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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 14461
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I just need some advice on what rights I have to changing

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HelloI just need some advice on what rights I have to changing the locks on my late mothers house.My mother passed away 2010 and in her will left her half of the house to my other 5 brothers and sisters. The other half of the house belongs to my step dad who now is in a care home and does not have full capacity of his well being. One of my sisters has given her percent of the house to me. So I do own more of a percent than the rest of my brothers and sisters. My problem is my brother has moved into the house and then moved his girlfriend into the house and they both have not looked after the house as we have pictures to prove the state of the rooms in the house. As I own more of the house than the others I want to know if I do have the power to change the locks on the house so my brother can no longer enter the house. My other brothers and sisters have allowed me to seek advice on this for it to be done.
Assistant: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: No not as of yet I just need advice on what rights we have
Assistant: Where is the house located?
Customer: Hyde Cheshire
Assistant: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no not really

Good afternoon. I will assist with your question - be aware this is an email not chat service therefore i maybe delayed in replying.

and your step father will not be returning?

who has he left his share too?

did you brother ask permission at all?

is he paying rent?

Customer: replied 3 days ago.
No he is the care home where I work for his safety and well being. As we all work so there is no one at home to watch him 24/7 so he agreed to be admitted to my care home. My mother before she passed left her half to me and my other 5 siblings. Although One of my sisters has given her share to me. My brother mentioned he was moving back home. He never asked he told us. But then moved his girlfriend in as well. Not to mention my brother is an alcoholic and so is his girlfriend. No my brother is not paying rent. The house has no mortgage as my mum payed this off before she passed away. So my question is what steps can I take to get them both to get out of our mums house and go back to there own little flat they have. I have picture proof of the mess they have made to my mums house.
Customer: replied 3 days ago.
My step father has given my eldest brother power of attorney or next of kin

To live in the property or to put locks on, no one has any more right than anyone else regardless of the percentage. A minor share owner has as much right as anyone else.


An occupier of the property is liable for the market rent to the other beneficiaries for everything other than the occupiers share.


I don’t why this has been going on for so long but the remedy is to get the house sold and if your brother and his girlfriend were not move out, then you need a court order to make them do so.


I would suggest that you get them to move out before the property is marketed because they are likely to be obstructive.


The rent they should have paid over the last nine years should be deducted from their share of the proceeds. So should the cost of any damage they have caused during their period of occupation


No one can be compelled to continue to own a property which they no longer wish to own and they are able to force a sale through the courts if necessary.



The remedy is to make an application to court for an order for sale under section 14 of the Trusts of Land Appointment of Trustees Act (the Act).

Anyone wishing to sell may find that a strongly worded letter from a solicitor threatening a court application and an application for costs, may focus the mind without actually having the need to get to court.

Check house insurance to see if there is legal expenses cover that would pay for the legal cost of taking the matter to court.

If I were advising anyone who has received a letter threatening an application to court under the Act and an application for legal costs, I would tell them to get the agents sign up immediately and cooperate with the sale because if they make the court application, they are likely to get it and they are likely to get costs awarded against them.


My advice is to get a solicitor to write threatening the application for an order for sale and to get the property sold.


Can I clarify anything else for you?


I am happy to answer any specific points arising from this.


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Thank you.


If you still need any points clarifying, I will still reply because the thread does not close.


Best wishes.



Customer: replied 3 days ago.
We do not want to sell the house. It is too valuable to sell as it has our own memories within it. We just want our brother and his girlfriend to leave the house as they do not need to be there because they have there own flat. The main purpose was for him to move in and sort himself out as he put it. And then it came around that he could also help care for our step father which he has not done. Hence why he is in a care home now. It’s not been going on for years. It has been quite a few months but not years that he moved back home. So we can charge him rent for all the time he has been there? and also charge him for damages too? And could we still get a court order to evict him?
Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Can you reply an answer on my questions I have asked. Thanks.

Be careful. Your brother may decide he wants it sold and he would be at liberty to do exactly the same.

You are at liberty to taking to court for the occupational rent and if he is not looking after the property the same in respect of any damage and maintenance.


I would indeed charging rent in respect of his occupation of everybody else’s share of the property and for any damage which he has caused although is not responsible for the upkeep.


You could apply to court to get an order to evict him and if he takes legal advice that would be to make an application to court for an order for sale.

Customer: replied 2 day ago.
Ok. Thank you. You have been very helpful.

I am glad to help. Please don’t forget to use the rating service because it means that can continue to provide affordable and timely legal advice to people with similar problems.

Although it says "rate to finish" it doesn't close the thread and we can still exchange emails.

You may need to login again to use the rating service.

Kind regards

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