Lodger or not a lodger?

Lodger or not a lodger?

10:08 AM, 9th January 2023, About 11 months ago 7

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Hi everyone,

In 2010 my mother gave me the family home (transfer of equity) the solicitor at the time suggested adding a covenant to affect that I couldn’t evict my mother when the transfer was complete. This was never my intention.

Fast forward to 2017 when I met my girlfriend. I moved into her home just over a year into the relationship.

I was happy to let my mother live rent free and I took care of any problems with the house.

However, back in November 2022, my girlfriend wanted to separate which was a massive shock. I decided to move back into my home with my mother still living there.

I’m pretty much living in my bedroom as my mother is determined for me to get out and she’s also inviting people round who I don’t like or trust (family members) they have made it so uncomfortable and unsafe for me and my children when they visit.

I overheard my mother tell her friend that she’s looking into reversing the transfer of equity. I do fear for mine and my children’s safety.

Is there anything I can do to evict my mother even with the Covenant in place?

Also can she reverse the transfer of equity after all these years ?

Thanks in advance for any help.


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Kate Mellor

11:30 AM, 9th January 2023, About 11 months ago

It’s very sad to think that your relationship with your mother has broken down to that extent. She’s gone from trusting you and loving you enough to want to transfer her home into your name free of charge, to wanting you out of ‘her’ house.
I would be very interested to know what her reasoning for the original transfer of equity was. I can’t personally imagine a reason for doing so during her lifetime unless she wanted to ensure that it went to you rather than have others potentially challenging her will.
There won’t be any inheritance tax advantage as she’s continued to live rent free in the house, so the property will still be included in her estate for IHT purposes.
She has no power to reverse the transfer as she is no longer the owner, you are. She would need your agreement to do that.
As far as evicting her, she’s neither a tenant, nor a lodger. She has a lifetime interest in the property and I don’t think you can legally ask her to leave. I’m not a solicitor, but that is my opinion. There are solicitors on this site who no doubt can offer more information on this aspect.
My opinion is, that as you didn’t actually pay for the house, it was your mother’s to gift, you should forget about trying to get her out. You should try to mend your relationship with her and move out with your children and allow her to live in peace as she obviously wishes to do. Work on resolving your differences and getting back to how you were when she made the gift. You’ve only got one mother.
That is advice of a personal nature and only you know the full story, we only have a snippet. Legally it’s your house and can’t be otherwise unless she tries to allege some sort of undue influence or unsound mind which I imagine is probably not a simple process. If you are determined to try to remove her you will need a suitable solicitor who has had the benefit of seeing the terms of the covenant. My understanding though is that a covenant can only be removed with the consent of the party who is the beneficiary of that covenant.
I hope you can resolve your differences and rebuild your former good relationship.

Paul Maguire

12:26 PM, 9th January 2023, About 11 months ago

I'm assuming that your mother didn't intend you to move in until she was either in a Care Home or dead. I can see her point of view. Could it be a temporary arrangement only until you find somewhere else to live ?? I am also doubtful about your legal right to charge her rent [if you did in the future] let alone morally. This is just a layman's view however. Consider the possibility that you might be in the wrong here by expecting your mother to shoulder your own problems. Sorry to be so blunt.


16:46 PM, 9th January 2023, About 11 months ago

"This was never my intention"

The above statement is rather puzzling. The gift was from your mother to you and not the reverse. How can your "intentions" or "expectations" determine what you mother wanted to do with the "gift". She clearly envisaged continuing to live in the house which is why it was HER INTENTION to draw up the lifetime interest in the property so that you couldn't do precisely what you are plotting to do ie evict your mother and render her homeless.

It is a shame that your personal relationship with your girlfriend has broken down but your mother has permitted you to live rent free in her house and her home. And now you want her out.

Jason Frost

16:52 PM, 9th January 2023, About 11 months ago

Thank you both for your comments.

I should also add she’s not that well she has quite a few health issues to the point she lives in the living room as she’s unable to climb stairs. I’ve suggested ground floor accommodation or even sheltered accommodation as she’s not living only surviving. I’m genuinely concerned about her and only trying to help. Yes, granted we have other family matters going on that won’t ever be resolved but I am trying to help but she won’t accept she needs help. That’s why I’m looking into everything that might persuade her to start thinking of herself and enjoying life and not trapped in one room. Apologies if it doesn’t make sense.

Kate Mellor

17:27 PM, 9th January 2023, About 11 months ago

It’s hard when parents won’t accept that they need help. Have you looked into what’s available in terms of care visits to help her with self-care, such as meals, washing and medication? Presumably if you’re working full time you can’t always be there to help her. Being around her family is much better for her than being out on her own somewhere. If she’s on low income she can be eligible for council funded adaptations at home such as rails.


8:06 AM, 14th January 2023, About 11 months ago

Hi, sorry to hear about your issues with your mother. Sadly this does happen more often than you would think.

From what you have said it does appear that your mother would be deemed to be an 'excluded occupier' which means that you can evict her by simply serving a notice to quit giving her one months notice to leave. If she fails to leave on expiry of the notice then you could peaceably remove her and take up possession without a Court Order however, if you cannot take possession peaceably, then you will need to get a Court Order. TBH in quite a few instances i have seen landlords make an application for a Court Order even though its not absolutely necessary - I think that landlords would rather avoid running the risk of it turning nasty/ a potential claim of breach of the Protection Against Eviction Act.

With regards to the covenant, this does sound a little strange and in any case, even if that was enforceable at the time of the transfer, you may struggle to enforce it now on the basis that you appear to have accepted the breach for some time.

Finally, I have never seen anyone overturn a transfer of equity and unless there was any wrongdoing, eg she didnt have mental capacity or was put under duress, I cannot see how your mother can even attempt to.

Good luck.



Chris Bradley

10:52 AM, 14th January 2023, About 11 months ago

If the covenant is in the transfer paperwork and recorded at land registry you cannot evict.you could go to court but there would be no guarantee that you would get the eviction notice you want. In fact the court could decide that the gift of the house with such terms was an attempt to defraud- both HMRC inheritance tax or future care assessment processes. To shave avoided both the house would need to have been gifted with no conditions.
You have said she lives downstairs due to ill health, then make downstairs her place and convert upstairs to yours, or raise a mortgage on the property to buy yourself somewhere else

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