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Removing a part owner from a property

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Hi,

 

First thing is that this is on someone else's behalf so I'm a little vague on exact details.

 

The situation is simple, resolution might not be!

 

Many years ago a lady put her property in joint names. She is still alive, albeit in her 90s and no longer lives there.

 

The co-owner basically haven't been seen, heard from or otherwise around for 10+ years. I am unsure if they have a financial stake (as in paid anything toward) the property, but I believe not.

 

The lady would like this property to go to a different relative instead, or be sold. However as she isn't sole owner she can't.

 

How is this done? Can the missing people just be removed? What is the likely time/cost of this? Is there a better way?

Efforts have been made to trace the missing relatives, to no avail.

 

Thanks in advance for advice or pointers in the right direction :-)

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Firstly I doubt that if you found the missing relative they would just hand over their share of the property.

Your lady friend could leave her share to whomever she wants and then it would be up to them to decide what to do.

Most likely they would only have problems if they decide to sell the property.

Personally I would go with this second option; the lady is in her 90s, why waste time with searching for someone who decided to disappear?

 

If they really want to find them, I usually proceed as follow:

Google their name: They might have been in the papers for whatever reason and give you a clue of their whereabouts.

Search social media (Facebook etc.)

Contact mutual friends, they might have a recent address or tel number.

Search 192.com and if found pay the fee to see their address. Bare in mind that a lot of records are obsolete, but worth a punt.

If you know the area where they live search the electoral roll, they might have failed to tick the off register box if you're lucky.

If you know the area where they might live, speak to neighbours, shopkeepers etc.

 

This is what a private investigator would initially do.

There are less than orthodox methods, but cannot be listed here.

If you're unsuccessful with the above, a private investigator will continue the search for a price and do the dirty work for you.

Or you could always contact heir hunters but then I doubt that the relative would just give away their share.

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This is the thing. They want to sell the property.

 

Currently it's standing around empty (too small for relative and family she wants to give her share to, and the lady herself is in a home).

 

What they want to do is get this other party off the deeds so they can sell.

I agree that if someone doesn't want to be found they won't be, so what is the process of removing them and what effort needs to be made from a legal standpoint to locate them, if any.

 

Yes, finding them would be easier. That would open a fair few closets though, resulting in skeletons surfacing that were best left alone.

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Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this, and in this instance I would suggest that proper legal advice from a solicitor experienced in conveyancing will be necessary. Many firms are prepared to do an initial appointment for a fixed fee, sometimes even for free.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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This is the thing. They want to sell the property.

 

Currently it's standing around empty (too small for relative and family she wants to give her share to, and the lady herself is in a home).

 

What they want to do is get this other party off the deeds so they can sell.

I agree that if someone doesn't want to be found they won't be, so what is the process of removing them and what effort needs to be made from a legal standpoint to locate them, if any.

 

Yes, finding them would be easier. That would open a fair few closets though, resulting in skeletons surfacing that were best left alone.

 

In other words they want to cut off the missing relative and pocket all the proceedings of sale.

I'm pretty sure that unless you can prove that they're dead with no living relatives, they are entitled to their share.

I've never come across a situation like this whereby one joint owner wants to take the whole property without paying for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are laws preventing this.

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In other words they want to cut off the missing relative and pocket all the proceedings of sale.

I'm pretty sure that unless you can prove that they're dead with no living relatives, they are entitled to their share.

I've never come across a situation like this whereby one joint owner wants to take the whole property without paying for it, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are laws preventing this.

 

Err no, please don't assume. You have leapt to completely the wrong conclusion and your idea is quite offensive.

As I stated in the original post the missing relative has not (to my knowledge) paid towards or otherwise funded the costs of the property.

They were granted part ownership by the original owner for whatever reason in the past but now that original owner would like to rescind that.

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Err no, please don't assume. You have leapt to completely the wrong conclusion and your idea is quite offensive.

As I stated in the original post the missing relative has not (to my knowledge) paid towards or otherwise funded the costs of the property.

