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  • FIRST POST
    • 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 3
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 13th Mar 18, 9:19 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    I understand why the OP is concerned that her mum may be being ripped off, as I would be if it was my mum but I know my mum would play holy hell if I intervened in the way the OP has.

    (I've even offered to go to the doctors with my mum, if only to send the message that they're not going to be able to fob her off but my offers have kindly been refused)
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    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 13th Mar 18, 9:20 PM
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    LilElvis
    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
    Originally posted by svain
    Why assume that? Ive been (effectively) mortgage free since I was in my early 40's, net worth in 7 figures and would inherit 7 figures if the parents popped their clogs tomorow. I've never relied on receiving a penny and have actively encouraged them to enjoy their lives and not feel that they need to leave anything to us. As it stands they have set up trust funds and pensions for their grandchildren.
    • svain
    • By svain 13th Mar 18, 9:26 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 613 Thanks
    svain
    Why assume that? Ive been (effectively) mortgage free since I was in my early 40's, net worth in 7 figures and would inherit 7 figures if the parents popped their clogs tomorow. I've never relied on receiving a penny and have actively encouraged them to enjoy their lives and not feel that they need to leave anything to us. As it stands they have set up trust funds and pensions for their grandchildren.
    Originally posted by LilElvis

    Wow ... Modesty and class alive and well
    • svain
    • By svain 13th Mar 18, 9:28 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 613 Thanks
    svain
    I understand why the OP is concerned that her mum may be being ripped off, as I would be if it was my mum but I know my mum would play holy hell if I intervened in the way the OP has.)
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    I think that is a fair point
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 13th Mar 18, 9:56 PM
    • 3,550 Posts
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    LilElvis
    Wow ... Modesty and class alive and well
    Originally posted by svain
    You suggested that those responding to the OP were jealous in some way. Just showing that you are mistaken. Why should I be modest - husband and I have earned it? Sorry if your personal financial position isn't the same.
    • svain
    • By svain 13th Mar 18, 10:10 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 613 Thanks
    svain
    You suggested that those responding to the OP were jealous in some way. Just showing that you are mistaken. Why should I be modest - husband and I have earned it? Sorry if your personal financial position isn't the same.
    Originally posted by LilElvis
    No your right, not the same .... and I have that little bit more class to go with mine
    Last edited by svain; 13-03-2018 at 10:16 PM.
    • LilElvis
    • By LilElvis 13th Mar 18, 10:33 PM
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    LilElvis
    No your right, not the same .... and I have that little bit more class to go with mine
    Originally posted by svain
    Glad you can feel good about that. Shame you won't admit that you might be wrong - that those who have replied to the OP aren't necessarily jealous of their inheritance.
    • svain
    • By svain 13th Mar 18, 10:38 PM
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    svain
    Glad you can feel good about that. Shame you won't admit that you might be wrong - that those who have replied to the OP aren't necessarily jealous of their inheritance.
    Originally posted by LilElvis
    I stated "people love to jump on posters when it comes to inheritance. Its a common reaction on this site". ... I stand by that
    Last edited by svain; 13-03-2018 at 10:41 PM.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 13th Mar 18, 10:48 PM
    • 3,594 Posts
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    gettingtheresometime
    I stated "people love to jump on posters when it comes to inheritance. Its a common reaction on this site". ... I stand by that
    Originally posted by svain
    Would that be the threads that ask ways of securing homes so care care fees can be avoided?

    I wonder why that is.
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    • svain
    • By svain 13th Mar 18, 10:54 PM
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    svain
    Would that be the threads that ask ways of securing homes so care care fees can be avoided?

    I wonder why that is.
    Originally posted by gettingtheresometime
    Are you a bit confused?
    • deannatrois
    • By deannatrois 14th Mar 18, 3:41 AM
    • 5,364 Posts
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    deannatrois
    I understand the OP being miffed but also understand the mum's position. Her reality is that she is an adult, who has been responsible for the wellbeing of her home for decades. Then her children, who to her, are still just starting their lives (relatively speaking) are telling her stuff she feels isn't relevant.

