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    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 12:56 PM
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    goochie
    Co-owned house - causing friction
    • #1
    • 13th Mar 18, 12:56 PM
    Co-owned house - causing friction 13th Mar 18 at 12:56 PM
    My mum, sister and I own a property together (my sister 25% each since our father died 14 years ago, M&D were separated at the time of his death but not divorced).

    My sis and I found out the other day that our mum has instructed quite significant work to the property. She noticed that the plaster/render had blown under one of the windows, so she called a builder that she knows (he re-covered her shed roof last summer) and he chipped a bit away and then said that the whole house had blown and needed removing and re-rendering. Within 1 day they had put up scaffolding and stripped the house (original quote for work was £11.5K). My sister was a little shocked when she drove past! I don't live locally so haven't seen it but have seen photos.

    Of course (and I’m not surprised) they have found areas of brickwork that are damaged/soaking wet and falling out, wet beams and mum has since told us that there has been water leaking into the spare bedroom for years – now the quote is up to £16.5K.

    A bit of background. At the time of our Dad’s death, mum was still working but on a low income and was panicking about how she would cope with any large maintenance bills (ie, new roof), if needed and we assured her at the time that if needed we would somehow work it out between us. We also agreed that this was her home and she was responsible for its’ upkeep, general maintenance, wear and tear, decoration, bills etc. We do not live there, and haven’t for 25+ years and have our own homes to pay for. Since this time she has received money from Dad’s estate, an inheritance, our dads pension, her pension and has re-married and he gives her money too, so her financial situation is far better than ours.

    Mum has, in the past instructed various workmen to do odd jobs around the property which have been done badly - one of them definitely contributed to water getting into the property as she paid someone to run a cable from the roof and they just dangled it from the roof without securing it and drilled through the front of the house and didn’t fill the hole, you could see daylight through it, but she doesn’t care about this, has never got it rectified, she just pays them and they move on.

    Following these incidents we asked mum to discuss any work that could de-value (or indeed add value) to the house before instructing anyone, and we would get 3 quotes and opinions before doing anything (which I would always be happy to do for her).

    Mum is paying for this work, so in her eyes we don’t have a say but we are very worried that this building company are not up to the task (we have no proof of this and very much hope that all will be OK, but her argument that she “knows” him because he replaced the flat roof on the shed is not good enough as a recommendation for this scope of work from our perspective).

    We feel strongly that as soon as they told her there was a bigger issue she should have said “Ok, this is a much bigger job than I originally thought, I would be happy for you to quote, but I need to discuss this with my family” and I would have done some research and found a couple of alternative companies to come and take a look, give their opinion and advice and do all we can realistically to try and protect Mum’s best interests financially and the property.

    Our only concerns are protecting mum and the family home, but she has got very defensive and quite nasty and this has caused quite a lot of friction between us. We are determined not to fall out but it is very hard when someone is screaming down the phone. I don’t think we are being unreasonable but Mums' view is that we think she is an idiot and that we wouldn’t trust anyone that she has hired, which is not fair.

    Last night we emailed the builder and explained that we are co-owners and that we wish to be copied on all quotes and correspondence. We have also requested copies of his insurance details, he says that his work is “guaranteed” for 20 years, and I asked how, in practice that works if his company goes out of business in 5 years – his answer was “this was my dads’ business, and has been going for years, so that will never happen”!

    If you've got this far, thanks for reading!

    What to do….
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
Page 1
    • Smodlet
    • By Smodlet 13th Mar 18, 1:30 PM
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    Smodlet
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 18, 1:30 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Mar 18, 1:30 PM
    Hi. Short of taking legal advice, I have no answer for you, sorry. Many legal firms offer free half-hour consultations. If you have legal cover on any insurance policy that is also a possible route.

    All I can do is wish you luck. I suppose your mother regards the house as hers alone, whatever the legal position and as such regards your concerns as interference: It is your and your sister's inheritance but it is her home.

    I agree with you that a job worth doing is worth doing well; it is cheaper in the long run but only you know what makes your mother tick. What does your sister have to say about it all?
    What is this life if, sweet wordsmith, we have no time to take the pith?
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    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 13th Mar 18, 1:31 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 18, 1:31 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Mar 18, 1:31 PM
    Whilst I can appreciate that you & your sister want to protect your mum from cowboy builders and - lets be honest - your inheritance as well as any future inheritance, you're sending mixed messages.


