How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ash Your Own Question
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ash is online now

I own a house outright of which I paid the deposit, every

This answer was rated:

I own a house outright of which I paid the deposit, every mortgage payment and final lump sum payment. My sole name is ***** ***** Deeds. My mother, half sister and her daughter live there and have done since 1996 when I first took the mortgage on. To take out the mortgage the provider told me I would need a Guarantor and I gave my mother's name as back up. My mother's pension/housing benefit (not sure which) paid small amounts towards the mortgage interest each month. This is the only interest/connection my mother had in regards ***** ***** payment of the house.
A couple of years ago my mother, myself and half sister made several visits to the local housing office applying for rent to be paid to me as landlord (I have never taken any rent off my mother/half sister for them living there). The Council informed me due to my mother having an interest in the property (they said she was a joint owner to which I disagreed) they could not give my mother/half sister any housing benefit which in turn would be paid to me as landlord. The council did mention a tribunal which put me off. On asking my local solicitor for advice they mentioned the possibility of a lengthy and costly court battle with the council. I immediately gave up the claim. Due now to talk of my job finishing in 2018 and I have a mortgage on the house where I reside, any rent I could claim for my paid-for house would come in very handy.
The second question is does my half sister have any claim to the property as she has lived there for twenty years and how would I go about evicting her if I had to sell the property. Would she have any rights?

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you.

Do they have any form of written agreement please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My mum and half sister have no form of written agreement.

But to be clear, they have never contributed towards the mortgage?
They have never made improvements to the property?
Do you have a rent book?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They have never contributed towards the mortgage, only as I say, mum's pension may have paid small amount of interest which I think this is where the council have picked up on. I have never had a reason to get a rent book from my mum if that is what you mean?

Yes. Ideally you should have had a rent agreement and also rent book. This keeps things clear and at arms length.

Has benefit been refused now?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We haven't tried since that first time a couple of years ago. I just presumed that was the end of it and the council gave a very definite no. If we try again now the council will probably give us the same answer as in mum has a financial interest in the house.

Ok - what do you want to know about the first part of your question, so I am clear. As I dont quite understand.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Did the council have a right to block the claim for housing benefit due to the fact that I showed them the Deeds with the Title Absolute as me being the sole owner?

They need to be satisfied that its at arms length. Therefore if there is a written agreement or rent book then this assists.

The fact that if interest was paid that does mean they could be an interest in the property.

If you disagreed with the decision then you SHOULD have appealed to Tribunal. As you did not the decision stands.

There is no reason why she cant re-apply for benefit and if refused, refer to Tribunal.

Will they have any claim to the property if you want it back - probably not, but if they paid towards interest, this COULD be classed as right, no matter how small

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That is fine but just one more question. Mum is 82 and if she passed away, could my half sister argue that, seeing as mum could be seen to have an interest in the property, then shouldn't the property value be shared out amongst her children. Mum has seven adult children who are all over 40 years. I obviously would want the property for myself after paying for all of it.

Yes its possible. Thats why you need an agreement with everything in writing. Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you

My name is ***** ***** I have ben a solicitor for more than 30 years
In fact your half sister has no claim on the property following the death of your mother UNLESS in the mean time your half sister has paid for any structural alterations or improvements to the property
Whilst the council gave the wrong reason for refusing the benefit they would not have paid for it in any event due to the close relationship between you