Answer to a question from a reader

Can I stop my father from selling land that he promised to me?

The short answer

Unfortunately, there is no legal step you can take to stop him.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My father built a house for my brother and gave my sister a big deposit for her house. My father has a 2-hectare plot. The back half of it was empty so he built a house on it and told me that the house and one hectare of the property are mine. My wife and I have lived there with our two children for 15 years. I have spent a lot of money on landscaping and home improvement. I lost my work about a year ago and have been unable to find a new job, so I built two large chicken coops to support my family. My father is also struggling financially and wants to sell the house. I worry that my family and I will get nothing and be homeless. There is no contract between us about the house but if you ask him he will tell you that he promised me the house and the land. Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening?

The long answer

I'm sorry to say there is not very much you can do if your father feels he has to sell the house and land, even though he acknowledges that he did promise it to you. It must feel very unfair as he assisted your brother and sister with their houses but now cannot give you the assistance he promised to you.

There is no legal step you can take to stop him from selling his house and land, and it would be an even greater loss for you if you were to lose your relationship with your father as well as the house and land. If he is determined to sell it, perhaps the best thing you can do is offer to help him to get the best price possible, so that it’s possible for him to help you if he can. Your father probably feels very bad about not being able to keep his promise to you and may welcome your help. It may be that if you work with him, something better could open up for you too.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on April 15, 2021, 11:48 a.m.

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