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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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Me, my brother and sister own a house. We each own a third

Customer Question

Me, my brother and sister own a house. We each own a third share of the house. My brother and sister live in it, I don't. I live in rented accommodation in Manchester. I want to force my brother and sister to sell the house which is In Bradford, West Yorkshire. I'm on long term sick, so can't afford solicitor. How do I go about forcing sale of house in Bradford?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Could you explain your situation and a little more detail please including why they will not agree to sell it? Thank you

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My mother died 2014, didn't leave a will. So we had a probate done in December 2015. I am on sickness benefits, Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. My Employment Support Allowance was reduced in January/February 2016 because the house in Bradford, West Yorkshire is worth £100,000. My share is worth £33,000. My benefits were reduced because my share is worth more than £16,000. I'm struggling with money at the moment. I get £221 ESA every two weeks, and £307 DLA every four weeks.My brother and sister who live in the house in Bradford are both unemployed. The reasons they don't want to sell the house is because my sister says it's the family house and it has memories, and the other reason is they're both worried about where they're going to live if we sell the house. My brother and sister have agreed in the past to sell the house, but they keep changing their mind a lot. I've been arguing about the house with them for over two years. That's why I've contacted you because there's no point in discussing the issue with my brother and sister. My brother has 3 or 4 children, my sister is divorced and doesn't have any children. I am single and don't have any children.I'm 54 years old and want the money because I'm getting older. I live in a housing association flat in Manchester. My brother is 46 and my sister is 49. I have mental health issues and the lack of money is causing me a lot of stress and anxiety. I want to do things like go out more to socialize, go on holiday and buy furniture and clothes.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

Your mother died intestate with no spouse and hence the proceeds of her estate are divided equally between children.

You are going to need Probate Letters of Administration to deal with the estate and the sale of the house.

If your brother and sister refuse to agree to the sale of the house you can apply to court for an order for sale to make them sell it and you can ask the court to award the legal costs in respect of the application against them.

It is most unlikely that any defence they have to your application would succeed.

Meanwhile, if anyone is living in the house, you are entitled to one third of a market rent.

The fact that your sister may say it was the family house and it has memories is irrelevant. If there are no dependent children, it is also irrelevant where they are going to live.

If your brother has children under aged 18, the local authority will provide alternative accommodation but not until there is a court order.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive. It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

I can still clarify things for you.

Best wishes.


F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8445
Experience: I have been practising for 30 years.
F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
How do I go about forcing my brother and sister to pay one third of a market rent. I've asked them before to pay me regular amounts of money. But they haven't agreed to it. As you said they would succeed with their defence if I took them to court. I can't afford to go to court anyway. So, can you please let me know how to force them to pay me rent, and can I also ask for the rent to be backdated to when we all the probate work was done and we inherited the house.I neglected to mention that my brother's children don't live at the house in question. As far as I know, my brother's children live with my brother's girlfriend in a separate house. I think his girlfriend rents a home in Bradford.Also, can I ask them to give me the money for my share, and can I say 'I want my money now.'
Expert:  F E Smith replied 2 months ago.

It’s a debt. You suein the Small Claims Court.

I did not say they would succeed I said it was unlikely they would succeed. In fact, I think it unlikely in the extreme.

You would claim rent either from the date of death or the date of their occupation if it was later.

You can always ask them to buy you out at the market rate and if they won’t do that, then you make the application to sell.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I'm going to ask them to pay me rent first? If they don't agree to pay rent, then I might ask my brother and sister to buy me out, and if they refuse to buy me out, how do I go about making an application to sell? What is the process, and who do I make the application to? My brother and sister are difficult to deal with and they deliberately refuse to do things, or don't reply to my letters sometimes.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 month ago.

A good plan. Get a valuation on the property first (better get three) so that you can tell them exactly how much your one third share is. You make what is known as a Part 8 application.

The threat of the application and costs will carry more weight from the solicitor.

If they deliberately refused to deal with this or put their head in the sand, it is going to cost them several thousand pounds in legal costs.

The application is made to the County Court or High Court.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If I want the house valuation, it's possible my sister might not allow it to go ahead. For example, by not allowing access to the person who is going to do the valuationt. My sister has been difficult with me before. Is there any way I can force my sister to let in the person who will do the valuation?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Also, my sister won't give me a key to the house in Bradford. Can I insist she gives me a key, as I own one-third of the house?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Am I legally entitled to have a key to the house that my brother and sister are living in, even though I don't live there, but own a third of the house in which they live?
Expert:  F E Smith replied 1 month ago.

I apologise for the delay. I didn’t get notification of your posts on 2 September.

You on one third of the share of the house and you are entitled to come and go in it as you like which includes valuations. If you physically will not let you have the property valued, and apply to court for an injunction to make her would do as part of the application for the order for sale.

The same goes for having a key. Yes, you are entitled to that as you are one third owner even if they are living in the property. Remember, they are liable to pay you an occupational rent in respect of your one third which they are occupying and you are actually entitled to move into the house with them.

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