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Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34272
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My mother in law moved in with me and my husband around

Resolved Question:

Hi, my mother in law moved in with me and my husband around 8 years ago. She wanted extra room so had a conservatory built to use as her living room. My husband passed away last year and now she wants to move out. Her other sons say I have to give her the money back that she spent on my house. Where do I stand legally as I do not have that sort of money?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
HiThank you for your questionMy name is***** shall do my best to help you but I need some further information firstHow much is the house worth - and how much would it be worth without the conservatory?What other payments has she made over the years?Clare
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Clare
My house is worth around £360,000 I guess. I don't know what it would be worth without the conservatory but she paid around £30,000 for the conservatory and a few other alterations that she wanted. She has given us money towards utility bills over the years but no rent as such.
Helen
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What was the agreement at the time that she moved in?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There was nothing in writing, she didn't want to live where she was so we offered to let her stay with us as we had a spare room. The other two brothers wouldn't take her in. We all assumed that she would be with us until she passed away. We didn't ask her to do the work, she wanted to, so she had a living room of her own. The other brothers were quite happy for us to take her in and no-one mentioned anything about her money.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
What other alterations did she pay for?What other funds does she have?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She wanted a downstairs bathroom so we had a very small extension to accommodate a small shower room. We already had a downstairs toilet. Her son did the building work and she paid him in cash. She says she only has a small amount of savings, a few thousand, no-one knows what she has spent the rest of her money on. She gets angry when we try to ask her.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
From what you have said there was no agreement that her investment would give her an interest in the property and on that basis you do not have to pay her anything.However there is a risk that she could apply to the court on the basis that there was an "implied Trust" and that investing in the property and enhancing it's value meansthat she is entitled to a share of the proceeds of saleThere is a chance that this could be successful BUT even then it would not necessarily mean that you would have to pay her immediately - just when the house is sold.However this is not a certainty - and it could be argued that the alterations were a form of advance rent for her living with you.At this stage you can either say that that was not the agreement OR you can suggest that you attend mediation together to agree a way of resolving the matterI hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you very much. She has always insisted that she didn't want any money back and that she was just grateful that we gave her somewhere to live. She does not want the money back. I was just worried that her sons could come to me for it when she died.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
It would be good if you had independent evidence of her feelings - just in case they do try something after she is gond!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So are you saying that if I don't get evidence they could come after me for the money?
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
They may well try any way - it does not mean they will succeed and frankly without the evidence that it was not a gift they would struggle - but it is a matter of belt and braces!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Clare, you have been most helpful. That has taken some stress off me now.
Have a lovely day.
Expert:  Clare replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome
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