WA Claim refund of costs from other Tenant in Common

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Nika Louise

24 September 2018
Dear Sir/Madam

I am considering my legal options and would appreciate some advice regarding a Tenants in Common issue.

In 1994 in Perth WA a townhouse had been purchased mortgage/debt free, financed with funds from several family members. The property was registered as Tenants in Common to equal shares with the mother of the husband (later ex-mother in law and ex-husband) and the mother of the wife on the title. The property never had been income producing.The mother of wife occupied the property, paid all shire rates, strata fees, service surcharges and maintenance.

The later ex-mother in law choose not to occupy the property, she did not exercise her right of possession and she returned to live in Europe. She frequently did visit her son in Australia (later ex-husband) but stayed at his residence. She did pass away in November 2015 and her son, ex-husband, inherited her 50% share as Tenant in Common. He is registered on the title as owner with an equal share as Tenant in Common.

The mother of the ex-wife lived in the property from 1994 until her death in July 2017 and paid all rates, strata fees etc. After she passed away in July 2017 her daughter inherited her 50% share as Tenant in Common as the beneficiary and is currently registered as executer on the title.

My question: As all Tenants in Common are obliged to share the costs per rata, can I demand a refund of
50% from the ex-husband ? If so, what time frame would apply ?

From 1994 until July 2017 when the mother of the ex-wife lived in the property and had paid all costs ?

From Nov 2015 when the non-occupying ex-mother in law did pass away and ownership changed to her son - ex-husband ?

From July 2017 when the occupying mother did pass away ?

The property is currently under offer. What precautions are required in regards to settlement ?

My demand for payment would result in an counter action for rent by the ex-husband. Legal information let me believe that " if one co-owner occupies the property, they usually do not have to pay rent to the other co-owner "

Looking forward to your opinion. Thank you
Nika Louise