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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9329
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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10 years ago, I extended my parents 9 bedroom home by adding

Customer Question

10 years ago, I extended my parents 9 bedroom home by adding 2 bedroom and a shower room in the loft area, to accommodate my 5 children. The home is subject to a 1980 matrimonial order, whereby my father is to get 1/3 and my mother 2/3 of the sale. My mother was ordered to pay the outgoings, repairs and complete the payment off the mortgage. Spousal n children maintenance payments were also ordered to be paid by my father, which he has not kept to. My father now wants his share (the youngest child reached 18 over 36 years ago), and is not prepared to give me anything towards the build of the loft. My mothers is willing to give me half of the increased costs. What can my mother or I do to ensure that I get back my interest in the property?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Are you saying that your father wants one third of the improvements that you made and is not prepared to make any concession in respect of that?

Do you have valuations in respect of the pre-improvement value and post improvement value?

Before making the additions, why did you not get your father’s financial agreement?

What was cost of additions 10 years ago?

Why is the order still hanging around after all this time?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
My father wants his 1/3 share in full - no deductions, as he does not believe that I should benefit at all from the improvement. He says that I had the benefit of living there for the past 36 years. I suggested either that the house be valued without the addtions or once a valuation is obtained for this then both parites can equally provide me with sums from their respective share. My mother agrees but my father is adament that I am not entitled to anything.
There has been no valuation as of yet.
I have never sought my fathers permission to carryout any works at the peroerty and just got on with it. He was fully aware that I was undertaking works as he would visit from time to time. He has never objected or advised me that I should not. In any event, it was my mother who was responsible by way of the court order, to ensure that she maintain the house which they brought as a 9 roomed property. She was unable to do so alone as she did not get any maintenance money from my father since 1991, (he was ordered to pay her £30 per week and children maintenance , which he failed to do) so I assisted her in maintaining the home which also included upgrading of the bathroom and kitchen works.
I paid £45k for the loft additions, that in cluded 2 bedrooms and a shower room..
My mother stopped my father from coming to the house at Christmas, so he told us that he would want his share of the property now. Both paries are in their 70's.
My mother did attempt to buy him out in the 1990's, but as she was not working (raising 5 children alone), the court would not make an order.
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
It should be noted that my mother has instruted a firm to deal with the property order, but as I am not part of that original order, I thought that it would be prudent if I sought some form of advise in relation to my postion. I have been told that there maybe some form of constructive/resulting trust arising out of my actions and as I do not want to expand and or incur legal fees in persuing a claim, I just wanted to be clear as to how I stand should the matter proceed to court as my mother is insisting that the maintenance arrears be deducted from his share and possibly the children (without interest), if he agrees.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Look at this in a different way. If you are living with a partner and the house was in the partners sole name, and the mortgage was in the partners sole name and you put the extension on, then you have a claim on part of the house.

This may be your mother’s house but you have a claim against your mother in respect of your input to the house. I know you’re not enforcing it but that’s the situation. Your father has a claim against your mother in respect of his matrimonial home right but your mother’s interest does not include your interest and hence, your father has no entitlement to any share of what you input.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It is an important part of the process by which experts get paid. It does not cost you anything but helps us greatly.

Best wishes.

FES

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Sorry, but I am still unclear. Do you mean that I must ask only my mother for my share out of her 2/3, but that my father share of 1/3 will not be affected, when my mother buys him out? For argument sake, the house without the extension would be worth around £700k, but with the loft its approximately £900k. How would my share be obtained from the parties. They currently both own the joint title. Am I only to pursue my share from my mother whilst my fathers share is unaffected?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

I apologise for not being clearer. You have a share of the whole house by virtue of your contribution.

Your father has a one third share of everything after your contribution is removed. It would be grossly unfair for your father to get one third of your contribution.

If for example the house is worth £400,000 and without your extension it is worth £300,000, your mother’s 2/3rd share is £200,000 and your fathers 1/3 share £100,000.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
many thanks for the clarification, but if my father is insisting, as he is, that my share should not be deducted from the overall value, should I simply leave it for the Judge to decide as it looks like this case will not be settled out of court.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

If he steadfastly refuses to change his position, then there is no alternative but for the judge to rule

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
understood, loud and clear - thank you so much for your valuable and concise advice.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

I am pleased that I was able to assist. Just remember that nothing is ever guaranteed in court but based upon the facts you have given me, that is what will happen.

Please don’t forget to rate the service positive. Best wishes.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I appreciate that fact - thank you for the reminder. I have also just rated you and left a tip (thanks again).
Expert:  F E Smith replied 12 months ago.

Thank you . Best wishes. FES