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Debra
Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Husband bought house with parents 20 years ago. Husband is

Customer Question

Husband bought house with parents 20 years ago. Husband is half owner and parents own the other half together. Husband an I lived common law in the house for 6 years and paid mortgage and all bills. When we moved out husbands parents rented the house for 14 years and kept all rental money of $700 a month the whole time, husband got none. They put on a roof during that whole time and that was all the maintenance they did. We did no maintenance as they kept all the rent money. House was just sold and husband signed check as it was in all three.of their names so.it.could be.deposited and then he would get his share. Parents kept $188000 and gave him $58000 because they say he owes them all this money which is not documented and was gifted to him previously. What is he legally entitled to? Can they do this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
Is there any written agreement about what happens when the house is sold?Are you saying your spouse paid the full mortgage payments for 20 years or for the 6 years you both lived there? Did the parents ever live in the house? Why did the parents get to keep the rent for the 14 years instead of your spouse getting half? Who paid what for the down payment? Who allowed them to keep that amount of money? For example, did your spouse agree because I can't see how that would be the case otherwise.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

They both paid part of the down payment.

They never lived in the house, it was bought for him.

No written agreement about when the house sold except the normal house paperwork that states my husband owns half and they own the other half.

The parents kept all the rent because they said that is what they were doing, they just kept it. No written agreement or anything or even discussion about it.

Spouse paid the mortgage payments for 6 years while living there only as his parents went off on their own and put money from an inheritance they got one the house so mortgage was paid off,no discussion around this either,they just went and did it and no written agreement or anything on this either.

Basically they just did whatever they wanted with the house, told husband after the fact, sometimes months or years after the fact.

Husband didn't pay anymore mortgage due to them keeping all the rent which works out to more than what the mortgage was. Also the house value increased so when sold got quite a bit more than what it was bought for. His parents also want every dime they put into the house for maintenance which is not much and refuse to give husband money he spent on maintenance while we lived there. If they kept all the rent do they not have to maintain the rental? Is that not the cost of business? So not only do they want every cent they put into that house back but they also say he owes them a bunch of money that was gifted to him and no paperwork or documentation on at all. Any money my husband put into the house is not being considered or counted.

They are very controlling, don't discuss anything with him and just do whatever they want to, this is what they have always done. Now that the house has sold they want all the money basically even though he is half owner.

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
Where is the money now?Did they actually manage to get it or is in Trust at the lawyer's office.Are they saying the downpayment and paying off the mortgage were loans?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

The parents went and picked up the check from the notaries. Got my husband to sign the check so it could be put in the bank and a draft written to him, they bank at different places. When my husband was given his draft it was only for $58000 and they kept just over $188000. My husband has put his $58000 in the bank which will process in a few days as he did not want a draft for that amount laying around.

They never said anything about the downpayemnt or paying off the mortgage as a loan. My husband was given a choice of using the money for schooling or putting his schooling money towards purchasing this house, he chose the house so he put down part of the downpayment and they put his school money towards it. My husband didn't know they paid off the mortgage until after they did it and much later. They just did it and never talked to him about anything.

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
This is a mess. First, your husband should not have signed the cheque over to them. Second, as he was half owner they had no right whatsoever to take the money and divide up unevenly. At the same time they are going to take the position that they are entitled to more than half the money as your spouse didn't make equal contributions to the value of the home. I don't know if your spouse is willing to take this to court but there is no other way to force them to pay him back. A compromise would be to have a lawyer send them a letter indicating that the last thing he wants to do is go to court but he will do so if this cannot be worked out. He was told that some of the money was given to him instead of their paying for his school so he can clearly prove that portion was ot a gift.As well, they paid off the mortgage without discussing this with him so it would seem that is a gift and in any event for 14 years he should have received half the rent and he did not and so anything they paid towards the house would be because of the rent and not because they were making any gifts. If he were my spouse I would strongly encourage him to first speak to them directly and if that doesn't work to hire a lawyer to send them a letter as I described above. The longer he waits the harder it will be for him to win in court so he should not delay. A delay will harm his credibility.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK. Basically my husband thought that they would take the money they put into it (the money they just put down on their own without even telling him) minus the rent they collected because that makes up for some of it and any taxes or insurance they paid on the house (the rent more than covered all expenses), he would pay them the small amount he owed them as well and then they would split the rest evenly. They say he owes for all of these things now which were never discussed, agreed upon or documented at all. They also are not taking into consideration any monies he paid towards this house in mortgage or renos or down payment and what was supposed to be gifted monies (the money that was his and used for the house instead of schooling).

He was hesitant to sign the check but his mom told him to trust her so he signed it. I know he shouldn't have done this but he wanted to trust his parents and never thought they would do this.

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
That's the problem of course. This is family.
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
That's the problem. It is his family.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So just to clarify.

Any monies put on the house without my husbands knowledge or consent or agreement to repay is considered a gift and not repayable?

As there was nothing agreed upon or in writing about what would happen upon the sale of the house, any monies should be split 50/50 as my husband owns half and they own half and this is what was on title?

When they rented the house and kept all rental monies then they were responsible to pay the mortgage, expenses and repairs during that time? There was no discussion on renting, expenses, paying the mortgage, splitting the rental income or anything in writing. They took it upon themselves to make all decisions without consulting my husband at all in anything.

When we lived there we paid the mortgage, expenses and repairs not them and the house was bought for my husband to begin with. For 6 years.

I just want to make sure I have it all correct.

My husband and I were also married during the time that we lived there but lived common law from the day the house was purchased for him.

Am I missing anything or have anything incorrect?

Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I agree that monies would be considered a gift based on what happened. The monies should likely be split 50/50 in this case because of the gifts and because they pocketed the rent. I think you got it all!
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
I keep posting answers that disappear and then some reappear. I hope that doesn't happen here but I did just answer. I said that the monies were gifts in this case. 50/50 is fair because of the gifts and because they pocketed the rent and that you seem to have an excellent understanding of what I said!
Expert:  Debra replied 2 years ago.
So now the answer is there twice. Sorry!

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