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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  Lawyer with 9 years experience of family law issues.
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Hi - I live with my partner in a house owned by his parents.

Resolved Question:

Hi - I live with my partner in a house owned by his parents. We have no written agreement we just pay £500 rent per month which I contribute to by paying a set amount into my partners account but which pays all household bills. He pays the £500 directly to his parents. I'm wondering if I have any rights whatsoever if we decide to split up. The intention has always been for them to sign the house over to my partner but it hasnt been done as yet. All the internal furnishings are jointly owned. Do I have any rights to any money from the house and what rights do I have to stay in the house if we do split up?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 3 years ago.

tdlawyer :

Hello, welcome to the website. My name isXXXXX can assist you with this.

tdlawyer :

Were any promises made to you at all (as opposed to your partner) and if so, by whom and about what?

Customer:

No they purchased the house for us because at the time my partner was married and going through divorce so didnt want to bring this into any kind of financial arrangements. Also we already both had another mortgage so were struggling to get a third one between us. We did initially intend to get a mortgage to buy it from them however this never happened and they have said there is no point because its my partners house anyway so it would be signed over to him at some point.

tdlawyer :

Okay, so the understanding was it would always go to him. And you are an unmarried couple now.

tdlawyer :

I think you're likely to be in a difficult position to say you have any entitlement to remain there and/or have an interest in the home.

tdlawyer :

There are steps you can take to prevent you being removed almost instantly, and that would require reasonable notice be given to you of the need to vacate, but ultimately, there is unlikely to be any right to remain longer term.

tdlawyer :

Also, the payment of bills ins't enough to acquire an interest in the house, and you have recognised that the property is to be transferred to him eventually.

Customer:

No thats happened recently - the understanding was that we would buy it off them. I think that if they gifted the property that it would just go to him. My partner has always said that its half mine anyway because he cant afford it on his own

Customer:

Yes we are both unmarried now

Customer:

But legally the proprty would be in his name to protect their son

Customer:

Presumably I would have entitlement to property in the house?

tdlawyer :

Okay. I'm struggling to see how you personally would have a claim to the house though.

Customer:

Yes I know was just trying to protect myself from getting thrown out immediately more than anything

tdlawyer :

Your statement "they purchased the house for us" tends to lend me to think they you had some agreement about your rights in the house though. But what you really mean, is that bought it for them and rented it out to you, but they always intended to rent it out to you both. Is that right?

Customer:

Oh yes they did it to help us both out and they never bought if for themselves they bought it to help us both and the intention at the start was that we would pay them back with a joint mortgage

Customer:

Its always been rented to us both because my partner acknowledged that he couldnt afford the rent and bills by himself

tdlawyer :

Well, there might be some kind of constructive trust argument here, which says they own it on title but you really own it, although the nature of the "rent" arrangement seems to go against that.

tdlawyer :

I suppose you have some ammunition in case you do split to cause some uncertainty and try and get a result, but it's far from clear.

tdlawyer :

As for being thrown out, like I said, he would have to give you "reasonable notice" otherwise you could apply for a court order to permit you back in for a reasonable time.

Customer:

Ok well as long as I have a place to start from thats great. I know its unclear i;ve not been able to find anything like this situation. They definitely own the title but it was always purchased for both of us to help us out - we in fact put the offer to the estate agent and had to then mess around going in and telling them that we still wanted to make the offer but in fact someone else was paying the money and would own it in their name instead

Customer:

We also got a financial advisor to start looking for mortgages so we could buy it in the normal way but never went through with it due to his parents putting up the funds. Thanks for advice on reasonable notice too.

tdlawyer :

On the notice point, it's occupation orders that I was referring to, and you can get more information on that here: http://england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/relationship_breakdown/occupation_orders

tdlawyer :

Hope this helps.

tdlawyer :

Can I ask whether you're happy with the service this afternoon please?

Customer:

Yes thats great thanks - I've got something to think about and I can protect my rights should the worst happen

tdlawyer :

Thank you!

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