    Its a very hard situation. I have a father and a 22 year old so I get it from all angles from both parties lol. I see my father making errors (like buying a mobility scooter without trying it, deciding he didn't like it and then practically giving it away, did the same with a car), gradually losing his marbles but also loving the irascible stubborn old so and so and realising the stubborness is probably what keeps him going. Although I must admit I did take offence when he told me (very seriously) that he thought I'd got bipolar and it wasn't anything bad, there was treatment lol. I've got my son telling me exactly where I am going wrong in everything, left university although the situation there was sortable, moved into an uncertain housing situation etc, like he's done all my living, with the tact of a blind hippo. My lip is nearly bitten off and I am firmly ignoring the sawdust (probably blinded by my plank).

    I have learned to just stand back, prepared to rescue if things go wrong, if I am allowed to. Otherwise you can do nothing. I'm afraid the contract is between her and the builder. Unless you can and are willing to prove her incapable in some way, you can do nothing.

    Choose what you feel. Don't feel hurt, be glad she is there and stubborn enough to argue. And leave her to it. You don't need to make her feel incapable. I know you don't want to. There will be plenty of time to rescue the property if it should need it later on. Just keep an eye on the work for now, only step in if your mum really is being robbed blind.

    BTW you could, I am sure, fill that hole. Its a fairly easy job.
    Last edited by deannatrois; 14-03-2018 at 3:47 AM.
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 14th Mar 18, 6:43 AM
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    Sea Shell
    I do feel for the OP in this situation.

    I'd not be happy with my Mum going ahead with major building work without, asking my advise, getting more than 1 quote, and not checking out the builders properly, as I wouldn't want them "ruining" their house, getting ripped off or leaving themselves open to an even bigger bill for putting any Cowboy's work right.

    But if Mum told me to back off, I would. (and then wait for the phone call once it's all gone pear-shaped)

    Yes, OP is a co-owner, and therefore does have more of an interest, but most of you say she should just let it go, and potentially see big and expensive mistakes made with the house happen, when this could so easily have all been avoided.

    I hope everything works out for the best, and your Mum doesn't regret her decisions.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 14th Mar 18, 7:18 AM
    • 1,708 Posts
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    NeilCr
    As I have said I understand about the breaking of the agreement.

    In terms of the repairs, I think it's the mother's mistake to make and agree with others that you can pick up any pieces, if necessary. The stepfather is there, too. I am not sure of his input to the decision making.

    Re the consulting the children. I wonder how those who think the mother should consult them (taking the agreement out of the equation) would feel if the roles were reversed.

    OP has said mother is a fit 71 and the agreement at the start was that she would be responsible for all repairs, upkeep, decoration, bills etc. This she has done for 25 years and, all of a sudden, the children have decided they want to get involved.

    I think I know how I would react (not that far off that age, no children). I am pretty sure I know how my OH would react (not that far off that age, children).
    • goochie
    • By goochie 14th Mar 18, 9:15 AM
    • 484 Posts
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    goochie
    As I have said I understand about the breaking of the agreement.

    In terms of the repairs, I think it's the mother's mistake to make and agree with others that you can pick up any pieces, if necessary. The stepfather is there, too. I am not sure of his input to the decision making. He has nothing to do with any decision making, he is not interested, it's a long a complicated story which I won't go into though.

    Re the consulting the children. I wonder how those who think the mother should consult them (taking the agreement out of the equation) would feel if the roles were reversed. But there was an agreement.

    OP has said mother is a fit 71 and the agreement at the start was that she would be responsible for all repairs, upkeep, decoration, bills etc. This she has done for 25 years and, all of a sudden, the children have decided they want to get involved. Please stop putting words out there that I did not say, we have always been involved since Dad died and my mum has only got involved with the running of this property since my dad died, he did it all before. That said, she has now told me that there has been a leak that Dad told her about before he died, which she has never mentioned before. Had I known this, I would have got a survey done a long time ago, which may have prevented some of the damage we have now. My mum is not stupid, she just doesn't want to deal with things, sticks her head in the sand and hopes it will go away. I can assure you that she has no problem calling on me to help on many other things, insurances, banking, direct debits, booking all their flights and hotels because she can't use a computer, and many things beside, which I do willingly, which makes this all the more frustrating, as we would have helped her deal with this before it got to this point.

