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Complicated property arrangement - need to move before losing sanity!(14 Posts)
Ok so where to start on a very long and protracted story.
10 years ago DH & I bought a derelict property to convert and live in. Initially We could only afford to do it if PIL's lent us a small amount of money which they kindly did and so we went ahead.
Welllll.... As anyone who has renovated an old property will know costs soon escalate and every penny we had plus more was ploughed into the project. It soon became apparent that we didn't have enough to finish the house and so we approached PIL again purely as a loan. Although I believe they probably had the money they agreed to lend us the difference on the condition that they moved in with us! There was a annexe in the garden which could be converted for them.
Naively and because we were desperate we agreed and so they sold their house.
once our place was finished they lived with us for 6 months whilst we finished the annexe and I should have seen the writing on the wall straight away - It was a nightmare , with a control freak for a MIL and OCD grumpy old git for a FIL. I was a gibbering wreck by the time they finally moved into the annexe.
Anyway, to protect their investment (& rightly so) they insisted that a charge be put on the property so whilst DH & I have final say over whether the house/annexe can be sold, they would receive a % settlement should we do so. However, legally, upon their death their estate would split between the 3 sons (incl DH) and we could potentially be hit with a huge off to my BIL's.
I am now in the situation where firstly I cannot bear to be living next door to them anymore. As they get older they go out less and interfere more. They have to voice their opinions on everything we do and are not interested In our DC's at all. Basically I just need some distance from them before I go mad.
Secondly, faced with the prospect of having to pay out a large settlement to BIL's I've just had enough and can't bare the stress anymore.
I brought the subject up with DH last week and said we should consider selling up, giving PIL their investment back and starting again, albeit in probably a much smaller house. Well,you'd have thought I was suggesting moving to Antartica to live in a cardboard box!! DH dead set against the idea, he has got such a strong emotional connection to the house, understandably given the blood sweat tears and money that went into building it. It is like he has head stuck in the sand with money we will have to pay back and the stress of living next door to his parents (he doesn't even get on that well with them).
To me, whilst I also love our house, it is ONLY a house and not worth the stress and resentment that's been building over the years. PIL have been on holiday for 4 weeks and I can't describe the joy at not being accosted as soon as I walk through the door with daily gripes or DC's not being moaned at for kicking a ball around the garden.
I guess what I'm asking is how to broach the subject calmly and rationally with DH. He has suggested we buy them out now and let them carry on living here as tenants but to my mind that only solves a small part of the problem. I would still have to live next door to them.
I just want a clean break so we can go our way and they theirs whilst we can hang to some sort of cordial relationship.
Sorry for monologue and hope it makes sense, just had to vent
He has suggested we buy them out now and let them carry on living here as tenants
You could try that.
terminate their contract sell up?
Thanks Poosey for speedy response - hadn't considered that option but think just selling & moving would be more straight forward. this is more of an emotional issue for DH as they are his parents and I think he feels some responsibility for them (even though they row frequently . I think he feels that we can't
kick them out ask them to move if we still stay on here. Sheesh!
the thing is that it's hard to advise you when you obviously have only one satisfactory outcome in mind, and none of us are in a position to tell you how to make your OH want that too when he has already suggested what sounds like quite a well thought out compromise.
One thing I did notice in your original post, it sounds as though your in-laws have access to your house
"PIL have been on holiday for 4 weeks and I can't describe the joy at not being accosted as soon as I walk through the door with daily gripes"
if this is the case then just get your keys back off them (or if they won't then change the locks) then they won't be able to invade at will and will have to knock like everyone else.
Also, can you divide the garden in some way so that when your child(ren) kick a ball or whatever they remain on your bit which the PILs have no automatic access to and no authority over?
These things won't make your OH want to sell the house but they might make living there more bearable for you while you work out how to get him to do what you want.
Seakey thank you. A big part of the problem is that boundaries and 'rules' were never established I think largely due to the fact that we were so bloody grateful for the loan. Since the beginning it has been easier to let them get away with demands rather than face endless rows on how without their money we could never have built our house.
So they have keys to our house, use my washing machine ("no room in our house for one") use our spare room to store their clothes, and encroach on what is 'our garden'.
I am massively cross with myself that I have never been able to stand up to them or challenge their unreasonable behaviour and hence will do most anything to avoid confrontation. Clearly this is unhealthy and has fostered an atmosphere of resentment.
I just need out
Say your DH did decide to sell. What would you tell his parents about why you wanted to move?
Surely it would be easier (apart from the inheritance split - do the other brothers inherit a portion of your house ?) to come up with a list of CAN DO'S which would make life more pleasant ? So change locks, buy them a washing machine, give them back their clothes etc. ?
You have my sympathies btw
Fuck - I would tell them that we just weren't happy with the debt hanging over our heads and wanted to sort it now before we were forced to.
Willowslip, knowing my PIL they would see most of those actions (esp changing the locks) as a massive personal attack, making them even more difficult to live with.
If it was anyone else I wouldn't hesitate to take immediate action but over the years I have become intimidated by their self -cent redness, refusal to rationally consider other points of view, topped with FIL's unpredictable temper.
My BIL's stand to inherited 2/3 of the charge on the property, which in today's market is a pay out of approx £200k! Personally, and what with everything else, I would rather get out now and pay it back to PIL than have the debt hanging over our heads.
I have experience of a similar set up, and I am wondering whether your PILs might feel the same as you? Maybe they are unhappy with not having enough room for a washing machine or to store their clothes? It doesn't sound ideal from their pov. I would say that they might be aware that you are unhappy with having them so close and that makes their lives a bit worrying and difficult. As you get older and you are retired, you have fewer options in terms of making life changing decisions. They may feel stuck and unhappy with the status quo.
Is there a way that you could raise the matter with them? We have occasional "house meetings" to discuss matters concerning all of us, which is the time when we can talk about this sort of thing. Maybe the PILs already realise that your position will be difficult when they die.
Try to see it from their pov, what would you want to do if you were in their situation? I think buying them out could be a good move all round. Maybe they too would love to get away from the set up?
Dressing, thank you. Yes I do need to try and see things from the pov as well. I am very aware that they are getting older (mid 70's) and as time shifts on it would become more unfair to expect them to move (which brings on a whole other set of expectstions about what happens when they become frail).
Yes a 'house meeting' might be a start but first I need to reach some common ground with DH.
Our options seem to be
1. Buy them out, taking on a mahoosive mortgage and keeping them here as tenants (not keen at all but DH happier with this option)
2. Buy them out, mahoosive mortgage and tell them they need to move (how on earth to broach that one!!!!! )
3. Sell house and we all move. Yes much smaller house but small price to pay IMO.
4. Keep status quo and try to forge way forward. Pay back debt to BIL's when PIL's die.
It sounds as if your relationship with PILs has more or less broken down. I would say that before trying to agree with DH on a way forward you should try to find out what option PILs would prefer. They may even have some fresh ideas to bring to the table.
Obviously they will need to get their heads round the idea of a change first, before you have a proper discussion; but in their position, I would probably have already thought about some options.
Btw DH and I are the older couple, living next door to the younger family, so probably that's why I can see the other side of the dilemma. I would hate to have to go next door to do my washing or get my clothes!
Pm me if you think it would help.
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