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Sister living in ex partners home after death

Hello

My sisters partner of 15 years sadly died on Friday just gone. His family were ok up until he passed away. They demanded his bank card on Saturday evening not even 24hrs after his death. Yesterday my sister was out at my parents house and the family asked if they could go in to get some things, my sister said she’d like to be there to help so asked if they could wait until she got back. They found out where my parents lived and banged on the door and were verbally abusive. My dad phoned 101 just to log it. My sister just happened to check her cameras at the flat when she saw 4 men standing outside her front door. There was a locksmith and they were breaking the door to get in. We phoned the police back and they said they’d send someone round. Little did they know my sister had cameras so she caught it all. Police said it was a civil matter and they couldn’t do anything. They gave her a new set of keys but also the family have a new set of keys. We went back to the flat to get some pjs for my sister so she could spend the night with my parents as she’s upset and scared. The family went in and took the safe, my sisters security cameras, some of her personal items and pictures. We reported it to the police this morning. Now as there is no will and they weren’t married, we know they can kick her out once they’ve got probate but I was just wondering what happens between now and then? She’s scared to go back in case they just let themselves in again. We got them on camera saying “we’ve changed the locks, if no one is here she can get a locksmith but if someone is here she can’t so I’ll stay here tonight”. It’s so upsetting for everyone because my brother in law only died on Friday evening. Any advice would be appreciated. 

Comments

  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Forumite Posts: 4,215
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    edited 12 September at 7:51PM
    Sounds like they didn't have a great relationship (sister and his family).

    Is the flat owned or social housing?

    Has she contributed to rent/mortgage payments (could she have a beneficial interest)

    She can change the locks back for her own security. A simple barrel swap.

    I would be careful calling him your brother in law in communication as he isn't and it could muddy the conversation in terms of legalities.

    Id recommend your sister get a free half hour with a solicitor but if they had house insurance did they have legal on it as this may be an option for her too for advice.
  • km1500
    km1500 Forumite Posts: 1,734
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    be careful.about changing the locks back - it is not her house
  • bluelad1927
    bluelad1927 Forumite Posts: 111
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    Am I missing something. The title says Ex partner. Was your sister actually living in the house 
  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Forumite Posts: 14,806
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    You say her partner which suggests they weren’t married but then say he was your brother in law which suggests that they were.  

    Can you confirm their marital status and also if he made a will. 
  • BlueVeranda
    BlueVeranda Forumite Posts: 53
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    Am I missing something. The title says Ex partner. Was your sister actually living in the house 
    If they were together until his death, then it should say he is her late partner, not her ex. 

    Difficult situation, I really feel for her.
  • _Penny_Dreadful
    _Penny_Dreadful Forumite Posts: 641
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    Hello

    My sisters partner of 15 years sadly died on Friday just gone. His family were ok up until he passed away. They demanded his bank card on Saturday evening not even 24hrs after his death. Yesterday my sister was out at my parents house and the family asked if they could go in to get some things, my sister said she’d like to be there to help so asked if they could wait until she got back. They found out where my parents lived and banged on the door and were verbally abusive. My dad phoned 101 just to log it. My sister just happened to check her cameras at the flat when she saw 4 men standing outside her front door. There was a locksmith and they were breaking the door to get in. We phoned the police back and they said they’d send someone round. Little did they know my sister had cameras so she caught it all. Police said it was a civil matter and they couldn’t do anything. They gave her a new set of keys but also the family have a new set of keys. We went back to the flat to get some pjs for my sister so she could spend the night with my parents as she’s upset and scared. The family went in and took the safe, my sisters security cameras, some of her personal items and pictures. We reported it to the police this morning. Now as there is no will and they weren’t married, we know they can kick her out once they’ve got probate but I was just wondering what happens between now and then? She’s scared to go back in case they just let themselves in again. We got them on camera saying “we’ve changed the locks, if no one is here she can get a locksmith but if someone is here she can’t so I’ll stay here tonight”. It’s so upsetting for everyone because my brother in law only died on Friday evening. Any advice would be appreciated. 
    What an awful situation for your sister to be in. This is why it is so important to make wills people. The police can be terrible when it comes to dealing with housing situations. There's no way his parents were granted probate or the role of estate administrator in just a few days and it is quite frankly disgusting behaviour from his family. Your sister needs to see a solicitor immediately. The first thing she needs to do is about applying for an occupation order. That would give her some breathing space. Following that she can look at demonstrating a beneficial interest in the property which can be registered with the Land Registry and would stop his family being able to sell out from under her. I'm assuming your sister and her late partner had no children because if they did then under the rules of intestate any children would inherit ahead of his parents.
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Forumite Posts: 11,174
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    An occupation order is generally available where there is a domestic abuse - I don't think it would be available in this situation. 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • _Penny_Dreadful
    _Penny_Dreadful Forumite Posts: 641
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    TBagpuss said:
    An occupation order is generally available where there is a domestic abuse - I don't think it would be available in this situation. 
    They’re not just for cases where there is DV. 
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