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Clare, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 35215
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practice since 1985 with a wide general experience.
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My friend has been living and looking after her elderly

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My friend has been living and looking after her elderly mother for the last ten years in her mother's home. Her mother died in January 2018. My friend has a sister and they both own one quarter share of the parents home as left to them by their father in his Will with the mother owning one half of the property until her death.The mother's Will left 4/5th of her 1/2 share of the property to my friend and 1/5th to the sister. My friend has also been allowed to stay in the property for 1 year from her mother's death as mentioned in her mother's Will. The utility bills have all been transferred into my friend's name and she is responsible for the upkeep of the property. Unfortunately the sister feels that because she owns a share of the property and she has a key she has the right to walk in and out of the house whenever she likes without ringing the doorbell or announcing by phone when she wants to come round. My friend says that the sister and her family have been coming into her "home" and she knows that they have been going through her private papers and belongings because things have been moved. My friend has to live with the chain on the door all the time she is in the home and wonders what she finds when she has been out of the home. She lives there alone and is hard of hearing and not in good health so doesnt need the sister coming in and out of her home when she please. The sister has her own property but my friend does not have a key to her property. My friend has asked her sister not to just walk into the house but to ring the doorbell and would prefer her not to come into the house when she is out or away. The sister has refused saying she owns a share of the property and can do what she likes. The ,sister cannot ,be trusted.Does the sister have this right to come and go as she pleases and what are the legalities of my friend changing thd locks to secure her privacy.Look forward to hearing your respone.Regards

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

What was the exact wording of the Will that allowed your friend to remain in the property?

Customer: replied 13 days ago.
I dont know the exact wording but something like .....That my daughter Hilary remain in the property for 12 months from the date of my death while the property is being sold and to keep the property in reasonable repair
Customer: replied 13 days ago.
Can you please get back to me asap as we need to know what my friend's position is as it's making her ill

The exact wording is important - but it would be unusual for it not to be such that in fact there is an implied right that your friend should have "quiet enjoyment" of the property whilst she lives there.

This means that her sister is certainly not allowed access to the property other than by invitation

On that basis I suggest that she changes the locks and informs her sister that she is welcome to inspect her property by prior arrangement if she so wishes

I hope that this is of assistance - please ask if you need further details

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