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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Could you kindly confirm there were no children involved from that prior relationship please?
From what you say the house has at some stage been transferred to you and your wife from her ex partner. Did this happen at the same time as paying him £10K or at another time?
they didn't have any together. My wife had 2 from a previous
No, the house was always in my wife's name. her ex partner was never on the mortgage. It was always her house. When he moved in she already owned it
I see thanks. When he gave your wife the £20K was this expressed to be a gift - I do not think this is the case from what you say. If not was anything agreed as to his expectations in terms of his investment - e.g. was it a loan or investment in the property or was simply nothing discussed?
my wife did say that she discussed it with him at the time he put the money in that if anything happened in their relationship she would would try a repay but that was all
Thanks. If your wife's ex was not a joint owner of the property then the starting point is that he has no interest in the property however if he can demonstrate that he made a contribution towards the property this can be shifted if he can show by reference to financial evidence that he has contributed to the same and there was no intention on his part to make a gift of such contributions to your wife or vice versa.
If they are unable to agree as to how to divide the property then ultimately he or she have a a right to apply to the courts for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Actand to determine their respective shares in the property. The courts have the power to impose a settlement based on what they believe is fair based on the evidence they can both bring. This would not be done lightly as typical costs for a TLATA claim will be £1-2K and can be more but the option is there for him potentially
If you could show that the £10K you have already paid was accepted in full and final settlement by her ex then he would have no further potential claim available against the property however if no such agreement was reached then the above option remains open to him potentially.
ok thats basically what i thought. what i really need to do is offer a little bit more and hope he takes it.
If you consider that he may pursue a TLATA claim - this is not straightforward as above like a small claims matter then you may at that stage or before as you prefer consider a further offer given "without liability and as a gesture of goodwill" under cover of a letter headed "WITHOUT PREJUDICE SAVE AS TO COSTS" for a further sum you consider fair. You could as a matter of negotiation consider factoring in the potential costs of bring a claim and reduce your offer accordingly calculating that he will not bring a claim if you are offering a couple of few thousand less than he could potentially get in court.
If he accepts an offer on the above basis he will not be able to claim ahy more if he banks a cheque from you and later changes his mind.
Is there anything above I can clarify for you any further?
no you have been really helpful. Thankyou