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Forcing a Sale on Property


Larry Lane
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I along with 2 other people are beneficiaries of a will, the 3 of us own a half share of a property and the other half is owned by the surviving partner of the deceased.

 

I will refer to the surviving partner as he/she

 

I do not have the will at hand but basically it states that he/she may reside at the premises until such times that he/she either, remarries, cohabits or ceases to occupy it for a period of not less than 6 months.

 

In addition it also grants the he/she has first option to purchase our half share subject to market value.

 

He/she has in the last month remarried for which I have a copy of the marriage certificate.

 

He/she has made an offer to purchase our half at a very discounted rate which has been declined by us. (The offer was made 7 days after his marriage)

 

He/she claims that with regards to the will and the Marrying, co-habitating, leaving the property for more than six months, the restraint is on us and selling our half share, it places no obligation on he/she to sell their half of the property. (This statement was made 3 days before his marriage)

Is there any truth in the above statement or is this just scaremongering.

 

Is he/she in breach of the will? Can we apply to the court to force a sale on the property?

 

If so who will also be liable to meet the court costs.

 

I thank you all in advance.

 

Note: He/she has no idea we know about the marriage and the marriage was in the last 5 weeks.

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I think you and the others affected need to take legal advice on this.

 

However to my mind the terms in the Will seem to indicate that the property should be shared between you all but as he/she needed a home the restriction was placed in the will so he/she would not be homeless.

 

He/she may of course be right that there is no condition for s/him to sell. has he taken legal advice on that? However the will might not actually be clear. These cases sometimes are made clear from the instructions that the deceased gaive to the drafting solicitor. These instructions should still be available.

 

It does sound like you all may be losers if this goes to court because if the will is not clear the expenses of a case could be taken out of the estate.

 

Is there any way that you can get a RICS valuation done? You would then have a base line to work from. RICS valuations are not necessarily the market price of the property.

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