Mother, 82, locked in bitter court fight with own daughter, 52

Mother, 82, is locked in bitter court fight with her own daughter, 52, who wants to kick pensioner out of her out of her three-bed flat nearly 20 years after she signed it over for ‘inheritance tax reasons’

  • Norma Gibbons, 82, signed over home to daughter for ‘inheritance tax’ reason
  • But she and Dawn Gibbons, 52, fell out now younger woman is trying to evict her
  • She claims Ms Gibbons senior had ‘ignored’ court orders to allow house repairs 

A pensioner, 82, who signed over her home to her daughter ‘for inheritance tax reasons’ is now fighting in court against being kicked out by her after a bitter family feud.

Norma Gibbons and daughter Dawn Gibbons, 52, have been rowing for six years after falling out over accusations the elder woman had raised her voice to her young granddaughter.

The mother and daughter live in upstairs and downstairs flats in the same £1.4m converted house in south London, and had previously owned Ms Gibbons senior’s upstairs apartment together.

But in 2004 she transferred it into her daughter’s sole name for ‘inheritance tax reasons,’ a judge heard.

Now after the falling out she faces being thrown out of her three-bed home.

Norma Gibbons outside Central London County Court after the hearing with daughter Dawn

Dawn Gibbons outside Central London County Court after the hearing over the row with her mum Norma over Norma’s flat.

Norma, who has been in the flat in Earlsfield for more than 40 years, is fighting the claim, arguing that she would not have signed over the flat if she thought her daughter would kick her out.

Representing herself at Central London County Court, Dawn – who works in finance – said she had a good relationship with her mum before they fell out after she herself became a parent in 2008.

She said she had severed ties with Norma because she ‘shouted’ at her young daughter and that the row had spiralled into a full relationship breakdown and a series of court cases.

She had complained about banging noises from the flat above and had sued to try to force her mum to let builders in to repair a leak which she says is damaging the electrics in her £800,000 downstairs apartment.

And she claims her mum has repeatedly refused to allow people into the £600,000 flat upstairs to investigate problems, ignoring court orders demanding that she allow access for repairs to take place.

The upstairs and downstairs flats in Earlsfield, at the centre of the court fight between Norma Gibbons (white door – upstairs) and Dawn Gibbons (red door – downstairs)

‘I have served her a number of orders which she has ripped up and thrown into the garden,’ she told Judge Richard Roberts.

‘I need my builder in there to survey what damage there is and what repairs need doing.

‘Water is coming through my ceiling. I have mildew. The damage is unrepairable, I have to have access to upstairs.

‘I am seeking possession because the defendant has continued to ignore orders of the court.’

‘I have been trying since 2017 – from friends to family, police, through the courts, through environmental services.

‘The electricity is failing in my home. My daughter and I are in danger.

‘I have pleaded with the defendant. What more can I do?’

But for Norma, barrister Lara Simak said it is the mum’s case that the leak has already been repaired and that she did not refuse access.

And she said she would be claiming a right to stay at the flat on the basis that she would not have otherwise signed it over.

‘When transferring the property into her daughter’s name, she had an expectation to live there for the rest of her life,’ she told the judge.

‘Certainly, she didn’t expect to be kicked out of her flat by her daughter, otherwise she wouldn’t have transferred it.’

Judge Roberts gave directions for a trial of Dawn’s bid to kick her mum out later this spring.

He said that, in the meantime, Norma must allow her daughter access to investigate what repairs might be needed.

‘How does this carry on? The ceiling will fall down,’ he commented.

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