    I think I know how I would react (not that far off that age, no children). I am pretty sure I know how my OH would react (not that far off that age, children).
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    I do appreciate the time you have taken to comment.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 14th Mar 18, 9:24 AM
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    onomatopoeia99
    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.
    Originally posted by NeilCr
    Nah, they wouldn't. It concerns an asset that could be potentially inherited and the person posting would be a beneficiary of the inheritance.

    Of course the OP would have been jumped on, it's par for the course here.
    INTP, nerd, libertarian and scifi geek.
    Home is where my books are.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 14th Mar 18, 9:55 AM
    • 1,708 Posts
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    NeilCr
    I do appreciate the time you have taken to comment.
    Originally posted by goochie
    No problem. My post was aimed at others who had commented - not you, in particular. The point remains that, at 71 and in good health, I'd want to be making my own decisions based on the agreement you clearly outlined in your OP and the fact that your mother has paid for all repairs/etc. I should have said, for clarity, that I meant you being involved in the upkeep of the house/repairs.
    Last edited by NeilCr; 14-03-2018 at 10:11 AM.
    • NeilCr
    • By NeilCr 14th Mar 18, 10:07 AM
    • 1,708 Posts
    • 2,289 Thanks
    NeilCr
    Nah, they wouldn't. It concerns an asset that could be potentially inherited and the person posting would be a beneficiary of the inheritance.

    Of course the OP would have been jumped on, it's par for the course here.
    Originally posted by onomatopoeia99
    Okay. Fair dos. Not how I see things at all about inheritance so maybe a different view.

    Maybe there would have been some comments on the breaking of the agreement, then.?
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 14th Mar 18, 2:23 PM
    • 2,722 Posts
    • 6,636 Thanks
    ska lover
    No your right, not the same .... and I have that little bit more class to go with mine
    Originally posted by svain





    Sorry but you are taking someone's valid point (that wasn't aimed at / or getting at anyone) and twisting it to your own argument-causing-agenda, here. The other poster was making a valid non offensive point

    I cannot see anything on this thread, to back up your insistence that you are ''Classy''

    and No, I am not worth 7 figures lol
    Last edited by ska lover; 14-03-2018 at 2:30 PM.
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • svain
    • By svain 14th Mar 18, 2:58 PM
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    • 613 Thanks
    svain
    Sorry but you are taking someone's valid point (that wasn't aimed at / or getting at anyone) and twisting it to your own argument-causing-agenda, here. The other poster was making a valid non offensive point

    I cannot see anything on this thread, to back up your insistence that you are ''Classy''

    and No, I am not worth 7 figures lol
    Originally posted by ska lover

    ..... because they could of made the same point without grandstanding their own supposed wealth.

    Perhaps im a different generation or perhaps i was just unimpressed, or perhaps my financial situation is very different to what they assumed .... I would never consider bracketing my wealth to make a point (business negotiation being the exception).

    Even worse ... is declaring/bracketing my parents' wealth, and unless relevant, totally unnecessary imo.

    In my world boasting about supposed wealth (for the sake of it) never goes down well and is considered tacky (ie lacks class .... Tacky probably the word i should of used instead in my post)

    My original post to them wasn't meant to be confrontational, it was merely a tongue in cheek comment that i had hoped the poster would take with good grace. Unfortunately they decided to get personal by trying to belittle my financial status ("Sorry if your personal financial position isn't the same") ....(again tacky)

    Im not classy as in the traditional meaning ... far from it
    Last edited by svain; 14-03-2018 at 3:23 PM.
    • chesky
    • By chesky 14th Mar 18, 3:36 PM
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    chesky
    It's yet another example of an ill thought out will. It would have been better if mother had been left the house outright, then at least everyone would know where they stand. This way, it's a muddle since no-one is really sure what their rights and responsibilities are.
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