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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 Iím 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 Ė now the quote is up to £16.5K.

    A bit of background. At the time of our Dadís 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 itsí upkeep, general maintenance, wear and tear, decoration, bills etc. We do not live there, and havenít for 25+ years and have our own homes to pay for. Since this time she has received money from Dadís 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 didnít fill the hole, you could see daylight through it, but she doesnít 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 donít 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 ďknowsĒ 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 ďOk, 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 familyĒ 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 Mumís 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 donít think we are being unreasonable but Mums' view is that we think she is an idiot and that we wouldnít 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 ďguaranteedĒ for 20 years, and I asked how, in practice that works if his company goes out of business in 5 years Ė his answer was ďthis was my dadsí business, and has been going for years, so that will never happenĒ!

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

    What to doÖ.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
Page 4
    • chesky
    • By chesky 14th Mar 18, 3:37 PM
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    chesky
    Or, alternatively, mother left with a life interest in the house but the property left to the two offspring.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 14th Mar 18, 4:38 PM
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    goochie
    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.
    Originally posted by chesky
    It was actually a DOV to my fathers will, I agree a life interest for Mum would have made things clearer, but that's not what was agreed at the time. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 14th Mar 18, 4:48 PM
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    unholyangel
    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.
    Originally posted by chesky
    How many people do you know that would put the interests of their ex (who they are in the process of divorcing) over that of their children?

    How could his will have dealt with rights and responsibilities given he did not own the full property?

    Also, life interest would entitle mum to live there - it wouldn't entitle her to treat the entire property as her own.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Mar 18, 5:02 PM
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    getmore4less
    I wonder what tax advice was taken at the time.

    Life interest would have mitigated any potential CGT assessment as full PRR would apply for the life tenant.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 14th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
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    goochie
    I wonder what tax advice was taken at the time.

    Life interest would have mitigated any potential CGT assessment as full PRR would apply for the life tenant.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    None, it didnít occur to any of us at the time, we were just dealing with a difficult situation as best we could, it wasnít something we had any experience in. I understand CGT but not PRR?
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 14th Mar 18, 6:57 PM
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    Detroit
    It is reasonable that the OP and her sister would not want poor building work to devalue their asset.

    However, this could be avoided, and would arguably also be fairer, if they took joint financial responsibility with their mother for larger works.

    Leaving aside the family relationships and verbal agreements, the house is co owned, so responsibility for anything other than wear and tear (which should be covered by the resident) would be reasonable to share.

    Just because the mother agreed to pay for everything, doesn't make it fair.

    Putting things onto this footing would give the OP the right to input into who carried out the work. At the moment, as the mother is paying for it in its entirety, it's difficult to argue this point.


    Put your hands up.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 14th Mar 18, 8:41 PM
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    goochie
    Iím curious, how many people on here could afford to pay for their own home, and someone elseís (I also have a mortgage with my sister, taken out when she got divorced so that she and her kids had a roof over their heads, itís all in these threads somewhere). Whether people consider our unique situation fair could be debated forever, it is the agreement we have. I canít work any harder or support my family more than I do, support comes in many forms, Iíll update with my conversations with the builder tomorrow for those who are interested.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • Detroit
    • By Detroit 14th Mar 18, 9:23 PM
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    Detroit
    Iím curious, how many people on here could afford to pay for their own home, and someone elseís (I also have a mortgage with my sister, taken out when she got divorced so that she and her kids had a roof over their heads, itís all in these threads somewhere). Whether people consider our unique situation fair could be debated forever, it is the agreement we have. I canít work any harder or support my family more than I do, support comes in many forms, Iíll update with my conversations with the builder tomorrow for those who are interested.
    Originally posted by goochie
    If you can't afford to pay and your mother has to take full responsibility you may have to accept her decisions.
    Worst case scenario you inherit a poorly maintained house worth less than it might have been.
    Given you've made no financial investment in the property, that's still a profit.


    Put your hands up.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 14th Mar 18, 9:44 PM
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    goochie
    As someone posted earlier, we could have charged rent for our 50% for the past 14 years, which we wouldnít dream of doing to our mum, but if we had it would have more than covered any money spent on this property and a lot more besides. I am genuinely interested on peoples thoughts on this subject, it doesnít change anything really but itís been food for thought.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 14th Mar 18, 11:09 PM
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    unholyangel
    Putting things onto this footing would give the OP the right to input into who carried out the work. At the moment, as the mother is paying for it in its entirety, it's difficult to argue this point.
    Originally posted by Detroit
    If you can't afford to pay and your mother has to take full responsibility you may have to accept her decisions.
    Originally posted by Detroit
    Its not difficult to argue the point - its actually incredibly easy to argue. Who is paying for it has no bearing who needs to agree to it. OP, her sister & mum are all owners therefore they need to collectively agree regardless of how the work is being funded.

