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Thomas
Thomas, Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 7620
Experience:  UK solicitor
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ME AND MY PARTNER HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 14 YEARS,SHE HAS BEEN

Resolved Question:

ME AND MY PARTNER HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 14 YEARS,SHE HAS BEEN ON THE MORTGAGE FOR ABOUT 3 YEARS,I PAY FOR THE MORTAGE AND ALL THE BILLS.WE ARE NOW SEPERATING AND NEED TO KNOW WHAT ME OR SHE IS ENTITLED TO
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your question.

Are there any children of the relationship?

Have you executed a declaration of trust (perhaps when she came on to the mortgage) stating your percentage interest in the property?

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

2 children age 18 and 24 but not mine. from previous relationship

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

Okay.

Have you executed a declaration of trust (perhaps when she came on to the mortgage) stating your percentage interest in the property?

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

not sure what a delclaration of trust is

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

It's a written agreement which states that you own a certain defined percentage and she owns another certain defined percentage.

Do you remember executing one of these?

Kind regards,

Tom
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no

Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.
Okay, drafting your answer now. 5 mins please.

Tom
Expert:  Thomas replied 3 years ago.

Hi

Thank you for your question and patience, I’m Tom and I’ll try to help you.

First of all, if you and you partner presently hold the house jointly (as joint tenants) then each person's share would pass to the other upon death regardless of any direction made in any Will. If this is not what you want then you should sever the joint tenancy by using Form SEV from the Land Registry (you will have to send it to them and if you have any questions about completing the form you should call their customer service number - they are very helpful):-
http://www1.landregistry.gov.uk/publications/?pubtype=49


You will then hold you interests as tenants in common, meaning that your respective shares will pass according to their wills or under the intestacy rules. Your partner need not sign the form provided you follow the instructions.

Unless there is a declaration of trust (for which you must hold your property as tenants in common) then there is a presumption that each party retains a 50% interest in the equity in the property .A declaration of trust (had you executed one) would state that you hold your interests in the properties in specified percentage shares and you would obviously decide what percentages before you signed it.

It is possible to claim greater than 50% of the equity in the property by litigating under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act if it can be shown that you intended to keep your finances separate and it would be inequitable for a 50% interest to be enforce, but this is a very specialised area of law and the legal fees are very expensive. If you contributed more the financing of the purchase or maintained the majority of the mortgage then this can form the basis of a claim under the act but – unless they agree – you would have to claim it at court.

So, in summary if you haven’t signed a declaration of trust then she will be presumed to own 50% of the equity. If you wish to claim more than this then I would have a consultation with a solicitor on a fixed fee basis so that you can give them specific details and they can advise you on the best strategy to attempt to claim more than the 50%.



My goal is to provide you with a good service. If you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up issues specifically relating to your question.


Kind regards,


Tom
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