The High Court has ordered a family to vacate the house that they have lived in for over 30 years after deciding that the family were not legally entitled to continue living at the property.

The plaintiffs had owned the house for over 30 years, when they decided that they wanted to sell the property. The defendants had been living in the house for the full duration of the plaintiff’s ownership, and did not pay rent. They were in charge of the upkeep and maintenance of the property.

The plaintiffs issued the defendants with a notice to vacate. The defendants claimed that they and the plaintiffs had an informal agreement that they would have first right to purchase the property, and that they would be reimbursed for all costs of maintaining the house.

A draft Sale and Purchase Agreement was sent by the defendants to the plaintiffs, claiming that over $1.09 million dollars had been spent on the property in the 30 years since they moved in, and that they were entitled to reimbursement of this amount.

If this claim of expenses was accepted, the plaintiffs would be paying over $30,000 to sell their house to the defendants, as the value of the property was less than the expenses that the defendants claimed that they were owed.

The plaintiffs sought an order for possession of the property in the Court.

The Court determined that the invoices used to “prove” the expenses incurred by the defendants had not only been edited, but had not been sent to the plaintiffs prior to the notice to vacate.

It was clear that the defendants were not expecting to receive reimbursement for the work they undertook on the house, and the Court decided that they were therefore not entitled to it.

The defendants were ordered to vacate the property, with the Court ruling that the plaintiffs could seek reimbursement for legal costs.

If there is confusion around your rights in regard to property ownership, it pays to seek advice from a professional with experience in the area.


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Litigation Team