A friend owns a UK property with his sister. She is very dominant and controlling - doesn't share decisions, doesn't share income (or expenses), flies off the handle when the matter is raised, and is just generally very unreasonable. What can he do?



  • A friend owns a UK property with his sister. She is very dominant and controlling - doesn't share decisions, doesn't share income (or expenses), flies off the handle when the matter is raised, and is just generally very unreasonable. What can he do?


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    More detail is needed: did they buy together or inherit the property; is it tenanted or empty (in other words, is there any income to share), who is meeting the ongoing expenses, if inherited, who are the executors of the will?

    The first question is why she is angry and unwilling to discuss the situation: are there other issues causing conflict between them that he needs to resolve? Assuming that the only problem is the house, he needs to know what is going on. If there are profits, then he is liable to pay tax on them, so he absolutely must get hold of the accounts: if necessary, instruct a solicitor to write to her to obtain them. If they cannot agree on how the house should manage, then the sensible solution is to sell it and share the proceeds. If necessary, he can obtain a court order for this to happen, but if she were to fight this, then the legal costs would consume most of the proceeds.

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    This is his fault. The best he can do is try to sell off his half to her. It amazes me how many people get into a serious long term commitment like buying a house with somebody without being completely happy with how that person will behave, or without signing an appropriate contract determining who will pay bills.
    And why on earth would his sister share her income with him? That is ludicrous. I know married couples who don't share income. Why would someone share it with their sibling just because they own a house?
    If he needs to, he will have to get something drawn up in writing determining who is responsible for which bills and any mortgage and upkeep. This should have been done when he bought the property, but it is too late now. If she refuses to sign it, he is screwed. If he can get her to buy it, excellent, otherwise, he needs to suck this up and take it as a lesson learned.
    He can try to go down the court route, but this is extremely expensive, takes a long time, and is not guaranteed, especially if she is living in the property.
    The lesson to everyone: don't buy a property with someone unless you know what you're doing. Otherwise, you are in for a world of frustration and stress.

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    Deal with it via a 3rd party (solicitors).
    They generally don’t care about screaming and shouting and will act through correspondence (letters).
    Do not answer calls or see or talk outside of the solicitor.
    This will completely disarm her from being dominating, being violent, and shouty.

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    I’d suggest stating that you’ll be seeing a lawyer regaining an injunction to require the sale of the property and claim your share of the back rent, UNLESS the property is sold and the proceeds split, plus you get your back share of income over the past few years. That you have costed all this and it will cost you X, which you will gladly spend.
    Her option is then simple - do the deal, or incur legal costs trying not to do the deal, and end up doing the deal anyway.
    That said, she probably won’t believe you are serious, so you probably will have to make a claim.

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    There is an option that would require a lawyer advice he could buy his sister out, or his sister could buy him out However from the tone of your question the brother has the upper hand If he has kept an accounting record of what is owed to the brother of her share of expenses and his share of income he should file a claim of recovery if she fails to share with him expenses and income I believe the property could end up belonging to the brother.