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cityguru, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 13329
Experience:  solicitor
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Im not sure if I used this site correctly 10 mins ago so sorry

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I'm not sure if I used this site correctly 10 mins ago so sorry if I'm repeating my question!

My mother died 6 months ago and left her house to myself,my brother and my sister to be divided equally. I lived with her in the house all of my life.She specified in her Will that the house should not be sold within 6 months of her death. My sister and I are hoping soon to buy out my brother's one third share of the house. My brother is insisting that I immediately start to pay him one third of the rentable monthly value of the house.Given that we will soon be paying him his one third of the house value does he have any legal right to insist that I pay him this rent ? He is constantly pressing me for this money so your help in this very stressful situation would be much appreciated !
Did you have any expectation that your mother would allow you to stay n the house or were you dependent upon her?

Your brother has no right to rent. the obligation of the executors is to collect in the assets of the estate and distribute them. I.e sell the house and distribute the proceeds. So you may have no right to remain in house either - however if you lived there all your life and had a reasonable expectation that you would be allowed to remain it is possible that you might have a claim against the estate on the basis that you were dependent on your mother and she has failed to provide properly.

So I would tell your brother that he is not entitled to rent and if he does not cooperate you may challenge the will and demand a greater share.

I assume you did not pay your mother rent so you do not have to pay now and even if the estate it entitled to also you to leave you are also entitled to a reasonable period to find alternative accommodation.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your helpful answer. In the last 4 years of her life my Mum had extremely limited mobility and suffered from mild dementia so could not have continued living in this house if I had not stayed with her .I had paid her rent until that point but my Mum received a fair ammount of state funding including regular visits from carers so at that point I just helped with day to day living expenses.

The wording of her will is:-


My Trustees (that's all 3 children) shall hold the rest of my estate on trust to retain or sell it and i direct that if my son is still living with me at the date of my death thhe property shall not be sold or marketed for sale within 6 months of the date of my death


This also seems to mean there is no time limit on when we must distribute the estate(i.e either sell it or buy siblings out). Do you think that may be the case?


I do realise that my brother must eventually have his one third share of the value of the house. In order to stop him pestering me would it be safe to inform that I have taken legal advice and that i have been told he has no right to ask me for rent ?

Thanks . you can certainly tell your brother that he has not right whatsoever to ask for rent. It is clear from the will that is not the intent but in any case there is no basis legally for such a claim.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your very helpful and reassuring reply. May I ask a couple of further questions please? From the small extract of the Will that I quoted does it seem as if there is a time limit on when the property needs to be divided between the three of us? I know that my brother will be angry that he has not got his way over the rent issue and will try to force a sale through quickly . Does the sale of the house have to be a majority decision (I.e can my sister and I veto his wish to sell until we also feel ready ?)


One last(and slightly unrelated) question . My sister lives in Canda and comes back to the UK for 4 or 5 weeks every year . Given that she lives abroad is it likely we will be able to obtain a mortgage on the house to be able to give my brother his one third share? She has maintained a bank account here since she emigrated 30 years ago .


Thank you again for your help

It usually takes some time to sort out probate in order to sell but once the 6 months has expired then it actually requires all of you to agree not to feel it. The obligation is to sell. In practice of course if you are all trustees you will have to agree but he can get a court order if you refuse to sell.

You will need to sepal to a mortgage broker about the availability of mortgages. It is not really a legal question. Some lenders will lend to non residents
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you .I think my brother's main concern will be to get some money quickly (neither he nor his wife are currently working !)If we were to offer him to buyhim out as soon as poss and therefore keep the house for my sister and myselfld could he still refuse this and insist that we sell the house instead ?



yes he can refuse. The obligation of the executors is to sell the house and distribute the proceeds but there is not reason why he should refuse if it is a sensible offer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you . I think in reality he probably would accept such an offer but I just wanted to explore all possibilities.

Thank you again for your expert invaluable advice . It really has taken a weight off my shoulders knowing that I have a right to refuse his demands for rent. Would it be in order to contact you again if I think of any further questions in the next few weeks ?

Of course
cityguru and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you again then. Goodbye for now !