    As I said, like it or lump it, the OP's mum is not the sole owner. If I were to loan my car to a friend on the understanding that they meet all costs, they can't decide to have alterations made to it or to sell it - because its still mine regardless of who's paying for repairs.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 15th Mar 18, 10:15 AM
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    getmore4less
    None, it didnít occur to any of us at the time, we were just dealing with a difficult situation as best we could, it wasnít something we had any experience in. I understand CGT but not PRR?
    Originally posted by goochie
    What did the will say and what variation did you make?
    Did you take any advice doing that?

    The primary purpose of a DOV is for IHT and CGT mitigation with property a main factor is private residence relief(PRR).
    If the wording on the DOV is not right then it can have no effect.


    I see you own another property with your sister are you sure you understand the implications of that for CGT, IHT and SDLT should any of the properties you own ever get sold and the money used to buy something else?
    • goochie
    • By goochie 15th Mar 18, 2:36 PM
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    goochie
    Update - I spoke to the owner of the building company a couple of days ago and he said that he totally understood our concerns and that we are only trying to protect our mum, he told me that it was a family business, used to be his fathers (only registered with companies house for 8 years), that he is a member of the Federation of Master Builders (?) and that we had nothing to worry about. I asked how does the 15 years guarantee work, say, if the firm went out of business in 5 years, which he told me couldn't possibly happen because all of his work is via recommendation.....

    He also said that he had spoken to mum that morning and told her that she didn't have to have any of the "extra work" that he had found, it would be OK without it but he would recommend replacing uprights and beams at the same time plus 40 rotten bricks. I told him that was her decision, I am not there and able to see it at the moment to give any kind of opinion.

    I asked him to send me his insurances and yesterday he sent me his Liability insurance (for a £1M, which seems low to me when dealing with property, but I have no idea - anyone?).

    On this insurance document it stated that section 2 - Employers Liability was Not Insured, as well as Tools and business equipment, business stock, own plant, hired in plant, contract works and personal accident.

    I emailed him and asked if his Employers Liability insurance was under separate cover as he had staff working on scaffolding and if they had a fall, who would they claim againse, and he wrote back "Thank you very much for bringing that to my attention, I'm on to my insurance now and as soon as I get it I will send it straight to you, thanks".

    I'm worried.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • gettingtheresometime
    • By gettingtheresometime 15th Mar 18, 2:45 PM
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    gettingtheresometime
    I work with a consulting engineer and we work on housing developments and our PI is £5M, if that gives you some context
    Lloyds OD / Natwest OD / PO CC / Wescott / Argos Card cleared thanks to the 1 debt v 100 day challenge


    Next on the list - JD Williams
    • unholyangel
    • By unholyangel 15th Mar 18, 4:05 PM
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    unholyangel
    I asked him to send me his insurances and yesterday he sent me his Liability insurance (for a £1M, which seems low to me when dealing with property, but I have no idea - anyone?).

    On this insurance document it stated that section 2 - Employers Liability was Not Insured, as well as Tools and business equipment, business stock, own plant, hired in plant, contract works and personal accident.

    I emailed him and asked if his Employers Liability insurance was under separate cover as he had staff working on scaffolding and if they had a fall, who would they claim againse, and he wrote back "Thank you very much for bringing that to my attention, I'm on to my insurance now and as soon as I get it I will send it straight to you, thanks".

    I'm worried.
    Originally posted by goochie
    What type of liability insurance does he have? 1 million sounds like it could be public liability insurance rather than professional indemnity insurance.
    Money doesn't solve poverty.....it creates it.
    • goochie
    • By goochie 15th Mar 18, 4:24 PM
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    goochie
    What type of liability insurance does he have? 1 million sounds like it could be public liability insurance rather than professional indemnity insurance.
    Originally posted by unholyangel
    You're right it's Public Liability.
    Being happy doesn't mean everything is perfect. It just means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 15th Mar 18, 8:36 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I think I would be a bit annoyed too OP as I am guessing if it all goes wrong you and your sister will be called on to help rectify the situation. I am not sure why you are getting such a hard time.

    My mum is similar in that she will sometimes dive into decisions and say it is too much stress to get 3 builders in or whatever and then the moaning down the phone when it goes wrong is frustrating as if she would sometimes wait I or my siblings would be willing to help her. I think it is because some people as they get older don't want to admit to needing help doing things they used to do easily 10 years previously.

    You have the builders details now but obviously he is already engaged so little you can do and hope that he is good.

    I understand why the will was drafted that way given the father and mother were divorced. In fact she has remarried so I would imagine the father was thinking he did not want the property to go to the spouse of his ex wife should she die first and not make provision for the property to go to their children. My mum and stepdad (both widowed) have done the same with their property in that his half will go to his kids and my mums half will come to me and my siblings.
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