    On one hand you're saying mum crack on, it's your responsibility to keep the house ship shape & pay for it but on the other hand, you're saying we're co-owners we want a say in who does the work & how much it will cost you.


    I think you need to decide which hat you want to wear.
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


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    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
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    goochie
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:15 PM
    My sister and I are in agreement, which of course to Mum means we are ganging up on her, which is not the case.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 2:23 PM
    • 484 Posts
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    goochie
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:23 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:23 PM
    Not sure that is a fair assessment gettingthere, it has been our family home all of our lives, not our "inheritance". I don't think it is unreasonable for the inhabitant of the property to pay the bills, decoration and maintenance, she is also the owner and has lived in it for 50 years. We wouldn't expect to be consulted on the colour of the carpet but this is a much bigger project which I think needed a little more consideration and discussion. We don't see it as my inheritance at all (certainly not for a long time as well, we hope), but there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect her and it, so please don't assume we are that mercenary.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • comeandgo
    • By comeandgo 13th Mar 18, 2:32 PM
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    comeandgo
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:32 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:32 PM
    If I was your mother I'd be bloody furious with you and your sister. You leave her to pay all the upkeep of the house then complain that she,s not doing it right?
    If you want to check out the builder is he ltd company? You can check on companies house for financial situation. You are right regarding any guarantees, usually treat them as not existing. If I was the builder I would ask you to get lost, his contract is with your mother as she is the one instruction him and paying. The fact you own 25% of the property is immaterial
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 13th Mar 18, 2:41 PM
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    jackieblack
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:41 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:41 PM
    Not sure that is a fair assessment gettingthere, it has been our family home all of our lives, not our "inheritance". I don't think it is unreasonable for the inhabitant of the property to pay the bills, decoration and maintenance, she is also the owner and has lived in it for 50 years. We wouldn't expect to be consulted on the colour of the carpet but this is a much bigger project which I think needed a little more consideration and discussion. We don't see it as my inheritance at all (certainly not for a long time as well, we hope), but there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect her and it, so please don't assume we are that mercenary.
    Originally posted by goochie
    But your first post implies that you and your sister each inherited your share after your father's death, which, by definition, makes it your inheritance
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    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 2:52 PM
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    NeilCr
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:52 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:52 PM
    Have you and your sister. ever offered to pay towards building/repair costs?

    When you talked about work on the house with your mum did she agree with your suggestion that any future major works should be discussed in advance of ordering?
    • Ames
    • By Ames 13th Mar 18, 2:53 PM
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    Ames
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:53 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 18, 2:53 PM
    I seem to have read your post different to others, is your mum paying for the work herself or is she expecting you to chip in?

    If she's paying herself then I don't see the problem, if she's expecting you to pay then of course you can insist on different quotes.

    Have you looked up the builder on review sites to make sure he's up to the job?
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 2:58 PM
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    NeilCr
    I seem to have read your post different to others, is your mum paying for the work herself or is she expecting you to chip in?

    If she's paying herself then I don't see the problem, if she's expecting you to pay then of course you can insist on different quotes.

    Have you looked up the builder on review sites to make sure he's up to the job?
    Originally posted by Ames
    In the OP. First line of Para 7

    "Mum is paying for this work so in her eyes we don't have a say......."
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Mar 18, 3:00 PM
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    getmore4less
    Does your mum have a life interest?
    (fairly typical arrangement)

    If she does then that share is in a trust and it is the trustees that need to deal with this
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Mar 18, 3:11 PM
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    ska lover
    But your first post implies that you and your sister each inherited your share after your father's death, which, by definition, makes it your inheritance
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    My mum, sister and I own a property together (my sister 25% each since our father died 14 years ago, M&D were separated at the time of his death but not divorced).

