Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:34:47

Snow White .. As I said in my op I have a mortgage, I gave up full time work to foster..which I get paid for. Thank you, no one pays my bills. If you've got nothing helpful to say..

Birdsgottafly Sat 07-Feb-15 11:35:12

Just to add, you and your other Sister (who is favour with you) could be the ones making this difficult for your Mum, who just wants to house her Daughter.

Really it was very generous of her to sign her house over to you all, but it isn't yours or your other Sisters home.

There is no "we" in getting her out, just if your Mum actually wants her to leave.

The "We"starts when your Mum dies.

TidyDancer Sat 07-Feb-15 11:36:11

Tbf however, SnowWhite and googoo have made excellent points as well.

Candycoco Sat 07-Feb-15 11:36:16

My mum is being emotionally and financial abused yes. Will seek advice around this.

I am worried about when my mum passes will she be able to stay there as in, does time lived there have any bearing as to whether she would have additional rights to stay there

TidyDancer Sat 07-Feb-15 11:38:05

Op, don't ignore SnowWhite's whole post because you have taken objection to that one part. I don't think she was trying to be obtuse.

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