Son ‘unlawfully excluded’ from £1.2m home

Posted: 15th December 2014

RCJA 79-year-old mother has been ordered to sell the £1.2 million home where she has lived for almost 40 years - because she cannot share it with the grown-up son she loathes.

The mother, a former council tenant, had bought the house under the ‘right to buy’ scheme for just £250,000. Of that sum, her son had contributed £155,000 and yet she denied that he had any interest in the property. After they fell out, she had changed the locks and refused to allow him even to retrieve his belongings.

After he launched proceedings against his mother, a judge found that he had been unlawfully excluded from the house, in which he was entitled to a 50% stake. There was no truth in the mother’s claim that she had never agreed to an equal split or that she had been put under pressure to sign documents which she did not understand.

She had 'exercised her free will' and had gained far more than her son from the spectacular rise in the property’s value. The Court considered the possibility of structurally dividing the house in two so that the mother could live on the ground floor and her son on the floor above. However, the collapse of their relationship was so ‘irretrievable’ that a sale of the property and division of the proceeds was the only realistic option. Although the enforced sale was bound to cause the mother suffering, her tenacity in court showed that she was 'well able to stand up for herself' and that she would be able to cope with being uprooted, even if that meant moving to ‘a cheaper part of London’.