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VIC Dispute on Joint Ownership of Property Investment - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Shagsy, 17 March 2016.

  1. Shagsy

    Shagsy Member

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    Hi,

    This is a long story, but will try and make it as short as I can.

    Roughly 25 years ago, my FIL bought a very large block with a house on it, hoping to build units on the block. Back then it was denied, so he built a house at the back, which he lived in, and my husband and I lived in the front house. My FIL bought this property as a property investment for my husband and his brother, so the title is in both names. The brother has his own house where he resides with his family.

    About 10 years ago, their sister and her 2 kids moved in with my FIL, because their rental was to be sold.

    6 years ago, my FIL passed away and major family dramas happened, so no one is talking, except the brother and his sister. Both shifty as anything! Not long after, we decided to put the property on the market. My brother in law wasn't too keen, as then his sister would have to find somewhere to go. Anyway, the brother wouldn't agree on prices that were offered, so we gave up and took it off the market!

    Now, the brother has rung my husband and says he is in debt and wants to sell the property! And if we don't agree, he will get a solicitor!

    So my question is, what are my husband's rights? We have lived in this house for over 20 years, renovated and maintained the large block (grass and garden), so obviously the brother would want half the money. Are we entitled to more? And if he is in debt, shouldn't it be his own house that he has to sell, not come and want to sell our family home? The way the prices are at the moment, our half won't buy a house that we would be happy with owning, so would have to borrow. Just doesn't seem right that he can do this and get half.

    And what about if we were to buy him out? How would the amount we give him be worked out?

    Would really appreciate some help. I have tried googling, but joint property ownership just comes up with married couple disputes.

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    So does the sister still live there?

    Look this is messy as. So whose name is on the title? When FIL died, was there a will? Was there any understanding about what was to happen to his share of this asset?

    I reckon you ignore ignore ignore.... Let him talk to a solicitor, you just might find the solicitor will tell him that the brother doesn't have a legal leg to stand on...
     
  3. Shagsy

    Shagsy Member

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    Thank you!

    The title is in my husband's and his brother's names. My FIL bought the property for them.

    The sister thought that when her father passed away, she would get that house. Little did she know the house belonged to her brothers, not her father.

    So yes...the title is in my husband's and his brother's name!
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Ouch, messy... So if one party wanted it sold and the other party doesn't agree then the first party would have to seek redress through the courts.
     
  5. Shagsy

    Shagsy Member

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    Yes, that's what I thought.

    But I was thinking that because we live in the house, and the brother doesn't, plus he has his own house, that we would have more right? Well, I was hoping we would!
     
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