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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 2
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 4:14 PM
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    goochie
    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
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Mum owns 50%, and my sister and I 25% each (we are all listed on the deeds), I don't remember any legal documents being drawn up, there is no trust. She is our mum, she will live there as long as she chooses, (and we have told her that if she needs to sell the house and move to a bungalow (as her husband is disabled and struggling with stairs), then she should sell up and use all of the proceeds to find them somewhere suitable to live, and we would just change ownership onto the new property at the % we have now. We will not "inherit" any capital from this property until such time as mum passes, which I hope is a very long way off.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Mar 18, 4:17 PM
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    getmore4less
    I'm not sure that you co-owning the house has got anything to do with it, has it?
    Originally posted by JimmyTheWig
    Depending on what the fathers will said they may not co-own anything.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 4:22 PM
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    goochie
    Thanks for all the replies so far, I read these threads a lot and am constantly amazed how people can read between the lines and make 2 and 2 add up to 5.

    We made an agreement, my mum has had work done on the property before that has damaged it that she has never had rectified, I am very close to my family, despite some of the assumptions being made on here, I see them all regularly.

    I personally wouldn't hand over that kind of money to ANYONE without getting alternative quotes, advice and opinions, and then checking credentials, and I doubt any of you would either, but it's easy to stand back and judge. Trust me, if this all goes pear-shaped, she will be the first to be crying down the phone to me that someone has ripped her off, and then she will want my help, I would far rather that it wasn't the case and we had taken a few more precautions at the start.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 4:25 PM
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    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.
    Originally posted by goochie
    But, did you offer to pay anything towards any major work in the future?

    To be honest I can see why others would think that your mum has a right to be !!!!ed off. You and your sister do seem to be picking away while not contributing. After all, between you, you own 50% of the house but it doesn't appear that you have offered to pick up 50% of the costs. And, it's not really about whether your mum wants to pay - it's about being seen to be willing to chip in.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 4:31 PM
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    goochie
    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. She is 71.

    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. My sister has, yes, and I have by phone, I am working on a project, long hours and weekends, so have not visited in a couple of weeks.
    You say you don't live nearby and your sister only noticed as she was driving by. Driving by to collect my mum from a dentist appointment, she lives around the corner.

    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. There is no expectation, the agreement was a discussion needed to happen prior to any work being carried out, Mum doesn't want us to pay anything

    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. which of course, we would, but it would be far preferable to get it right first time

    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. You assume that we haven't done that, which is incorrect, I have not been able to get there, but my sister has been there a couple of times this week.

    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'.?
    Originally posted by swingaloo
    please don't judge people you don't know, you have a very limited amount of information about me, my family and a particular situation. Everything I do is for the benefit of my family, and anyone who actually knows me would attest to that.
    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, 4:34 PM
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    goochie
    [QUOTE=ska lover;74016832]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.

    But she hasn't, she has paid for work that has damaged the property, hence the agreement that we all discuss any future works, which she ignored.

    I can honestly see why your mum is fed up
    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, 4:40 PM
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    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...
    Originally posted by ska lover
    No, you are incorrect, we are a very close family, my sister drove by because she lives around the corner and was picking her up, she took photos because due to long working hours I can't get there to see for myself for at least a week. You are trying to make more of this than is the case. My mother is a very fit 71 year old lady, I have two 104 year old grandparents, I consider them elderly and I visit them too in case you were wondering!.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • Ames
    • By Ames 13th Mar 18, 5:04 PM
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    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......."
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Ah, I missed that.

    In which case, although it seems silly of the mum to hand over a big contract without getting quotes or second opinions I don't really think the OP has much of a valid complaint.

    Perhaps look up the builder on review sites and if there's something of concern show it to mum, but at the end of the day it's her money.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 5:11 PM
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    NeilCr
    This is what you said in your opening post

    "We also agreed that this was her home and she was responsible for its upkeep, general maintenance, wear and tear, decoration, bills etc"

    From your mum's point of view that is what she has been doing. And, again from her side, you've decided that, suddenly, you and your sister want to get involved. I can understand why you are concerned. It's a lot of money and it would appear that you had an agreement that this sort of work would be discussed.

