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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33283
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My son & wife (plus baby) were living together in their house

Customer Question

My son & wife (plus baby) were living together in their house (bought from my son's grandmother in June 2014 and been unoccupied since due to some very necessary immediate works) for just 11 days; following argument my son tells his wife "if she doesn't like it....." to go which she did. My son on returning from work the following day, found that his wife had removed majority of her possessions from house, and replaced TV with a broken one. The following day, my son had locks changed on house as afraid that she would come back again when he was not there. The question now being is he within his legal rights as she wishes to move back within next couple of days, but live 'separately' within house?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year 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.
Who actually owns the property, how much is it worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage
Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My son & wife completed purchase 27/06/14 at £125K but did not move in until 14/03/15 (& they had already been living separately since 08/01/15 due to earlier 'issue'). Following disagreement on 25/03/15, my son told his wife to go 'if she didn't like it .........', which she did (went to mother's).

It is difficult to know what property would market for now as still needs a large amount of work carried out, but possibly £150-£160K. Mortgage is for £125K, plus further £20K debts since. Mortage & all household bills have been fully paid by my son. His wife is now pressing to move back in but general feeling is that is for financial gain. The immediate question at the moment though is, he had reasonable cause to change locks, but is this illegal?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

My son & wife completed purchase 27/06/14 at £125K but did not move in until 14/03/15 (& they had already been living separately since 08/01/15 due to earlier 'issue'). Following disagreement on 25/03/15, my son told his wife to go 'if she didn't like it .........', which she did (went to mother's).


It is difficult to know what property would market for now as still needs a large amount of work carried out, but possibly £150-£160K. Mortgage is for £125K, plus further £20K debts since. Mortage & all household bills have been fully paid by my son. His wife is now pressing to move back in but general feeling is that is for financial gain. The immediate question at the moment though is, he had reasonable cause to change locks, but is this illegal?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Could you please get back to me on the legality of changing the lock.

Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay.
It is not illegal for your son to have changed the lock as in there is no criminal behaviour involved - but he has to give a new key to his wife - she is entitled to return there whenever she wishes - breaking in if necessary.
In the longer term he needs to be aware that the housing needs of the baby are the priority and his wife may well be able to remain in the property - without him - until the child is 18 or she cohabits.
Alternatively she could force a sale of the property to gain her share of the equity - at least 50%
I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Clare

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