VIC Legal Rights of a Friend Living with a Couple?

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6 October 2014
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I am single and have been living with a couple in their home for about 10 years now, and they want to sell and move. I don't pay rent (because they said that would change their tax), but I have always "offered" and paid the whole of the house bills (electricity, gas bottles, rates, insurance) as my contribution to the house running (as they own it) - oh, as well as my third of groceries etc.

Years ago, I even renovated "my" room and ensuite which cost me about $15 000. I know it sounds bad, but I will be on my own now and need to know what my rights under property law are when I talk to them about the house sale. Any advice (even the name of a "reasonable" lawyer) would be welcome.
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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Sorry, your question is unclear.

Rights to what? Notice period to leave? Rights to ownership? Rights to be reimbursed for reno you did? Other??
 

Rod

Lawyer
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27 May 2014
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No.

Notice period: I expect they have already given adequate notice and they are freely entitled to sell their property at any time.

Rights to ownership: None, unless you have written evidence to the contrary

Reimbursement for reno: None, unless you have a written agreement saying you get compensated. A verbal contract after a few years begins to lose value. Don't like your chances if you only have a verbal agreement.

Sounds like you are upset that the owners/couple are moving on and I can understand that after such a long period you may have felt safe and settled. Unfortunately situations do change and the only way to have security of your place of residence is to own it in your name.

Consider that you have had 10 years rent free as a bonus and begin to look forward to the change. Change is going to happen, better to see it as a positive rather than undo 10 years of what seems like a good relationship with the couple you lived with.
 

AllForHer

Well-Known Member
23 July 2014
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...and if you were to pursue this, you would have a high chance of facing a cross claim for ten years of unpaid rent...