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Brothers at war.

(6 Posts)
humblesims Sun 10-Jul-16 15:41:05

I dont even know where to begin with this as it has been going on soooo long.
I live in a house with my DH and 2 teenage DS's. We share the house with my BIL. The house belongs to a trust set up by my FIL and the two brothers are trustees. This means that the house effectively belongs to them both and at the same time it belongs to neither of them.
I will try and describe as honestly and as unbiased s I can the set up here. My DH works full time but on contracts and the money is enough to live on. While the DS's have been young I have been a SAHM and running my own business in the creative industry (I'm a struggling artist). As teh children have got older and more independent I have worked longer hours at my business but it doesnt create a significant income. I could go out to work and get a job. I have no skills apart from a bit of IT and stuff like that. . My DH has always been very happy with our set up work wise and I have always said that I would get a job if he wanted me to and if our finances became urgent. As the house has no mortgage we have no rent to pay so our outgoings are not great. Just the run of the mill expenses that a family of four living frugally would incur.
My BIL has never had a job or a family. He is long term single and is a relic of the 1980's travelling community. In his youth he spent a lot of time on the road and consuming a lot of drugs and alcohol. He has lived here at the house for the past twenty five years or so. The house is his and DH's family home and my FIL lived here as a child so he has as much of a right to be here as we do and I have never claimed otherwise. He and my FIL are very similar in many ways and one thing they have in common is collecting junk and old vehicles and boats and stuff. Over the years my BIL has filled the outside of the property with junk and dead vehicles and suchlike. AS well as mountains of useless rubbish that is no good to anyone but isnt quite 'rubbish' enough for me to legitimatly throw away without his permission. He has a hoarding tendency I guess, a bit like you see on teh telly but not quite as extreme. he lives in teh bottom of the house and we live in teh top part. His part of the house is like a junk shop and many of his rooms are inaccessible as they are full of crap. An old girlfriend broke the windows in one of the rooms about ten years ago and they have never been replaced. We access our part of the house through his part of the house. I keep the entryway as clear as I can but its a losing battle. The children have to bring their friends through if they invite them home. I have to bring friends through if I invite them home too! its really bad, but its his area and I have no right to tell him how he should keep his part of the house. The garden here is very large and has outbuildings which are all full of his junk and some of them are falling down. I try to keep areas of the garden nice but it is against a backdrop of a junkyard. Our property is talked about on this street. My BIL refuses to contribute towards household bills (amenities) and as the bills are in DH name we pay them . He is supposed to give us money each month to cover these but he doesnt. Basically his lifestyle in this lovely old house is subsidised by us. My DH has looked into splitting the bills by calling the house two flats which would effectively mean two council tax bills and splitting the amenities. He hasnt mentioned this to BIL yet and I know it will kick off when he finds out. They dont speak. My DH had a nervous breakdown brought on by the situation about ten years ago and we have to try not to stress him out too much but any kind of confrontation with BIL dissolves into awful fighting (verbal not physical) and my BIL always comes out on top in these as my DH is not very good at confronting him and he (BIL) is very articulate. God the whole thing is such a mess. WE cant sell our interest in teh trust as he would have to agree and he wont. He also wont sell his interest (even to us - not that we can afford it) as he has such a cushy life here and he has no reason to change. He gives not one tiny fuck how this effects us as a family and how the property looks and in all honesty it is falling down around our ears. We cant afford to maintain it and he refuses to contribute to it. he has no family with a future to consider. He's like a fucking parasite. Sorry I tried not to get to emotional here but it is emotional.
We cant move out and rent our space out a the property is so neglected. We cant move out and rent somewhere else ourselves as we dont earn enough (and if I worked we might scrape together enough to rent a small place but at the expense of walking away from his family home.
This has been going on for so long now (about twenty years) and what I have outlined is really just the tip of a very deep family problem. And I dont know what to do for the best anymore. We are tied into living with BIL for the rest of our lives if we dont figure it out. WWYD?

VimFuego101 Sun 10-Jul-16 15:53:31

Can your DH split the property as he's proposing to without getting his brother's permission? If so, it sounds like the best option regarding the bills/ shared entry, but won't solve the issues with him hoarding junk outside - you'll just be living next door to it rather than in it.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 10-Jul-16 16:16:51

First thing I'd do is see a solicitor specializing in trusts to get a thorough explanation about the terms of the trust and see if there is any way the trust can be broken and the house sold. I'd also ask if there's any way to evict BiL or force him to leave for not paying his 'share' of common upkeep or for turning the place into a tip. And if it's truly community property, ask if you are entitled to remove BiL's junk from it?

Then I'd see an estate agent. Would it realize enough for you and DH to buy something else, even a flat?

If your house is the 'talk of the street', aren't you risking someone turning you in to the council or whatever authority there is as a nuisance or hazard?

humblesims Sun 10-Jul-16 21:09:00

Thanks for even reading through all of that. I needed to get it off my chest I think! Yes I think youre right about finding out our legal position. Although the property is a mess and theres a lot of junk its not quite bad enough for the authorities to take an interest. DH and I spend a lot of time trying to keep things to a certain (but very low) standard (its not like some of the bad ones you see on telly - its just rundown and too much junk). thanks for the advice, i think seeing a solicitor is a sensible idea. The idea of selling this lovely family property would break my DH's heart; and mine too really as its the DS's family home too. But sometimes I feel like I could just walk away from it and never return. Anyway...thanks. x

AcrossthePond55 Sun 10-Jul-16 21:52:50

I understand about family homes. But in the end they are only 'bricks and sticks'. Your true 'family home' is where you're all together in love, peace, and comfort.

Good luck.

Missgraeme Thu 28-Jul-16 10:13:24

Start filtering through his junk and find some goodies to sell and pay his share of the bills! Likely he won't even notice!!

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