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Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33295
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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My partner walked out on me and the jointly purchased and owned

Customer Question

My partner walked out on me and the jointly purchased and owned house 2.5 years ago. She stopped paying the mortgage 2 months after leaving. I continued to make payments and entered discussions with a solicitor to arrange an amicable settlement and disposal of the house. An agreement was made and the property was placed on and remains on the market. We have had an offer that fell through but the property has never been taken off the market. Additionally the valuation of the property have been reassessed regularly to ensure it is on the market at the correct value.
I now have a new life and partner and daughter living with me in the property and we continue to maintain and enhance the property at no cost to my ex as well as pay the mortgage on it until such time as the property sells.
The problem currently is my ex partner is trying to make arrangements to live back in the property with her new husband.
This is not a viable proposition for me and I want to know if in law she is able to do this after such a long time away and not contributing to the mortgage payments or hiuse maintenance. In addition I would like to know if this could be grounds for getting an injunction becuase this aggressive pursuit of entering and living in the property will have an effect on my partner and step daughter. Also is this action likely to breach the solicitors arrangement we had for the sale of the property (currently still on the market at the correct market price) and the financial split of the equity that had been agreed.
Sorry for the long background story but I hope it is helpful in you giving some advice or guidance.
Many thanks.
Stu
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

132500. The current solicitors agreement is for a 60/40 split in my favour with all contents of the property to be retained by me with specific listed exceptions. The solicitors letter also states clearly that any attempt to move back into the property would be met with an immediate application for occupation order preventing such an action until such time as the property is sold.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Were you ever married to your ex?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No we were never married

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Sorry how much is the house worth and how much is outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry that answer got cut off. The property is worth 200000 and the outstanding mortgage is 132500

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for that - is there any reason why you cannot buy your ex out - and is there any reason why it has not yet sold?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It is a nice quality fully refurbished house marketed at the right price. We have had an recent offer but unfortunately the buyer withdrew at a late stage. We can buy her out in June this year because of my current partners financial commitments. This offer has been made clearly to her via a solicitor in the past but has been rejected in favour of an earlier sale, hence the reason for it being marketed at the moment. Which is why I'm concerned over what amounts to threatening behaviour to move in with her new husband 1 month ahead of the point at which we can apply to buy her out. Does she have any legal right to act in this way. Can she carry out her threat. Do I need to take any action. Should I be applying for an occupation order. Are there any other concerns that I should have about this situation?

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Why was the 60/40 split agreed?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Because she had stopped paying the mortgage when she left the property and it was agreed that my split should reflect this.

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
She did not need to do that if you were still living there.
As a joint owner of the property she is also entitled to return to live there whenever she wishes.
It is possible that you can obtain an Occupation Order based on the period of time that she has spent away from the property - but there is no guarantee of this unless or until there is an incidence of violence.
Given that you will be able to buy her out of the property in June it seems odd that she is taking this confrontational approach
One option might be to revisit the division of the equity although I appreciate that this is not an attractive option for you
Clare

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