They were granted part ownership by the original owner for whatever reason in the past but now that original owner would like to rescind that.

 

Don't think they can rescind that.

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Err no, please don't assume. You have leapt to completely the wrong conclusion and your idea is quite offensive.

As I stated in the original post the missing relative has not (to my knowledge) paid towards or otherwise funded the costs of the property.

They were granted part ownership by the original owner for whatever reason in the past but now that original owner would like to rescind that.

 

Nothing matters except the fact that their name is on the deeds.

That's their property and as far as I know there's no law which would allow the joint owner to sell the house and keep the money.

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Err no, please don't assume. You have leapt to completely the wrong conclusion and your idea is quite offensive.

As I stated in the original post the missing relative has not (to my knowledge) paid towards or otherwise funded the costs of the property.

They were granted part ownership by the original owner for whatever reason in the past but now that original owner would like to rescind that.

That's like selling your house to someone and then deciding you want the house back but don't have to pay the new owners.

The relative, missing or not, owns half and I doubt very much that you could anything about it.

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Which leaves a problem as that person can't be found and hasn't been heard from in years. So the house can't sell. Or can it sell and the money held in trust, or some other option?

 

Why do people keeps saying it's like selling or that some deserves something for their money? They haven't put money in, bought, paid mortgage, lived in or otherwise given anything in exchange for the property.

 

That is a serious question, because I don't think it's the same. I completely agree, if someone paid then they deserve a share. In this case they didn't (I've checked) and were just listed. To me that's a very different thing.

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Just listed?

If they are 50 50 on the deeds, then they are entitled to 50% of the sale price.

The only other thing you could try is to sue them for upkeep and repair costs and take that from their portion of the sale value but I would suggest seeking further advice on the intricacies of doing so as it may include charging orders etc.

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Why do people keeps saying it's like selling or that some deserves something for their money? They haven't put money in, bought, paid mortgage, lived in or otherwise given anything in exchange for the property.

.

 

Because they have been GIVEN it. Its very difficult to gift something to someone and then take it back.

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Which leaves a problem as that person can't be found and hasn't been heard from in years. So the house can't sell. Or can it sell and the money held in trust, or some other option?

 

Why do people keeps saying it's like selling or that some deserves something for their money? They haven't put money in, bought, paid mortgage, lived in or otherwise given anything in exchange for the property.

 

That is a serious question, because I don't think it's the same. I completely agree, if someone paid then they deserve a share. In this case they didn't (I've checked) and were just listed. To me that's a very different thing.

 

Hello there.

 

As you said in post #1, you don't have a lot of information, which makes it hard to advise.

 

But I'm afraid I agree with others who have said that a gift is a gift. If this lady wanted to control what happened to the house, she could have done so by leaving it in her will, but she chose not.

 

Morally, maybe the other person doesn't deserve their part of the house, but it seems that legally they seem to be entitled to it.

 

If you want to take this further and explore whether the money could be paid into court for instance, then as others have said, you're in lawyer territory.

 

I don't understand what you mean about the person just being listed. Is this on the deed?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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As others have said, the other party are a part owner of the house; unless there is any form of special agreement that was put in place at the time limiting their entitlement they will be due 50% of the proceeds of the sale (after costs)

 

It does not matter whether they paid a penny towards the house or not, they have been gifted a share in the house and should it be sold they are due their share.

 

Whether or not you agree that this is fair or not is totally irrelevant, the old lady for whatever reason decided that the other party deserved a share of the house at the time and that is that.


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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which still isn't telling me what the situation is as this person is vanished for ten or more years.

 

Does it mean no sale full stop? Sale but funds in trust?

 

That's where the problem is. Is there anything legally on how far/what effort has to be made?

 

I'm assuming when the lady passes on in future that there will be a will and so on, but what if this missing relative doesn't turn up then.

 

It's all very well people saying they are entitled and getting uppity about it, but they aren't telling me how to find them or what happens if they can't be found (or are themselves deceased).

 

It's a messy situation I know that. I'm trying to find an answer for someone else so I wish people would understand that instead of having a go at me for doing a favour for someone by asking about this.

