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Thomas
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
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Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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My mother and her sister inherited some land that has building

Resolved Question:

My mother and her sister inherited some land that has building permission. My mother would like to build a house for herself on the land. However her sister is refusing to sell the land to her.
My mother has suggested that if she will not sell the land to her, her sister could buy the land off her. My Auntie is also refusing to do this.

Can my mother "force" her sister to sell her 50% to her, she is offering above market value.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Property Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Is your mother's position effectively "either you (sister) sell me the land so I can build a house on it, or you buy my share off me so that I can realise some capital"?

Tom
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi yes that is exactly it.

Expert:  Thomas replied 1 year ago.
Hi

Thanks for your patience.

If she is presently not willing to agree to either of those two options on the basis of informal negotiations that have taken place then you have to start getting a bit more formal.

In the first instance this would probably mean instructing a solicitor to write to your sister outlining your mother’s position and indicating that if she is not willing to negotiate then your mother would force the sale (ie. by marketing the land on the open market) of the property by making (or posturing to make) an application to Court.

If she disputes this then her option would be to buy your mother out or alternatively consent to the sale. Hoepfully, this would result in her coming to a decision before actually litigating on the matter and incurring legal fees.

If the matter does proceed to court then you can be reasonable confident of getting an order for sale. However, the delays with orders for sale are frequently that there are disputes over the correct valuation of the property and whether there is an offer on the table that equitably balances your mother’s requirement to sell the property with her sister’s right to get a fair price for her share.

The best possible scenario would be (apart from where she sees sense prior to litigation) where the offers are sufficiently low from would-be buyers that the best option is to sell the interest to your mother.

Finally, if they presently hold the house jointly (as joint tenants) then each person's share would pass to the other upon death regardless of any directon made in any Will. If this is not what you want then they should sever the joint tenancy by using Form SEV from the Land Registry (you will have to send it to them and if you have any questions about completing the form you should call their customer service number - they are very helpful):-
http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/publications/?pubtype=49


You will then hold you interests as tenants in common, meaning that your respective shares will pass according to their wills or under the intestacy rules.

Good luck.

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Kind regards,


Tom
Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6450
Experience: BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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