Evicting family member from residential property

I've had a close relative reach out for help, sorry, this is not investment related.

The retired couple have their 50 year old son, his wife and two children (aged 9 & 11) live with them, the son's never paid rent or many bills, effectively lived free.

The son never moved out and when he got married moved his wife in, he works and so does the wife. The relationship has been rocky for a while and the son's been offered financial help to move out, even buy the property at a reduced rate so the retired couple can move, the son's just refused and feels the property is now his as he has been there so long.

It's come to a head now and the couple just want the son and his family out as they have become verbally abusive and are even restricting them to certain parts of the house, they've slowly removed the couples belongings without permission.

I've advised that they call Shelter or Citizens advice, I would think as no AST exists they would be treated as lodgers and a solicitors letter would be the best way forward. The couple don’t have much money so can't afford expensive legal help, the son is intimidating so not something they feel they can handle alone, any tips on how to move forward and anything that could trip them up?

Thanks in advanced.        
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  • molerat
    molerat Posts: 31,551
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    edited 5 February at 5:14PM
    There is no simple way and it will probably get messy I am afraid, they need to be given notice to leave which could antagonise things although unlikely they really have any right to stay.  Speaking to either CA or Age UK might help, elder abuse could come into play here which could turn into a police matter.
  • YBR
    YBR Posts: 528
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    Agree that this sounds like elder abuse, which is a safeguarding issue.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,461
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    This is probably financial and elder abuse.

    The parents need to talk to Age UK in the first instance, then a solicitor; Age UK may have contacts with the relevant experience.

    The son might claim he and his family have sole occupancy of some areas. Does son have an independent access without going through shared space, separate kitchen?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • Glover1862
    Glover1862 Posts: 410
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    Thanks for the replies, I have suggested Age UK as Shelter aim to keep people in homes and CA just too under resourced to give any meaningful help.

    i think it’s a more complex issue than first looks, ie change the locks and throw them out, I think some notice period is required legally and they would do anyway. 

    They have asked them to leave but they take no notice, hence why a solicitors letter will mean they are serious. They have limited funds so don’t want long drawn out expensive legal bills but it will cost what it will.

    The other siblings are banned from the house and really can’t help. My suggestion was to get solicitors letter sent and then go and live with other family or have a long holiday, won’t be good living in the property once they get an official notice. If anyone knows of an organisation that can help that would be helpful.

    They would rather not call the police but I think ultimately they will need to be involved 
  • Glover1862
    Glover1862 Posts: 410
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    RAS said:
    This is probably financial and elder abuse.

    The parents need to talk to Age UK in the first instance, then a solicitor; Age UK may have contacts with the relevant experience.

    The son might claim he and his family have sole occupancy of some areas. Does son have an independent access without going through shared space, separate kitchen?
    No official allocation of space for them, although made uncomfortable for them to be in the same room.
  • thegreenone
    thegreenone Posts: 956
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    My suggestion was to get solicitors letter sent and then go and live with other family or have a long holiday
    No, absolutely not.  Son and family would take over house and it could be a long and costly exercise to get them out.  

    Who has banned the siblings?  Parents or Son?

    When they are out move all their belongings out and change the locks.  It will be harsh evicting their grandchildren.
    Or put the house on the market and make sure viewings are done when they are out.  Sell, tell them the completion date and order them a van.
  • Glover1862
    Glover1862 Posts: 410
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    My suggestion was to get solicitors letter sent and then go and live with other family or have a long holiday
    No, absolutely not.  Son and family would take over house and it could be a long and costly exercise to get them out.  

    Who has banned the siblings?  Parents or Son?

    When they are out move all their belongings out and change the locks.  It will be harsh evicting their grandchildren.
    Or put the house on the market and make sure viewings are done when they are out.  Sell, tell them the completion date and order them a van.
    The son is abusive to other family members so they jut stay away.

    if the son wanted to change the locks when they were out he could do that anyway and not allow them back in. I’m concerned for their safety hence give the notice and not be there while the notice is served, i certainly wouldn’t want to live in the house once this goes official, even if they stay there it will probably take a court order to evict them, staying there is just additional risk and pain, they will require some notice period to be given, I think lodgers get 1 month. 

    They won’t be able to sell the property if another family is living there, the conveyancing won’t happen. 
  • thegreenone
    thegreenone Posts: 956
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    My suggestion was to get solicitors letter sent and then go and live with other family or have a long holiday
    No, absolutely not.  Son and family would take over house and it could be a long and costly exercise to get them out.  

    Who has banned the siblings?  Parents or Son?

    When they are out move all their belongings out and change the locks.  It will be harsh evicting their grandchildren.
    Or put the house on the market and make sure viewings are done when they are out.  Sell, tell them the completion date and order them a van.
    The son is abusive to other family members so they jut stay away.

    if the son wanted to change the locks when they were out he could do that anyway and not allow them back in. I’m concerned for their safety hence give the notice and not be there while the notice is served, i certainly wouldn’t want to live in the house once this goes official, even if they stay there it will probably take a court order to evict them, staying there is just additional risk and pain, they will require some notice period to be given, I think lodgers get 1 month. 

    They won’t be able to sell the property if another family is living there, the conveyancing won’t happen. 
    I'm talking about the Parents changing the locks when Son and family are out. Son and family become homeless and have to sort themselves out.  It's not Son's house unless he is paying the mortgage.

    Perhaps Parents engage the help of their other children?  Do they know the situation at their family home?

    Of course the Parents can sell THEIR house, even with family living there.  What makes you think they can't?
  • Glover1862
    Glover1862 Posts: 410
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    They can’t just change the locks when the son is out, they have to give notice, they would not be safe there during this notice period, hence best to be away. 

    How can you sell a house when you effectively have squatters?? Would you buy a property with not guarantee that the property will be vacant on completion?? No responsible solicitor or lender would allow a sale when another family is present amd doesn’t want to leave!
  • Glover1862
    Glover1862 Posts: 410
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    The green one, you can list a house with an agent and allow viewings, that’s very different from selling a house and announcing a completion date.
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