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Someone gave you some very good suggestions about how to try tracing this person early on in the thread.

 

If the person is deceased, then my understanding is that their share passes to their heirs.

 

We're not having a go at you for doing a favour for someone, but the lack of detail makes it hard to give you much more information.

 

HB

Edited by honeybee13
Amendment.

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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You are not going to easily complete any sale without locating the other party of their heirs. I would suggest that the old lady arranges a meeting with a property lawyer and discuss what the legal position is and what could possibly be done; in all fairness this is slipping beyond the remit of a consumer advise forum.


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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I should explain, I'm autistic and some of the posts read to me as quite nasty, as though I'm being blamed for suggesting that this person isn't entitled to a share and so on. I need to have all the information I can get to be able to pass it on, I know I'm anticipating not finding this person but I'd say they made their intent known by vanishing in the first place.

 

Apparently efforts have been made to trace, but how messy does it get if they can't be traced? Or is it end of the line in that case and this property just sits there?

 

That's the bit I'm trying to get an answer on.

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Hello again.

 

Apparently efforts have been made to trace, but how messy does it get if they can't be traced? Or is it end of the line in that case and this property just sits there?

 

I think you could be moving beyond the knowledge of this forum. Would you or the person you're helping consider consulting a lawyer who deals with property matters who can advise on this?

 

That could be the way forward.

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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I should explain, I'm autistic and some of the posts read to me as quite nasty, as though I'm being blamed for suggesting that this person isn't entitled to a share and so on. I need to have all the information I can get to be able to pass it on, I know I'm anticipating not finding this person but I'd say they made their intent known by vanishing in the first place.

 

Apparently efforts have been made to trace, but how messy does it get if they can't be traced? Or is it end of the line in that case and this property just sits there?

 

That's the bit I'm trying to get an answer on.

 

You are going to need a good solicitor. It is not going to be quick and possibly not cheap. Applications could possibly be made to the courts. You, or more importantly the owner of the house needs to be making an appointment to discuss the matter with a solicitor.

 

Suggest that you quickly drop the idea that the other home owner has run off on purpose or that they are not due a share of the house, as quite simply not helping yourself or the home owner.


It is easier to enter a rich man than for a camel to pass a needle

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If the answer to the question is to get professional legal advice then that's fair enough.

 

I know there are people on here with legal knowledge so it was an offchance that someone could help.

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Well, the thread's run for a couple of days so far, it might be that someone with legal knowledge sees this thread and replies.

 

If they don't, is a solicitor an option for a complex matter?

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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You are going to need a good solicitor. It is not going to be quick and possibly not cheap. Applications could possibly be made to the courts. You, or more importantly the owner of the house needs to be making an appointment to discuss the matter with a solicitor.

 

Suggest that you quickly drop the idea that the other home owner has run off on purpose or that they are not due a share of the house, as quite simply not helping yourself or the home owner.

 

But they really have intentionally run off, it's one of the few things I know for definite. I don't understand why that makes no difference.

 

I also repeat, this is on behalf of someone else, I have no stake whatsoever in it. Please do not ever tell me what I should or shouldn't think, I don't like it. If you want me to change a belief or opinion, then please give me a reasoned argument. Otherwise it doesn't help.

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Well, the thread's run for a couple of days so far, it might be that someone with legal knowledge sees this thread and replies.

 

If they don't, is a solicitor an option for a complex matter?

 

HB

 

In theory, yes, some legal professional would be an option. I'm not sure who has the power to have that meeting, given the lady herself is 92 and I honestly don't know if she has capacity for it (in a physical or mental sense). If she doesn't, does the discussion need a power of attorney or can it be held informally initially by the relative (which I think is a nephew) who she plans on leaving the property to?

 

Yes, I know that any action would likely require either the lady or power of attorney passed to someone to go forward, but is that required for just advice?

 

Or would a better option be for the lady to deed the house to her chosen relative (or share of, you know what I mean) and then for him to sort it out?

 

Would it make a difference which way as far as any legal things go?

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