How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 34264
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Home owned as joint tenants -not married. Element of control

Resolved Question:

Home owned as joint tenants - not married. Element of control in the relationship. I have set boundaries and they are not working. I want to know my rights with regards ***** ***** property. Incomes are very different. I am currently partly supported by him financially under a verbal agreement that this would not affect my ownership of the house - he currently pays into the mortgage alone. Both on the mortgage and deeds. When house purchased we worked out tenants in common agreement, to reflect his large deposit and differing incomes. I found out recently he didn't file this - so by default we are joint tenants. He says I have no rights as I have not paid majority of mortgage for 3 years, that I cannot ask him to leave or choose to sell as it isn't mine to sell. I know I have ownersip of the house and would be reasonable about a fair agreement but as it stands he advises/threats that I have no rights at all and is being obstructional to my efforts. Wondering whether to leave and start paying in exactly half to mortgage or requesting a sale. He would like to pay me £20k to leave and give him ownership. House purchased for £400k and now worth £550k.  The choice of best investment for the future was joint and it was clear this house purchase was part of my life plan for security - my partner has 2 other houses, this is my only house ownership.

edit: not sure if this is relevant as we are not married, but I have taken responsibility for house maintenance, cleaning and shopping since I left my job to work self employed (which isnt creating a large income at present) I have undertaken all decorating in the house, I have investmed in the property as equals.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 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.
What did the Declaration of Trust that you had agreed to actually say?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello and thank you.
The draft Declaration of Trust stated:

- The Purchase Price of the Property was £399,950.
- Purchase of the Property and associated expenses has been funded directly by the Parties and also by way of a joint loan (lenders name) in the sum of £120,000 (“the Mortgage”)
- The Parties have agreed to the terms set out below to reflect the beneficial interest of each Party in the Property taking into account their respective contributions towards the Mortgage, respective sums put in to the purchase, an amount for works to the
house, and all fees and in respect of their respective rights and liabilities.

 

IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS:

Subject to the repayment of the Mortgage the Parties shall hold any equity in the Property on trust for themselves as Tenants in Common in the following shares:
Partner- 86%
Myself - 14%

It then goes on to say what will happen if we want to sell the property.

Mortage is £248.28 per month with additional £32.00 life insurance. The mortgage is interest only.

This situation has arisen for me out of a break in trust and agreement on lots of counts, I left my employment in education due to a high stress situation and also to pursue running my own business - this was supported by my partner. This was 3 years ago and I am making a small profit now. However my partner has expressed continued ambiguousity about this financial support which has been very hard. Each time I have attempted to 'equal' the situation in various ways either by a plan for when I contribute and for future savings or by a suggestion to separate or by seeking higher paid employment, he supports these ideas and then reverts either to 'its ok don't worry I earn enough' - quickly followed by accusations I am attempting to swindle him. Before we purchased this house, we rented a property where we paid 50/50 rent and bills. My income was £16k a year and his was £80k, I have supported his business with administration and advise for many years.

Aside from this emotional element, I want to remain clear and focused on what I need to do independantly. I need to increase my income regardless, I need a calm consistent place to live where I now where I stand financially, I cannot move out and receive benefits for housing until I increase my income or find work as I am a house owner. I cannot get a mortgage for the same reason. I can rent if needs be. I want to get back financial independance and find work I enjoy or continue with my business- my partner is using his financial weight to make this difficult as he is not seeing my situation and taking my goals seriously - he believes he needs to advise me. I need to get the legal situation clear in order to make decisions that support me now and in the future.

The initial agreements in our relationship were designed for me to 'get ahead' with my work and finances and although not ever be equal in financial status to him - we would be equal in this particularly house ownership. The relationship has broken down and I need to separate his needs from my own.



Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
How much is currently outstanding on the mortgage?
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

£120K it is a repayment loan only - we have owned the house for 4 years, together for 8

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Your ex is incorrect - as a joint owner of the property you are fully entitled to insist on a sale of the property - and can go to court to achieve it
I suspect that the fact that the Declaration of Trust was signed would be sufficient for the court to hold that you are both bound by it - and your ex will be hampered in claiming that it was negated by your failure to pay the mortgage as he was the one who did not register it
Accordingly you should write a formal letter to your ex stating that within the next 56 days he can either purchase your share of the equity for £60,000 or place the property on the market at a price agreed by you both, and that if he fails to do so you intend to apply to the court for an Order for the sale of the property - and then go through with it
Please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK thank you. I am not sure if the paperwork was signed, I presume it was but the solicitor only has a draft with no signatures.

In an ideal world I would want to keep my interest in the property but clearly I can't buy him out and he is not agreeing that I can remain and rent rooms to cover expenses. He is not in the house most of the time and does not live as if he is here.

Without a declaration of trust we exist as joint tenants and are entitled to 50% each of any equity - is that correct? Friends have suggested that this is my entitlement if we were to sell which would result in excess of £200k for each of us. I presume if I were to claim this status and proceed it would be more complex , is that correct?

Thank you

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that the evidence that this was NOT the agreement when the house was purchased is overwhelming and on that basis it would be foolish to try and argue the issue
Clare
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for clarifying what has become confused for me. I appreciate it.

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - I hope all goes well
Clare
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you