    !!!8230;.
    Originally posted by goochie


    Not sure that is a fair assessment gettingthere, it has been our family home all of our lives, not our "inheritance". I don't think it is unreasonable for the inhabitant of the property to pay the bills, decoration and maintenance, she is also the owner and has lived in it for 50 years. We wouldn't expect to be consulted on the colour of the carpet but this is a much bigger project which I think needed a little more consideration and discussion. We don't see it as my inheritance at all (certainly not for a long time as well, we hope), but there is nothing wrong with wanting to protect her and it, so please don't assume we are that mercenary.
    Originally posted by goochie


    But it was inherited upon the death of your father wasn't it - the 25% share? Or did you own the 25% before your dad passed away?


    I find your attitude surprising

    The house is not the problem, it is the people causing the 'friction'


    There is a bit of an underlying feel that all was not rosy even before this, its obviously a while since you have visited as you don't live locally and have only seen pictures of the repairs, and you only found out because your sister 'drove by' - I wonder how many people drive by their elderly parents house without popping in? But can pause to take photos...
    Last edited by ska lover; 13-03-2018 at 3:34 PM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • bmthmark
    • By bmthmark 13th Mar 18, 3:23 PM
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    bmthmark
    If I was in your position I would be extremely grateful that my mum is paying for all the repairs. I would also help as much as I can to make sure the building work is up to an appropriate standard. I would do this by checking the working and speaking to the builders along the way.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 3:59 PM
    • 484 Posts
    • 1,548 Thanks
    goochie
    But your first post implies that you and your sister each inherited your share after your father's death, which, by definition, makes it your inheritance
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    I think the inference was that we only view it as a financial asset, which is not the case, it is our family home.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 4:04 PM
    • 484 Posts
    • 1,548 Thanks
    goochie
    Have you and your sister. ever offered to pay towards building/repair costs?

    When you talked about work on the house with your mum did she agree with your suggestion that any future major works should be discussed in advance of ordering?
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    The agreement was that we would discuss any works of any substantial nature and all be involved in the decision making process. Have we ever offered to pay for work to the house, no, apart from fairly minor stuff it hasn't needed much. And Mum has not asked us to pay for anything, she wishes to pay for it herself.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 4:05 PM
    • 484 Posts
    • 1,548 Thanks
    goochie
    If I was in your position I would be extremely grateful that my mum is paying for all the repairs. I would also help as much as I can to make sure the building work is up to an appropriate standard. I would do this by checking the working and speaking to the builders along the way.
    Originally posted by bmthmark
    Thanks, which is now what we are doing, it would have been much easier had we had the conversation a bit earlier. I was only given his details late last night.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • swingaloo
    • By swingaloo 13th Mar 18, 4:06 PM
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    swingaloo
    from reading I would assume that as your mum has been in the property for 50 years she is probably getting on in years now.

    Have you or your sister actually sat and talked about what needs doing? Maybe she is the type of lady who is not comfortable with getting workmen to give quotes and takes the easiest option.
    You say you don't live nearby and your sister only noticed as she was driving by.

    I would be very annoyed if I was expected to pay for something and arranged for the work to be done and then found that my daughter had been questioning the workman.

    Its your mums home and she has every right to arrange workmen to do a job on it. If the job when finished isn't up to standard and you and your sister are not happy then perhaps you could support your mum by getting the workmen back to rectify the job and being there with her at the time to discuss it.

    If my daughters were taking photos and contacting workmen I had arrange I would be furious. Would it not be more reasonable to sit down with her in a non-confrontational way and discuss the way forward.

    If your mum was paying a lot of money for work which would add value to the house for your benefit, would you be rushing to chip in or would you just think 'Well she's better off than us'.?
    • bmthmark
    • By bmthmark 13th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
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    bmthmark
    Thanks, which is now what we are doing, it would have been much easier had we had the conversation a bit earlier. I was only given his details late last night.
    Originally posted by goochie
    I'm sure your mum will appreciate the support and you sending an email to the builder will definitely help, as the builder now knows your mum is not on her own.
    Not saying the builder is dodgy or anything but it just sends out a message.
    Hopefully she hasn't paid for it all upfront?
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Mar 18, 4:11 PM
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    ska lover
    Maybe she feels it is in your (all of your) best interests, she's keeping the house in a good state of repair, out of her own pocket.


    I can honestly see why your mum is fed up
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • JimmyTheWig
    • By JimmyTheWig 13th Mar 18, 4:13 PM
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    JimmyTheWig
    I'm not sure that you co-owning the house has got anything to do with it, has it?
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