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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34589
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My Daughter-in-law has co-habited in her property since 2000

Resolved Question:

My Daughter-in-law has co-habited in her property since 2000 with her male partner who has paid a weekly sum towards house-keeping,has assisted with child-care, provided transport and shared the domestic routine. Her sons are now 18yrs and 15yrs respectively. They extended the property in 2007 with the bill of £30,000 split between my Daughter-in-law and her partner £10,000(her) - £20,000(him) respectively. The relationship has become acrimonious/likely to break down completely, and she is anxious to protect her interests with a view to bringing the relationship to an end. What claims, if any, could he make on her assets please?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare, Thankyou for your prompt response. The house is now worth around £150,000. In 1998 when she took over the mortgage from her second husband the house was worth approx £70,000 and the balance of the mortgage debt now is approx £20,000, of which part is repayment and part endowment. The shortfall at redemption in 7 years time is expected to be around £5,000. I hope this helps.


There was no formal agreement between the parties at the time of his joining the household as to share of assets, neither was there any agreement at the time of financing the extension to the property in 2007.


 


Thankyou


 


Charles


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How much has the extension increased the value of the property
What weekly payments did he make?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Very difficult to estimate the increase in value due to the extension, which impoved the amenities but did not increase the number of rooms. Best guess would be an increase of £15,000 at the time of construction. Weekly contributions to housekeeping over recent years have been £160.00.


 


Thanks


 


Charles.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
At the time he invested the money in the property what was said about his having a share of the equity?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I am told that there was no agreement other than to contribute in the shares that I have indicated. The operation was to increase kitchen size and provide en-suite facilities to the main bedroom, which he thought was needed and with which she agreed.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that whilst the weekly amount that he paid could be seen as a form of rent the fact that he contributed a substantial amount to the structural alterations of and improvements to the property means that he has acquired a financial interest in the equity.
This does not give him the right to live in the property - but your daughter does have to ensure that she gives him Reasonable written notice to leave (say 28 days) if she wishes him to go.
However he can apply to the court for an order granting him a financial share of the equity - although he is not likely to be able to force a sale until the youngest child is 18.
Your daughter needs to try and discuss matters with him using Family Mediation to agree a settlement figure.
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you Clare, that's really helpful. Just one further question. If he were prepared to provide a statement declining any interest in the property, would this suffice?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Yes that would be protection in the future if he changes his mind
Clare
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