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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 34906
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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my mum moved into our family home with my husband, myself

Customer Question

my mum moved into our family home with my husband, myself and our 5 children 12 years ago. She gave us £30k and paid £12K conservatory . She has had sole use of a lounge , the conservatory and a bedroom all of this time. She does not contribute financially to bills and never has . I have covered all bills , house insurance and maintenance of the property.
We now need to sell the house as the children have all moved out and we cannot afford the mortgage . Mum wants her money back but this will use all the capital that we have from the sale . I am 50 years old , mum is 70. Do I have to pay her back ?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

Thank you question.

I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
What agreement was made when she came to live with you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The house is worth £550 k
Mortgage is £500k
There was no agreement made.
Mum and I get on fine and it was her suggestion that she not move with us but insets move to a flat alone.
Along with that she now says that she wants her initial money back.
The money she gave me was used to buy furniture children's rooms and to carpet the house.
Mum has had sole use of her sitting room , conservatory and bedroom
She hasn't ever contributed or been asked to contribute to any of the house hold bills. Not even house insurance , utilities , council tax.
I cook her dinner 2/3 times a week and I thought we were a happy family until this reared it's head.
Obviously I love my mum deeply but I simply don't have the finances to give her.
I should add that our youngest child is still
In full time education , 2 other adult children live at home and pay housekeeping.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

May I ask why the mortgage is still so large after 12 years?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We remortgaged to finance a business. It is an interest only loan.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

When did the remortgage happen?
What discussions were there at the time your mother moved in about her investment into the property?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
We remortgaged 4 years ago because my husbands business was struggling in the recession and he needed capital. As it happened it proved to be too late and the business was lost . We have spent the last few years climbing our way back into regaining a steady and regular income.
There were no discussions when mum moved in about what would happen to the money. Nothing in writing. Nothing even verbally discussed. Mum wanted to move to a smaller property and lived by herself. We all agreed that it would be nice if she lived with us so that she wasn't alone and she would use some of her capital which was £110 k to have a conservatory built on our house as she was a smoker and wanted more room than her lounge and bedroom.
Clare this was just a general enquiry as to whether mum was entitled to all of her money back.
Obviously I love her very much and had always envisaged that she would choose to stay living with me but mum has made new friendships and now feels differently.
I still hope that she will change her mind and move to a smaller property with us.
I just hoped advice .
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.

I am afraid the fact that some of her funds were used to improve the house - to build the Conservatory - does give her a financial claim on the property and the right to ask share of the proceeds of sale.
Whether she is entitled to ask the money back is a different matter
You can certainly argue that the £30,000 was a gift to you in return fact that she would be using part of your house and paying no bills - but the £12,000 does need to be repaid - together with an uplift to represent the fact that it added value to the house
This is however just a guide - as an option you could try using Family mediation to resolve the issues
Please ask if you need further details