Answer to a question from a reader

We want to sell the RDP house that belongs to my husband and his previous girlfriend. She’s never lived there but wants a share of the money. Can she do this?

The short answer

Yes, she may if her name appears on the title deeds.

The whole question

My husband applied for an RDP house in 1998 and was informed that he needed to have a partner for the house to be registered. He took his girlfriend along and they registered the house together. She has never stayed there so, I lived there from 1999 to 2006. We have since left the house, and our cousin has been living there and covering the maintenance costs. Since she's maintained the home, we would like to sell the RDP house to her. The problem is that the lady found out about this, and since her name appears on the title deeds, she wants a share of the house or money from its sale. What can we do?

The long answer

Thank you for your email asking if the person who was your husband’s girlfriend at the time they applied for the RDP house in 1998, but who has never lived in it, has a right to money or a share in the house that your husband and you want to give to your cousin who has lived in it since 2006.

Although it seems unfair, if her name appears on the title deeds, she does have legal ownership, and is entitled to a share of the house or money from its sale.

Perhaps you and your husband should go and see the municipality with your cousin, taking all the documents, and ask their advice about the best way to come to an agreement with the lady.

Answered on March 11, 2020, 10:37 a.m.

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