SA Complex Tenants In Common Dispute - Help?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by AusprincessJJ, 17 September 2019.

  1. AusprincessJJ

    AusprincessJJ Member

    17 September 2019
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    There’s a lot to say about this complex issue between my mother and me, who are tenants in common. The title is held as 50/50 and at purchase, mums 50% was cash, my 50% a bank loan. Soon after purchase, mum committed to building a $75,000 granny flat which blew out to $110,000.

    At the time, I had agreed to the $75,000 improvement and was unaware of the blow-out. During the process of building, mum solely managed the build and paid the invoices. Because we are family, we made a verbal agreement that if we needed to sell, we would divide the property by each having 50% of the main house value and mum would get 100% of whatever increase the granny flat added.

    9 years on, mum has decided that due to my financial position and health she does not have confidence that she will enjoy the retirement she imagined when we bought the house and wants to sell. I don’t want to sell as I could potentially find myself homeless and without my children if we sell.

    I don’t know how to choose who’s needs are more important, but that’s another story.

    There are two major issues with selling. 1) what process does mum have to do in order to force me to sell 2) as per our verbal agreement the house will be divided 50/50 with mum getting 100% of the granny flat value. Only the house has only gone up to $10,000 including the granny flat which has not added value. Because of this mum is claiming that with the original investment and the cost of the improvement she is entitled to 60/40.

    She wants me to do all the painting, carpets and repairs on the main house because I lived there 7 years longer than her(despite the fact we bought them in very poor condition), then she wants me to pay 50% of fees from sale and agree that she makes 60% of the property value from sale. This would leave me $30,000 in debt to the bank because my loan is higher than the 40% when all costs are factored in. Mum will walk away with nearly $300,000 on her $360,000 investment which should have been $325,000 but due to mismanagement blew out.

    I am completely open to hearing that what she is saying is fair and reasonable, all the numbers get confusing to me. If I refuse to sell does it take longer to go through the court process where she can force me? Which parts of this are law and which are moral, like can she make me pay her back for improvements I didn’t agree to and have added no value?

    Our original agreement was to stay in the house until she went into a retirement home but she’s not even retired and I have young kids who need their mum. I’m going to have to fight this so any help will be appreciated.

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