My brother demands back the house he let my family live in

By Thuy   May 7, 2024 | 04:19 pm PT
My elder brother, who resides in the U.S., unexpectedly demanded that my family vacate the house we live in, which is under his name, so that he could rent it out.

I’m 36, living with my husband and two children in Hanoi. We currently reside in my brother’s seven-story, 60-square-meter house in the city center.

My husband and I own another 100-square-meter apartment that we currently rent out for VND10 million (US$394) per month. We purchased this apartment with our own savings.

My brother, 49, owns five large restaurants in the U.S. Our father passed away when we were young, and our mother died a long time ago too. Before she passed away, she entrusted all her money to my brother for his journey abroad and instructed him to take care of me. We both implicitly understood that the money she gave him was our joint asset, and that he would share part of his earnings with me in the future.

10 years ago, my brother bought a house in Hanoi. He told my family to live there for spaciousness, convenience, and also to take care of the house for him. I assumed that this house would be mine one day and that he simply hadn’t transferred ownership yet.

However, he called me two months ago to announce that he wanted to rent out the house and had already found a tenant. He said I had one month to prepare to move out so the tenant could move in. He also returned from the U.S. to meet and talk with me, leaving me utterly shocked because our relationship had been good, with frequent phone calls to check in on each other.

When we met in person, I cried and told him I wanted to keep the house as my share because our mother had given him all her money to go abroad. But he denied this, saying he only let me stay "temporarily" and "never declared anything," implying that my belief that he would eventually transfer ownership of the house to me was just in my imagination.

He also explained that he was facing difficulties abroad and had to close three of his restaurants, so he needed to rent out the house in Vietnam for extra income.

I am sad, disappointed, and want to cut ties with my ungrateful brother. In your opinion, do I have any chance of reclaiming this house?

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