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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34106
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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23years ago my wife's mother and stepfather wished to move

Resolved Question:

23years ago my wife's mother and stepfather wished to move into our property after selling their own house because they wished to live abroad for most of the year . They paid to have 2bedrooms and a bathroom added to our property. The plan to buy a property abroad didn,t happen for various reasons and they lived with us permanently unfortunately. My wife's mother died 10 years ago. And her stepfather continued to live with us until recently when he suffered a broken hip. And a minor stroke at the age of 86. It now seems that he cannot return to live with us as the accomodation is unsuitable. So he has to move into sheltered housing. He has only ever paid us a proportion of all utility bills , insurance etc over the 23 years he has lived here . He has savings and investments of his own which he is reluctant to spend We have found that we have to spend a considerable amount on renovation to the part of my property that he occupied due to the fact that he had totally neglected it for the past 20 years. Unfortunately the situation has become a little bitter and he is claiming that if we decide to sell our property he is insisting that a proportion of the money should go to him. He initially spent £28000 23 years ago and apart from his share of the utility bills , has not paid anything else. Are we legally bound to pay him anything from the sale of our home
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 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 extra is the property worth due to the extra bedrooms and bathroom?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
About £50.000
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
On saying that we have got to spend out a considerable amount of money to get it back in a saleable condition
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
How much did you have to spend on structural repairs?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Not started yet as it has all happened recently there is damage to ceiling caused by roof leaking which he did not inform us of leaking toilet needing complete replacement basically stripping back to basic she'll because of filthy conditions when he was living here we did not interfere with his life relying on him to maintain his own part
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi just wondered how things were going steve
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
My apologies for the delay
What was the original agreement about capital investment 23 years ago?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There was no written or legal agreement of any kind it was agreed if my father in law paid for the extension work they could live here rent free with only a proportion of utility bills to pay
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi meant to add he sold his property to pay for the extension and invested the rest of the money
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What would have happened if they had moved abroad after all?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The plan was originally to spend most of their year in Spain and a few months here with us but it didn't happen they changed their mind much to our dismay and decided not to go and he returned to work through an agency for another 7 years roughly
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Looking at percentages, how does the amount that was spent 23 years ago relate to the value of the property AT THAT TIME
How much is the property worth in total now
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
23 years ago I would say roughly 15% the property today as it stands is worth about 400.000
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that your step father does have a financial claim on the equity based on the monies paid for the improvements to the property that increased the value under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act.
He could either claim 15% of the equity - or the £50,000 that the extra bedrooms have added to the value.
The fact that he and your mother paid their share of the Utility bills over the years makes his claim stronger as on the face of it you have lost nothing from the arrangement.
Obviously you may have a claim in respect of essential remedial works
This is an area where you woudl need to negotiate with him - using Family mediation if necessary.
I am sorry - I know that this is not the answer that you wanted - but it is the legal position that you face I am afraid.
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
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