    But, it hasn't been.

    To be honest, I think you need to let this settle down and then try and have another discussion. Personally, in your mother's shoes, as I hinted at earlier if, at this stage, you do want more hands on involvement, I'd appreciate an offer towards the costs. It might sweeten the pill, a bit.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 13-03-2018 at 5:13 PM.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 13th Mar 18, 6:44 PM
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    goochie
    I find it funny that most posts refer to whom is paying for the works instead of the fact that an agreement we had has been ignored. That has hurt us a lot and is far more important to me than money and always would be, but I guess that’s just me. I have stated numerous times that my mother chose to and wishes to pay for this work, whether we have offered or not on this occasion or any other over the years is no ones business than ours. Each to their own opinion though so thanks for all who posted.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 6:55 PM
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    NeilCr
    I find it funny that most posts refer to whom is paying for the works instead of the fact that an agreement we had has been ignored. That has hurt us a lot and is far more important to me than money and always would be, but I guess that!!!8217;s just me. I have stated numerous times that my mother chose to and wishes to pay for this work, whether we have offered or not on this occasion or any other over the years is no ones business than ours. Each to their own opinion though so thanks for all who posted.
    Originally posted by goochie
    I've got to say I am not entirely sure what you want people to say. In your OP it was all about your concern about your mother being ripped off - she was your main worry etc etc. Quote "our only concerns are protecting mum and the family home".

    Now you've been hurt a lot by the breaking of the agreement which is not something you've raised as a major issue before.

    You, also, criticise people for making assumptions but then say things are none of our business etc so it's hard to be able to offer objective comment.

    I'll repeat what I said in my previous post. The only way I can see to move forward about the breaking of the agreement is to have another discussion with your mother.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 13-03-2018 at 6:59 PM.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 13th Mar 18, 6:59 PM
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    ska lover
    Drip feed................

    OP if you get as defensive IRL when other people show a different opinion, i think that might be an insight in to the actual issue here - as other people are allowed to give an opinion, especially when asked
    Last edited by ska lover; 13-03-2018 at 7:01 PM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 7:00 PM
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    NeilCr
    Drip feed.............
    Originally posted by ska lover
    Frustrating isn't it?
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 13th Mar 18, 7:01 PM
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    LilElvis
    I find it funny that most posts refer to whom is paying for the works instead of the fact that an agreement we had has been ignored. That has hurt us a lot and is far more important to me than money and always would be, but I guess that’s just me. I have stated numerous times that my mother chose to and wishes to pay for this work, whether we have offered or not on this occasion or any other over the years is no ones business than ours. Each to their own opinion though so thanks for all who posted.
    Originally posted by goochie
    Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and let your parents get on with spending money how they see fit. With my parents and MIL I have ages 79, 81 and 85 to deal with, and they're all pretty competent most of the time. Personally I think my Dad was crackers buying a new Golf Gti and spending £2k+ on a new computer, but they make him happy. My MIL has paid about £2k more than she needed to on her new hearing aids because she likes her audiologist and paid well over the odds on her new boiler because she felt more confident with British Gas than going with an independent, even though BG subsequently made a mess of ordering and the contractor they sent was actually one of the guys who had quoted less. It's their money, their life and as long as they don't do anything far too daft I just let them get on with it when it becomes obvious that pushing my opinion is going to cause friction.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 13th Mar 18, 7:04 PM
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    unholyangel
    The fact you own 25% of the property is immaterial
    Originally posted by comeandgo
    Actually its not, its very much a material fact.

    Ironically, the immaterial fact is that they're related. Like it or lump it, mum is not the sole owner and living in a property doesn't give you the right to do whatever you want to it.

