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Sister living in ex partners home after death

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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. 
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Comments

  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Posts: 4,540 Forumite
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    edited 12 September 2023 at 7:51PM
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    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 Posts: 2,439 Forumite
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    be careful.about changing the locks back - it is not her house
  • bluelad1927
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    Am I missing something. The title says Ex partner. Was your sister actually living in the house 
  • Keep_pedalling
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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
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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.
    Never take a stranger's advice. Never let a friend fool you twice.
  • _Penny_Dreadful
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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 Posts: 11,208 Forumite
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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
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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. 
  • Nataliel14
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    My sisters partner of 15 years died a few weeks ago and his children (in their 50s) have given her a letter which says “notice requiring possession” the letter was given on the 10th October and they’ve given her until the 9th November. Her solicitor (because she’s got a claim under the inheritance act 1975) has asked for their reassurance that they won’t try to force her to leave the property until the claim is resolved, however we’re worried that they will try and do something on the 9th because they didn’t give the solicitor their assurance, in fact they ignored that. We also believe they are trying to bypass probate. They think they are the landlord but unfortunately the property was in his (sisters partner) name and they weren’t married.

    Is there anything we can do? They broke in via a locksmith 3 days after he died and tried to make her homeless illegally, we have this on video as the security cameras caught them breaking in using a locksmith. Police said it was a civil matter and wouldn’t do anything. She is living there at the moment but is scared because they have a spare key as they broke in and changed the locks. We’re not sure where she stands with changing the locks again and we definitely think that they’ve been entering the property whilst she is out.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  • elsien
    elsien Posts: 33,347 Forumite
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    edited 6 November 2023 at 4:54PM
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    She has a solicitor. What does her solicitor advise? She would probably be wise to remove any important documents and personal possessions from the property if there is someone who can look after them for her.
    I would, however argue that they didn’t break in because the executors of the estate should be able to enter the property. It is discourteous for them to enter without arranging with her, but unless their behaviour borders on harassment, I don’t think it’s unlawful. 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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