    Its a tough one to comment on though because of that family link potentially complicating the moral view. If they weren't mother-daughter it would be very straightforward and they'd likely have an agreement in place - perhaps where they each pay a share of the repairs but the occupier pays them a share of the market rent (and bear in mind market rent is usually high enough to cover that share of repairs plus provide a profit). In cases such as this (where theres a close family connection), I believe its usually done slightly differently in that they agree to give up any claim to rent in exchange for the occupier agreeing not to claim a share of the repairs.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • Tabbytabitha
    • By Tabbytabitha 13th Mar 18, 7:18 PM
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    Tabbytabitha
    Mum owns 50%, and my sister and I 25% each (we are all listed on the deeds), I don't remember any legal documents being drawn up, there is no trust. She is our mum, she will live there as long as she chooses, (and we have told her that if she needs to sell the house and move to a bungalow (as her husband is disabled and struggling with stairs), then she should sell up and use all of the proceeds to find them somewhere suitable to live, and we would just change ownership onto the new property at the % we have now. We will not "inherit" any capital from this property until such time as mum passes, which I hope is a very long way off.
    Originally posted by goochie
    Are you saying that you plan to make your disabled stepfather sell his home soon after he's widowed?
    • Pdbaggett
    • By Pdbaggett 13th Mar 18, 7:20 PM
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    Pdbaggett
    I wouldn't worry to much about the horrible assumptions people make on this site. You could post a question on here asking what's the best name for your new puppy and the replies would probably chastise you for not getting a cat or not adopting an older dog from the pound.

    Anyway I would just work with the builder and your mam as much as possible, popping back to keep an eye on the quality of work and making sure your mam isn't getting taking advantage of. Sometimes its just not worth the arguments parents are just as thick headed as us children most of the time.
    • DavidF
    • By DavidF 13th Mar 18, 7:39 PM
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    DavidF
    I kind of get that the op is miffed. Mum basically broke their agreement. That's it plain and simple. I think some posters response was clouded by the fact that the op and her sister legally own 25% each....it's all irrelevant really...Im sure in the op's eyes she is just looking out for mum really. Be quite annoyed if my dad spent thousands on something without at least giving us a ring or mentioning it in our bydaily chats.....

    So op if mum has already given over the cash then you are limited in what you can do. Best turn up when builder comes to site and introduce yourself as merely "daughter" looking after mum rather that a 25% stake holder. Mum will probably still resist if you appear too pushy lol...They are only returning the "teenage years" they had to endure lol...they all do it. Seriously though I would just get to know the builder and keep a close eye on the works. If you have concerns then voice them with the builder directly.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 13th Mar 18, 7:59 PM
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    NeilCr
    I kind of get that the op is miffed. Mum basically broke their agreement. That's it plain and simple. I think some posters response was clouded by the fact that the op and her sister legally own 25% each....it's all irrelevant really...Im sure in the op's eyes she is just looking out for mum really. Be quite annoyed if my dad spent thousands on something without at least giving us a ring or mentioning it in our bydaily chats.....

    So op if mum has already given over the cash then you are limited in what you can do. Best turn up when builder comes to site and introduce yourself as merely "daughter" looking after mum rather that a 25% stake holder. Mum will probably still resist if you appear too pushy lol...They are only returning the "teenage years" they had to endure lol...they all do it. Seriously though I would just get to know the builder and keep a close eye on the works. If you have concerns then voice them with the builder directly.
    Originally posted by DavidF
    I get why the OP is miffed too re the breaking of the agreement. Problem is, this was introduced later on in the thread. If it had been in the first post I think a number of the earlier comments would have been different.

    Not sure how I'd have felt had my dad done this. He did splurge money (drove my step mum mad) but I took the view that, overall, he was happy in his world so that was the most important thing. I'd have got involved if it was affecting my step mum badly or she asked me to. But different strokes for different folks etc.

    Good advice re keeping in touch with the builder as the daughter. As you suggest that may cause difficulty with the mum!
    Last edited by NeilCr; 13-03-2018 at 8:12 PM.
    • svain
    • By svain 13th Mar 18, 8:53 PM
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    svain
    People love to jump on posters when it comes to inheritance. Its a common reaction on this site. Ignore them and put it down to jealousy.

    Regardless of how the house is divided, agreements made etc ... If the OP thinks her mum is being ripped off by a potential rogue builder to the sum of near £20k, she is absolutely right to be concerned and try and intervene and seek ways of preventing this or advice on how best to deal with it
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